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Demand generation was once a fairly straightforward discipline. You'd be given a leads quota you reached by pulling several different levers—gated website content, badge scans at trade shows, and other tactics designed to engage people interested in your product or service. You'd do the upfront work and hand the leads over to Sales with an interest in how they converted and whether the team was attracting the right type of individual.

However, the role of the demand professional has changed.

Today's demand gen manager is a shepherd whose job it is to design and build experiences that lead customers to engage more deeply with your business. Modern demand gen managers are masters of technology and marketing.

Finding the right person with the proper mix of skills to fill this role is crucial to grow your business over time.

Automating with a personal touch

More and more of the marketing experience is automated. From the content that buyers see when they land on a brand's website to the way online experiences change based on visitors' previous behavior, automation allows us to drive new programs that weren't previously possible in marketing. But automation systems can't make those decisions in a vacuum.

The modern demand gen manager fills the void by supplying expertise and intelligence, and then programming it into the marketing automation scheme. Functionally, the demand gen manager now is the person who owns and fine-tunes the experiences B2B buyers have with your organization.

Think of the demand gen manager as a maestro whose job it is to collect and interpret data from a wide range of sources—your site, the data it generates,and third-party information from networks such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

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image of Sanjay Castelino

Sanjay Castelino is vice-president of Marketing at Spiceworks, a network where millions of IT professionals freely connect with each other and thousands of technology brands.

LinkedIn: Sanjay Castelino