Skip to main content

(Image Source)

Demand generation is an umbrella term for marketing strategies that excite your potential audience about your services or products. 

Demand generation is not part of the buying cycle, which is what sets it apart from sales strategies. Instead, demand generation focuses on marketing and customer retention, which includes awareness and education about your brand.

A big part of growing your brand audience involves demand generation, which makes this essential for marketing strategies, especially for growing businesses. 

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s The Difference?

Demand and lead generation share the goal of growing your business, but the approaches differ. To simplify, the biggest difference between the two is that lead generation is a short-term strategy, whereas demand generation is long-term.  

Demand generation growth strategies focus more on education, learning, and developing a base of quality, returning customers. On the other hand, lead generation growth usually comes from forms or different email capture strategies that take action with the new leads in front of you. As a result, leads from lead generation strategies can vary widely in quality. 

This isn’t to say that lead generation isn’t a good strategy. Lead generation is just a different tool with different pros and cons. Good demand generation doesn’t matter if you don’t have new customers coming in, just as lead generation doesn’t matter if no one’s buying. Companies should use lead and demand generation in tandem for the highest success, so keep them in mind. 

The Benefits of Demand Generation

Demand generation strategies have numerous benefits when building and maintaining a successful business. 

The most obvious demand generation benefit is that your business will see more new customers coming in. This kind of growth is the objective of any business. A solid demand generation strategy generally means that there will be higher quality customers and leads, which makes them more likely to come back. 

Repeat customers are often more knowledgeable about your brand so you can be more creative with your marketing and future initiatives. When you have a robust clientele of repeat customers, you don’t have to worry as much about skewing your resources toward first-time buyers. The extra boost of creativity may spark your next big venture. 

Demand generation strategies tend to reduce marketing costs because there’s a higher return on investment (or ROI). This heightened ROI is partly because of the emphasis on customer retention, which tends to be less costly than building an audience from scratch. 

Demand generation strategies boost brand awareness via word-of-mouth marketing, which can have massive benefits on its own. An average of 83% of people trust recommendations from their family and loved ones over other sources. By building trust with consumers, you’re ensuring that people who keep coming back will recommend you to interested parties in their lives. 

Different Types Of Demand Generation

Demand generation methods cover the most popular marketing techniques. These techniques make up a few overall types of demand generation. 

  • Brand Awareness: Brand awareness, as shown by its name, covers any measures you take to get your brand name out there and attract new clients. These measures may include social media marketing, sponsorships, paid ads, and email marketing. 
  • Retention: Retention measures encourage customers to make repeat purchases. Examples of retention include loyalty programs, discounts on future purchases, customer support, personalization options, and requesting customer feedback. Other measures, like email marketing, can be used with retention. These strategies may include guides targeting past customers or special deals sent to the segment of your audience who has purchased in the last year. 
  • Inbound Marketing: Similar to retention, inbound marketing aims to build connections with potential customers, primarily by offering the services or products from your company as a solution to a problem they might have. Inbound marketing measures may include helpful chatbots on websites, but you may leverage other tools, like social media. 

When you’re brainstorming your demand generation strategy, you’ll want to keep all of these strategies in mind for the best results. 

6 Demand Generation Examples

These examples branch off of the different types of demand generation and will help you see how it works practically. You don’t have to be limited to these strategies to leverage the benefits of demand generation, but they can be great places to start if you need ideas. 

Social Media

Social media is one of the most popular demand generation strategies because of its ubiquity and potential to simultaneously reach many different segments of your audience. 

Social media is considered a brand awareness tool but can be used just as much for retention. A brand awareness social media strategy can include using tags on posts so new people see your content. In contrast, retention strategies might look more like creating a community with your followers. 


SEO, or search engine optimization, is necessary for any business in the age of Google. A good SEO strategy aims to get your business in the top results of a relevant search. For example, if you own a handmade soy candle company, good SEO is being listed as the first option when someone searches “handmade soy candles.” 

Good SEO will attract new leads interested in your business, making it a brand awareness strategy. In addition, good SEO means tangible credibility, giving you more leverage when working with influencers, brand ambassadors, and the like. 

Having a highly-rated website compared to the competition also gives you an edge regarding customer retention. Combined with having a good experience with your product or positive brand feelings, good SEO clarifies that your company is knowledgeable. 

Influencer Collaboration 

Collaborating with an influencer in your sphere has skyrocketed in popularity with the rise of social media. Influencer collaboration is a great example of an account-based marketing strategy that directly targets accounts considered high-value and works in tandem with brand awareness. 

When you collaborate, you’re reaching an influencer’s following. Since this following already has a degree of trust in the influencer, the audience will be more likely to see what your brand is all about. This extra interest paves the way for growth and may even unlock new audience segments. 

Video Marketing

Video marketing adds a personal touch to any marketing strategy that tends to take more work to achieve with text and graphics. Since videos are usually more popular than regular social media posts, your audience reach may be wider. 

Video marketing is also easier to tailor to audience segments than other forms of marketing. With this extra touch of humanity, your lead audience may be more likely to remember your company and make their first purchase or come back for return purchases. 


Billboards are one of the original forms of advertising and are a great example of demand generation. Specifically, billboards embody the idea of brand awareness by getting your brand name out there to leads who don’t know about it. 

Billboards can be excellent for targeting leads that aren’t online, but because they don’t go after a specific set of demographics, you may not get as much return on investment as other methods. Billboards are also stagnant, whereas other marketing measures can be more fluid if branding changes, for example. 

Digital Advertising

Like billboards, digital advertising is a great way to get your brand in front of people who may not know it. Digital advertising encompasses any ads you pay for on websites, social media, or other online avenues. 

Digital advertising leaves room for experimentation with reaching different audience segments. For instance, if you’re advertising an initiative for college-aged people, you can advertise on a platform they’re known for using, like Instagram. Concurrently, you can run ads on other platforms targeting different audience segments without major additional costs.

Tracking Demand Generation Performance

When thinking about implementing demand generation strategies, you’re probably wondering how to track success, especially because topics like brand awareness can seem nebulous. There are a few ways you can follow your strategy’s performance. Here are just a few of the most accurate methods of doing so: 

  • Lifetime Customer Value: This metric predicts how much a company can expect an individual customer to spend over their lifetime as a customer. Naturally, customers known for repeat purchases have higher lifetime customer value. By tracking this, you can see who’s given you the most revenue in their journey with you and how much they’ll potentially provide you. 
  • Brand Search Volume: Over time, brand search volume will give you an idea of how well your brand awareness strategies work. It’s also a good idea to compare your brand search volume numbers with your competition and take notes on differences. 
  • Cost Per Acquisition: This metric outlines the amount it costs your company to bring on one paying customer. Cost per acquisition can help you see which marketing strategies or other initiatives are working and which need updating. 
  • Win Rate: Also known as closing percentage, this metric represents the proportion of closed deals or purchases to the number of proposals sent out. Seeing which proposals or initiatives have the highest win rates will give you insight into what’s working for new customers and retention purposes. 

CRM software can help you track all these metrics and more. If some metrics lag behind others, think about pivoting your strategy accordingly. 


Demand generation is just one piece of the puzzle. Brand awareness and customer retention are as essential to growing your business as more action-oriented strategies like lead generation. 

If you’re looking to heighten your business’s visibility, Demand Playbook has all the tools you need to keep your business growing. 

Bernard Aguila

Bernard Aguila is a brand ambassador and SEO Outreach Specialist at Omniscient Digital, a premium content marketing & SEO agency.