Demand generation marketing strategies are tactics used to generate interest and demand for a company’s products or services.
Demand generation can include a variety of communication channels from blog posts and social media messaging to targeted promotions and list creation. When all is said and done, demand gen is typically involved in every aspect of a business’s sales funnel.
Every marketing strategy should include some sort of demand generation process for attracting people to the brand and pushing them through the sales funnel.
Demand generation is the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and/or services.
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A lot of companies actually mistake demand gen for lead generation. These two terms, while related, are not the same thing.
Lead generation refers to a specific subset of demand gen. Demand gen attracts people to business and piques interest in the overall brand, product, or service. Lead gen then comes in and turns the interested parties into more concrete sales leads by collecting contact information.
Every company needs some form of lead generation if they want to continue growing and to see success. Without lead generation, targeted marketing efforts are much more difficult.
Once the lead generation is complete, demand gen takes back over to continue pushing people down the sales cycle with more targeted content and value.
The problem with demand gen is that it takes a lot more work and manpower to accomplish successfully than businesses realize.
This is not a process that can be managed by a single employee. To properly run a demand gen strategy, you need a full team or department working on the process.
In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads.
One main role of the demand gen team or department is to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. The overall demand gen campaign process includes multiple components that require a lot of work. A few of aspects of demand gen covered by the demand team are listed below:
The demand gen team is constantly reviewing customer insights to ensure the sales funnel is working appropriately. By monitoring what works and what doesn’t, the team can tweak the marketing strategy as necessary to continue generating growth and sales.
The sales funnel encompasses many key metrics, all of which should be tracked by your company. Detailing customer experiences, engagements, and decisions can lead to more efficient and accurate campaigns in the future.
The demand generation team knows not only what to say to potential customers but also how to say it. Value and customer-relevant information are conveyed through a variety of content delivery systems. Each message must be carefully constructed and targeted to convey the most important information to customers.
In today’s tech-heavy world, companies have a number of delivery systems they can use for reaching customers. Email, social media, blog content, and advertisements are all content delivery options available to your company. A good demand generation executive and team know which delivery system is best for your content and goals.
Revenue generation is one of the most important activities any business can engage in. It is defined as a process by which a company plans how to market and sell its products or services, in order to generate income.
There are two positions in the C-suite that facilitate the overall success of the demand generation team. These two positions are chief growth officer (CGO) and chief revenue officer (CRO). A CGO monitors all aspects of the business that help drive growth and the CRO is responsible for ensuring the company is leveraging all marketing opportunities to generate the most sales. Together, these two leadership roles help shape and drive the overall marketing strategy involved in demand generation.
Under these two important positions, you’ll often find the VP Sales and the VP marketing. The vice presidents of these two departments are responsible for overseeing the demand generation process, from strategy to revenue goals. These two positions help create the overall demand gen campaign funnel and monitor the progress to ensure metrics are being hit.
Finally, you have marketing managers and sales development representatives. These team members are responsible for executing the overall demand gen strategy and nurturing potential customers throughout the sales cycle.
These positions are just a few of the main roles needed for a successful demand generation team. Since demand generation touches on sales and marketing, you need people who can confidently handle every part of customer development. In addition to managing customer development and business growth, you also need leaders in these positions who can work well together throughout the sales cycle. Demand gen teams can struggle when sales representatives and marketing managers fail to communicate important data insights and value propositions.
A demand generation team is a must for the future success of your business. Determine which essential demand gen positions are missing from your company and fill those roles as soon as possible so you can see an improvement in company growth.
Now that you’ve determined you need a CMO for your startup, it’s time to figure out what kind of CMO would be best for your company. Below are five tips that will help you find the right person.
CMOs can specialize in different aspects of marketing. For example, there is the storyteller CMO who will perfect your brand voice and image. The storyteller will help you connect with customers and will build an excellent brand strategy through content marketing, partnerships, and events.
The analytic CMO, on the other hand, is more experienced in market analysis. The analytic CMO is experienced in growth marketing and will know how to track trends, measure campaign success, and create lead generation funnels.
Understanding business needs will help you determine which areas of the marketing strategy you need to improve. It’s difficult to find a CMO who is the full package, often referred to as a unicorn. As long as you understand your biggest areas of need, however, you should be able to find someone to fill your most pressing marketing gaps.
No matter the main experience and skill set of your CMO, you need someone who can strategically structure the various marketing departments. During the demand generation interview process, ask candidates how they’d structure your teams and have them work together. A few teams that fall under the CMO’s control include content marketing, customer relationships management, brand marketing, marketing communications, and product marketing. Your business may have a few more or could be missing a unit that would drastically improve sales. A CMO should be able to come in and structure the groups into a cohesive working whole.
During CMO recruiting, don’t just ask colleagues for CMO referrals. Simply asking for a CMO referral will get you a wide assortment of contacts. Get specific with your needs and say, “Do you know any CMOs who are expert storytellers with experience in brand building and customer outreach?” The more specific you can be, the more likely you’ll be to find a qualifying candidate.
You may think you know what your company needs, but it’s easy to miss the mark when you’re busy focusing on other aspects of the business. Pull in a marketing professional to gain more insight on marketing talent and demands. You may be surprised by the assessment you receive from the marketing advisor.
A big reason startups fail to attract the CMOs they need is because of poor CMO job descriptions. Before posting anything, review the document to make sure expectations are set and realistic. Don’t be too broad with your description either. If you have specific areas of marketing that need attention, cater the job description to fill that role. This will help you narrow your CMO search and it’ll also make it easier for recruiters to find you the right person for the job.
A chief marketing officer (CMO) is the person responsible for managing the marketing side of your company. This c-suite position ensures your company mission and vision is being accurately conveyed to the public. They also keep the marketing strategy on track so your business continues to reach a larger audience. A successful CMO will ultimately have a big impact on your company’s revenue and overall profits.
On paper, these roles seem like a great opportunity for an experienced marketing manager to come into an organization and drive results. More often than not, however, a CMO is hired only to discover the role is not as described. The disconnect between CMO expectations and role responsibilities is just one of the reasons why this position has one of the highest c-suit turnover rates. According to Forbes, the average tenure of a CMO is 44 months; that’s less than four years. Turnover isn’t good for any position but especially not at the c-suite level.
The first step to retaining your CMO long-term is understanding the main causes of turnover. Below are two of the main reasons CMOs do not stay long at a company.
Prior to hiring a CMO, the CEO is often the one assisting with the marketing plans. When a CMO is brought on, it can be difficult for the CEO to relinquish this important responsibility to a new leader. A majority of CEOs also don’t fully grasp the intricacies of marketing and everything that goes into strategy development, yet they expect a CMO to generate revenue. The problem is, it’s incredibly difficult to translate a marketing campaign into dollars earned.
A marketing campaign increases brand awareness and gets people talking about your company’s services or products. This is known as demand generation. In the long run, this can lead to a bigger profit as more people know about your brand and what you have to offer. Short-term, however, there’s not a good way to show on paper how the marketing strategy is increasing sales. To some CEOs, the lack of revenue data appears to be evidence that the marketing strategy isn’t working. When in fact, they’re trying to measure the wrong thing. Instead of profit, a CEO should be looking at engagement and brand awareness.
Many CMOs have faced limited authority within a company. Even though the position is at the c-suite level, CMOs find themselves micromanaged by the CEO or other leadership positions. Again, this goes back to trusting in the professional you hire for the role. A chief marketing officer is highly experienced with a solid background in marketing. Being micromanaged by the CEO or COO is a frustrating position for the CMO. Not only is it frustrating, but it also makes it hard for the marketing officer to do their job. When you’re constantly requesting approval to take a new step, it feels like your position is being undervalued.
Now that you understand what could be driving a CMO away, let’s look at what you can do to retain your CMO.
At its core, the CMO role is responsible for demand generation. Demand generation is the use of targeted marketing campaigns to drive interest in a company’s products and services. Marketing campaigns and advertisements require money to be successful, but you might not see this marketing money immediately or clearly translate into revenue. Keep this in mind and remember to pay attention to customer engagement and audience growth.
Obviously growing your audience is good, but most business leaders want to see hard numbers. In this regard, encourage the vice president of sales and the chief revenue officer to work with the CMO to support marketing efforts. The sales description of the company and services needs to mesh with the image marketing is putting out, so having these two departments work together is in everyone’s best interest.
Review the CMO job description. Make sure it’s the role that someone will actually be stepping into and doing day to day. If the CMO job description says you’re looking for someone to build a marketing strategy that will drive growth but then you limit the person to marketing communications, your new CMO is going to be dissatisfied. Moreover, you won’t get the results you really want for your company. When you hire a CMO, be ready to relinquish marketing responsibility and strategy management to the individual in that chief marketing officer role so your company can really expand.
A chief marketing officer is an executive position that can make a big impact on your company’s marketing strategy. The downside, however, is that the role is expensive to fill. Hiring someone with the right experience, qualifications, and background for a full-time executive role can quickly become costly. As a startup, your business can’t afford to invest in a full-time CMO, which is why you should consider hiring an outsourced CMO instead.
What is an outsourced CMO?
A CMO is responsible for building a company’s marketing strategy. This usually involves managing social media, marketing campaigns, branding, and other online and print media information. An outsourced CMO typically works on a contract basis and serves as a company’s marketing leadership. The outsourced CMO will come in and develop a marketing plan to advance your company’s message, goals, and value.
Why hire an outsourced CMO for your startup?
As your startup or small business grows, you’ll need strong marketing leadership to continue advancing. At this point in business, however, you need access to capital to implement marketing strategies, so you might not be able to afford a full-time CMO. You also may not need a marketing officer in-office 40 hours a week yet.
Another reason why outsourcing a CMO can benefit your startup is to fill any marketing expertise gaps in your company. An outside CMO will bring a fresh perspective to your business strategy to help you grow and develop in new markets. Save the company money for further investing by hiring a fractional CMO to consult and manage your marketing strategy.
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