Demand generation marketers are a lot like stand up comedians. They have to assess the audience, track their responses and deliver content (sometimes, change) accordingly. Successful stand-up comedians are definitely the ones who understand their audience, recognize what they like, what offends them and predict their responses. They experiment with content and are skilled at knowing what works and what doesn’t. Can demand generation marketer learn from stand up comedians? Do they have to adapt to the changing audience and the environment? Do they interpret audience responses and change their content accordingly? Do they have to experiment with new strategies? Yes. Yes. Yes and Yes. Demand generation is all about knowing the audience, tracking the quality leads, measuring results and changing strategies accordingly. It is the job of demand generation marketers to read the signals and take accurate steps So, lets look at 4 skills your demand generation should have
1. Deep understanding of marketing technology
Marketers have access to never-ending technology. From CRMs to automation software and analytics, you have a wide variety of powerful tools to choose from. No doubt, there has been an explosive growth in the marketing technology domain. With only 150 options available in 2011, it has grown to more than 5000 in 2017. Clearly, it is important that your demand generation marketer is able to assess and utilize these new technologies to your advantage
When you are interviewing your demand generation marketer candidate, ensure that while researching new tools, they also think beyond just the features. For example, they need to think how the technology aligns and integrates with your present systems. How will it impact your customers or employees? etc. A demand generation marketer should also be ready to utilize the training resources to ensure that the team is using the new technology and tool to its full potential. So, ask them relevant questions about the marketing technology. A few questions would be
- What tools are you comfortable with?
- Are you comfortable using x, y or z? What campaigns or results have you achieved on it?
- What is the latest marketing technology you appreciate? When would you decide to invest in it?
- How would you change the present martech stack if you were to decide to buy a new tool? etc
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2. Familiarity with the buyer’s journey
Your demand generation marketer cannot be ONLY technologically sound. He/she needs to understand the buyers journey and be ready to make informed decisions along with the other members of the team. In short, your demand generation marketer should be able to understand the difference between what works and what doesn’t. But, that is not it – He also needs to understand why is something working better than others. This information can guide your demand generation marketer towards designing new strategies and running campaigns that lead prospect growth down the right path. Did you know that – 67% of marketing leaders say creating a connected customer journey across all touchpoints and channels is critical to the success of their entire marketing strategy, but only 23% of marketers are extremely satisfied with their ability to leverage customer data to create more relevant experiences. So, a few questions you need to ask are
- How important is it to be familiar with the buyers journey
- How would you change the strategies if analytics shows you that x works and why doesn’t [give a short story here, so you can assess how they assess] etc.
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3. Ready to experiment
If demand generation marketers never experimented with new strategies, we would still be stuck with outbound marketing – trying to catch as many fish aimlessly. But, to create a successful marketing strategy, marketers need to test, analyze, experiment and optimize all of their marketing efforts – whether it is a placement of buttons on a homepage, call to action texts or content of a blog post. Optimizing your existing plans and strategies (for example, optimizing old content) can dramatically boost the effectiveness of your demand generation efforts. But, if your demand generation marketer hasn’t tried or does not want to try, you wont be able to optimize in a true sense. Your demand generation marketer is not fearful i.e he is ready to experiment systematically. So, for this purpose, ask them
- How would they conduct a marketing experiment?
- If there is a new way to do x in the market, what will be their approach? Would they try the new strategy or stick to an already tested strategy that is working for your business?
- How to ensure minimum wastage of marketing budget while carrying out a marketing experiment?
4. Should be master of at least 2 tactics
Riches in the niches. Have you heard that saying? Well, if you haven’t, you would still know that expertise in tactics is GOLD. There are so many demand generation tactics out there, that not one person can know it all. But, when you are hiring demand generation marketers and establishing a team, you should aim for hiring candidates that master at least 2 tactics. This way, if you hire 2-3 demand generation marketers, you will have people with expertise in different tactics. Meaning, you can expect results of demand generation strategies much more quickly.
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5. Understanding data that actually matters and take action on it
Marketing data is easy to read but difficult to analyze and implement changes based on it. Your demand generation marketer needs to know how to put together all the metrics and draw actionable information from it. For example, with relevant information, you can understand buyer persona and identify the best type of content and placement. Unfortunately, companies are still struggling to analyze their database efficiently and use it to find sales opportunities. 50% of the average marketing database is useless, largely because of duplicate records. According to the Demand Generation Benchmark Report, improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact was a top demand generation priority for 61% of organizations in 2017. This means you need to look for a demand generation marketer with an experience of making campaign adjustments based on real-time analytics There you go – These are the 5 qualities you need to look for when hiring a demand generation marketer. If you follow these, there is no way your demand generation strategies won’t yield the desired results What has been your experience with hiring demand generation marketers?
Vikas Bhatt is the Co-Founder of ONLY B2B, a premium B2B lead generation company that specializes in helping businesses achieve their growth objectives through targeted marketing & sales campaigns. With 10+ years of experience in the industry, Vikas has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by businesses today and has developed a unique approach to lead generation that has helped clients across a range of industries around the globe. As a thought leader in the B2B marketing community, ONLY B2B specializes in demand generation, content syndication, database services and more.