Demand Generation: The Complete Beginner’s Guide (2017)

By James Scherer

Demand Generation: The Complete Beginners Guide (2017)

“What is demand generation? Is it different from inbound marketing? How?”

“Why do I keep hearing this term? It sounds like something I should know about…”

Believe me, if you’re reading this article, you already do know about demand generation. You just might not know you know.


This guide will take apart and examine the three pillars of demand generation. I’lll also give you a 7-step walkthrough for how you can start rolling with demand generation today.

Demand generation strategies have driven most of Wishpond’s growth in the past few years. Advertising and PR are great, but since 2013 we’ve prioritized the demand gen strategies I’ll go over in this guide.

So this is something I’m really excited about, and know can have high-impact on your business as well.

Click below to navigate the guide.

What is Demand Generation?

That’s a great question, and one we should get out of the way as soon as possible…

Demand Generation encompasses the marketing strategies designed to drive awareness and interest in a business’ products.

It’s an umbrella term which encompasses social media, inbound marketing, email marketing, real-world marketing and customer retention strategies.

It does not cover advertising or PR.

There’s two points in that demand generation definition that I’d like to pull out and take a look at before we get started:

1. “Drive Awareness”

Part of generating demand for your business’ product is about driving awareness of the fact that you exist.

This can be done through content marketing and SEO, social media, community outreach, affiliate marketing and more.

2. “Drive Interest”

Once people are aware you exist, you need to have a secondary strategy in place to communicate your value.

I don’t care that Salesforce is extremely well-known. If I don’t need a CRM platform (or don’t believe I do), why would I care?

Driving interest can also be done through all the strategies above, but it also involves the other side of demand generation – email marketing and customer retention.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s get rolling with our Guide to Demand Generation…

Demand Generation: Strategies to Reach New Prospective Customers

The strategies I’ll go over in this section are designed to get your business in front of people who might be interested in buying your products.

This can, of course, also be done with Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and a solid public relations strategy. But, for the purposes of this guide (and to align ourselves with the whole idea of demand generation), we’ll ignore those and focus instead on the three most impactful demand generation strategies to drive awareness.

Social Media

Demand Generation: The Complete Beginners Guide (2017)

Social media, if invested in correctly and optimized (with management tools, visual marketing apps, and a well-measured approach, can be profitable without having to pay for exposure.

It’s a challenge, though, for sure. The organic reach on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest are extremely limited (as the platforms are encouraging businesses to pay-to-play).

Here’s what I recommend to get organic reach and brand awareness on social media:

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