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Experts in demand generation take risks. Like the best person at a wedding, they tell jokes on the edge of inappropriateness, hoist glasses and chairs, and smash plates on the dance floor. 

They also slide their fingers across their throats to stop the kids from whacking glassware with a spoon to get the bride and groom to kiss – again. All while telling a few, carefully chosen, details about the soon-to-be hitched.

You get the point.

Demand generation gets the party going. They don’t do it by following the crowd. They do it by getting out in front of the crowd in the right way, with the right stuff, and at the right moment.

Demand generation, to paraphrase billionaire investor Ray Dalio has to ‘Go against the consensus and be right.’ 

Too often demand generation is discouraged from taking risks or applying expertise. Cue the “We already tried that” response to ideas from outside demand generation. 

Maybe you’ve heard? Markets are moving faster than ever. Applying whatever you tried last year or last quarter, is happening in a market that has moved on. AI marketplaces are sliding around like otters on mud banks – or something like that.

A wedding party does not stand still.

Demand generation is a series of strategic moves. Demand generation is not a tactic. It, like enterprise sales, is a process and system of strategic moves. 

Weirdly, this is Big News for many. (Not so weirdly really. Self-defeating leadership goes hand in hand with companies where demand generation fails.)

If demand generation’s strategic value is, shall we say, immature, then you’re better off making the person in RevOps pulling lists your next CEO. The rapid curation of targeted lists is core and insanely revealing. After a few months, the junior RevOps list puller is closer to the market movements than many a CEO. 

Who are we talking to, why, and who is listening is the strategic marketing “channel” everyone should be dialed into.

Is engagement high, but then dropping off? If you don’t understand basic market factors you’ll catch prospects on the first pass, but they see through you quickly.

How to fix that? Understand basic marketing factors about your target verticals: what does everyone need to understand to do business in a specific market? 

Here’s hint one: in the education vertical, the basic audiences are called students, faculty, staff, and administration. Stop referring to them all as “your employees.” Hint two: The budget cycle for public educational institutions ends in June. Ends. Not begins. 

Hint three: targeting hospital systems? EPIC, and Health Information Privacy and Portability Act (HIPPA). You better know something about how these factors relate to your product. Hint four: They do, even if you think they don’t. Enough said. 

A quickie on demand generation messaging: Demand generation messaging driven by egos in the C-suite or the latest “Hey this is cool” message that a board member suggests to a CEO. You and your demand generation are screwed. You’re the fall guy for somebody else’s guesses. Call your network with a quick “The direction they’re taking is self-defeating” and position to Get Out. 

Getting your demand generation messaging from product management? Forget about it. They speak a different love language. Demand generation loves engagement. Sales loves the deal. Product loves technology.

Hey Product, don’t kid yourself. Even if you wrote your own wedding vows it is always better to have someone else – the best person or priest – read them out loud. The same goes for demand generation. Product, write whatever you want, and then focus on your beloved bride, the technology. That is what the groom – your market – wants you to do! They want to sense that unwavering gaze and devotion to absolute technical perfection. (Whew. Is it getting hot in here?)

Let demand generation take what you wrote and address the crowd. 

Demand generation gets the party (and the product) rocking. Let them tell the jokes, and make the toasts, while sharing just enough personal details to keep things going. Product, if you do that you’ll get your chance to make wishes come true – later. At this point in the engagement process, you’re still a perfect and alluring new partner. Sit back and enjoy the party. 

Engagement’s a demand generation thing.

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