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What is demand generation? [with examples]

November 17, 2023 | Jimit Mehta

Are you looking to increase sales and grow your business? If so, demand generation may be the key to success. Demand generation is the process of creating and nurturing interest in a product or service with the goal of generating a sales pipeline. By implementing a demand generation strategy, businesses can attract and engage potential customers, ultimately driving them to make a purchase.

In this article, we will explore the basics of demand generation and how it can help your business succeed.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is a strategic approach to marketing that focuses on creating and nurturing demand for a product or service. It involves a variety of tactics and strategies that are designed to raise awareness, generate leads, and drive sales.

One of the key elements of demand generation is creating valuable content that helps educate and inform potential customers about the product or service. This can include blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, and other types of content that provide valuable information and help to build trust with potential customers.

Another important aspect of demand generation is lead nurturing, which involves developing and maintaining relationships with potential customers over time. This can include sending targeted emails, following up with leads, and providing additional resources and information to help move them further down the sales funnel.

Overall, the goal of demand generation is to create a consistent flow of qualified leads that can be nurtured and converted into paying customers. By using a variety of tactics and strategies, businesses can effectively generate demand for their products or services and drive sales.

Demand generation vs lead generation

Demand generation and lead generation are similar but distinct concepts. Demand generation is a broader term that refers to the overall process of creating and nurturing demand for a product or service. It involves a variety of tactics and strategies that are designed to raise awareness, generate leads, and drive sales.

Lead generation, on the other hand, is a specific tactic or strategy within the broader demand generation process. It involves using various tactics to attract potential customers and generate leads, such as creating valuable content and distributing it through channels like email and social media to collect information that is turned into leads.

In other words, demand generation is the overarching strategy, while lead generation is one of the tactics used to achieve the overall goal of driving demand for a product or service.

The benefits of demand generation

There are several benefits to implementing a demand generation strategy. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Increased awareness: By creating valuable content and distributing it through various channels, businesses can increase awareness of their product or service and reach a wider audience.

  2. More qualified leads: By providing valuable content and resources, businesses can attract and generate more qualified leads that are interested in their product or service.

  3. Improved customer relationships: Through lead nurturing, businesses can develop stronger relationships with potential customers and build trust, which can help to convert leads into paying customers.

  4. Higher conversion rates: By providing valuable information and resources throughout the sales funnel, businesses can improve their conversion rates and drive more sales.

Demand generation can help businesses to attract more qualified leads, develop stronger relationships with potential customers, and drive more sales.

The challenges of demand generation

Like any other marketing strategy, demand generation can be challenging and requires careful planning and execution. Some of the key challenges of demand generation include:

  • Identifying the right audience: One of the first challenges is identifying the target audience for the product or service. This requires deep understanding of the customer's needs, pain points, and motivations.

  • Creating valuable content: Another challenge is creating content that is valuable, informative, and engaging for the target audience. This requires a deep understanding of the customer's needs and the ability to create compelling content that resonates with them.

  • Distributing content effectively: Once the content is created, the next challenge is distributing it effectively. This requires a solid plan for distributing the content through the right channels, such as email, social media, or search engines.

  • Measuring success: Finally, demand generation efforts need to be measured and tracked to determine their effectiveness. This requires setting clear goals and metrics, and using data and analytics to track progress and make adjustments as needed.

Overall, demand generation requires careful planning and execution to overcome these challenges and achieve success.

Why businesses are moving to demand generation?

Businesses are moving towards demand generation for a number of reasons. Some of the key reasons include:

The rise of digital marketing

The growth of digital marketing has made it easier for businesses to reach a wider audience and generate demand for their products or services. With the proliferation of social media, search engines, and other online channels, businesses can effectively reach potential customers and create demand.

The shift to inbound marketing

In recent years, there has been a shift towards inbound marketing, which focuses on attracting potential customers through valuable content and resources. Demand generation is a key component of inbound marketing, as it involves creating valuable content and distributing it through various channels to attract and engage potential customers.

The need for personalized marketing

With the growth of big data and advanced analytics, businesses are able to personalize their marketing efforts to reach individual customers and create demand for their products or services. Demand generation allows businesses to tailor their content and messaging to specific customers, which can be more effective in generating demand.


In summary, the rise of digital marketing, the shift to inbound marketing, and the need for personalized marketing are driving businesses towards demand generation.

Examples of demand generation

There are many different tactics and strategies that can be used in a demand generation campaign. Some examples of demand generation tactics include:

  1. Content marketing: This involves creating valuable content, such as blog posts, ebooks, videos, or infographics, and distributing it through various channels to attract potential customers.

  2. Email marketing: This involves sending targeted emails to potential customers with valuable information and resources to nurture them and move them further down the sales funnel.

  3. Social media marketing: This involves using social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, to connect with potential customers and generate demand for a product or service.

  4. Search engine optimization: This involves optimizing a website and its content to improve its ranking in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to find and engage with the business.

There are many different tactics and strategies that can be used in a demand generation campaign. The specific tactics used will depend on the business, its target audience, and its goals.

Companies engaging in demand generation

Demand generation is a common practice among businesses of all sizes and industries. Some examples of companies that engage in demand generation include:

Hubspot

Hubspot is a software company that offers a variety of marketing, sales, and customer service tools. As part of their demand generation efforts, they create valuable content, such as blog posts, ebooks, and webinars, and distribute it through their website and social media channels.

Salesforce

Salesforce is a customer relationship management (CRM) company that offers a variety of tools for sales, marketing, and customer service. As part of their demand generation efforts, they use email marketing, social media marketing, and other tactics to attract potential customers and generate leads.

Adobe

Adobe is a software company that offers a variety of creative, marketing, and document management tools. As part of their demand generation efforts, they create valuable content, such as blog posts, ebooks, and videos, and distribute it through their website and social media channels to attract potential customers.

Who is demand generation for?

Demand generation is a marketing strategy that is applicable to businesses of all sizes and industries. Whether a business is a small startup or a large corporation, demand generation can be an effective way to create and nurture demand for their product or service.

Demand generation is particularly useful for businesses that are looking to attract and generate leads, develop relationships with potential customers, and drive sales. By creating valuable content and distributing it through various channels, businesses can effectively reach potential customers and generate demand for their products or services.

Overall, demand generation is a valuable strategy for businesses of all sizes and industries that are looking to attract and generate leads, develop relationships with potential customers, and drive sales.

How to get started with demand generation

There are several best practices for implementing a successful demand generation strategy. Some of the key best practices include:

  1. Identify your target audience

    The first step in any demand generation campaign is to identify the target audience for your product or service. This requires a deep understanding of the customer's needs, pain points, and motivations. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your content and messaging to appeal to them.

  2. Create valuable content

    The next step is to create valuable content that will be of interest to your target audience. This can include blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, and other types of content that provide valuable information and help to build trust with potential customers.

  3. Distribute content effectively

    Once you have created valuable content, the next step is to distribute it effectively. This involves choosing the right channels, such as email, social media, or search engines, and using them to reach potential customers and generate demand for your product or service.

  4. Measure and track results

    Finally, it is important to measure and track the success of your demand generation efforts. This involves setting clear goals and metrics, and using data and analytics to track progress and make adjustments as needed. By regularly measuring and tracking your results, you can refine your demand generation strategy and improve its effectiveness.

Overall, following these best practices can help businesses to implement a successful demand generation strategy and drive demand for their products or services.

The role of influencers in demand generation

Influencers can play a role in demand generation by helping to promote a product or service to their audience. Influencers are individuals who have a large following on social media or other platforms, and are considered experts or thought leaders in a particular niche or industry. By partnering with influencers, businesses can leverage their audience and credibility to generate demand for their product or service.

For example, a business might create a sponsored post or video featuring an influencer using their product. This can help to increase awareness and generate buzz around the product, which can drive demand. Additionally, influencers can provide valuable insights and feedback on the product, which can help to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Pitfalls of demand generation

pitfalls to be aware of. Some of the key pitfalls of demand generation include:

  1. Lack of focus: One potential pitfall is a lack of focus, where businesses try to use too many tactics or strategies without a clear plan or goal. This can lead to a scatter-shot approach that is not effective in generating demand.

  2. Poor quality content: Another potential pitfall is creating content that is not valuable or informative to the target audience. This can lead to a lack of engagement and interest from potential customers, which can hinder demand generation efforts.

  3. Ineffective distribution: A third potential pitfall is distributing content through the wrong channels or in the wrong way. This can lead to a lack of exposure and engagement, which can hinder demand generation efforts.

  4. Failure to measure results: Finally, a common pitfall is failing to measure and track the success of demand generation efforts. Without tracking and measuring results, it can be difficult to determine the effectiveness of the campaign and make adjustments as needed.

Summary

Demand generation is the process of creating and nurturing demand for a product or service. It involves a variety of marketing tactics and strategies that are designed to raise awareness, generate leads, and ultimately drive sales. This can include tactics such as content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. The goal of demand generation is to drive potential customers through the sales funnel and convert them into paying customers.

Some key benefits of demand generation include increased awareness, more qualified leads, improved customer relationships, and higher conversion rates. Demand generation is different from lead generation, which is a specific tactic within the broader demand generation process. Demand generation can be challenging, but following best practices and avoiding common pitfalls can help businesses to effectively implement a demand generation strategy and drive demand for their products or services.


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