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The Differences Between Demand and Lead Generation

Digital marketing is such a broad topic that it makes it difficult for people with no in-depth background knowledge to learn about its various topics and terminologies. One of the mistakes that people often commit is to interchange the terms lead generation and demand generation. Although they may appear similar in purpose, they are two distinct concepts that have different goals. This article will distinguish how they vary to give you a clearer idea.  

Differentiating Lead Generation VS Demand Generation

In simple terms, demand generation involves creating hype for your products and services and getting people interested in your brand. The aim is to create or increase demand by attracting your customers’ interest and highlighting how you can solve their problems.

On the other hand, lead generation is when you turn that interest into actual names and contacts, also known as leads, that your sales team can follow up on and make transactions with.

Demand Generation: A More Detailed Look

Demand generation does not always end with tangible results. However, it still plays a vital role in a business-to-business marketing program and in supporting the entire marketing and sales process. Everything starts with customer interest, and it can result in generating leads and making sales. 

Here are the tasks that are usually involved in generating demand from customers and potential buyers:

  • Content marketing
  • Event marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Inbound and website marketing
  • Program measurement and optimization
  • Lead nurturing
  • Lead scoring
  • Sales/marketing alignment activities

Demand generation is also a way to create loyal followers and improve customer relationships. 

Lead Generation: Understanding It Better

If you think that the marketing methods mentioned above are efforts to find leads, that is likely where the confusion comes from. Lead generation is actually only a part of the whole demand generation umbrella. 

Lead generation focuses on collecting information from a targeted audience that the sales team can use to qualify and nurture potential customers. 

Lead generation also has a more purposeful objective: to convert these audiences into quality leads. This is possible by creating webinars, performing ad retargeting, presenting whitepapers or other downloadables, hosting live events, or utilizing paid and targeted social media advertising to get more people engaged and eventually acquire a service or make a purchase.  

How Lead Generation and Demand Generation Work Together

If you’ve heard about lead generation but are just now realizing what demand generation is, it is probably because lead generation can work independently. That means that some marketers execute lead generation tactics without adopting the demand generation mindset, and they manage to successfully reach their target in doing so. 

Making the two work together will bring more success to your campaign. With demand generation as your mindset, you will get more support for your overall marketing goals. Lead generation focuses on engaging with the audience and hopes to generate sales with them. With demand generation, that target number is not the sole basis for success. Instead, you get lower-funnel metrics that you can base your marketing progress on. 


The two efforts have different purposes and functions. If you want your business to succeed in all aspects, you should know how these two differ and use them to your advantage. 

Does your business need help with lead generation? Akby is a full-service digital marketing team that can help you grow your business in many different ways. One of our expertise is lead generation. Whether you are a startup, medium-sized, or large enterprise, we have you covered.

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