Thoughts and Thought Leadership

Demand Generation is More than Paid Media

by | Oct 20, 2021

Demand Generation doesn’t have to be complicated. Yes, there are experts in the field that build automation systems and fine-tune customer journeys, and for enterprise and B2B organizations this role can be integral to optimizing conversion, but for small to medium-sized businesses “demand generation” objectives can be as simple as getting their story out there with the goal of converting those who listen to customers.

Successful marketing has the power to lead audiences to become advocates by going through a series of exercises in Discovery, Brand Story, Comms Planning, and Activation. Demand Generation typically falls in the Comms Planning & Activation phase as this is when most customers first hear your story, and this field of marketing is the most measurement friendly. 

It is a common mistake, however, to assume Demand Generation is the same as Paid Media. Actually, I posit that Demand Generation is simply the current buzzword for what we’ve historically called Traffic Driving Measures. Media Mix Models and first-hand experience have proven that you can’t attract customers through Paid Media alone. A mix of Paid, Owned, Earned, and Shared channel tactics is paramount to the success of any MarComm plan. Here are just a few examples of how marketing tactics fall under each of these channel types below.

An illustration of marketing tactics assigned to specific channel types (Paid, Owned, Earned, and Shared).

One look at your Google analytics will show that traffic to your site comes from a myriad of sources. Customers become aware of you wherever your story is being told, and they don’t often listen the first time they hear it. Be it through word of mouth (earned media), a blog post (owned media), or organically through one of your social pages (shared media), Demand Generation Marketing focuses on understanding the first, second, third, and every other interaction a customer has with you and seeking to understand and anticipate your unique journey to conversion (aka Marketing Funnel). 

The key takeaway here is that Demand Generation is so much more than Paid Media, and having an optimized mix of Paid, Owned, Earned, and Shared channel types in your Demand Generation MarComm plan will result in stronger efficiencies and ROI overall. 

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