Demand Capture Vs. Generation — Which Demand Will Grow Your Business?

Demand is the foundation of a business, but traditional definitions are outdated in the digital age. Today, demand is divided into two parts: Demand Generation, which creates awareness and interest, and Demand Capture, which encourages final purchase decisions. Both are crucial for business growth. Demand generation methods include content marketing, event marketing, and freemium offers. Demand capture tactics involve using intent data, automating workflows, and improving ROI on ads. It's important to focus on both demands and have expert demand generators and creators on your team.


Demand is the basic foundation of a business. Traditionally, demand is defined as the consumer’s will or ability to purchase a commodity during a specific period.
However, this is an old demand definition now. That’s because traditional demand theories somehow fail to fit in the digital lead generation system.
For example, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs considers only five key elements of demand — psychological, safety, belonging, esteem and self-accusation.
Source: VeryWellmind
Abraham Maslow had kept basic psychological needs like water, food, and safety on the bottom of the funnel as they are essential for human survival. He had put self-accusations — feelings of growth and development on the top as people need it less to survive.
Now, this theory is quite competent, but it doesn’t cover modern concepts like a person’s intent to purchase, account-based marketing, and so on. This very basic theory fails to capture the complexities of today’s sales and marketing funnels.
Therefore, the demand isn’t today based on a consumer’s will to buy. It also depends on marketing teams’ capabilities to encourage consumers to buy a product or service. Thus, today’s demand is divided into two parts — Demand Generation and Demand Creation.
Well, let’s understand both demands in detail and evaluate which demand is more important for your business growth.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is a marketing effort where demand for a particular commodity is created in the market. In the demand generation, users’ interest is exploited to bring attention to the company’s products or services.
Demand creation is the first part of the marketing funnel that focuses on building awareness, positioning relevance, supporting validation, and much more.
Usually, when a brand launches a new product or service in the market, they have to first tell consumers about their products using various advertising and marketing methods. They have to generate a demand for the product among the people who are not yet ready to buy a product.
For example, you saw the Adidas shoe ad on Instagram. You don’t have any plans to buy new shoes, but you found the ad interesting, so you clicked on the ad and bought a new pair of shoes.

What is Demand Capture?

Demand capture is the second stage in the funnel. Once the demand is generated, the only thing left is to encourage customers to make a final purchase decision.
The demand capture focuses on the customers who are willing to purchase your products or services. You simply have to nurture them in the right manner and initiate the final purchase decision.
Let’s say you are already looking to buy new sports shoes. So, you typed “Sports shoes” in the search engine, and an Adidas shoes ad popup on your screen, so you clicked and bought the shoes.

Demand Generation vs. Demand Capture — Which Demand to Target the Most

Demand generation and demand capture are both parts of a marketing mix. For a business, it is important to target both demands in an adequate proportion to grow.
If you focus on capturing the demand, you can only reach out to a certain customer base. And if you keep on promoting your brand but do not make efforts to capture your generated leads, it is also useless.
Source: Netsertive
Thus, it is essential to work on both demand generation and capture to gain maximum results. The perfect marketing funnel is first — generate demand and then capture it.

How is Demand Generated?

The demand generation is the step where you have to create awareness about your products or services. At this stage, you don’t know who your customers are. You simply have a product that solves a particular problem. So, demand generation starts with creating interesting and interactive marketing campaigns to promote your brand.
Here are many ways to generate demand, but the common methods are:

Content Marketing

According to a study, 90% of buyers search online before purchasing anything. That means if you want to generate demand for your services, you have to make sure that they popup first on the search engines. And for this, you have to draft a powerful content marketing plan.
A good content marketing plan is an amalgamation of various components like keywords, readability, content syndication, etc. Thus, you need to make a content marketing structure targeting your main audience base and their pain points.
Here Canva Design School perfectly fits into the context. Canva is a leading graphic designing tool that allows everyone to create graphics easily. As Canva’s targeted audience is professional or aspiring graphic designers, they used informative and educational content to generate demand for their tool.
Source: Canva
This, as a result, generated Canva demand swiftly. As of 2021, Canva has over 55 million active users, and some of the Canva courses have 1,000,000+ students.

Event Marketing

Despite the ongoing pandemic crisis, event marketing is still the best way to generate demand. As per a recent Bizzabo survey, 95% of respondents claim that event marketing has a major impact on achieving business goals.
Whether virtual or in-person, events can dramatically help you spread awareness and introduce people to your products or services. You can host online workshops, webinars, classes, or roundtable sessions to build a relationship with the attendees.
You can easily create demand for a new product by sharing the pain points and showing how your product can solve them.
Let’s take an example of a webinar hosted by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in April 2020. The webinar was hosted by Emer Farran, who talked to Jeff Sheridan of Matrix Internet regarding the surge in online shopping trends due to COVID-19 and how its future.
Source: Youtube
This webinar helped to generate demand for online retail stores and encourage businesses to go online.

Freemium Marketing

Marketers, lead or demand generation is like a honey trap where you excite customers to try something new. And you can only attract bees, aka customers, when you offer them some honey first.
Keeping metaphor aside, this means you have to first offer a free demo, trial, or version of your product to generate demand. Then, once people start using your products or services, it will automatically create a demand for them.
This demand generation style is trendy in the software industry. Often software companies offer a free trial or version of their products to create a demand.
For instance, Grammarly is a very popular automatic grammar checking tool. To entice customers, they offer basic grammar checks for free so that people can use the tool and then upgrade to get more features. Due to this tactic, Grammarly has over 7 million daily users.
Source: Grammarly

How is Demand Captured?

After generating the demand, it is imperative to capture and nurture the demand. Otherwise, all your demand generation efforts will go to a garbage bin.
To capture demand, you can follow these tactics:

Use Intent Data

The best way to capture demand is to use the buyer’s intent data. If you have created a customer journey map based on the demand generation process, you can better gain insight into your buyers’ readiness to purchase.
Intent data allows your marketing team to target mature accounts and practice account-based marketing. Therefore, B2B digital marketing spending is projected to boost by 10.27% between 2020 to 2021.
Using the intent data, you can capture demand in numerous ways, such as:
  • Create personalized social media marketing campaigns
  • Target account contact language
  • Understand accounts preferences in the content
  • Customize emails and more.

Automate Workflow

When you have to nurture a large number of leads, your traditional manual workflow will not work. There’s a high chance that your qualified leads might slip through the marketing and sales funnels.
Thus, to smoothly capture your demand, you have to automate your sales workflow. This will free up your sales team’s time and allow them to focus on the important things.
According to 82% of demand generation marketers, analytics systems play a vital role in understanding your customers’ buying process.
Source: statista
So, make sure to use the right tools to capture and nurture your leads.

Improve ROI On Ads

For digital marketers, online ads are the easiest way to generate demand and then capture it. However, ads are only effective if they reach out to more and more customers.
Unfortunately, as per the data revealed by Google, the average ads seen rate is 50.2%. That means half of your budget goes wasted.
No need to worry yet!
You can create personalized marketing campaigns based on your buyer intent data. When you design ads suiting your audience’s needs, tone, and preferences, you can gain better ROI on the paid ads.

Demand Generation vs. Demand Capture — Where to Focus More

To be honest, both demands are equally important. That’s because they are interlinked to one another. Without demand generation, you won’t get intent data to capture leads. Similarly, demand capture absence can limit your reach and buyers’ journey understanding.
Thus, you need to appoint expert demand generators and creators in your team to grow your business.
That’s it in this post for now. But if you want to learn more about demand generation or capture, you can check other posts here.
author image

Gaurav Roy

Our blog

Latest blog posts

Tool and strategies modern teams need to help their companies grow.

Scale Marketing for Your Organization with Annette Reed and UnboundB2B

Few teams can reach as many people as marketing. But becoming a scalable marketing op...

author image

Michael Frost

A corporate employee working on finding buyer intent data tools

B2B companies must generate leads that are ready to buy their products in order to me...

author image

Chloe Harrington

Lead gen vs lead nurturing

In the absence of a constant flow of leads, sales teams can't meet their targets and ...

author image

Ethan Harrington


Join 2,000+ subscribers

Stay in the loop with everything you need to know.

    UnboundB2B site loader Logo