How to Be a Rockstar Demand Generation Strategist and Have the Results to Prove It

There’s a growing demand for talented B2B marketers. However, for every job opening posted, there are many applicants from which you must stand out.

For the real rockstars of results-driven marketing, there could be enormous potential for growth in the months and years ahead. According to DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, 70% of B2B marketing executives say their budget will increase this year, which naturally includes more funds for new hires.

While there's demand for B2B marketers, organizations are getting increasingly selective about whom they hire. Most B2B organizations are shifting to revenue-focused performance goals, which means marketers can no longer cheer on their creative campaigns without showing a direct contribution to the bottom line.

In short, this means delivering down-funnel results. 

2 Steps to Becoming a Rockstar Demand Generation Strategist

Results-oriented demand marketers need only take two essential steps to be seen as leaders in their space. But, few will invest enough time and energy to scale them.

Step #1: Be The 'Real McCoy'

You can’t become a premier B2B marketer by pretending.

Demand generation is an inherently data-driven discipline. If you want to be perceived as top-tier talent, you need to have top-tier talent.

You need to deserve your label as a “leading demand generation marketer.” And, there are six major qualities of leading B2B demand marketers:

  1. They are trusted advisors with earned credibility
  2. They are customer lifecycle maestros
  3. They are full-stack operators
  4. They are masters of precision
  5. They are pacesetters in their industry
  6. They are drivers of growth

Within any constantly changing and evolving field, including demand generation, being an expert means a commitment to continuous learning. Personal growth is the hallmark of all high achievers. You must never stop pushing forward and improving your professional skill set. As soon as you slow down, the marketing world moves on without you.

5 Growth Tools for Demand Marketers

Some of the ways demand marketers at Integrate and organizations we work closely with continually improve their professional skill sets include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. Pursuing certifications – including industry, vendor and professional certifications (though the importance of some of these seem to be on the wane)
  2. Reading books on demand generation and following top industry blogs
  3. Understanding and developing in-demand digital skills
  4. Attending industry conferences
  5. Listening to leading podcasts and watching exceptional webinars

Ready to grow? Read this post on our 20 favorite demand generation training resources.

Step #2: Deliver Results

Only 14% of demand marketing organizations define total leads and inquiries as their primary success metric. The majority of demand marketing executives face much more challenging and holistic measures of success according to DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report:

  • 33% are measured by marketing and sales-qualified leads
  • 30% must meet targets for revenue contribution

Demand marketing is an entirely results-oriented discipline, which is perhaps the most important thing to know if you’re trying to elevate your career.

It doesn’t matter how many degrees or certifications you have on your wall. If your resume, portfolio and interview lack evidence of quantifiable B2B marketing results, you don’t have the kind of experience to be a top-tier marketer.

6 Ways to Generate Results

#1: Define success metrics

You’ll be more effectively able to demonstrate improvement if you have a baseline or a target. Some key program indicators (KPIs) for demand marketing organizations can include:

  • MQLs, SQLs and opportunities
  • MQL to SQL, and SQL to opportunity conversion rates
  • Revenue contribution
  • Cost per lead, cost of customer acquisition and lifetime customer value
  • Lead velocity
  • Net promoter score

Find more insight in Demand Generation Analytics: 10 B2B Metrics that Actually Matter.

#2: Create and Repurpose Relevant, Targeted Content

Creating high-value content is a time-consuming activity. There’s simply no way around it.

However, highly effective demand marketers increase the relevance of their content (and in-turn, performance) with repeatable processes such as templates to understand buyer personas in-depth. This enables the program to map content to buyer personas.

Next, you can also create program efficiency by reusing and repurposing content assets by updating outdated assets and targeting existing assets to new personas. Turn eBooks into blog posts, whitepapers into slideshares, research papers into social media graphics and more.

#3: Develop Smarter Modes of Content Distribution

Chances are, your company has invested significant resources into content marketing. But are you seeing a return on creation?

Maybe your organization is using content syndication, but your partnerships don’t enable effective targeting, and you’re paying too much for poorly qualified leads. In that case, more effective media partnerships could allow you to reach the right audiences and maximize the ROI of your paid distribution.

More Insight: 11 Tips to Make Content Syndication Work for Demand Generation

Perhaps you’re working hard to develop social engagement, but it’s slow-going in a niche industry. This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon in B2B, which is why smart, targeted social advertising can be vital to reaching the right qualified audiences.

Read into how the most highly effective demand gen marketers tap this resource in The 4 Critical Roles of Social Media in Demand Generation Marketing

Maybe you’re missing out on untapped sources entirely, like your existing email contacts. Email can be instrumental in deepening relationships with your prospects and customers. Sometimes, as much as 50% of Integrate’s program participation comes from existing database contacts.

#4: Leverage Technologies Correctly

Technology has a huge role in modern demand marketing, but it’s not necessarily at the core.

That may be a bold statement coming from a demand marketing software organization, but our philosophy is that demand marketing efficiency comes from the synergy of people, process and technology.

Effective marketing is about human relationships and people. The technology exists for automation, organization and connecting people across place and time. To demonstrate results, you need to demonstrate knowledge of how to use technology correctly to drive improvements on a continual basis within a B2B marketing organization.

A demand marketer may interface with technology to achieve demonstrable results by:

  1. Generating more leads with A/B testing and marketing experiments
  2. Improving website performance with analytics and dashboarding tools
  3. Using closed-loop reporting to maximize campaigns, sources, creative and audiences
  4. Adopting in-flight campaign optimization to maximize demand generation budget
  5. Leveraging demand orchestration tools for real-time campaign performance management

#5: Recognize Program Inefficiencies

Demand marketing has an enormous amount of moving pieces.

A B2B marketing organization is often testing new partnerships, channels, strategies and tactics. Along the way, it’s natural for inefficiencies to emerge.

While many demand marketing organizations have higher budgets to work with, true rockstar demand marketers drive demonstrable process improvements based on recognized program inefficiencies. This translates to hours and dollars saved, which means more budget can be allocated towards generating demand.

Being able to prove to a future employer that you can not only help them increase revenue but save funds can really set a candidate apart.

Examples of program inefficiencies that are common in demand marketing organizations include:

  • Lead data integrity: Up to 40% of B2B leads contain bad data. Adopting technologies and processes to stop poor-quality data from entering your MAP and CRM can save hours a week.
  • Manual Lead Processing: Many B2B organizations spend 20-80 hours each month pouring over spreadsheets manually formatting, scrubbing and uploading newly-generated B2B leads. Adopting automated lead processing and routing technologies can save time and increase time to follow-up.

#6: Measure Everything

The final way to be a top-tier marketer is to measure everything.

The best B2B marketers know what their pipeline looks like, and they know what percentage of that pipeline was directly influenced by marketing, and the amount of impact of that marketing. They measure funnel efficiency and lead velocity to reveal potential misalignments between sales and marketing.

Top-of-funnel marketing metrics are easy to bandy about, but only the best marketers are able to effectively measure the entire funnel and directly tie marketing initiatives to the qualified sales pipeline.

Rockstar Demand Generation Strategists Share a Commitment to Excellence

There’s no single formula to becoming a rockstar demand generation strategist in 2018.

And even if there were, it would be sure to change in 2019.

Each year, Integrate collaboratively interviews 40 of the top thought leaders and game changers in the demand generation vertical to create a list of actionable strategies. Last year’s interviews revealed that the most highly effective B2B marketers are defined by a commitment to constant experimentation, extreme curiosity and a never-ending desire to drive results.

Being a rockstar demand strategist isn’t a title that’s earned. Aspiring game changers must commit to excellence and continual improvement, and work tirelessly to drive measurable improvements in their B2B marketing organization. With a track record of exceptional demand marketing metrics, program efficiencies and smart technology adoption, your career could be on the fast track.

To comprehensively assess the health of your demand generation strategy and determine areas for improvement, download the "B2B Demand Marketing Assessment Guide & Orchestration Workbook”. demand-marketing-assessment-guide

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