Demand generation is a vital aspect of any marketing organization. With the New Year, I’d like to share the big trends I see for 2015—starting with a growing and continual focus on demand generation. The formal role of a demand generation marketer did not exist 10 years ago and I think the notion of marketers as responsible for driving and forecasting revenue is not only more prevalent today, but an increasing number of companies now require marketing to demonstrate its impact on revenue.
In 2015, specifically for demand generation as a discipline, I think we’ll start to see a few trends evolve:
Content marketing will mature
Content marketing will continue to be an important part of demand generation but the companies that can effectively tell a customer-centric story and engage their potential customers through innovative content will succeed. There is more content than ever before and if you do not relate to your buyer, or talk to them, through their preferred channel — it will be harder to get them to engage.
I also think that marketers will need to be more data-driven about their content — meaning, they will have to understand the goal for each piece of content and then a mechanism to know what is working and what is not. In 2015 there will be more budget requests for content assets, and so marketers, especially content marketers, will need a good way to justify it.
Multi-channel communication will be more important than ever
Marketers in demand generation (particularly) are more inundated than ever with technology and the pressure to communicate across multiple channels. I think 2013 and 2014 were years where technology and digital marketing exploded and the need to communicate across channels became a prominent topic of discussion. In 2015, I think we will start to see some companies make it easier and more streamlined to do this well — so marketers feel less overwhelmed. I believe we will move toward a model of not ‘doing everything’ in digital marketing because it’s possible — but rather be confident and data-driven about our decisions so we end up ‘doing what is best’ for the business.
Marketing organizations will change
Lastly, I think we will really start to see more businesses change the way their marketing organization is structured in 2015. Successful marketing organizations will spend time and energy on how their content marketing is structured. Starting with if their digital marketing efforts (for example social, search, website, etc.) should be separate — forward looking companies will create a powerful digital team — a team whose charter is to think of a digital strategy FIRST — then about how to implement it, and then finally about how to run marketing operations.
To prepare for 2015, marketers should really be thoughtful about their goals, and try to keep things simple. It is too easy to feel like you have to do everything. Before I start planning our year, I like thinking of the press release I want to write at the end of the year about what the team has achieved — and then work back from that. I encourage marketers to know what works for your business — just because some tactic works for Company Y, doesn’t mean its right for you.
Check out the rest of Marketo’s thought-leaders’ predictions for 2015 in our Marketing Predictions Slide Deck.
Have you started to see any of these trends? How are you planning for the new year of marketing? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.