12 Demand Management Competencies for Success

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Too many companies struggle to realize their demand management improvement expectations from investments in marketing automation.

Marketing automation initiatives are often considered the next step beyond email marketing. As a result, campaign oriented thinking carries forward and limits the approach and results.

Have we not learned from CRM and other technology categories that technology is an enabler, not a  producer of significant outcome improvements?  In fact, new technology often requires organizational change, new skills and increased work in the short term.

A failure to appreciate the required competencies for demand management success is a root cause of this phenomena. Just the terms “lead gen” and “demand management” often carry no distinction within these organizations. When you hear that, it’s a yellow flag of caution that poor performance is bound to follow.

The following is a checklist of demand management success competencies. Each are significant categories in their own right, with supporting requirements that often involve people and skills, process and technology components. (Click image for a larger view.)

 Competency Checklist

Think of this as a system of integrated and inter-related competencies. A good working system requires basic competency in each area, as well as alignment and overall working integrity. High performance, and outcomes, requires high competency in each area.

Strategic

  • Ability to make decisions across all functions and competencies, to determine priorities
  • Big picture and interconnected perspective
  • Demand management and related content strategy

Buyer Understanding and Useful Insights

  • Who buys
  • Why they buy
  • How they buy
  • Useful insights

Data and Database

  • Complete, accurate data
  • Tagged for key variables
  • What to collect – fields in database

Website and Landing Pages

  • Website as receptive and “sticky” resource for viewers – provide a reason to return
  • Resource center, content organized the way customers think
  • Microsites, landing pages, forms, tracking

Inbound and Social Media and other Lead Generation

  • Channel awareness and selection
  • Content alignment and distribution / syndication
  • Active promotion, conversational engagement and calls to action

Automated Lead Management

  • Efficient, thorough execution of strategy and plans
  • Technology
  • Selecting and editing content for specific initiatives

Tele-touch

  • Human touch of prospects to qualify – determine BANT & competitive context
  • Nurture
  • Expand people map

Sales and Marketing Alignment and Integration

  • Agreement on target segments, accounts, personas and offers – priorities
  • Timeframe decisions: “find vs. create” opportunities – short term vs. pipeline development
  • Lead definitions
  • Lead disposition: hand-off, action timeframe, feedback and closed loop process

Content

  • Use case requirements mapped to buyer journey, personas, verticals, nurture tracks
  • Document content specifications for each asset to instruct content creators
  • Access to content creation resources, timing, process workflow, budgets

Metrics, Reporting and Analytics (predictive)

  • Set up and manage
  • Interpret and explain
  • Continuous improvement

Tools and Technology

  • Selection
  • Integration, user training
  • Support

Program and Operations Management

  • Professional program management vs. ad hoc, random acts
  • Change management
  • Governance, cross-functional, discipline co-ordination, problem resolution
  • Operational oversight, training, support
  • Continuous improvement