Both demand generation and lead generation can effectively add prospective new business to your marketing funnel, but these two philosophies work in different ways that are important to know about for a complete marketing strategy. Lead generation operates on the core idea of adding as many prospects as possible to the top of the funnel, then qualifying and converting those leads through ongoing marketing and sales efforts. Demand generation operates on the idea of generating demand for your business through valuable content and qualifying leads through ongoing engagement with your brand.

What’s the difference, and how do these tactics impact your marketing strategy?

Try and think of this in fishing terms for a moment — lead generation is like casting a wide net and hoping to pull up a few hot leads. Demand generation, on the other hand, is more like baiting leads with high-value marketing content before reeling them in. While demand generation might take more time and effort, the rewards are typically bigger fish, so to speak.

Demand generation requires multiple touchpoints between your brand and your leads. Be sure to be present on multiple channels to maximize your rewards:

Email marketing is often considered the most universal channel. In fact, 79% of B2B marketers consider email to be the most effective channel.

Content marketing — blogging and premium content publishing — is also an effective channel to establish your brand’s expertise.

Social media offers opportunities to create quick, regular impressions with a wide range of consumers.

  • Important for demand generation.
  • 73% of marketers state that social media marketing has been effective in their marketing demand generation strategy.

Live sales efforts like events, calls, and meetings remain an important aspect in converting prospects to sales, but are typically most effective after digital demand generation has taken place, or in tandem with other efforts:

Live events generate the most leads, say 68% of B2B marketers, while content marketing helps convert the most leads. Personal conversations don’t have to be in-person to be effective: webinars and live streams offer that same level of connection without the need to travel.

With all of these channels and demand generation efforts working in tandem, it’s critical to have a centralized location to manage every campaign.

SharpSpring offers end-to-end digital marketing management solutions, including automation and insights for all of your demand generation efforts. Looking to learn more? Sign up for a free demo today!

Katrina McAfee
Over the past 10 years, Katrina has created and implemented marketing plans for industries ranging from health care, transportation, animal welfare and rescue, hospice communities, and much more. At SharpSpring, Katrina’s main focus is coordinating lead generation marketing activities to boost sales for the company.