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What Is Demand Generation?

Updated: May 2, 2023

The two biggest factors that fast track demand gen efforts are getting control of your marketing data and hiring the right people. – Tim Kopp

Demand generation is the umbrella of all marketing activities that bring awareness and excitement to your ideal customer about your business's products and services.

Demand generation is the bridge between marketing and sales.

Demand generation is a series of touchpoints designed to nurture key prospects into long-term relationships.

Moving them along the spectrum of marketing to sales, distinguishes it from other customer acquisition tactics.

Demand Generation is a data-driven strategy for acquiring and maximizing relationships with your ideal customer through targeted marketing campaigns.

Below we have broken down some of the key components of demand generation that many Fortune 500 companies and top businesses utilize to maximize brand awareness and lifetime customer value.


Branding – Your brand design elements will play a key role in building awareness and attraction with your target market.

Having a proper logo, value proposition, and consistent feel across all your touchpoints will aid your efforts in demand generation marketing.

There is some debate over how much of a priority should be placed on branding, depending on where you are at in your business lifecycle.

You can read this excellent article by Tim Kopp on this demand generation:

Networking Events & Meetings – We live in an era where digital marketing seems to be getting most of the focus.

Let’s not forget the power of face-to-face relationship building. Attending industry conferences and networking events can lead to many significant business relationships.

Have a strategy for acquiring leads that can go into your demand generation strategy and don’t forget to develop a rhythm for client/prospective client meetings.

This is a great environment to share your latest developments and garner interest in the different resources you can provide through your demand generation platform.

Social Media Strategy – Social media plays a significant role in developing your online voice.

Choose your platforms carefully as you can invest a ton of capital & resources into marketing on a platform that won’t ever connect you with your target market.

Blogging – Blogs are a great way to produce high-value content (such as the one you are reading right now titled “What Is Demand Generation”).

Using blogs as an opportunity to educate your customers goes a long way.

Not only can it increase your search in Google or other search engines, but when done correctly it gives your customers the necessary information to be informed and hungry to purchase your products or services.

Especially those customers you already have that would find value in purchasing add-on products or moving up in your value ladder.

E-book Campaigns – Similar to a blog, but typically much more in-depth.

E-books can be a great resource for lead capture that brings a potential customer (or existing customer) into a product/service pipeline.

Many businesses will develop a comprehensive E-book they promote through their blog, email, social media platforms, and PPC campaigns.

Email Marketing – Email is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

This isn’t to discourage the use of these social media platforms (as they can be used to build relationships and capture email). However, the power of email is abundantly clear.

Your email campaign can have a weekly round-up of blog articles, new product offerings, and case studies that can push your prospective customers to take action.

PPC – Advertising is a powerful tool. However, it is imperative to do your research and understand the behaviors of your target market before getting too heavily involved in PPC.

Many dollars are wasted on ineffective campaigns.

PPC can drive traffic to your lead capture resources and be used to retarget already engaged prospects to re-engage with your business through a different means.

Marketing Automation – One of the most influential tools your demand generation strategy can leverage is marketing automation.

Building out a system that ties all these elements together and alerts your sales team when a prospect is ready to become a customer is well worth the investment that comes with setting up this type of system.

Data & Analytics – Data is your hindsight. It allows your business to validate your assumptions and narrow in on successful strategies in your demand generation model.

The question we often hear from colleagues and clients is “Demand Generation, Isn’t That Lead Generation? Our next section will address the difference.


Inbound marketing focuses on the single aspect of creating quality content that pulls people towards your company, and demand gen is the macro system designed to nurture this inbound traffic into long-term relationships.

Inbound is undoubtedly an aspect of your demand generation model.

The best way to illustrate the difference between inbound marketing and demand generation is through an example.

For instance, your corporate law firm is looking to generate leads for new business incorporation services.

You decide to write a comprehensive article on the different types of business structures a company should consider before incorporating and the benefits/risks of each.

At the end of the article, you have a strong call to action encouraging readers to sign up for a free consultation to talk about new business incorporation.

Your next step is to send an email out to your list, post on social media, set up a budget for PPC, and drive traffic to this article.

Great! You have implemented an inbound lead generation tactic.

Now what happens after this?

Your business probably offers more services than new business incorporation packages.

The demand generation strategy is what keeps these leads moving throughout your business marketing/sales process into different areas of sales, or converting them into a customer for that specific service utilizing all the various tools we have outlined above.


Depending on your business, there may be additional aspects that need to be included in your demand generation model.

The best place to start is with a sound strategic plan which outlines your company vision, brand values, core products/services, target customer and key assumptions about the marketplace.

With a clear understanding of your position, and where you would like to be as a company will give you the knowledge to start building a successful demand generation strategy.

Next time someone asks you What Is Demand Generation, you will be able to share some insights.

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