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Devising a Demand Generation Strategy

Need. Demand. Want.People sometimes use the terms “lead generation” and “demand generation” interchangeably, but they are actually two very different things, with very different goals and tactics.

Lead generation is about identifying prospects and collecting their information. Demand generation, on the other hand, is approaching things from the opposite side: creating interest and perhaps curiosity in your products or services. As the name implies, this is all about inciting demand and making people eager to learn more.

Granted, the ultimate end goal is the same because this all boils down to attaining more customers and boosting business.  However, lead generation is about you pursuing leads, some of whom may not be all that eager to hear from you and who may therefore take a lot of convincing on your part. By contrast, demand generation is about making prospects want to seek you out. The latter approach involves prospective customers who are much more motivated and who will require less of a hard sell.

So how do you create an effective demand marketing strategy?

Think about your overarching goal, which is to positively influence the perception of your company, to as many potential customers as possible. You want to come up with tactics that can support that goal.

Various types of content materials can be effectively used in this situation. White papers, thought pieces, tips sheets and other content that establishes the value of your product/services and also demonstrates your authority and expertise in your industry can all help to strengthen the perception of your brand and leadership team.

Even better, if you can get content written or presented by a third party that includes an interview with you or otherwise establishes you as the go-to source for the best information, that can be even more valuable.

When executed properly, a smart social media strategy can also be an effective tool for demand generation. This can serve as one avenue for word of mouth advertising, which is great for generating interest while also establishing credibility and building name recognition.

The content itself is important, but so is the process for anyone who wants to read it. Whereas lead generation usually involves some sort of barrier that only allows access to content once certain contact information has been provided, with a demand generation campaign you wouldn’t want that. You want your content to be read by the widest possible audience, so you don’t want to put any obstacles in their way.

While demand generation may be your primary goal in this particular situation, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore lead generation completely. You should have some lead collecting element included, but in an unobtrusive way. Include a very brief request for information form, or contact information for reaching your company, at the end of the process after people have decided they want to know more.

Whether your focus is on creating demand or collecting leads, KEO Marketing can help with all aspects of your marketing strategy.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.