Driving Demand Generation: Who Belongs on That Bus?

In last month’s blog post, I discussed the ideal marketing operations structure — the why and how to centralize this vital function. In this post, we explore the demand generation function. What should be part of this function and how should you reconcile it with having a “shared services” team?

When we put ourselves in our prospects’ shoes we recognize that they want to engage with us via multiple channels: TV, mobile, web, social channels, email etc. They want our communications to be consistent, and to show some memory of the past interactions we had with them in the various channels. Finally, I hear you murmur, a hint about how this digression is relevant to the organization of a Demand Generation group … So organizing your marketing into silos based on their digital channel specialty — web team, social team, email team, PR, etc. — is not such a great idea anymore.

Campaigns are becoming omni-channel. Imagine a campaign that starts with a promoted blog post on Facebook, points to a piece of premium content on the web, which is viewed on a mobile device, encourages the prospect to visit a store and scan a QR code on a shelf driving them to a microsite, and triggering a follow up email the next day, a remarketing campaign hits a week later, and a teleprospecting call a week after that. Or you could just drop them in a 6-month email nurturing campaign and wait until their lead score creeps up? Not!

I’ve made the case that the inbound team should be treated like the outbound team. They deserve to be in the demand generation group.

The Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, Instagram “power users” should become part of the “power user group” along side the marketing automation power users. The paid traffic campaign managers will become the same people who leverage outbound channels in their omni-channel campaigns. And the campaign project managers need to be skilled in managing assets and resources for omni-channel campaigns, combining inbound and outbound channels.

Is using social channels for remarketing to leads you already have relationships with really inbound marketing? Who cares? It is good demand generation marketing, and your prospects may prefer to engage with you through that channel versus through email. As a campaign manager, when you have a choice of channels to choose from, you choose the most effective ones for the segment and where they are in their buying journey.

Your Next Steps to an Effective Demand Generation Group

Marketing has gone through tremendous changes in the past 25 years. New media have reshaped the buying process, and that in turn requires us to reshape the selling and marketing processes. The demand generation group’s ability to execute relevant engagement with prospects requires technology, clean data, optimized processes and constant feedback from all prior interactions regardless of the channel. This drives us towards putting the teams that drive engagement under one Demand Generation leader. Here are a few steps outlining how to reorganize to do this:

  1. Decide on the charter for the demand generation group.
  2. Research and select what channels work best for your firm based on where your prospects engage … not your preconceived ideas about where they are.
  3. Start to plan omnichannel campaigns.
  4. Create a unified campaign development process that works for all channels.
  5. Create campaign brief and blueprint templates that support omnichannel campaigns.
  6. Start education of your MAP power users on inbound marketing (high level).
  7. Start education of your inbound channel team on the funnel, on MAP, and on CRM.
  8. Train several project managers on how to manage both inbound and outbound and ultimately manage omnichannel campaigns.
  9. Now you can start to merge the teams … do so by creating omnichannel SWAT teams that consist of inbound, outbound, power users, and project managers.

Demand Generation is bigger than lead generation or lead nurturing. It includes extending the customer lifetime value, creating advocates, account based marketing and increasing brand awareness. Since the customer experience trumps everything, focusing the team that drives most of the marketing based prospect and customer engagement under one director or VP just makes sense from a effectiveness and efficiency standpoint. Disagree? Let’s hear it.

In the next post, we will discuss the organization of the content group and if they should continue to own the website and other digital properties. Please feel free to share your insights on these topics in the comments section below or email me directly at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com.

For more insights on the detailed responsibilities of the roles described above, download TPG’s white paper: Center of Excellence: Demand Generation Group.

Author: Kevin Joyce

Kevin Joyce is VP of strategy services for The Pedowitz Group. He's a marketing executive with 34 years of experience in high tech, in positions in engineering, marketing, and sales. In the past 16 years Mr. Joyce has worked with many companies on their revenue marketing and demand generation strategies. With a unique combination of marketing skills and sales experience he helps bridge the gap between sales and marketing.

Mr. Joyce has successfully launched numerous products and services as a Director of Product Marketing at Sequent, as a Director of Sales at IBM, as Vice President of Marketing at Unicru, and as CEO at Rubicon Marketing Group. He has been VP of Marketing Strategy with the Pedowitz Group for more than six years. He holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland and a MBA from the University of Portland. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn or email him at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com. Download TPG’s new white paper: "TPG ONE: A New Approach to the Customer Journey."

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