4 Things Demand Generation Marketers Should Unlearn in 2024

November 4, 2023
Lindsay McGuire
Lindsay McGuire
Associate Director of Content and Campaigns at Goldcast

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As the year winds down and 2024 planning comes in full force, many of us are focusing on what we should be doing with our marketing strategy next year. But what about what we shouldn’t be doing?

Intrigued?! So were our audience members during our second episode of Goldcast’s new show for demand generation marketers, Donuts & Demand.

During the episode, Michelle Blondin, Director, Demand Generation at ZoomInfo and Brian Hansford, Vice President of Growth at LiveRamp, shared some pretty hefty-sized sprinkles of demand generation tips. One central theme was: What should marketers unlearn?

Not surprisingly, our guests had a lot to say about how marketing has changed over the years and what just doesn’t work anymore. Thanks to their years of experience working in demand generation, they had these pointers to make during the episode. Let’s dive in!

📺Rather watch than read? Check out the full Donuts & Demand episode on-demand now!

1. You Can’t Rely Solely on Marketing Attribution Data

Is marketing attribution broken? This was an interesting concept that came up early in the show. Michelle remarked that she doesn’t recommend relying on any single model for marketing attribution. She explains:

To her point, your marketing attribution must be flexible and adaptable. It’s also important to audit it over time, but not change it so often that your data becomes unreliable or skewed. Michelle and Brian recommended auditing or adjusting your model only every 6-12 months.

Brian went on to explain that although marketing attribution can be powerful, it can’t always be 100% trusted. So always take your marketing attribution data with a grain of salt, because as he said, “it's just a fraction of all of the touch points and engagements that prospects and customers have. So, you know, there's an inherent flaw right there.”

The 2024 impact: Understand that marketing attribution is important and can be a great way to gather and analyze data, but know it’s usually not 100% accurate and could be inflated.

2. Campaigns Are Not the Silver Bullet

Interestingly enough, the discussion of whether campaigns or programs were more important came up for a second time on Donuts & Demand. Chris Walker of Refine Labs and LaShanda Jackson of Intuit Mailchimp both brought up the idea that programs trump campaigns in their episode as well!

As marketers, we often believe campaigns are the most important piece of the marketing puzzle. But Brian and Michelle challenged that idea on the episode. In fact, Michelle outright stated, “I actually want to try to change the narrative there and not think so much about campaigns.

We’ve long relied on campaigns as a marketing silver bullet, but it’s beginning to sound like that’s not necessarily the best approach. Many marketers, like Brian and Michelle (and Chris Walker too!) believe a more programmatic, always-on approach leads to better overall success and ROI.

Brian pointed out that it’s also important to not fall into the trap of focusing on channel-specific campaign tactics. He advocates for a more holistic approach:

The 2024 impact: Programmatic marketing, such as ongoing live event series, newsletters, podcasts, and other “always-on” content will begin to take priority over one-off campaigns.

Speaking of an ongoing live event…don’t forget to register for next month’s Donuts & Demand episode! The show built for demand generation marketers is coming in hot with even more sprinkles of demand gen wisdom. Register now!

3. The Buyer’s Journey Isn’t Linear

The buyer’s journey, a tale as old as time! We’ve been taught the same thing for years, yet we all know it’s not actually true. Buyer’s do not behave in a one-size-fits-all manner, yet we continue to try to treat them this way.

Michelle made the great point that the buyer’s journey isn’t linear, and we should focus on offering them as much content as they’d like–upfront and ungated–to ensure they can access what they need, when they need it. “We need to get away from that traditional journey that we think of or that we've been taught,” said Michelle. She went on to say:

So if the buyer’s journey isn’t as clear as we’re meant to believe, how can we best address the market? Brian believes it can be done by putting out as much useful information as possible into the market to better educate, entertain, and inform your audience. He dives more into why this is so important for today’s modern buyers:

The 2024 impact: Content will continue to rule, but less and less will be gated and locked behind long forms. Organizations will invest in tools that can show them better intent signals versus relying so heavily on lead gen.

4. It’s Time to Rethink BDR and SDR Processes

What’s another thing broken in 2023? Many may say the BDR and SDR functions. Brian started this conversation off by explaining why many orgs struggle to maintain a strong BDR and/or SDR process:

I’m betting this isn’t surprising to anyone. Log into LinkedIn on any given day and you’re bound to see a post or two talking about how the BDR and SDR functions are broken. Whether it’s talking about poor outreach messages, bad handoffs, or wrong targeting, there’s a lot that comes up when discussing how BDR and SDR teams handle their daily work.

But it’s not all a lost cause! Michelle made the point that BDR and SDR teams CAN be successful, there’s just one major challenge usually throwing them off their game: communication. Here’s her take on how these teams can “tear it down” to overcome this common hurdle.

The 2024 impact: Organizations will spend more time auditing and rethinking their BDR and SDR functions, with a major focus on improving processes and communication.

What do you think marketers should unlearn in 2024?

Well, Brian and Michelle sure did bring up some interesting points on what marketers should unlearn in 2024. Do you have thoughts to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear them!

Leave a comment on this LinkedIn post with your comment to keep this conversation going. We’d love to know what you think demand generation marketers should unlearn in 2024.

If you enjoyed this dive into demand generation topics, be sure to register for our next episode of Donuts & Demand! We’re hosting the absolute best demand generation marketers the second Tuesday of every month to get a sprinkling of demand generation tips served with a whole lot of fun AND live Q&A! Not to mention, there’s always prizes involved. See you there!

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