Demand Generation Skill Set of the Not-So-Distant Future
It is a no-brainer – as marketing automation and demand generation continue to mature, the need for well-rounded and experienced demand generation marketers also increases. Recently, MarketingProfs published an article about how to hire the best marketers for your team, which got me thinking – with the different facets of demand generation and their discreet areas of expertise, what is the ideal skill set for the future?
In addition to the skills highlighted by MarketingProfs, the following is my list (in order of importance), for the well-rounded demand generation professional of the not-so-distant future:
- Demonstrable demand generation experience – a proven portfolio of results – orientated original demand generation strategy, and content marketing examples in action
- Excellent copy writing and editing skills including web and email copy
- Experience using real KPIs to make informed decisions
- Solid understanding and practical application of lead management principles
- Email marketing experience
- Certification and experience using a robust marketing automation platform
The rise of digital marketing and Buyer 2.0 has brought technology front and center for B2B marketing, creating a new breed of marketer. Now that real ROI and other KPIs have made marketing more accountable for its contribution to pipeline, the days of purely generating awareness are long past. You absolutely need to understand how to set up your measurement and analytics for the entire Demand Process using the technology you have at hand (CRM, MAP, Web Analytics, etc.) in order to effectively create and measure the lead management process and market to your buyer universe. But those skills are easily studied and learned.
The much more challenging skill is that of content production, and not just any content, great content. Content that is aligned to the buyer’s journey and content that converts. Are you able to tell a story? Better yet, are you also able to effectively write (or manage writers), edit and produce that story? That skill takes a journalistic instinct, a critical mind and experience to get results. So if you want to be the most effective and sought after demand generation professional, get comfortable researching and producing content for your buyers, build that portfolio along with getting your MAP certification.
Some will counter and say they’ve got people for content production. And while that’s great to some extent – it leaves you to focus on delivering that content, you have to wonder…if you are the one responsible for demand generation, you’ve got to get yourself involved. Specifically, if you are responsible for the results, you need to have input into that content at a minimum. Otherwise it is not really demand generation, but email marketing.
While you won’t focus on all of the skills above at the same time in your demand generation career, having the exposure to them will prove indispensible.