What is Demand Generation? 7 Demand Generation Marketing Strategies

If you've never heard of demand generation marketing, fear not: by the end of this article you'll have a clear picture as to what it is, why it matters and how to use it!

In a nutshell, demand generation is a bridge between the marketing and sales team. These two teams join forces to not only bring in prospects that currently exist but to stimulate a need or demand for your product or services.

Its goal and aim are to position your product or service to the appropriate target audience, at the appropriate time, as the appropriate solution to their problem.

It's not about using sly tactics to get people to buy things that they have no use for, no. Demand gen is about creating awareness and urgency and efficiently positioning you and your product as the solution to their pressing and relevant problem.

Demand generation Vs lead generation: what's the difference?

While you may hear these terms used interchangeably, they are not in fact the same thing. That being said, they are both fundamental elements of any good marketing strategy. Demand gen focuses more on attracting prospective customers to your brand. It's about building your brand's reputation and creating demand for a solution to a problem that you have the answer to.

Think about it like this: just because you've heard of Surfer doesn't mean you're ready to put in your credit card number and sign up for a monthly subscription, right? You may want to check out our SEO Writing Masterclass first or simply peruse the knowledge base. You're in the arena, but you haven't made your way to the field and slid past home base yet.

Enter: lead generation campaigns!

Lead generation is more about converting. It's about taking the awareness generated by your demand generation campaigns and creating qualified leads ready to enter your conversion funnel. Ideal demand generation strategies help generate leads while also increasing awareness. There's a bit of overlap between the two and both play crucial roles in your marketing efforts.

How do sales and marketing teams collaborate on demand generation strategies?

In order to have a successful demand generation strategy, marketing and sales teams must work together, communicate and find bottlenecks and friction on the customer journey.

The marketing team contributes to demand generation strategies by helping to shorten the sales cycle, understanding what happens after a user converts, offering support where needed, and by producing any supplemental materials like case studies, decks or content that will assist the demand generation campaign.

On the other hand, the sales team nurtures prospects that have ideally already been vetted and qualified and focus more on closing the deal.

Any solid demand generation campaign aims to not only generate demand, but also ensure that high quality leads know who you are and find their way into the funnel somehow.

7 demand generation strategies

1.Account-based marketing (ABM) 

ABM refers to creating a super curated and personalized buyer's journey that focuses on your most high value accounts and customers. By understanding the pain points and analyzing the marketing data you're able to not only produce relevant content, but boost customer retention.

2.Paid advertising 

In order to target your ads and messaging to potential customers. PPC, or pay-per-click, ads can be an effective way to reach your audience. The best part about this demand gen strategy is the analytics and data you can gather from your campaigns! Facebook and Google are free tools that pack a lot of punch in terms of their metrics.

3.Content marketing 

Content can take the form of blogging, email marketing, lead magnets, creating quality video or audio content, creating ebooks or webinars! Demand generation aims to get your brand out in front of new eyes and content marketing is one way to do just that. If you're trying to populate your blog and boost visibility through on-page SEO, Surfer's toolkit can help you streamline your content strategy and start writing with precision to aid in your demand generation strategy! As long as your content helps build brand awareness and also answers the questions or doubts your audience may have, it can form part of your demand generation efforts.

4.Direct (snail) mail

Okay, hear me out. It may seem old fashioned, but some old things worked, and still work, for a reason. The key here is to use this strategy wisely: make sure what you're sending is relevant to the recipient, and also get creative. People may receive a letter, consider it spam, and throw it out immediately. If you try sending a box of some sort via FedEx or UPS, you'll at least have a better chance of it being opened!

5.In-person events or conferences 

Events are a great way to turn on the charm, show off your brand's personality and form some genuine connections. There's a reason Surfer travels with a giant surfboard banner when we attend conferences, people! It's eye-catching and it starts the conversation. Demand generation tools need not be complicated to be effective.

6.Strategic, intentional partnerships

Under this category, I'd like to include influencer marketing, webinars and even guest podcasting opportunities. The entire idea here is to research those in overlapping industries whose audience has a similar profile to your existing customers, and boom! Start creating a buzz! Just a tip, micro-influencers are often way more budget-friendly than some of the big names with a strong social media presence, but more effective considering the proximity to their community.

7.Search engine optimization 

SEO helps your demand generation process as it's like a tiny magical elf working in the background while you do other things. Knowing that the content--written and visual--that you're producing is ranking on Google is a lifesaver at times, trust. Don't forget that while Surfer has got on-page SEO covered, there are more aspects to content optimization such as link building and affiliates.

Demand generation marketing metrics

Here are some important demand generation metrics to keep track of.

  • CPA: Cost per acquisition
  • CLV: Customer lifetime value
  • MQL to SQL: marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads
  • Traffic: traffic is important to monitor to see how far your reach is

What is lead scoring?

In order to increase sales and conversions, it's important for the marketing team and the sales team to understand what qualifies someone as a prospect. It's basically a way to determine a customer's potential. Considering that only 10% of leads usually convert, knowing which ones to prioritize is key.

It's not the same thing to open an email versus purchase an ebook, you know? The person who is purchasing the ebook is much further along the funnel than the person opening and reading a free newsletter.

Usually the points range from 0 to 100. If you look at people who eventually became a customer and those who didn't, you can use a data-driven method to see what they have in common. Was there one video that really did well amongst your newly acquired customers?

For example, most of the people who eventually subscribed watched this video, downloaded this lead magnet and responded well to this email.

You can then ask yourself: what type of content was produced? What needs was the content trying to meet? What problems did this content solve? Lead scoring provides valuable insights into customer behavior and assists demand generation performance.

Demand generation marketing and search engine optimization

Having an optimized, easy-to-navigate website, and engaging blog content will always be a plus.

Using Surfer's Keyword Research tool to create relevant keyword clusters, Surfer's Content Editor to write your piece, and the Audit tool to monitor your content after it's been published are all great ways to approach SEO with intention.

No guessing, no wondering, just a solid data-driven approach to content creation.

For example, you can use the Audit tool to check things like page load time, internal link opportunities, and low-hanging fruit: but also, to keep an eye on your competitors and monitor any drops or increases in their content score, domain authority and competitor word count.

You can use Surfer's Chrome Extension to do keyword research, understand your competitors and take your demand gen strategy to the next level.


For any successful demand generation program to work, there needs to be sales alignment and marketing alignment.

Demand generation tactics take a holistic approach to digital marketing in order to leverage existing demand, but also drive demand. Potential buyers and customers are everywhere, but knowing how to get their attention, what their pain points are, and understanding lead nurturing will help both your sales and marketing initiatives.

Demand generation comes downs to creating awareness and positioning your product or service as the best solution. It takes people who are interested, and prompts them to act.

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