The Guide to Becoming (or Hiring) a Demand Generation Specialist

According to the 2018 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey, 70% of B2B marketers will invest more in demand generation this year. Demand generation, or demand gen, involves a variety of marketing techniques that build and nurture existing prospects and customers.

We all want quality leads, and demand gen focuses on identifying and juicing up campaigns that are yielding the leads that fit your ideal customer profile. When demand gen engines are successful, your sales reps can focus more on talking to prospects who are very likely to buy rather than those likely to result in a dead end. Demand gen helps to fill the gap between marketing and sales and contributes to a company’s path to growth.

When hiring a demand generation specialist, an organization should consider how to define the role of demand generation specialist as it pertains to the organization as well as the skills, responsibilities and qualifications the specialist need to be successful. If you’re looking to become a demand generation specialist, this is a great read as well!

What is a demand generation specialist?

A demand generation specialist is responsible for leading demand generation strategies and initiatives through multiple channels to drive acceleration of new buyers across an organization’s markets. The demand gen specialist must possess a certain set of skills to be successful in the role.

Skills of a demand generation specialist

According to recruitment agency Robert Walters, demand gen specialists typically have a common set of soft and hard skills.

Soft Skills

  • Willingness to experiment: Demand generation isn’t an exact science, which is why marketers in this role should feel comfortable trying new techniques or testing existing ones. They should be able to develop a hypothesis of what campaigns they think will be most successful.
  • Ability to adapt based on data: As we mentioned above, experimentation comes in handy in this role. Keeping a pulse on metrics and how they align with overall marketing goals is extremely important. Demand gen specialists must know how to adapt campaigns based on what the data is telling them.
  • Communication skills: Because this role interacts with Sales and Marketing, it’s important that the individual not only communicates campaign logistics, but also reinforces that campaigns are based on what will truly resonate with buyer personas. The specialist should be talking to Sales on a daily or, at the very least, weekly basis, identifying pain points and key trends they’re hearing from prospects and customers. They should also be able to communicate about the performance of the campaigns, whether through a PowerPoint presentation or written report, in a way that focuses on simplicity.

Hard Skills

  • Excel: Metrics are an integral part of demand gen and being able to quickly use Excel to create a report is an extremely valuable skill. This role is heavily focused on measuring and keeping track of metrics. In some cases, the specialist may also need to know how to use a marketing analytics dashboard that pulls data from various sources to support reporting.
  • Website metrics: Demand gen specialists must also have a deep understanding of how website visitors get to their website and what encompasses the typical profiles of website visitors as well as their behavior once they are on the website. They might use tools like Google Analytics or even heat-mapping tools to accomplish this task.
  • Marketing software tools: Marketing automation software knowledge is a must for the demand gen role, but is only one part of the equation. The demand gen specialist should also be familiar with other demand generation tools that can help them understand how, when and why companies are purchasing similar products.

Responsibilities of a demand generation specialist

A demand generation specialist is typically responsible for several aspects of marketing. Technologyadvice.com has a great infographic that shows a typical day in the life of someone in a demand gen role. According to Payscale.com, typical responsibilities for this role include

  • Defining and segmenting customers to determine appropriate outreach strategies
  • Creating and updating content and marketing campaigns
  • Working across teams to ensure lead generation goals are met
  • Evaluating and maintaining marketing databases and software to ensure usability
  • Evaluating and selecting platforms for marketing campaigns, then implementing and measuring results

These responsibilities are not all-inclusive. Depending on the needs of the organization, a demand gen specialist might also be responsible for other marketing activities, such as account-based marketing, or be involved with different channels, such as partner or channel marketing.

Typical qualifications of a demand generation specialist

A demand generation specialist is usually a mid to senior role and requires certain qualifications. Here are some typical qualifications of a demand generation specialist we came across in our research:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business or other related degree
  • At least 4-7 years of marketing experience, preferably executing some of the same tasks to be managed in the role, such as content development
  • Experience with CRM and marketing automation software
  • Experience measuring the effectiveness of demand generation efforts at each level of the funnel

Demand generation specialists thrive when they can combine their years of experience planning, executing and measuring different techniques to generate top-of-the funnel leads who “aren’t yet looking to solve a problem.” It’s important for them to use their expertise to understand the differences in customer profiles and how certain features in a campaign might appeal to customers and draw them in.

Sample job description for a demand generation specialist

If you’re ready to hire and are looking for a sample job description for a new demand generation specialist, check out these resources:

When to hire for demand generation

It might be time for you to hire a demand generation specialist if you’re facing one of two scenarios: you’re not optimizing the use of your CRM and marketing automation platform or you’re looking to transition to a highly strategic digital marketing approach (Versique.com).

If this sounds like your situation, take advantage of all the resources presented above to hire your next demand generation specialist and consider using marketing intelligence tools that can help them accelerate demand generation.

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