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Event Marketing

Marketing vs. Demand Generation: What's the Difference?

Roberto Ortiz
Co-founder & CEO
min read
Event Marketing

Marketing vs. Demand Generation: What's the Difference?

Roberto Ortiz
Co-founder & CEO
min read

Do you have trouble distinguishing between marketing and demand generation? While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are key differences between the two. Both strategies aim to attract and convert potential customers but focus on different stages of the buyer's journey.

Understanding the Key Differences

Marketing strategy is a long-term approach to building brand awareness, increasing engagement, and generating interest in a company's products or services. Its primary goal is to create demand for a company's offerings and establish it as a thought leader in its industry. Marketing efforts should be targeted toward the top of the funnel, where potential customers are in the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer's journey.

The demand generation strategy is short-term and focused on generating and nurturing high-quality leads. Its primary goal is to create a sense of urgency among potential customers and drive them to take action.

Lead generation is a component of marketing and demand gen, as it involves identifying and attracting potential customers to the top of the funnel. However, demand gen emphasizes generating a higher volume of qualified leads that are more likely to convert into paying customers.

Target Audience

Marketing: The target audience is typically broader, as the goal is to create brand awareness and reach as many potential customers as possible. This can include people who are not necessarily in the market for a company's products or services at the time.

Demand generation: The target audience is more focused and specific, as the goal is to attract potential customers who are actively looking for a solution to their pain points.

Common Tactics

Marketing approaches:

  • Inbound marketing (creating content that attracts potential customers)
  • Content marketing (producing high-quality content to educate and engage, e.g., podcasts)
  • Webinars (interactive online events that provide value and establish credibility)
  • SEO, social media (e.g., Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Account-based marketing (ABM)

Demand generation tactics:

  • PPC (pay-per-click advertising)
  • Email marketing
  • Referral campaigns
  • Outbound marketing (direct outreach to potential buyers)
  • Bonus: Landing pages, CTAs, and white papers can also effectively capture potential customers' attention and drive them to take action.

Demand gen platforms focus on generating high-quality leads from target accounts that turn into triggered and influenced pipelines. Here are some of the top B2B demand generation platforms:



  • Website Traffic
  • Conversion rate
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Brand awareness

Demand generation:

  • MQL (marketing-qualified leads)
  • SQL (sales-qualified leads)
  • Conversion rates
  • Retention

These metrics help businesses optimize their demand-generation campaigns and ensure they are reaching the right people with the right message.

Is Demand Generation Part of Marketing? 

Demand generation is a subset of marketing focusing specifically on creating demand and driving conversions and is a critical component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. While demand generation is just one part of marketing, it is a crucial one, as it supports the overall marketing goal of driving revenue growth.

Demand generation is most effective when integrated into a broader marketing strategy that includes a range of other marketing tactics. This more comprehensive strategy should include increasing brand awareness, engaging potential customers, and building long-term relationships. By incorporating demand generation into a broader marketing effort, businesses can attract high-quality leads, nurture them through the sales funnel, and ultimately drive revenue growth.


Both marketing and demand generation are critical components of a successful B2B marketing strategy. Companies can attract new customers and grow their businesses by understanding the key differences and identifying the right tactics and initiatives. From optimizing the marketing funnel and nurturing leads to creating high-quality content and hosting webinars, there are many ways that businesses can leverage marketing and demand gen to achieve their goals. With a data-driven approach and a focus on the customer journey, businesses can create effective marketing campaigns that drive revenue and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industries.

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