What is Demand Generation? If you believe the gurus on social media selling services, demand generation is about putting out content, amplifying it with paid spend, and hoping your prospects come into the funnel.
Demand Generation (DG) is an umbrella that includes customer acquisition (channels, content, and strategies) and infrastructure (how do the systems and technologies support the revenue teams - for example, what happens once you implement a tool to help Sales & Marketing to be more efficient at generating revenue).
DG, in our experience, is about understanding the job is done when an opportunity is created or when the gong is rung (because a deal closed).
Should content' report' into Demand Generation in our definition? Sure. The marketing org in a B2B Company should have three giant pillars (oversimplified)
- Demand Generation (or Revenue Marketing or Performance or Growth): The function of this team is to work with Sales (or Product in case of a freemium GTM) to generate customers & get "in front" of prospects that are in-market. In our view, SEO or direct response content sits *under* DG.
- Brand: Not tied to near-term goals. Brand teams should build longer-term programs that help associate your product/company with X problem or JTBD. Investing in a brand is investing in future demand. The function of a brand team is not to hit short-term revenue targets but make sure the out-of-market folks have a positive brand association with your brand/product. Doing so well is crucial given that your product becomes the preferred choice when they become in-market. Opinionated original content (like this essay and our newsletter) is more of a brand function.
- Product Marketing: This is a tricky one and a function that most people get wrong. We recommend Emily Kramer's essay for an in-depth view of the PMM function. Product marketing really is a foundational function of marketing. While it is not accountable for revenue (directly), it indirectly impacts every single function in the company (from Sales to Product to Marketing to Customer Service). PMMs build the market positioning and messaging and help translate, communicate, and connect product functions to problems/solutions & market needs.
In our next mini, we will discuss the top 6 demand generation and advertising mistakes in B2B SaaS companies. Don't miss it by subscribing (no spam, we promise).
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