Brand awareness has become a priority for marketers. This puts demand generation in the spotlight as an effective way of generating interest among potential customers. By educating people on how their products can help, companies stay on top of customers’ minds and move them further down in the sales funnel.

At Business2Community, we gathered the key statistics on demand generation marketing strategies, with examples from successful B2B demand generation campaigns.

Demand Generation Key Details

  • 52% of marketers say that a data-driven demand generation strategy improves the quality of leads.
  • Over 60% of software buyers buy from the brand they had in mind at the start of their search.
  • According to 83% of B2B marketers, content marketing helps create brand awareness.
  • For B2B marketers, creating brand awareness was more of a priority than lead generation in 2023.
  • The top sources of sales and marketing leads in 2022 were SEO (34%), SEM (30%), paid social media (29%), and in-person tradeshows (27%).

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation aims to build awareness around a company’s products by educating potential customers. It is a long-term strategy that helps marketing teams reach new potential customers, reconnect with former customers, and build a brand.

More than half of marketers agree that data-driven demand generation improves lead quality. On top of that, 46% think that it makes the customer experience better and 37% say that it brings a higher number of leads to the company.

data driven demand generation
Demand Gen Report surveyed 157 B2B marketers about their demand generation strategies. Most companies were in the software/technology industry, while others were in business services/consulting, financial services, retail, consumer products, telecom, healthcare, and manufacturing.

When asked what areas of demand generation they would prioritize in 2023, 46% of marketers said account-based marketing, 43% said content marketing, and 38% said sales enablement.

demand generation priorities
Especially for younger buyers, brand values are important. 49% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials expect brands to take a stance against social issues, while this percentage is 35% for Gen X and 25% for Baby Boomers. In addition to this, more than 60% of software buyers choose the brand they had in mind at the start of their search, showcasing the importance of demand generation and creating brand awareness.

Focusing on demand generation also makes it possible for marketing teams to generate leads that are of higher quality. According to HubSpot’s The State of Marketing 2023 Report, marketers use videos, images, blog posts, and other formats to power their marketing efforts. These activities all have the possibility to create demand further on in the pipeline.

demand generation media formats
Demand generation also takes into account where people are in their buyer’s journey. According to the Demand Generation Benchmark Survey, webinars are the most popular way of engaging top-of-funnel leads whereas for middle- and bottom-of-funnel, case studies work best.

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation Campaigns

While both demand and lead generation aim to convert people into paying customers, they do this using different methods. Demand generation focuses on creating awareness around a brand. Eventually, it aims to move leads down the sales funnel to turn them into customers.

Lead generation strategy focuses on the leads who are already interested in a company’s products. Traditional lead generation methods include cold emailing, cold calling, direct email, and referrals. In 2023, many efficient businesses use demand and lead generation together.

As shown in the Gartner image below, companies use demand generation to introduce their brand to new potential customers. Then, they can nurture these leads with the aim of converting them or directing them to the sales team. For lead generation, companies aim to capture prospects’ contact information with the aim of directing them to the sales team.

demand generation vs lead generation

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation Methods and Timeline

Traditional lead generation strategies are short-term as they aim to initiate sales conversations straight away. Since brand awareness is a long game, demand generation involves initiatives that educate potential leads, such as content marketing.

A good content strategy can support demand-generation marketing efforts. In B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2023, 83% of respondents said that content marketing helped them create brand awareness. 77% used content marketing to build trust among the target audience, and 72% used it to educate their audience.

Sagefrog surveyed marketing professionals for its annual B2B Marketing Mix Report. It found that in 2023, creating brand awareness was more important than lead generation for B2B marketers, ranking fourth and fifth, respectively. The top three priorities that ranked higher were revenue, client retention, and website traffic.

Metrics to Measure Demand Generation and Lead Generation

To understand if a demand generation strategy was successful, marketers can check different metrics. These include website traffic, social media engagement, audience reach, search engine appearances, lead quality, and more. Lead generation focuses on the number of leads generated and conversion rates.

In 2022, marketers had a holistic approach when tracking metrics. More marketers started tracking KPIs relevant to demand generation efforts, such as engagement rates. For example, in 2021, 73% of marketers tracked content engagement, while in 2022, 83% did.

marketing gaps data

Efficiency of Demand Generation and Lead Generation

Capturing the email of a lead or getting them to download a PDF is a clear-cut indicator of lead generation efforts. However, the effectiveness of demand generation will be seen in a longer timeframe. That said, committing to these activities long-term can be worthwhile for companies.

According to Sagefrog, 34% of qualified leads for B2B brands came from SEO, 30% from SEM, and 29% from paid social media. Traditional lead generation tactics, such as referrals which used to be the most popular method a year before, were on the decline. Demand generation efforts such as content marketing and email marketing also performed better than direct marketing and telemarketing, suggesting that demand gen is on the rise.

top lead sources
Many companies have been allocating their budgets to demand generation-related activities such as SEO, branding, website development, and content marketing. This suggests that demand gen brings a good number of quality leads to the companies. In 2023, 33% of companies spent money on in-person tradeshows, 31% on SEO, 30% on sales and marketing materials, and 28% on website development.

top marketing spend

What Does a Good Demand Generation Campaign Look Like?

In 2023, marketers had four priorities for a good B2B demand generation campaign:

  1. 41% wanted to measure the ROI of their demand generation more effectively
  2. 41% aimed to convert more MQLs
  3. 36% intended to focus more on high-quality leads instead of lead volume
  4. 35% wanted to prioritize lead nurturing to avoid missed opportunities

b2b campaign priorities
To achieve their objectives, demand-generation marketers use various different channels and strategies for their campaigns. For each company, the best possible strategy depends on various factors, such as the target audience and the company’s products.
Here are some examples of demand-generation marketing activities that worked for companies in the past:

Content Marketing: HubSpot Doubled Blog Traffic In a Year

In 2021, HubSpot announced that its blog got 7 million page views per month. This was thanks to the company’s blogging and content marketing efforts, as it constantly produced high-quality content to educate readers on building and maintaining a website.

Besides page views and sessions, the number of ranking keywords and content engagements also increased, as HubSpot positioned itself as a thought leader in the industry. Blogs were among the top three media formats with the highest ROI in 2023, indicating that they can be valuable assets for demand-generation efforts.

Besides blogs, HubSpot also offers other free tools, such as reports, case studies, and online courses delivered through HubSpot Academy. These tools increase engagement by creating demand and making users interested in the brand. In 2023, 62% of companies used virtual events and online courses, and 59% used ebooks as content assets.

Thought Leadership: Cytiva Increased Brand Awareness by 176%

Cytiva, a provider of life sciences brands, teamed up with FT Longitude to use thought leadership as a way of creating brand awareness. This was possible thanks to thorough research and quantitative studies that helped showcase Cytiva’s expertise.

As a result, the company experienced a 176% increase in brand awareness and a 360% increase in brand consideration. The campaign also generated 36,000 page views, 38% of which were from the target audience.

In 2023, 65% of businesses already included thought leadership in their content, and 29.5% were planning to do so. “As a result of my thought leadership on women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial funding, I have gotten clients. In other cases, clients haven’t needed to check references because they knew what I stood for,” said Geri Stengel, Founder and President of Ventureneer.

Social Media: Plaid Grew its LinkedIn Audience by 60% In a Year

Plaid, a fintech solution service, used Sprout Social’s LinkedIn management services to grow its social media presence. It tracked various KPIs to measure engagement and reach its target accounts. In one year, its LinkedIn followers increased from 70,000 to more than 131,000, which represents a 60% increase. Its audience’s engagement rate also increased by 70%.

In 2023, 45% of marketers said that they wanted to continue investing in social media as a demand-generation tool. LinkedIn, in particular, was popular among B2B companies, as it was the platform where most social media engagement occurred.
demand generation on social media b2b

International watch company Seiko partnered with Amazon Ads to improve its visibility through display ads. When the ads were shown to relevant audiences by using in-market audience segments, Seiko’s appearance in keyword searches increased by 110% and its organic impressions by 112%.

32% of companies consider display ads the best-paid channels for sharing content. Other top channels that could create demand generation include:

  • Social media advertising
  • Paid search ads
  • YouTube ads
  • Sponsorships

Influencer Marketing: Inkbox Generated 800k Reach from Creator Content

Temporary tattoo company Inkbox partnered with influencers as a demand generation marketing strategy. In 2022, it created a gifting campaign, prioritizing creators who were already engaged with Inkbox. As a result, the brand generated 800k+ reach from creator content.

According to HubSpot, 26% of companies prioritized influencer marketing as a part of their marketing strategy in 2023. 30% of Semrush’s survey respondents found promoting content through influencers very successful, while 31% found it successful.

Lead Nurturing Campaigns: Winkelstraat increased its subscribers by 81% with email marketing

Dutch luxury retail company Winkelstraat worked with Campaign Monitor to generate demand and nurture leads with email marketing. Together, they created segments and sent out tri-weekly newsletters to stay on the top of customers’ minds. Among its campaigns, there was a re-engagement campaign that aimed to get inactive customers interested in the brand again.

Winkelstraat saw an 81% increase in subscribers and an average open rate of 48% for transactional emails.

Examples of Demand Generation Campaigns

In addition to digital marketing strategies such as inbound marketing or email marketing, that would potentially result in creating demand, some marketing agencies offer demand generation strategy as a service.

Digital Litmus and Spektrix Case Study

CRM platform Spektrix worked with B2B marketing agency Digital Litmus as it wanted to reach the right decision makers further along in the sales process.

After defining ideal customers, creating a roadmap, and setting up KPIs, Digital Litmus launched account-based marketing campaigns for Spektrix. As a part of the campaigns, it produced a 31-page gated guide and blogs, and promoted them to the target audience using social posts, paid ads, and email sequences. The company also improved the alignment between sales and marketing teams, making sure that sales-qualified leads were sent directly to the sales team.

As a result, Spektrix closed £1.6 million in revenue, engaged 48% of the target accounts, generated an additional £540,000 to the pipeline, and had 307 marketing-qualified leads.

Boundify and DigiPart Case Study

Electronic components provider DigiParts wanted to improve its qualified traffic and increase conversions, so it decided to work with demand generation marketing agency Boundify. First, they agreed on a clear definition of conversion and then, decided to implement paid search practices to reach more relevant demographics and audiences.

Since implementing this demand gen strategy, DigiPart’s conversion rates increased by 8x and its ROI rose by 300%, fostering business growth.

Measuring the Success of Demand Generation

As is the case with other marketing campaigns and strategies, measuring the success of demand generation is possible by tracking the relevant KPIs.

According to Demand Gen Report, 47% of marketers measure the revenue generated, and over 30% measure other metrics such as opportunities generated, MQL, SAL, marketing-sourced revenue, and pipeline influenced.

demand generation marketing metrics
Here are some demand generation metrics that help track a successful demand generation strategy:

Close Rates

According to Gartner, B2B buyers spent only 17% of their time talking to sales teams in 2019. And this was when marketing automation and AI in marketing were smaller industries. Given this information, it is important for marketing teams as well as sales teams to track close rates.

For demand generation campaigns, close rates can show which channels were the most effective and whether the strategy has worked or not.

Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQL)

Focusing on lead quality over lead quantity was a priority for marketers in 2023. This puts extra importance on marketing-qualified leads. A marketing-qualified lead is a strong indicator of a high-quality lead, as they have a higher chance of becoming paying customers compared to other leads.

To measure MQLs and high-quality leads, marketers can develop a lead scoring system based on customer information, ideal customer persona, and lead attributes.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Salesforce reported that measuring ROI was the second biggest challenge for marketers in 2023. This suggests that companies could simplify the reporting process, so that it would become easier to see if the marketing budget was used well.

While calculating the ROI of demand generation, it’s important to choose the right metrics for each stage of the customer journey. For example, in the awareness stage, it’s important to track website traffic, impressions, and content engagement.

customer journey metrics

Customer Lifetime Value

A higher customer lifetime value means a more profitable business. It focuses on the long-term value of a customer, and helps develop lead nurturing strategies in demand generation. According to Sagefrog, customer retention is equally as important as gaining new customers.

“We know firsthand how important client satisfaction and client retention are. It’s absolutely critical for companies to prioritize existing customers in their marketing efforts while also attracting new ones,” said Mark Schmukler, CEO of Sagefrog.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost helps figure out the real cost of acquiring new customers. It is useful for demand generation strategies as it can show how effective the campaign was in terms of attracting potential leads and turning them into customers.

In 2022, 85% of companies tracked CAC, which is 12% more than the number of companies that tracked it the previous year.

customer acquisition costs breakdown


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