Many sales methodologies are used to attract customers and generate revenue. Inbound sales basically explain that customers have more information than ever. They can easily access any product or business’s latest information, facts, and stats. They have control of their buyer’s journey, which is crucial in making sales.

Demand generation and lead generation fall under this umbrella. Both are often used interchangeably. Many marketers have already identified the power of these two practices. But to see exceptional results, you need to determine which gen will reap the best outcomes for your business. Many people believe demand and lead generation are the same, but that’s not true.

If you are confused about which practice is best for your business, keep reading. Because today you will know the key differences between demand and lead gen and how to use them for your business. Let me help you so you can generate more sales and grow your business.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation marketing is an essential component of any marketing strategy. It is crucial in making a campaign successful. It includes the creation of huge demand for a specific product, offer or service. And is followed by later nurturing those leads by using various inbound techniques.

After all, demand gen aims to build a strong connection with your buyers. It is generally done by creating informative content that adds value and is according to your target audience’s liking. This content is going to shape their mindset about your products.

Many businesses use different strategies such as SEO, content marketing etc. Either way, if these strategies are implemented effectively, the demand increases, and you can easily attract more customers. It also increases ROI, which is the main driving source of any business.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is vital for any business campaign to increase sales and generate revenue. In this process, all the potential customers are identified. It includes people who have shown interest in your services.ย 

To convert those people into your customers, you must guide them. And push them further in the sales funnel so they purchase. It helps convert them into paying and loyal customers. It’s highly recommended to use a data-driven approach. 

You can also closely observe customer behavior, likes, dislikes, and preferences and then tailor your marketing strategy more personalized to resonate with your target audience.

This increases the conversion rate and customer loyalty. For the success of lead generation, it’s important to execute it perfectly and make a well-defined plan to convert your one-time customer to a long-term customer.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Demand generation makes people aware of your company. It makes people interested and curious about your product, services or business. This technique is often used to penetrate and attract new audiences. On the other hand, lead generation is when your efforts are paid, and those prospects become your customers. 

In comparison to lead generation, demand generation is not fairly transactional. The main reason is that these are part of different stages of the B2B sales funnel. Because to get sales or prospects, you need to build the demand, which is top of the funnel. 

For Example 

When a buyer visits your social media, website or page, this is because ofย demand generation. But from there, lead generation takes the job. So the potential customer starts showing enough interest in the offer and gets a freebie in exchange for any information. A common example of this is a landing page.ย 

Demand generation is much above lead gen and crucial to generating revenue. So if you don’t have SQL leads, there is a high probability your demand generation will be inefficient. In simple words, if people don’t know a business exists which can solve their problem. Then they won’t come to them, and businesses will lose money. 

Key Differences Between Demand Generation & Lead Generation 

The main difference between demand and lead gen is that you can build an undeniably strong desire in your customers to get their services. Meanwhile, with lead generation, you collect data or information about your customers. So that way, you can start nurturing them.

However, marketers often use these terms interchangeably, which confuses many people. It makes it hard to differentiate between these terms. You can better understand these practices by learning the prominent differences between them. And use it more effectively for the growth of your business.

Objectives & Goals 

Demand generation is at the top of the sales funnel. Because during this phase, customers learn about the product, business and services. According to 87% of marketers, when sales are marketing combined, the results are exponential growth in most cases. 

So what’s the main objective here?

Using effective marketing is to excite people about your product and make them feel special. So when your sales rep starts the next stage, which is selling. And with the demand generation, sales become much easier. 

Meanwhile, lead generation also occurs at the top of the sales funnel. But in comparison to demand generation, it comes in later stages. Now that you have the interest of your buyer. With lead generation, you can qualify and begin nurturing these clients.

So what’s the main objective in this case?

The goal is to find high-quality leads. That is your target audience. More specifically, you must identify those with a high chance of converting. 

End Results 

The ideal result for demand generation is planting a seed in your prospect’s mind. A seed that evokes a desire to purchase your product. Later on, it flowers as the customer decides to become your buyer.

There are many situations in which your potential customer is unaware that they have a problem. They may not know that you can solve their problem. With demand generation, you show them how your product is of great help to them. 

In lead generation, the best result is when you have information about your potential customer. You collect data on your high-quality leads. This data usually includes three vital things. 

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone number 

With this information, your sales rep can effectively contact your prospects. However, both practices also involve a common secondary outcome. It maximizes customer acquisition. A report by Ascend shows that for around 49% of companies maximizing customer acquisition is a major objective of their marketing efforts. 

According to Ascend, 49% of companies report increasing customer acquisition as their primary marketing objective. 


Demand-gen campaigns are all about customers. They increase the demand by educating your customers. Mainly showing them how acquiring your services can change their respective area of life. But for lead gen campaigns, the focus is shifted to scaling. In which you attract potential buyers. 

Now let’s discuss it more comprehensively and analyze how marketing leaders and sales reps view these campaigns. Marketers want to communicate with potential customers as soon as possible and generate more revenue efficiently.

The word efficiency here refers to marketing that’s quick and cheap and works well even with limited resources. The sales rep wants to increase the leads and improve understanding of the brand among the target audience. 

Sales Funnel Position

The sales funnel started because the acronym highly focused on companies. This acronym is AIDA. The A stands for awareness, I stands for Interest, D stands for decision-making, and A stands for action. It is a way to map out, increase and measure the performance of your employees, especially in the sales and marketing department. 

As mentioned above, demand and lead generation are at the top of the funnel. However, demand generation is some steps higher because its goal is to spark interest and inspire leads.

So they buy from you and not from your competitors. As for lead generation, the reason for being placed lower than demand gen is because it pushes people more into the sales funnel. So they eventually become customers. 


In demand gen and lead gen, different strategies are used. These strategies are a major differentiator in these campaigns. Some of the commonly used demand-generation strategies are as below. 

  • Content Marketing: It can be video marketing or articles, guides and blog posts. 
  • Social Media Marketing: You utilize social media channels such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook etc. 
  • Case Studies: they increase your brand authority and allow you to prove your expertise in the relevant area. You can show social proof and how you have helped your past clients. 
  • Website: it consists of landing page marketing and persuasive service pages. 

On the other hand, strategies for lead generation are as follows;

  • Social Media outreach: in this, you apply outreach techniques such as scraping Twitter followers or participants in a Facebook group. 
  • Cold mail: it is only effective if you do it properly. There are high chances of return on investment. 
  • Webinars: Webinars allow businesses to generate many leads in a single session, with some webinars attracting as many as 500 or even more attendees. 
  • Retargeted campaigns: Retargeting involves serving automated touch-points and follow-up offers to prospects who have already expressed interest in a product or service.

Which Practice Is Best For Your Business Lead Gen or Demand Gen?

Now that you are aware of the primary differences between these two practices. The question arises. Which one is suitable for your business? Is it demand gen or lead gen? It depends on your campaign goals.

If your objective is to increase the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. Then you have to be perfect at both demand and lead gen.  Let’s look at some scenarios to understand it more deeply. 

If you are a brand-new startup with zero online presence. Your brand awareness and audience are low. Then it’s best to focus your marketing on demand generation. It will be greatly helpful in building trust among your target audience. Instead of selling your services directly, you will first position yourself as an expert. 

If you are noticing an incredible interest from your prospect in your products. But you are experiencing a major difficulty in giving MQLs to the sales department. Then it’s time to invest in your lead generation strategy. 

In a nutshell, demand generation and lead generation are basic foundations that further fuel the sales process. However, you must ensure you are talking to the right people. So your efforts won’t go in vain.

Can I Use Demand Generation & Lead Generation Together?

Yes, you don’t have to restrict your business with one strategy. You can use them together, but it’s important to formulate an effective plan that will work. If you apply them together, here is how it will look practically. 

Demand Generation 

A business that posts SEO-friendly content through articles, blogs and guides. It will help them rank on the first page of Google. Readers can gain valuable insights and information from your website for free. 

Lead Generation

At the end of each blog post, add CTA, also known as the call to action. It can be about attending a free webinar, consultation call or ebook. When readers click on this offer, it will ask them to submit their contact information. The reader who enters their information becomes a potential buyer or prospective lead. 

Nurturing Prospects 

It is also known as lead nurturing. There are different ways to nurture a lead. Some of them are emails that include promotional information about services or goods. 

Closing Leads 

This phase is also known as lead capturing. This happens when customers are interested in your email and services. So they sign up for free or demo services as the market mail offers. The lead is then redirected to the sales department, and from there, the sales team handles the buyer. 


All the efforts are finally worth it because the client purchases the product, generating revenue. 

Drive Revenue & Boost Your Brand with Targeted Marketing Services

At one glance, it may look that both terms are similar. But practically, they have a lot of differences and are practiced to get different outcomes. At echofish we understand that these terminologies are widely different, and when practiced effectively, they can reap unbelievably amazing results. Contact us today to increase your brand awareness and generate revenue.


What Are the Key Differences Between Lead Gen and Demand Gen?

In demand gen, we focus on increasing brand awareness and telling more people about our business. But with lead generation, we capture audience information that is later used to convert potential customers into buyers. Businesses usually use lead scoring and sometimes segmentation to identify high-quality leads. 

Is B2B Demand Gen The Same As Lead Gen?

B2B demand generation is formulated to create and increase demand for products and services in the B2B market. B2B demand generation isn’t limited to increasing brand recognition but also nurturing existing ones. It’s done by establishing a customized experience for leads to build long-term trust-based relationships. 

What Is The Role of Lead Generation in CRM?

In this approach, the lead generation work is done via CRM software. It pre-qualifies leads which saves a lot of time. So you don’t have to spare much time doing this tiring activity. CRM software can optimize marketing efforts and enhance the overall customer experience

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I'm a very hard-working, motivated, and committed individual with a positive attitude towards life and a passion for doing new things that help people.I love challenges in my career because they make you more robust than before when you overcome them.

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