“Demand Generation” seems to be a buzz word in every marketing conversation these days. Marketing leaders in a growth situation are seriously challenged by executive management to prove their value by improving the throughput of demand generation activities and proactively taking responsibility for a greater chunk of pipeline and revenue.

The knee-jerk reaction to this pressure often results in wasteful spending on random campaigns, generating unnecessary work and chaos with no meaningful return on investment, ultimately eroding trust and lowering team morale.

Slow down to Speed Up

Most companies have some shape or form of a demand generation program and loosely defined processes and systems in place. In many cases, companies also have a regular stream of activities such as events, webinars and some sort of digital marketing cadence with thought leadership content.

What I have also seen again and again at various companies is the proliferation of disparate marketing & sales technology tools over time, based on scattered purchasing decisions in silos. This creates a frustrating scenario where data hygiene is very poor and end-to-end visibility for reporting is almost impossible. Marketing leaders and company executives often find themselves grappling with this reality in an effort to figure out what’s working, what’s not and how the numbers stack up against industry benchmarks for key performance indicators (aka metrics), but are “frozen in their tracks” as there is no clear path forward.

Scientific Demand Generation

Common sense dictates that the correct approach would be to clearly understand Point A and establish a baseline, also agree on what Point B should look like and then put a plan together to go from Point A to Point B.

Start by assessing the current situation (“As-Is”). Take time to collect as many data points as you can by understanding data sources, capture mechanisms, campaign history and funnel velocity, and current handoff process at various stages throughout the marketing and sales funnel. Interviewing key stakeholders within the organization is probably one of the easiest ways to understand what’s working and what’s not as well as the underlying relationships and cross-functional health. This gets you a clear baseline, a.k.a Point A.

Once you have that baseline, implementing well thought-out processes and techniques, in symphony with appropriate supporting technology infrastructure (Automation & Tracking systems) is the logical next-step in winning this battle and quite honestly – the only common-sense approach to making incremental progress towards your goals, while maintaining team-unity and not disrupting what’s already working well.

The role of “Scientific Demand Generation” has taken on a whole new meaning in the modern growth landscape and is the smart approach which, if executed properly can propel companies in the growth stage to dizzying heights of success. Alternatively, jumping to random campaigns for short-term spike in numbers without a clear understanding of what’s working and what’s not can push organizations downhill to languish in despair and suffer at the hands of the competition.

What has your experience been and how have you tackled this in the past? Comments welcome…

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