The members of the Airfoil Team (otherwise known as ‘Foilers) are experts in their field. They are up to date on the latest trends, know the industry inside and out, and have a variety of experience that lends itself to our clients. In this blog series, we spend five minutes with a ‘Foiler to get the inside scoop on their experience, how their team can help your business, and their takes on the industry’s latest trends.

In this weeks blog, I sit down with our Head of Demand Gen, Ben, to chat about the role that demand generation plays in digital marketing and public relations.

Jessup

 What is your role here at Airfoil, and what do you do?

I am the Head of Demand Gen. So, my role is working with clients to understand who the target audience is, what they're going after, and then create a customized journey leveraging different types of digital channels. This allows clients to capture leads, nurture them, and then ultimately get them handed off to sales so they can generate revenue.

How did you get involved in your field?

Let's see… how DID I start doing this? I think it started when I was working in-house as a marketing manager, where I was working closely with business development and sales teams. Then, figuring out from that perspective, the business challenges they were going into, where they just needed to enter into new markets. They were trying to expand their service offerings, cross-sell to existing customers. And we were trying to figure out, "How in the world do we do this?"

Marketing automation software didn’t exist yet, and it was still just email marketing. There hadn’t been any type of unified platform. So, as those platforms were getting built, we saw those needs and worked with teams where we tried to figure out: "How do we crack this code?" "How do we get in front of these audiences and actually drive revenue in a B2B space?"

What are some interesting projects you've worked on?

One of the more fun and interesting ones here has been working with a company that handles AI. It’s always fun helping an organization get started when they've never done [demand gen] before. So, the most interesting part is getting the first campaign running and then getting the first group of leads in. It becomes an eye-opening experience for the client where they can say, “Oh my gosh, it’s working.” They then start to see and experience the success in how lead generation is going to help them, you know?

What are three things clients should know before working with your team? 

One of the biggest things for clients is taking the time to think through their average deal size. Like, really thinking about the average amount of money they get when they make a sale, and then trying to hone in on the best markets for them. Where do they see the most growth opportunity for themselves? And knowing their product or services are a good fit. If they’ve got those things hammered out, then that makes everything move a lot faster. Then there are also times where a client might not know, so we take the time to help them figure that stuff out. But those are just a couple of things.

What is a current hot topic in your field, and what is your take on it?

I think a big one is how advanced personalization and creating custom experiences are transforming a lot of businesses. That is really disrupting the market where it's no longer about “Who's got a cool product?” or “Who has a cool thing that's different from the market?” instead, it’s more, “Hey, we’re using technology to personalize and customize the experiences for people, even in a B2B space.” THAT is something that is starting to take root as people want to scale, reduce costs for generating new clients, or cross-sell. And you can’t hire an army of salespeople to do that, you have to have an automated system. But everyone wants that personal touch and they want that seamless, custom experience where they feel like the company understands them. So that’s a big thing.  

Can you tell me a little bit about the services you and your team offer?

For us, a lot of the work focuses on working with the clients to identify their target audience- on who they want to really go after and aligning that to their revenue goals. That helps us figure out what types of content we should make, what channels we want to use, and what we should be saying at different times throughout the buying process, to capture buyers.

In next week’s 5 Minutes with a ‘Foiler, get to know Airfoil's CEO and Founder, Lisa Vallee-Smith as we celebrate women-owned small business month. Want to be notified when the next blog is released?

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To learn more about the world of lead and demand generation, check out Ben’s blog on Five ways to Generate Leads. 

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