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Marketing 101: Ask me anything

SmartBrief demand gen experts answers pressing questions about marketing in this Q&A.

4 min read

MarketingMarketing Strategy

marketing experts Jared Stearns and Emily Snyder


There are so many marketing buzzwords sales teams must sift through, but you can’t play in the metaverse if you don’t know the basics of sales and marketing. SmartBrief sat down with two of our demand generation leaders, Jared Stearns, director of demand generation, and Emily Snyder, marketing manager, demand generation, for an “Ask me anything” session. Stearns and Snyder answer everything from what is an MQL, what is demand generation marketing and how to get more “hot leads.”

SmartBrief: What is an MQL?
Stearns: A marketing-qualified lead ticks all the boxes. They have the right job title, they’ve engaged with our content, and probably done so in a shorter amount of time than other leads. They could be ready to buy, but that’s not

Jared Stearns and Emily Snyder
Stearns (left) and Snyder

always the case. When a person becomes an MQL, it’s a cue for the sales and marketing teams to take immediate action, communicate, collaborate and decide if the lead is someone ready for follow-up or might need a bit more nurturing. 


SmartBrief: What type of marketing is demand generation? What is the difference between demand generation and lead generation?
Snyder: Demand generation is the name given to the entire range of B2B marketing initiatives that generate interest in a company and its products. The main difference between demand gen and lead generation is that demand gen focuses on increasing your brand awareness while lead generation aims at converting brand-aware prospects into customers.


SmartBrief: What are your thoughts on marketing attribution and how much attention should be paid to it?
Stearns:  Marketing attribution, or marketing-influenced revenue, can be a somewhat esoteric topic. Essentially, when a lead or contact engages with a marketing email, landing page, form or another initiative that’s called a touchpoint. We track those touchpoints to see which initiatives work and which don’t. Touchpoints help move a person along in their buyer journey. If that person becomes a contact and an opportunity is closed won, marketing will get credit for helping to influence that revenue. 


SmartBrief: So how often should marketers review their buyer personas?
Stearns:  At the absolute minimum they should be updated yearly. Twice a year is preferable, but if there are major sociopolitical factors, such as a global pandemic, they should be updated more than twice a year. This is a great buyer persona tool from Hubspot. 


SmartBrief: Can you deliver more “hot leads?”
Stearns:  Heck yeah! We’d love to. But “hot leads” means different things to different salespeople. It’s important to 1) stay in constant communication with your marketing manager and 2) revisit your buyer personas often to keep up to date on buying habits and behaviors. 


SmartBrief: How does content play a role in getting new leads?
Snyder: Content plays a huge role in getting new leads. Content marketing is a very strategic effort used to distribute interesting, engaging and relevant content to attract potential customers within our buyer personas. That really starts at the early stage of the buyer journey. Keep in mind that new leads probably have low to zero insight into exactly who you and your company are so offering specific things about your company is not a great strategy to attract new leads. However, offering content on very specific topics that will help our leads in their day-to-day life is a great strategy to introduce them to your company and get them in our pipeline for nurturing and eventually becoming customers.

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