I keep hearing this term “Demand Generation” from the Marketing Morons. I call these people Marketing Morons because they have no idea what they are talking about, and they give true marketing professionals a bad reputation. It’s easy to spot them. They are the ones spewing a bunch of buzzwords and other nonsense designed to fool their employers into thinking there is some special marketing magic (which only they possess, of course) that gives them the “superpower” to “drive revenue” and be the “growth engine” of the company.
If your Marketing team is telling you this, or even using these terms, you should fire them and start over.
Let’s break it down into the precise language. In a free market, demand is defined as a customer who needs your product/service, and they are willing to pay a certain price for it. Generation is simply the creation of something new. So think about it this way: if you have to create demand, that means it did not exist beforehand. And, if there is no market demand for your product, why on earth are you wasting time trying to get people to buy it? What’s worse, you’re wasting your company’s money in doing so.
What you should be doing is capturing demand. In order to do that, you need to determine where that demand exists, and if your product/service solves the customer problem, at the price they are willing to pay, among all the available alternatives.
Maybe the market doesn’t know that your product/service can address their problem? That’s easy, because we only have to spend time & money on generating awareness. We can create awareness, but we can’t create demand.
Or maybe, your product/service can solve the customer problem, but the customer doesn’t value what you have to offer at the price you are selling? Go talk to Finance and see if your margins can be adjusted in order to capture this demand. We can solve pricing issues, but we can’t create demand.
Or maybe, your product/service can solve the customer problem, but the customer is considering an alternative which is easier or better in some way? Do the research, then go to talk to your Product Development and Engineering teams and explain the enhancements needed so you get a chance to capture this demand. We can create new features, but we can’t create demand.
Or maybe, your product/service can solve the customer problem, but a competitor got there first. That’s harder, but we can train and enable the Sales team to explain how our product/service is different, and then re-capture that demand. We can create differentiation, but we can’t create demand.
Or maybe, you are pretty sure your product/service fixes a problem, but don’t know which customers have that problem? Go validate your ideas by talking to prospects, and find out for sure if the demand even exists. We can create market research, but we can’t create demand.
So please, please, please stop saying you generate demand, or have demand gen campaigns. You’re making the rest of us look bad.
Have you encountered these Marketing Morons? Reply below, and tell me about your experience.