The modern business landscape is made up of multiple channels and platforms, with potential customers moving fluidly between them. Companies must successfully navigate this environment to find and connect with their audiences, or risk falling behind the competition.
A Director of Demand Generation helps businesses to expand market share by cutting through a crowded digital environment, pinpointing target audiences, and engaging them with rich content. Even if prospects don't act right away, initial and ongoing dialogue builds trust and awareness, and can eventually translate into bona fide sales leads.
Demand generation is critical for growth, especially for startups that are carving out a market presence, as well as tech companies bringing new iterations of products to market. Customers aren't always aware that a product exists or how it can fulfill a need. By creating top of funnel engagement with highly targeted audiences and guiding them further down the sales funnel, a Director of Demand Generation helps ensure that the pipeline is filled.
Read on to discover how this integral marketing team leader fits into your business, and discover tips on hiring the right Director of Demand Generation to set your company firmly on the path to growth.
What Does a Director of Demand Generation Do?
A Director of Demand Generation creates digital content and campaigns that increase brand awareness and establish a company's authority and expertise. Targeted to a specific customer niche, demand generation lays important groundwork for conversions by qualifying leads before they even enter the sales funnel. According to Forbes, demand generation can eliminate 80% of the initial work a sales team does, allowing them to focus on nurturing and closing a deal.
The responsibilities of a Director of Demand Generation include:
- Analyzing data and market research. Demand generation campaigns must be highly targeted to be effective and require a thorough understanding of buyer personas and their online behaviors.
- Using data-driven research to create impactful digital campaigns. The Director of Demand Generation chooses relevant channels and tactics to reach specific audiences including paid search, banner, and display advertisements to target leads. Utilizing current and pertinent data, an adept Director of Demand Generation utilizes Google Display Network and General Tracking Banner advertisements to consistently retargeted and follow leads within the organization’s network.
- Guiding content production. A successful campaign requires the creation of high quality content that audiences find valuable and want to consume. Content including thought leadership articles, webinars, podcasts, blog posts, proprietary white papers, and case studies should provide readers with insights they can actively apply to to address challenges or opportunities. Strong content is effective in positioning your brand as an expert in the space, helping to build trust and prompt future engagement.
- Tracking and evaluating campaign results. Benchmarks such as website traffic, clicks, impressions, downloads, and free trials help businesses evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. The data is used to determine return on investment and refine future marketing programs.
- Overseeing the demand generation team. The Director of Demand Generation hires, mentors, and manages a team of content writers, designers, SEO specialists, and lead generation specialists to ensure department goals are met. They will often work alongside a Director of Growth Marketing to align on initiatives focused on driving revenue through new customer growth and retention.
Responsibilities of a Director of Demand Generation in a Technology Company
With the onslaught of technology products and services, it’s essential for companies to optimize their demand generation strategies, forging paths to prospective customers and ensuring new leads are consistently added to the sales funnel.
To see results, companies must know exactly who to target and what their audiences’ needs are. The Director of Demand Generation spearheads market research and analyzes data to gain insight into customers, while also collaborating with internal engineering, product, and sales teams to make sure product roadmaps align with market and customer needs.
Successful demand generation helps a tech company keep the sales pipeline full — bringing in additional customers and engaging current ones with each new release or version of a product.
Hiring a Director of Demand Generation at a Startup
Demand generation also plays a big role at startups that are just beginning to establish a customer base. In order to gain traction in markets and scale, companies need to get in front of and rapidly acquire highly qualified leads, to beat out the competition.
This makes market intelligence and audience segmentation crucial. When demand generation focuses on targeting and retargeting the right customer at an early stage, conversion is much faster and easier - research found a 1046% increase in lift once a company focused efforts on retargeting ads.
Without an existing customer base, companies, whether in seed stage or established, rely heavily on paid ads through Google and social media to generate immediate clicks and web traffic. These ads must be tailored to audiences with the keywords they're most likely to use, crafted with compelling copy, and tested to ensure the ads drive clicks before they're launched.
Depending on the resources of the startup, this senior manager may need to be both strategic and hands-on. If the only other member of the marketing team is the Chief Marketing Officer, VP of Marketing, or Director of Marketing, for example, the Director of Demand Generation will take on much of the market research, campaign creation, and execution. As the startup grows, a support team can be added.
How a Director of Demand Generation Fits Into Your Business
The role of a Director of Demand Generation evolved from necessity as markets have become fragmented and increasingly digitally driven. With so many companies grappling online for customers, businesses can't afford to wait for inbound leads. They must proactively build outbound strategies to find and engage audiences and expand market share, with a focus on the quality of leads.
This role is distinct from, but complements, lead generation. A Director of Demand Generation is tasked with putting the right content resources in front of targeted audiences, without asking for anything in exchange. Eventually, as prospects develop confidence in a business, they are more likely to provide email addresses or other contact information. Once prospects enter a company's sales funnel and become leads, lead generation activities kick in to close sales.
This cross-functional role works closely with internal engineering, product, and sales teams. Teams collaborate to share knowledge and expertise, helping the Director of Demand Generation to identify product selling points, understand consumer desires, and create messaging and positioning for marketing and ad campaigns.
The Director of Demand Generation then collaborates with the marketing team to develop in-depth campaigns and content to drive sales, working with writers, designers, and SEO specialists to execute the plans and achieve goals.
What Skills Should You Look For in a Director of Demand Generation?
A Director of Demand Generation needs an analytical mindset to build strategies that are informed by data, as well as creativity and innovation for designing attention-grabbing campaigns. During your talent search, consider some of these skills:
- Passion for data-driven solutions
- Ability to leverage metrics and market research to understand customer behaviors and needs
- Expertise in digital marketing technologies and trends
- Track record in developing strategic marketing campaigns across a wide variety of channels
- Experience in marketing, sales, and lead generation
- Strong communication and leadership skills to work across functions and to guide the demand generation team
Spark Growth With a Director of Demand Generation
An effective Director of Demand Generation can contribute significantly to a company's revenue, using data-driven strategies to zero in on their target audience and generate highly qualified leads. Companies are increasingly realizing the benefits of having this highly sought-after role on board when creating brand awareness and go-to-market strategy.
Whether your company is a startup that's ready to scale or an established business seeking to expand its market share, learn how partnering with Hunt Club offers access to a supernetwork of the market’s top talent.