How to Structure Your Demand Gen Team (+13 Roles to Hire For in 2021)


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Leads, leads, leads — everyone wants more leads. And, businesses truly value teams that can bring in a steady stream of fresh, qualified leads. A function that focuses on the full-funnel lead journey and passes on MQLs and PQLs to sales. They have a fierce focus on getting you the right audience, growing your organic traffic, and ultimately, improving conversion rates.

I give you the demand generation team.

Your demand generation team is that essential bridge between sales and marketing teams. Their responsibilities are tied to everything from SEO and content to webinars and CRO. So, hiring for this team can be tricky if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.

Below, I’ll go through all you need to know to recruit, hire, and optimize your demand generation team! But, let’s back up a little.

What is demand generation marketing?

Demand generation marketing is the full spectrum of marketing activities that drive brand awareness and excitement.

And it’s not just about lead generation or filling the marketing funnel. Demand gen is about every touchpoint. It’s a holistic approach to connecting with potential customers at every stage of the customer journey.

As the name suggests, it does begin with generating demand. Using these and other digital marketing tips, you can build your new or existing demand generation strategy.

Like traditional marketing, the demand generation process starts at the top of the funnel (TOFU). You generate interest and attract new customers using sales productivity tools such as LinkedIn Navigator or SalesLoft.

In the middle, you turn those interested people into inbound leads. And at the bottom, you’re bringing it home with sales and marketing qualified leads.

However, your markers of success go way beyond just sales numbers. Demand gen is data-driven. It relies heavily on data every step of the way. And this can truly take your marketing operations to the next level.

Are you ready for demand gen?

How do you know if your organization needs a demand generation team? Is there a revenue threshold? Does it depend on head count? Well, consider these questions:

  • Is your sales engine fully outbound?
  • How strong is your brand recall?
  • Do you want to open up additional lead generation channels?
  • Are you engaging with your unqualified leads after they enter your pipeline?

I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. You were ready for demand gen yesterday. Of course, there are the logistics — your marketing budget, sales capacity, executive buy-in, etc.

What’s probably most important is the team. You need a diverse group of people working all these angles I mentioned above. The best way to identify these team members is by working backward from their goals.

Related: Demand Generation Tips for Growing Net New Leads

Your demand gen team’s collective goals

Since demand generation spans across marketing and sales, it’s easy to end up with a long list of things you want to accomplish. At Nextiva, here are ten goals we focus on. They don’t all get equal attention always.

  1. Organic traffic
  2. Branded search traffic
  3. More TOFU leads
  4. Higher lead-to-quote ratio
  5. Consistent landing page creation and testing
  6. Iterative CRO experiments
  7. PPC to conversion experience
  8. Brand partnerships for more visibility
  9. Technical + on-page SEO for higher reach and conversions
  10. Backlinks + PR campaigns

Daunting? I hope not! We pick a few top goals for each weekly sprint and drill down what everyone’s projects are.

For example, say you want to launch a TOFU nurture campaign for sales. You’ve identified that these are inbound website leads who are not ready to buy, yet.

Here’s the demand generation team problem statement: how do we engage with this unqualified bucket and still stay top-of-mind?

Once you know your why and how much to spend, it’s time to identify specific goals. For example, when you develop content campaigns for demand gen, identify clear goals for each initiative.

Effective teams know what they’re measured on

Although the whole team is working toward the same goals, demand gen team members are specialists who focus on:

Getting the right message to the right audience: This is a strategic intersection of brand messaging and SEO.

Some of the metrics and KPIs teams use to gauge success include the following:

  • Traffic metrics such as branded and non-branded SERP presence, unique and returning visitors, Click Through Rates on your ads, etc.
  • Engagement metrics such as views, time on page, clicks, scroll depth, social media shares, email opens, and clicks.
  • Secondary action metrics such as newsletter signups, content downloads, and product reviews.
  • Funnel conversion metrics such as lead score, TOFU & MOFU conversion rates, MQLs, SQLs, request for meetings.
  • Partnership metrics like new co-marketing partner signups, partner webinar leads, content syndication programs, etc.

13 Demand Gen Roles You MUST Fill

You may be thinking that you can just assign demand gen tasks to your sales or inbound marketing team. But demand gen is about more than one successful ad or viral post.

And your sales team should have its hands full with lead nurturing.

Demand gen roles are specific. Most members of a demand gen team are specialists. They will know a lot about their corner of the team. Performance is usually tied to data.

Or maybe you just want to outsource your way to success. It’s true that you can find other companies that specialize in one or another skill. So why bother doing this technical work in house? Because high-quality lead generation requires an understanding of your industry, ideal client, and product.

You don’t want to put your demand gen team in a silo. They connect sales and marketing. When you outsource, you don’t get that important connection.

Plus, they must be able to function as a team. They have to always be thinking about how their role fits into the whole. With that in mind, here are the key roles included on top teams.

1. Director of Demand Gen

Every team needs a leader. The Director of Demand Gen is responsible for creating and managing demand through diverse marketing and content advertising activities. This role leads the team and analyzes high-level data.

This role requires technology and marketing knowledge, an understanding of analytics, budgeting, and the sales cycle. For this reason, a Director may be able to benefit from a business intelligence tool that’ll provide both high-level and deep insights into marketing performance. This data is then visualized on a dashboard.

Average Salary: $126,347*

2. SEO Lead

SEO is so important for any sales gen team. If you don’t rank on Google, do you even have an internet presence?

Since sales gen teams work across channels and teams, an SEO Lead is a great addition. The SEO Lead coordinates and manages search engine optimization for all content and campaigns across channels.

The SEO Lead manages SEO analysts and content creators, They must deliver consistently high search engine results. They must have extensive product and SEO technology knowledge.

Average Salary: $55,821*
KPIs: Search Engine Metrics

3. Marketing Engineer

A Marketing Engineer is a product specialist who works with the sales team. They explain the important features of the product to the sales reps and marketing teams. They may even work with potential and current customers.

They make sure product descriptions are accurate and work with customers to make sure they understand the product. As part of a demand gen team, they can help potential customers understand how the product solves their problems.

Average Salary: $62,453*
KPIs: MOFU Metrics

4. Technical SEO Analyst

A Technical SEO Analyst is responsible for implementing SEO strategies so the right people find your content. They work with content creators to make use of SEO knowledge and research.

They must be able to identify and analyze SEO metrics such as keywords, backlinks, and more. They must have deep knowledge of available technical tools.

Average Salary: 63,208*
KPIs: Traffic Metrics

5. Content Strategist

A content strategist is responsible for developing and implementing brand content marketing strategies across channels. They identify what content will drive demand. Then they ensure it is created and delivered.

They must have an understanding of all marketing channels and marketing tactics. They must also have a deep knowledge of business and customer needs. Must also understand marketing automation tools, which allow marketers to capture more leads, improve efficiency, analyze lead behavior, and measure campaign performance.

Average Salary: $70,175*
KPIs: Engagement & Secondary Action Metrics

6. Copywriter/Editor

Copywriters and Editors create and edit all kinds of content and marketing copy. Content marketing such as white papers, blog posts, case studies. Writing email marketing campaigns.

They must have advanced communication skills that include knowledge of grammar and punctuation. They must also have subject knowledge and the ability to leverage SMEs for specific deliverables.

Average Salary: $58,465*
KPIs: Traffic, Engagement, & Secondary Engagement Metrics

7. Product Copywriter

Product Copywriters are responsible for creating product information for marketing. They create copy for sales pages as well as marketing materials for digital and in-person marketing programs.

In addition to Copywriting and Editing skills, they must have deep knowledge of the product as well as the target audience and market. This knowledge helps them define and use keywords effectively. They work with both product teams and sales teams.

Average Salary: $58.464*
KPIs: Product Page Metrics

8. Brand/Partnerships Manager

A Brand/Partnerships Manager is responsible for the brand’s overall appeal. They direct the brand design and communicate band information. They also build and follow up on partnerships with businesses and influencers.

This role must have knowledge of marketing as well as the industry. They must be able to manage the brand across multiple channels. And they must have great communication skills.

Average Salary: $89,823*
KPIs: Partnership Metrics, Brand Satisfaction Metrics

9. PPC Expert

A PPC Expert plans, designs, and implements all aspects of Pay Per Click advertising. Works closely with copy editors and designers to plan, create and optimize ads and landing pages.

This role must have knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of internet advertising. They must also have product and SEO knowledge. They must be able to make use of analytics.

Average Salary: $53,135**
KPIs: Ad Performance metrics

10 . PR and Social Media Manager

A PR and Social Media Manager plans, directs, and implements Public Relations and Social Media presence and strategy. They create and manage social media posts on all channels. They also craft public relations messaging.

This role must understand the changing world of social media. They must be able to work with analytics. They must also have advanced communication skills.

Average Salary: $50,473*
KPIs: Engagement Metrics

11. Backlinks Outreach Specialist

Backlinks, or inbound links, are when one website links to another. Backlinks Outreach specialists work with other websites to get high-quality backlinks. This helps build brand awareness and domain authority.

A Backlinks Outreach Specialist must have a deep understanding of SEO as well as your market. They must be able to build relationships and partnerships with relevant, high-ranking sites.

Average Salary: Variable
KPIs: Domain Authority Metrics

12. Designer

Designers are responsible for creating all branding and marketing products as well as images and sales tools. For example, a designer might create a brochure, a digital ad, or a slide deck for a webinar.

They require design knowledge as well as technical skill. They will also need product knowledge and an understanding of branding concepts.

Average Salary: $70,397*
KPIs: Content Performance Metrics

13. Video Designer

Video Designers create video content for all stages of the customer journey. Content could be used on webpages, ads, social media, emails, and more. Below is an example of a video that a designer may create for a YouTube ad, showcasing how their product works, looks, and feels.

This role requires knowledge of video production tools, scriptwriting, and product knowledge.

Average Salary: $58,031*
KPIs: Engagement & Secondary Action Metrics

* Salary statistics from Glassdoor.
**Salary statistics from ZipRecruiter.

Overall Demand Generation Team Strategy

Demand generation marketing teams are on the rise. More and more businesses are spending money on the lead gen model.

But successful teams have a clear vision and purpose. They also use data to drive success. And finally, they build teams of specialists. These demand generation marketers have some key qualities in common.

These qualities include technical knowledge and marketing knowledge. They work effectively with analytics to improve performance. Could your marketing efforts benefit from Demand Generation? Let us know in the comment section.

Devin Pickell
Devin Pickell is a Growth Marketing practitioner with vast experience collaborating with content, product, and customer success teams to grow website traffic and demand.


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