Both demand generation and lead generation are critical components of a B2B marketing strategy. It’s important for business growth to adapt strategies around both lead generation and demand generation. You can’t create leads efficiently and consistently unless you’re also generating demand and producing demand doesn’t do much unless it’s converting leads to sales.

While both strategies may seem interchangeable, they’re different parts of the process to achieve the same bottom line: Sales. Lead generation may come under the broad demand generation umbrella, but it is a distinct process that necessitates its own set of specialized talents and methods.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is a collection of marketing actions that raises awareness of your product or service in your target market without the explicit goal to convert them. Demand generation develops your target market, builds trust in your brand, and achieves thought leadership.

When defined in this way, demand generation is neither a subset of lead generation nor is lead generation a subset of demand generation. Instead, a potential lead may first go through your demand generation activities before becoming a lead through your lead generation efforts. The following are the most frequent content types utilized in demand generating strategies:

  • YouTube tutorials
  • Blog content
  • Social media posts
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews

Demand generation isn’t about waiting for contacts to come to you; instead, it’s about finding them where they are right now and reaching out to them with relevant information and offers.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation, often known as “lead gen,” is the process of converting potential consumers into qualified leads (i.e., someone who has a genuine interest in what you have to offer). In a nutshell, lead generation is a method of directing potential customers to your product or service. The final goal is to identify quality leads for your organization, which can be added to a lead nurturing process or followed up by a salesperson. One B2B Lead generation strategy entails producing “restricted” content and then asking for the potential client’s contact information as a pre-requisite to access. Lead generation strategies include the following:

  • E-book guides
  • Free assessments or Audits
  • Checklist
  • Webinars
  • Free tools
  • Cold Calling
  • Email Marketing
  • LinkedIn Outreach

This is the stage at which you feed them through your funnel and give them over to your sales staff to convert them into paying clients.

What's the Difference Between Lead and Demand Gen?

For example, if you’re conducting a campaign to drive sign-ups for your digital marketing service, writing an eBook on effective email marketing practices would make sense. However, you must decide if the eBook’s purpose falls under your demand generation or lead generation strategy.

If you’re doing demand generation, you’ll want the material to be disseminated as widely as possible; therefore, users should be able to obtain your eBook without having to fill out a form. If lead generation is your aim, you should advertise the eBook while requiring users to fill out a form before downloading the book. To develop a sophisticated strategy like this, your team needs access to information like B2B intent data so you can determine whether you need to create demand first or convert an already-existing pool of interested leads into actual sales.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, the fundamental difference between demand and lead generation is that demand generation is used to develop a larger audience. In contrast, lead generation is utilized to convert leads into customers. While neither type of content requires payment to view, lead generation content typically requires an email address and other essential information, whereas demand generation content is entirely free.

If you want to ramp up your demand and gen efforts and identify website visitors, you can rely on Visitor InSites! We use advanced technology like Identity Resolution so you can identify the specific person, not just the company name, who visited your website, thereby generating true-to-life leads. Schedule a call with us today!

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