5 Skills Every Demand Gen Marketer Should Master
July 26, 2018 | Justina Logozzo
In the last five years as marketing has rapidly evolved as a field, so have the kind of skills and jobs available to marketers. Gone are the days where a generic marketing professional could walk into a company and perform just about any marketing function.
Today, marketing professionals are expected to be multi-dimensional, but often are held accountable to different metrics and rely on different skills and expertise based on their unique position. Not convinced? Check out this snapshot I get from Google with a generic search for “marketing jobs.”
The diversity of marketing jobs available speaks to the evolving (and growing!) role marketing as a department in modern businesses — we need to be able to generate leads, improve brand awareness, increase customer retention, build content, optimize websites for search engines, and more.
And with the expansion of responsibilities, also comes the expansion of the skill sets we have to have to be successful.
Today we’re going to explore what it takes to be a modern demand gen marketer in this crazy new marketing world.
So You Want To Be A Demand Gen Marketer?
Demand generation marketers have become a hot commodity as companies are all striving to generate qualified leads at scale. Demand generation is also no longer about the quantity of leads, but their quality.
Demand gen is the umbrella under which all other customer acquisition and early funnel efforts find their footing. Understanding this it isn’t difficult to see why companies are clamoring to get their hands on top demand gen talent.
Reaching new markets, building buzz, promoting new offerings, and initiating and nurturing customer relationships are just a few of the activities that demand-gen marketing takes the lead on. Success in those areas trickles down to almost every other marketing sphere, from PPC to inbound marketing to conversion optimization.
So what’s it take to be a demand gen marketing master?
Demand Gen Skill to Master #1: Google Analytics
How do to know if your demand gen efforts are working if you’re not tracking data on it?
Trick question — you can’t! You’d be spending a lot of time and money on efforts that may not be producing the results you need to reach your goals.
Enter Google Analytics.
This free tool can be one of the most powerful sources of information for driving content development, campaign decisions, ABM initiatives, lead nurturing, and more.
As a digital marketer, I love Google Analytics, and the more involved I become with our demand generation strategy, the more I realize that knowing Google Analytics is critical to success as a demand gen marketer.
While Google Analytics only shows you the activity on your website, or any domain you place the tracking code on, you’re able find key detail into your marketing activities impact. From paid and organic search, social, and email marketing, each of these marketing channels creates visible outcomes within Google Analytics.
With that channel data, you seamlessly can make better decisions about how to allocate your marketing spend and optimize the work you’re already doing.
Unfortunately, only 21% of marketers are using analytics to measure marketing ROI for engagement. Additionally 40% of companies say that proving marketing ROI is their top challenge. In other words, most marketers are doing their jobs with blinders on and struggling to show the value of their work.
New to Google Analytics? Check out the Google Analytics Academy. There you can learn about the basics on the platform and take a free guided course on using it. Once you feel confident with the platform, I also recommend becoming a certified Google Analytic user as it helps to assert your knowledge base.
Demand Gen Skill to Master #2: Excel
Excel isn’t just for numbers people and data nerds who love pivot tables (although we love data nerds too!) This tool helps you make smarter, data-driven decisions, and can also be critical for communicating data across your marketing organization and team to help everyone make better decisions based on data.
And while most marketers are right-brained, meaning they tend to be more creative than analytical, demand gen marketers are an exception. Excel spreadsheets riddled with numbers and formulas make demand gen masters happy as can be as they know their data is in order.
Becoming an excel pro means you can track leads to sales from specific sources, keep an eye on conversion rates over dedicated periods of time, and catch key trends that can help you pivot your strategy more quickly.
With Excel’s powerful formulas and dynamic graphs, marketers can build individualized data analyses that offer insights other out-of-the-box analytics software alone can’t provide.
Want to beef up your Excel skills? Start with this list of excel training opportunities for marketers.
Demand Gen Skill to Master #3: Think Like a Scientist
Demand generation is equal parts art and science. While it doesn’t require hazardous chemicals and scientific equations, it does require continuous experimentation.
In order to create a successful marketing strategy, marketers need to test, analyze, and optimize all of their marketing efforts, from the placement of buttons on a homepage to the content of blog posts.
Optimizing your existing content and marketing activities can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your demand-gen efforts, but we can rarely be sure that something we haven’t tried will work — that is, until we try it!
The best demand gen marketers think like scientists and aren’t afraid to experiment with small details and big strategies. But many marketers approach this with a “throwing spaghetti at the wall” mentality. Instead of changing everything you’re doing at once, approach your marketing experiments systematically.
In order to successfully conduct a marketing experiment, there are 5 steps to follow:
- Figure out your purpose and objectives
- Define your goals in alignment with purpose and objective
- Plan out your approach and what you’re going to do
- Create, test, and monitor so you know how things are going
- Analyze the data and optimize for your next experiment
Test-and-learn experiments serve an important purpose for your marketing activities, and learning how to effectively design a marketing experiment will help you avoid wasting your time (and marketing budget).
Learn more about running effective marketing experiments here.
Demand Gen Skill to Master #4: Know How to Assess New Technology Tools
Marketers have more technology at their disposal today than ever before. From CRMs to marketing automation systems to analytics software, you have a wide variety of powerful tools to choose from.
And with the explosive growth of marketing technologies available— from just 150 options in 2011 to nearly 5,000 in 2017 — it’s clear that in order to be a master in demand generation marketing you need to be able to assess and utilize new technologies.
Image source: chiefmartech.com
When researching new tools, think beyond the analysis of it. Consider how the technology will align and integrate with your current tools and how it will impact your customers.
Additionally, once you’ve selected your technologies, take advantage of product training resources to ensure you’re using the tool to its full potential. When configured correctly, your technologies can execute nuanced campaigns and offer you detailed insights your marketing efforts. But your platform and the campaigns within it will only be as effective as the person setting them up.
Not sure where to start when assessing new technology? These 10 questions are critical to ask before making purchase decisions.
Demand Gen Skill to Master #5: Leveraging Marketing Data to Find Opportunities
I like to think of marketing data like Jackson Pollock paintings. To some, they looks like a mess of paint splatters without any pattern or meaning. Yet to others, demand gen marketers in this case, that mess actually translates into meaningful information and opportunities.
Connecting your marketing data can give you a clearer, more detailed picture of the buyer, and help you identify the best content type and placement. This of course leads to more robust buyer personas and a deeper understanding of the marketing landscape.
Unfortunately, companies are still struggling to wade through their database to efficiently connect data to find sale opportunities.
Don’t take my word for it; the data speaks for itself:
- 50% of the average marketing database is useless, largely because of duplicate records.
- 67% of marketing leaders say creating a connected customer journey across all touchpoints and channels is critical to the success of their entire marketing strategy, but only 23% of marketers are extremely satisfied with their ability to leverage customer data to create more relevant experiences.
There is a silver lining to this though. Improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact was a top demand generation priority for 61% of organizations in 2017. That means that demand gen marketers with extensive experience of making campaign adjustments based on real-time analytics are highly sought after people.
Check out this blog to learn more about this skill and how mastering it could help your demand gen marketing.
There are many skills critical to being a successful demand gen marketer, but these five take the cake:
- Learn the ins and outs of Google Analytics to find more in-depth information about your marketing campaigns.
- Utilize Microsoft Excel to organize and share data.
- Experiment with your marketing activities and content to ensure you’re getting the most out of it.
- Integrate new technologies into the mix, and learn how to assess and use them correctly.
- Connect marketing data to create a clearer picture of your buyers and find sale opportunities.
Becoming a demand-gen master isn’t an easy task, but learning these five skills will set you up for success and get you well on your way.
What do you think is the most valuable skill for demand gen marketers to have? Let us know in the comments!