Driving Demand Generation: Who Belongs On That Bus?


Written by Kevin Joyce

March 16, 2017

In part three I discussed the ideal Marketing Operations (MO) structure, the why and how to centralize this vital function. Now, let’s explore the Demand Generation function.

What should be part of this function and how to reconcile it with having a “shared services” team in MO? How would you go about centralizing all Demand Generation into this one group if you currently have an outbound team and a separate inbound team under different directors?

Demand Generation Group Structure

The charter of a Demand Generation group looks like this:

Responsible for driving revenue results and optimizing interactions with all global buyers across the revenue cycle to accelerate predictable revenue growth.

Consequently in larger organizations you are likely to see the following functions in this group:

If that chart doesn’t scream a set of questions for you, its time for another cup of coffee!

Program managers, top level business managers for marketing investment in Demand Generation, provide direction to the content team, and ultimately own the number: marketing influenced revenue.

Campaign managers take direction from the program managers. They are probably the same person in smaller firms. Campaign managers may specialize in one or more channels, but since campaigns are becoming omni-channel you are better off having them focused by target market segment. Their campaigns are grouped by stages of the buying cycle by segment – awareness, lead acquisition, lead nurturing, customer loyalty, advocacy etc.

The MarTech power users, QA and best practices management functions could alternatively be executed in a Marketing Operations (MO) department. Keeping them in Demand Generation means they continue to operate close to the Program and Campaign Management team. On the other hand, if your MO function is well developed, putting them in the shared services group in MO means they are close to analytics and project management. This means this team will probably have a more streamlined relationship with the field marketing team, i.e. the “HQ” region is less likely to dominate the global campaign calendar unless the revenue goals merit it.

Tele-qualification is often both in marketing and sales. If the line is blurry, that’s good. It should be because the function is squarely on the line between the two organizations. If you use them to sell smaller deals, renew contracts, etc, then they probably belong in sales, and are rightfully described as an Inside Sales function. But if the function is strictly to provide higher quality leads to sales, driving up sales’ productivity, then keep them in marketing.

An Inbound versus Outbound Digression

There are more internet battles on inbound versus outbound than about Kirk versus Picard! Some say inbound is less expensive than outbound for lead generation or that outbound is marketing to the masses (TV commercials, radio, email blasts, tradeshows). Is inbound just content marketing using SEO, and paid traffic through online channels? By all means add your comments below, but here is my perspective: It is not news that the two are merging so marketers need to move past these debates, unite these teams, and start designing and executing omni-channel campaigns.

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 siloes based on their digital channel speciality – 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 omni-channel campaigns.
  4. Create a unified campaign development process that works for all channels.
  5. Create campaign brief and blueprint templates that support omni-channel 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 omni-channel campaigns.
  9. Now you can start to merge the teams…do so by creating omni-channel 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 whitepaper: Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence – Demand Generation Group.

As previously published on TargetMarketingMag.com on December 22, 2016.

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