What is the definition of insanity? According to Albert Einstein, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Often times marketing strategies could be seen in the same light. Marketers often make small or insignificant changes to their marketing strategy with the expectation that the results will be dramatically different than in the past. Don’t fall into the same trap!

Imagine yourself sitting in on your company’s 2013 planning and budgeting meeting. The CEO has promised the board a significant increase in revenue and profits for the next year. The CFO needs to find new ways to cut costs while also gaining a higher level of productivity and efficiency. As the CMO, your job is to come up with an effective marketing strategy that will allow for all of the aforementioned promises to the board of directors to be fulfilled. You need to reduce spending, find ways to increase the productivity of your marketing team, and drive revenue.

Before your delve in head long into formulating a masterful plan, take a step back and ask yourself where is the best place to start. I suggest that you take it from the top, the very top of the sales and marketing funnel, with demand generation. These days, formulating an effective demand generation strategy requires the same amount of time and attention to detail as the rest of the sales and marketing funnel.

Eloqua defines demand generation as being “made up of four main parts, demand generation is the art and science of developing, nurturing, and maintaining buying interest in your products and services. Campaign management, lead management, marketing analysis, and data management are all parts of demand generation. Successful demand generation relies heavily on a strong knowledge of the modern buyer and what drives their actions.”

Demand generation is one of the singular functions of the marketing department but often works best when done in tandem with the sales department. According to a blog by Tony Albachiara, “marketing must be transformed into a metrics-based organization that track campaigns, inquiries and conversion rates to provide detailed cost of inquiries.” Mr.Albachiara believes all CMO’s should ask of themselves:

Do I have an outlined demand generation strategy? Is my demand strategy attuned with the needs of my Ideal Customer Profile and buying personas? Do I have the content to engage prospective customers early in the buying process? What is my lead sourcing plan to efficiently generate quality inquiries? What is my social media platform strategy? What type of resources need to be allocated to demand generation (People, Technology, and Budget)? How much demand (quantity) do I need to drive into my funnel to achieve the desired results based on my plan? How will I monitor my demand generation efforts? Knowing the answers to these questions will put you on the path to developing a successful demand generation strategy.

Jennifer U. Rastian is an author in the world of marketing. If you are interested in working with the latest in marketing she suggests you check out Demand Generation Agency. You can learn more about this topic by visiting demand generation.

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