3 Mistakes Demand-Gen Teams Routinely Make

12/13/2016 05:26 pm ET Updated Jan 08, 2018

Most start-ups invest in digital marketing to help them move as quickly as possible. Between aggressive lead targets and a crunched go-to-market plan, demand-gen teams often employ a backwards ready, fire, aim, strategy. Focusing on the “reward” and forgetting about the fundamentals of a sound strategy.

Here are three critical mistakes I see demand-gen team’s make time and time again, so you can get them right.

#1 They trust their data and don’t validate the source.

A recent study by IBM estimated that $3.1 Trillion of America's GDP is lost due to bad data and 1 in 3 business leaders don't trust their own data.

Demand Gen teams contribute to this swelling problem by continuously purchasing data blind. Most often this is seen in the form of leads. The reasoning is that if you spend $10k a month on those leads and 75% of those leads become revenue, then the easiest way to scale is to increase the spend and dump leads into the topof the funnel, as opposed to questioning the data.

We have become accustomed to pathetic conversion rates and have completely forgotten that we are marketing to people, not numbers. We have forgotten about the 99.25% of leads that did not engage or convert and likely received a bad experience due to marketer’s spray and pray methodology.

The solution releys in the growth of data driven tends, such as Account-Based Marketing. This is what we call Account-Based Intelligence. Focusing on accurate data to power demand gen solutions.

#2 They mistake execution with strategy

In the fast paced world of SaaS enterprise, demand gen marketers are hired and immediately expected to drive incremental lift. The fastest way to do this is to flood the top of the funnel by having a presence at some of the big events. The issue is that some marketers will sign-up for the sponsorship package and somehow forget the fundamentals.

Ben Childs, President of Digital Reach, a digital marketing agency based in San Francisco, says he often sees this with newly-hired marketers that reach out to his agency for strategy. They buy a pricey booth at the biggest conferences and are surprised at its lackluster results.

Childs noted that when they evaluate a new client’s past performance, he sees a significant pattern amongst marketing teams, “they seem to focus more on their presence of being at the right conferences, and forget about building a fundamental strategy around getting the most out of those efforts.” Childs went on to say how much low hanging fruit is left due to lack of preparation from some of these notable brands.

#3 They focus on marketing a product, not a solution

As a head of marketing, my inbox is constantly filled with email marketing efforts. Brands from all over trying to push their product and sell me on the latest feature. It is not difficult to read right through these message and translate them to “we want your money.”

Marketers that focus on pushing the sell and forget about building the relationship with a prospect, often lose. The key is to research and listen to a prospects problems and then to work with them on a solution which hopefully involves your product.

Solution-focused marketing is more effective than product-focused marketing because it aligns the marketing and selling strategy with the buying one.

Path to effective and efficient demand generation

It is apparent that the path to success for a demand gen team includes: focusing on the validity of data, building a straegy before exicuting and marketing a solution not just a feature.

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