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How do Demand Generation key stakeholders from other departments change as your company grows?

7 Answers
Jessica Gilmartin
Jessica Gilmartin
Calendly Chief Marketing OfficerAugust 18

I love this question. When you’re a small company, the stakeholders are a pretty small group: You’ll work with a small number of sales reps who generally serve similar customer groups and operate using the same sales strategy. As a result, the type of demand gen work you have to do is generally pretty consistent and straightforward (not that it’s easy!).

As companies grow, customer bases expand and evolve, making Demand Generation work increasingly complex. For example, companies will begin serving additional geographies, each of which require their own programs. On top of that, sales reps will sell into new customer segments, which adds another layer of segmentation to consider. When a company shifts from private to public, we start to have conversations with even more stakeholders, including investors, analysts or perhaps your company’s board of directors.

To tackle the complexity that comes with a growing business and also evade the temptation of doing everything, prioritize the programs that are the most scalable and will help make the company most successful as a whole. Communication is also essential: The big thing I teach my team is to never say no to sales (it feels draining and demoralizing to always say no, since we all know sales is always clamoring for more support). Instead, say yes AND agree on which program you will deprioritize as a result of adding the newly requested one. In other words, make program prioritization a shared responsibility. As a marketer, our job is to work with sales and understand which programs we can jointly drive to make an impact together.

3070 Views
Tamara Niesen
Tamara Niesen
WooCommerce CMODecember 5

There are more of them! Identified stakeholders, approvers, owners need to be clear, and having a consistent framework to work allows for better documentation, tracking, alignment which in turn would ideally ensure projects are aligned to greater company goals and priorities. Identifying who should be involved right at the ideation stage makes this a lot easier. I.e. if it’s a product launch, product teams should be identified and brought in early to the project. Sometimes you learn this by making mistakes- iterating on your launch, campaign or go to market framework in process comes with time (and more data points).

499 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadFebruary 22

The key stakeholders from other departments change due to the needs of the business changing. The swimlanes for demand generation typically become more defined. There are more processes and procedures in place based on what you manage. You’ll probably find that you go from wearing many hats with less clarity on your stakeholders to a more narrow focus with clearly defined stakeholders.

Fast forward from a startup environment to an SMB or enterprise and the only constant is change. You may go from working directly with the CEO as a stakeholder to working with procurement and finance teams. You may find that a performance readout happens in a weekly standup to a QBR with various teams from around the world participating.

With growth comes complexity, new markets and challenges with data. All of this may need to be navigated with new team structures. And with all of these shifts come new stakeholders or people who you’ll need to collaborate with and inform.

410 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadJune 1

The key stakeholders from other departments change due to the needs of the business changing. The swimlanes for demand generation typically become more defined. There are more processes and procedures in place based on what you manage. You’ll probably find that you go from wearing many hats with less clarity on your stakeholders to a more narrow focus with clearly defined stakeholders.

Fast forward from a startup environment to an SMB or enterprise and the only constant is change. You may go from working directly with the CEO as a stakeholder to working with procurement and finance teams. You may find that a performance readout happens in a weekly standup to a QBR with various teams from around the world participating.

With growth comes complexity, new markets and challenges with data. All of this may need to be navigated with new team structures. And with all of these shifts come new stakeholders or people who you’ll need to collaborate with and inform.

397 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeOctober 3

This question is very difficult to answer as it depends on the context and make up of each company and where they've chosen to invest resources depending on business needs.

My high level answer is that key stakeholders from other departments will change as the company grows by typically being removed of their stakeholder duties. As companies scale, the hardest thing for people to do is "give away their Legos." But this is absolutely necessary as companies grow and teams and roles become more specialized within specific business units and disciplines. Oftentimes people who may have been involved in certain projects just don't need to weigh in anymore, which can be difficult to accept at first, but better long term, as it helps teams focus.

378 Views
Micha Hershman
Micha Hershman
JumpCloud Chief Marketing OfficerDecember 19

As a startup grows, the dynamics of demand generation and key stakeholders involved in the process will indeed change significantly. It's a great question and something to be prepared for. Some thoughts:


Early stage (seed/startup) key stakeholders:

  • Founders/CEOs: Expect Founders to take a very active role in demand generation at this stage. Brace yourself - they will have many opinions and very strong opinions.

  • Sales leadership: Collaboration with sales is crucial to align messaging with customer needs and provide fundamental enablement.

  • Marketing: Of course, you should expect work closely with product marketing and content creators.

Growth stage key stakeholders:

  • Marketing team expansion: As demand generation efforts scale, expect to interact with specialized roles in demand gen, content marketing, and digital marketing.

  • Sales team growth: With increased pipeline expectations, the sales team will likely expand to deliver higher volumes without sacrificing quantity.

  • Customer Success: At some point retention becomes important (50% or more of revenues for high NRR companies), and customer success teams will want your support for content development, advocacy programs, and often technical operations support.

Maturity stage key stakeholders:

  • Executive Leadership: As the company matures, C-level executives will be more involved in setting high-level strategies and ensuring alignment between departments.

  • Finance: Budgeting becomes more sophisticated, and finance teams will play a key role in setting targets, allocating resources and measuring marketing efficiency.

  • HR: Hiring and retaining top talent, including marketing professionals, is crucial. Recruiting teams will want your partnership in building the "recruiting brand."

Enterprise stage key stakeholders:

  • Corporate Communications: Ensuring a consistent brand image and messaging across the organization becomes increasingly important. Expect to work more closely with PR and analyst relations folks.

  • Legal and Compliance: Especially in industries with strict regulations, legal teams become more involved in ensuring marketing materials comply with standards. Expect to be looped into key legal challenges, to audit marketing materials and to make broad changes to your collateral to ensure compliance with the law.

  • Partnerships and Alliances: Building and maintaining strategic partnerships can become a significant part of demand generation efforts. If you haven't had a Partner Marketing or Sales team, expect to loop them in closely to your messaging, enablement and demand generation efforts.

Global expansion key stakeholders:

  • International Marketing: If your company expands globally, marketing efforts need to be tailored to different regions, requiring the development of and coordination with regional marketing teams. Working through what efforts are centralized versus decentralized will be a major strategic decision for your team.

  • Localization: As you enter new markets, collaboration with localization teams or third-party services becomes crucial for adapting content to local languages and cultural nuances.

522 Views
Laura Lewis
Laura Lewis
Addigy Director | Head of MarketingApril 25

In a small start-up, DG will likely be working very closely with leaders of Sales and Customer Success, as well as within Marketing to ensure that leads pass to the sales team, the website is updated, and campaigns have well thought out messaging and engaging designs. These marketing roles may not fall into dedicated functions at this point in time.

As the company grows and functions get built out more, the size of all of these teams will change. Depending on your level, you will still be working with the roles above, but there might be multiple people to work with within those teams. Marketing will also start having people dedicated to Marketing Operations, Product Marketing, Website Development, and Design.

No matter the size of the company, the key stakeholders for DG are always others within Marketing, and the Operations and Sales teams.

363 Views
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