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Demand Generation vs. Marketing Operations: Misconceptions of Candidates

Marketing efforts are continuously changing and improving with technology, new data insights, and the evolution of consumerism. Organizations have more access now to analytics and marketing tools that allow them to be more strategic in their approach to engage and sell with potential users or buyers.

With this ever-changing environment, comes new divisions within departments such as Demand Generation and Marketing Operations. I’d like to take this time to shed light on misconceptions and crossovers of these developing areas and professionals.

Possibly the biggest misconception many people have is that Marketing Operations professionals can’t do Demand Generation. In truth, it’s very different. While both departments have different roles and specialties, these professionals have both technical and strategic marketing skills that translate well to the other focus area.

Misconception: Marketing Operations Better Understands Industry Tools

There is no doubt that a specific marketing operations position will have spent more time executing campaigns in a certain tool or pulling reports from tracked marketing efforts. However, many Demand Generation professionals are hands-on in the tool as well as setting the strategic vision for marketing campaigns.

This is typically due to a nimble team, limited budget, or the marketing professional wearing both hats for strategy and tactical operations works. Finding these dual minded professionals can be difficult.

The actual crossover is that many Marketing Operations professionals are already building full Demand Generation programs.

It’s surprising how many talented Marketing Operations professionals I talk to don’t even realize they’ve created an entire demand generation campaign, including a buyer’s journey with timed/strategic content, triggers, CTAs and so on. Organizations are still figuring out titles for these professionals whose responsibilities cross over immensely at smaller companies.

What many professionals don’t realize is that it’s usually an easy switch from Marketing Operations to Demand Generation. For example, I recently placed a Senior Marketing Ops professional in a role as Director of Demand Generation.

Misconception: All Demand Generation Professionals are Analytical.

Of course, tracking the success of any marketing effort is crucial, but crunching the numbers isn’t always up a Demand Generation candidate’s alley. Many employees create compelling revenue generating marketing campaigns on a solely strategic level while other team members handle the analytics.

Many candidates in the demand generation space have an immense amount of creative capability as well as analytical skill; many times, they have both. When examining a candidate, it’s important to understand someone’s motivation and distinguish hands-on experience with technology, as well as their analytical abilities.

Rather than relying on all Marketing Operations to understand the capabilities and limitations of the martech, it’s up to Demand Generation professionals to create the vision for marketing campaigns Traditionally, Marketing Operations sets up the backend of the reporting structure or programs, while Demand Generation collaborates with them to make sure their campaign is accurately tracked.

I’ll leave you with one other comparison/analogy that may help to further clarify these similar, yet distinct, aspects of marketing. Demand Generation envisions and designs the puzzle, while marketing operations creates and produces it.

If you’re looking to build out your Marketing Operations or Demand Generation team, find out how Versique can pair you with the best talent for your company.