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Demand Gen vs Growth Marketing

Demand generation and growth marketing are two strategies that businesses employ to drive revenue and achieve their marketing goals. While they may appear similar at first glance, these two approaches have distinct differences in terms of tactics, objectives, campaigns, and overall approach. 

Tactical Differences: Demand Gen vs Growth Marketing

At their core, demand generation and growth marketing employ different tactics to achieve their objectives. Demand generation focuses on creating awareness and generating interest in a product or service, while growth marketing aims to optimize the entire customer journey to drive user acquisition, activation, and retention

Demand Generation Tactics

In demand generation, the primary focus is on creating compelling content and experiences to attract and engage potential customers. This often involves tactics such as SEO, content marketing, social media advertising, and email marketing. By providing valuable information and building trust, businesses can nurture leads and convert them into customers.


SEO involves optimizing a website's content and structure to improve its visibility in search engine results. By targeting relevant keywords and creating high-quality content, businesses can increase their organic traffic and attract potential customers.

Content Marketing

Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and engage a target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and whitepapers. By providing valuable information, businesses can position themselves as industry experts and build trust with potential customers.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is also a popular tactic in demand generation. Platforms like Meta, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer powerful targeting options that allow businesses to reach their ideal audience. By creating compelling ads and targeting them to specific demographics, businesses can generate awareness and interest in their products or services.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and tested tactic in demand generation. By building an email list of interested prospects, businesses can nurture leads and guide them through the customer journey. Personalized and targeted email campaigns can help businesses stay top-of-mind and convert leads into customers.

Growth Marketing Tactics

Growth marketing, on the other hand, encompasses a broader range of tactics that go beyond traditional marketing channels. It involves data-driven experimentation and optimization to enhance every stage of the customer journey. Growth marketers use techniques like A/B testing, conversion rate optimization, referral programs, and personalized onboarding experiences to drive user growth and maximize customer lifetime value.

A/B Testing

A/B testing involves creating multiple versions of a webpage, email, or ad and testing them against each other to determine which version performs better. By continuously testing and optimizing different elements, such as headlines, images, and call-to-action buttons, growth marketers can improve conversion rates and drive user growth.

Conversion Rate Optimization 

Conversion rate optimization involves analyzing user behavior and making data-driven changes to improve the conversion rate of a website or landing page. This can include optimizing the layout, simplifying the navigation, and improving the overall user experience. By removing barriers and friction points, businesses can increase conversions and drive growth.

Referral Programs

By incentivizing existing customers to refer their friends and family, businesses can tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Referral programs can offer rewards, discounts, or exclusive access to encourage customers to spread the word and bring in new users.

Personalized Onboarding Experiences

Personalized onboarding experiences are becoming increasingly popular in growth marketing. By tailoring the onboarding process to individual users, businesses can increase activation rates and improve user retention. This can include personalized welcome emails, guided tutorials, and interactive onboarding flows that help users get the most out of a product or service.

Objectives and Metrics in Demand Gen vs Growth Marketing

When it comes to objectives and metrics, demand generation and growth marketing also differ in their priorities. Understanding these differences is crucial for businesses to set clear goals and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

Demand Generation Objectives and Metrics

The main objective of demand generation is to create awareness, generate leads, and ultimately drive revenue. In this stage, businesses prioritize metrics such as website traffic, lead conversions, lead quality, and conversion rates. The focus is on attracting potential customers and filling the sales pipeline with qualified leads.

However, demand generation is not just about quantity; it also emphasizes the quality of leads. Businesses need to ensure that the leads generated are relevant and have a higher chance of converting into paying customers. This requires a targeted approach in identifying the right audience and tailoring marketing messages to resonate with their needs and pain points.

Growth Marketing Objectives and Metrics

Unlike demand generation, growth marketing takes a more comprehensive approach to the customer journey. The primary objective is to optimize every stage of the funnel, from acquisition to retention, to maximize revenue and long-term growth. Key metrics in growth marketing include user activation rates, retention rates, customer lifetime value, and referral rates. By focusing on these metrics, growth marketers aim to create sustainable growth and turn customers into advocates for the brand.

Growth marketing goes beyond acquiring new customers; it focuses on maximizing the value derived from each customer. This involves implementing strategies to increase customer retention, upselling, and cross-selling. By nurturing existing customers and providing exceptional customer experiences, businesses can increase customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.

Leveraging Synergies between Demand Generation and Growth Marketing

While demand generation and growth marketing have their differences, they also share common goals and can complement each other. By combining the strengths of these two approaches, businesses can maximize their marketing efforts and achieve better results.

One example of this is ensuring a seamless handover between the two stages of the customer journey. Demand generation efforts can generate leads and create initial interest, while growth marketing can focus on nurturing those leads and optimizing their journey to drive conversion and retention.

Also, demand generation insights can inform growth marketing strategies. Understanding the pain points and motivations of potential customers can help shape personalized onboarding experiences and targeted marketing campaigns. By aligning messaging and content across the customer journey, businesses can create a consistent and cohesive brand experience that drives growth and builds long-term customer relationships.

Strategies to Navigate Demand Generation and Growth Marketing Hurdles

As with any marketing strategy, both demand generation and growth marketing come with their own set of challenges. 

One strategy to counter this is to foster collaboration and alignment between demand generation and growth marketing teams. By breaking down silos and encouraging cross-functional cooperation, businesses can leverage the strengths of each team and ensure a seamless transition from demand generation to growth marketing. Effective communication and clear goal-setting are crucial for aligning objectives and avoiding conflicting strategies.

Data-driven decision-making is another critical strategy. By collecting and analyzing data across the entire customer journey, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make informed choices to optimize their marketing efforts. Regular monitoring of key metrics enables businesses to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and make data-backed decisions to drive growth.

Lastly, businesses should prioritize continuous learning and experimentation. Marketing trends and customer behaviors evolve quickly, so it's essential to stay agile and adapt to changing landscapes. By embracing a culture of experimentation, businesses can uncover new growth opportunities and continuously optimize their marketing strategies.

Summing it Up

Demand generation and growth marketing are two distinct, but interconnected, approaches to driving marketing success. While demand generation focuses on creating awareness and generating interest, growth marketing takes a holistic view of the customer journey to optimize every stage and drive sustainable growth. By learning to effectively combine the two, businesses can achieve their marketing objectives, maximize revenue, and build long-term customer relationships.

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