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12 min read

How to master demand + insights from RMA's #Demand24 speakers

Demand gen

Struggling to build pipeline? Exasperated trying to convert leads? We feel your demand-centered pain. But have no fear – help is here! We understand that the entire demand funnel can be tough going.

That’s why we tapped into the knowledge of marketing experts – a few speakers from our #Demand24 event on April 10th & 11th – to share battle-tested strategies for maximizing demand.

Leveraging data-driven decision-making: The role of data and analytics in optimizing demand efforts

Data is at the root of 95% of what my team does. If we can’t measure it, then we need a very good reason to push forward on it. If it doesn't perform well after we measure it, then we don’t repeat it. 

Bre Otero, Director of Revenue and Global Marketing at PDI Technologies

Data and analytics play a pivotal role in optimizing demand generation efforts. They provide valuable insights, improve targeting, measure campaign effectiveness, and, ultimately, enhance your overall marketing strategy

As demand marketers, you need to be fully immersed in your data. Analytic tools help you quantify campaign success by tracking essential key performance indicators (KPIs) such as open rates, click-through rates, and overall conversion metrics. They’re also great for enabling you to focus on the prospects that have the highest likelihood of buying. 

“In a world where marketers get measured on marketing-influenced revenue, we must get into the weeds of our programs and analyze everything from the very top down to opp stage progression.”

Sara Ceballos, Senior Demand Generation Manager at Brex

These insights help demand-focused marketers learn about ideal customer profiles (ICPs), and leveraging your findings is critical if you’re to optimize campaigns at every stage of the funnel. Dashboards can be really helpful in determining if you’re targeting the right audience, positioning your offering effectively, and engaging prospects with the right content at the right time. 

As marketers, you can foster a culture that proactively leverages data to drive decisions by asking questions like these:

  • Are we allocating marketing spend to the optimal channels? 
  • Are we qualifying high-quality leads for our sales development representative (SDR) teams? 
  • Have we implemented the necessary tactics to progress opportunities down the funnel? 

Common challenges demand-gen marketers face and how to overcome them

Lead quality, sales alignment, and budget constraints represent just some of the many hurdles demand-gen marketers face. With cross-functional collaboration across many teams, it's easy to get lost in the specifics of day-to-day tasks. 

“When it comes to generating new leads, quantity doesn’t always mean quality and we need to be careful of our marketing dollars because they can be easily consumed in high-cost low-reward efforts. 
“I encourage marketers to get a deep understanding of their ICPs and invest in intent data. It’s important to know the major drivers for your company.”

Sara Ceballos, Senior Demand Generation Manager at Brex

We need to consistently refocus on our core objectives and get comfortable leveraging data to inform decisions. When generating new leads, quantity doesn’t always translate to quality and care should be taken when allocating your marketing budget due to the potential for low ROI

Marketers should strive to deeply understand their ideal customer profile and customer journey. Investing in intent data can be invaluable. Working closely with sales teams provides critical insights into buyer needs – it allows you to absorb the feedback from what they’re seeing first-hand.

“The biggest challenge: Data capture and analytics to optimize efforts. The best way to overcome this is to partner with the right providers and make sure they are coordinated and working cohesively to provide the proper dashboards so that your team can respond accordingly.”

Randy Arellano, VP, Global Sales & Marketing at DATAMARK Inc.

Don’t shy away from cross-functional collaboration: Participate with sales and act as an extension of their team – listen to their requirements, ask thoughtful questions, accept feedback openly, and over-communicate. 

Leveraging sales reps as a resource helps align marketing and sales efforts.

How marketers can strike the right balance between inbound and outbound strategies to create a holistic demand approach

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the target buyer persona and customer journey is key to determining optimal inbound and outbound strategies. 

Create tailored nurture streams with relevant content for each buyer persona and enable SDRs to effectively communicate with inbound leads, this ensures a personalized approach. Don’t leave your customers or prospects high and dry: Follow-ups encompass all prospect touch points including content downloads, form fills, and chatbot interactions.

“Get a deep understanding of your buyer persona and customer journey. Knowing what drives the most conversions will help you determine your inbound and outbound strategy. Work with your sales team to develop a strong ABM (account-based marketing) program that leverages account insights to deliver personalized content that resonates with your top accounts.” 

Sara Ceballos, Senior Demand Generation Manager at Brex

Outbound success requires a close partnership with sales teams to develop the ideal tactics. Leveraging account insights to deliver customized content that resonates with key accounts drives an impactful account-based marketing program. 

Ensuring outbound teams have full visibility into marketing-related programs and initiatives is crucial.

“There should be a balanced focus on both where paid efforts are being invested and growing an organic presence. This can start with a keyword strategy of how you want to organically rank in SERPs and what you’re going to pay for in paid search ads. 
“Then also growing a community on social media with organic posts and engagements as well as running paid social ads. All efforts should be reviewed consistently by looking back at different timeframes (30 days, 90 days, 6 months) to help gain insights on successes, learnings, and failures. 
“Recycle what’s working, remove what isn’t, and constantly test new things.”

Ashley Eining, Deman Generation & Senior Digital Marketing Manager at SentinelOne

Key metrics to track to measure the success of your demand efforts

There are several key performance indicators to track in order to quantify the success of your entire demand funnel. Think marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), sales-accepted leads (SALs), and cost per acquisition (CAC).

Sales pipeline coverage by business area or vertical is hugely impactful: Consistently reviewing coverage with sales operations facilitates alignment on prioritizing target markets with lower pipeline levels. 

“One of the biggest influencing factors in adjusting our strategy is pipeline coverage. 
“We regularly meet with sales operations to understand what areas of the business have the lowest pipeline coverage and prioritize those areas for campaigns. This allows us to serve the business where it is needed the most.”

Bre Otero, Director of Revenue and Global Marketing at PDI Technologies

Marketing influenced pipeline and opportunities by campaign provides visibility into ROI: Granular metrics like email open rates, website activity by contact, and prospect engagement scores allow for deeper analysis. 

“We track ROI through Salesforce on activities such as our trade show and conference appearances and on opportunities as they progress through the pipeline, which tracks back to the campaign that originally captured the prospect’s attention. 
“In addition, we track email open rates, LinkedIn followers and engagement, overall prospect engagement scores, website activity by individual contact, etc.”

Randy Arellano, VP, Global Sales & Marketing at DATAMARK Inc.

Remember, it’s not just about tracking your activities and seeing the results – you need to consistently analyze and adjust your strategies based on these metrics and continually optimize to see real results and sustainable success.

“Tracking marketing activities back to revenue is critical, but it isn’t possible and doesn’t make sense for all marketing activities. So, I try to categorize my strategy into two areas of focus — creating demand and capturing demand —  and align my key metrics with both. 
“When building awareness of our solutions, I’ll look at metrics that enable me to measure reach and engagement with target roles within our target accounts. 
“For lead generation, I focus on measuring not just new leads, but indicators of lead quality. Is this lead from a target account, are they a decision maker or influencer within a role that we know can benefit from our solution, and most importantly, did they give us any solid indicators of intent to purchase?”

Lauren Yeates, Demand Generation Lead at Flatiron Health

Demand and AI: How it impacts personalization and strategies

As AI (artificial intelligence) becomes more ubiquitous, it is transforming content development, and accelerating outputs for social posts, email, blogs, and more. 

However, personalization remains pivotal in resonating with prospects. AI should enhance rather than replace human personalization – leveraging data and insights to craft tailored messaging and offers is still essential, with AI acting as your tool to heighten efficiency. 

“AI is redefining how we do content marketing, especially copy-like product descriptions, social posts, email copy, and blog posts. It helps us accelerate our work output. Tools like Grammarly also help us with editing which again speeds up our output.”

Andrea Palten, VP of Marketing at Techstars

The most effective demand strategies combine the scale and efficiency of AI with the empathy, creativity, and connection of personalization.

💡
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As demand evolves, so, too must your focus 

As the demand funnel has expanded to encompass generation, capture, and retention, priorities have shifted. 

Previously focused on pure lead generation, the emphasis has moved towards a wider "demand" focus. Tight alignment between sales and marketing throughout the buyer journey has become mission-critical. 

“I started backward, I've always been in charge of lead generation so that's been my main driver. To me a lot of times my demand generation strategies are the driver for the leads.”

Andrea Palten VP of Marketing Techstars

Measuring and enhancing the conversion of marketing-qualified leads to sales-qualified leads, and monitoring the average deal size of opportunities is imperative and, ultimately, enables optimization – which ensures your efforts garner the success they deserve!

Ready to read some solid career-focused advice from our marketing experts? 

Career advice for demand-focused marketers: The good, the bad, and the ugly

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and pitch out-of-the-box ideas. I think back on a lot of my early days and I spent a lot of time following step-by-step instructions because I was so afraid of failure. Every failure is a learning opportunity and with an open mind, you grow along the way.” 

Sara Ceballos Senior Demand Generation Manager Brex

“If working in B2B, learn how to do account-based marketing (ABM) early on. A lot of us learn content marketing which is great for B2C but ABM is vital for businesses.”

Andrea Palten VP of Marketing Techstars

“Sometimes ‘good enough’ is good enough. Spinning on things until they feel ‘perfect’ is not a good use of time because no one will know except you.” 

Bre Otero Director of Revenue and Global Marketing PDI Technologies

“When you’re new in a role, take advantage of being naive. Ask all the questions and don’t worry about looking stupid. Gather as much information as you can and constantly review that information. Be hungry for knowledge and continue to drink from the firehose.”

Ashley Eining Senior Digital Marketing Manager SentinelOne

During my college years, I interned at a University Hospital and worked with some of the most humble marketers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. 
“The best piece of advice I ever got was from my manager at the time and she said, ‘No matter how far you go in your career, remember where you came from. You’re never too good to get your hands dirty. Sometimes you have to be willing to unload boxes and it doesn’t matter how high your college degree is. Be humble, be kind, and always be patient.’ Best piece of advice I have ever gotten.

Sara Ceballos Senior Demand Generation Manager Brex

Worst advice ever – ‘it’s a numbers game.’ I was young and new to sales when my manager and the marketing team kept spouting this mantra over and over. Of course, I questioned it, knowing there had to be a way to target qualified prospects and not simply cold-call people using the White Pages. Man, those were the days!

Randy Arellano VP, Global Sales & Marketing DATAMARK Inc.

“Build your network. You never know when you need a new job or want to change career paths ... and don't forget to help out others as you climb the ladder.”

Andrea Palten VP of Marketing Techstars

“Years ago, I was working for someone who was probably the most challenging manager I’ve worked with in my career. But she gave me some feedback that really shaped how I’ve approached my job ever since. 
“She told me I needed to be more adaptable. In this case, I think she meant more open to others’ ideas, but I’ve tried to take that advice and apply it to all aspects of my career — from being open to new ideas to testing new marketing channels to switching industries. 
“In today’s job environment, change is inevitable, so adaptability and flexibility are key to success.”

Lauren Yeates, Demand Generation Lead at Flatiron Health

“Hustle – I think this is misleading to anyone thinking they need to never stop. But this isn’t a good mentality to have as you need healthy boundaries and time to allow yourself to check out. I get my best ideas when I’m able to step away from work and come back with a fresh mindset.” 

Ashley Eining Senior Digital Marketing Manager SentinelOne

Strategies for successful demand campaigns

Focus on the buyer's journey

Map out the typical step-by-step journey your ideal customers take from initial awareness of their problem all the way to becoming a buyer.

Identify the stages they go through like problem recognition, initial research, comparing solutions, vendor selection, etc.

Then develop targeted content and messaging tailored to guide them through each stage. Create offers that prompt movement to the next step toward a purchase.

Clearly define your target personas

Build detailed buyer personas representing your ideal customers. Include demographics like role, industry, and company size. 

Also include behavioral data like where they gather information, what events they attend, and what publications they read. 

Finally, capture their challenges, pain points, and goals. With robust personas, you can create focused campaigns with messaging that directly speaks to what motivates target buyers.

Prioritize relevance over reach

Blanket blasting generic content to a broad audience results in low engagement and waste. 

Instead, focus on creating high-quality, highly relevant content tailored to each persona's specific interests and pain points even if the overall reach is smaller. Hyper-targeted campaigns convert better.

“We created a weekly webinar series that answers customer questions and enhances our brand's thought leadership. 
“In addition to having them on a tool like Zoom, we live stream them to get more awareness on social media. We've increased registrants by 500% by using two tools. After they are on our email list, we nurture them regularly and have a great sales turnaround.”

Andrea Palten VP of Marketing Techstars

Leverage intent data

Identify audiences who are demonstrating active research behavior related to solutions like yours. These are "hand raisers" indicating they have a problem they are trying to solve. 

Engage them with relevant content while their buying interest is heightened to capture their attention. Intent data helps focus your marketing on hot prospects when they’re most receptive.

Promote engagement over hard-selling

Avoid aggressively selling to prospects. Instead, develop content that provides tangible value and helps build relationships with buyers. 

Earn their trust over time by consistently delivering content and experiences that address their challenges. This cultivated engagement makes them more likely to consider your solution when the time comes.

Measure what matters

Establish meaningful campaign KPIs that link back to pipeline and revenue. Look beyond vanity metrics like impressions and reach. 

Focus on actionable data like cost per lead, sales qualified lead rate, deal influence rate, sales cycle compression, etc. These insights allow you to optimize campaigns for real impact.

Coordinate touches across channels

Map out coordinated messaging across different channels like email, social media, communities paid ads, website, events, etc. Create integrated campaigns vs. disjointed efforts. Orchestrate packages of content across channels tied together thematically to guide buyers.

Test and refine

Experiment with different segments, content formats, offers, and channels. Measure the results, then double down on what works best. 

Taking an agile optimization approach allows you to improve performance over time.

Automate for efficiency

Use marketing automation to score incoming leads, trigger personalized follow-up like emails or re-targeting, and measure ROI across the funnel. Automation enhances the experience for buyers and boosts productivity for marketers.

“We track ROI through Salesforce on activities such as our trade show and conference appearances and on opportunities as they progress through the pipeline, which tracks back to the campaign that originally captured the prospect’s attention.
"In addition, we track email open rates, LinkedIn followers and engagement, overall prospect engagement scores, website activity by individual contact, etc.”

Randy Arellano VP, Global Sales & Marketing DATAMARK Inc.

These strategies help create sequenced, highly targeted campaigns tailored to how buyers actually make purchasing decisions. The key? Guiding them through a journey versus isolated promotions. 

By taking an orchestrated, data-driven approach, you can garner higher-quality leads and pipeline impact.

How to master demand: Final thoughts

To stay ahead of the demand game, you need to embrace data-driven decision-making, tightly align with sales, focus on the entire buyer journey, and constantly optimize strategies based on results. 

The most successful demand teams are laser-focused on facilitating pipeline and revenue for the business, leveraging technology to work smarter while never losing sight of the human element that builds relationships. 

With strategic planning, collaboration, and agile execution, you can make a meaningful impact on driving and converting demand. The reward is simple: Accelerated growth, stronger customer connections, and fruitful ROI.

Psst… keen to experience more expert insights? 👀

See what’s on offer for our #Demand24 event, download the brochure right here, or register below. 👇

Written by:

Stevie Langford

Stevie Langford

As a Senior Copywriter here at Revenue Marketing Alliance, Stevie loves to create content that's captivating, compelling, and informative. She's always open to new ideas, so feel free to get in touch!

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How to master demand + insights from RMA's #Demand24 speakers