If I think back to the 1980s, there was simply no demand generation team in the marketing group. Sure, marketing sometimes attended a trade show and came back with a handful of business cards that they’d hand off to the sales folks. But it wasn’t really a profession, and it didn’t have a name.
I can remember a big discussion that took place around the executive table at one of my companies in the early 1990s. The head of sales was complaining that his team didn’t have enough deals to work on. So the head of marketing volunteered to hire a team of telemarketers to help make cold calls and find some leads for sales to work on. There was still no “Director of Demand Gen” at that time; it was just something that the corporate marketing folks did to try to be helpful.
Just as technology has been pivotal to the reinvention of both the manufacturing process and real-time supply chains, it has also been the indispensable catalyst in the emergence of demand gen as a marketing function. Its arrival coincided with a growing recognition of the “demand chain,” as the less well-known but equally important counterpart to the “supply chain” in the overall business “value chain.” Supply chains had already been reengineered and dramatically improved through the technology developments and innovative business practices noted in this book’s introduction. Now the demand side of the business value equation was also ripe for reinvention.
The seeds that eventually grew ...