What type of demand gen marketer are you?

October 21, 2020

Photo by Boston Public Library

A few weeks ago my colleague Matt Webbink wrote about how marketers create demand plans. Often demand gen marketers are starting with the target audience, marketing activities, or the business goals—or the “who,” “what,” and “why” of the plan—but success comes when you have all three components.

Who, what, and why venn diagram with demand gen personality types at intersections.

When discussing it together, it wasn’t long before I started imagining our individual tendencies. So after 10 minutes, I came up with a first draft of Demand Gen Marketing personality types.

Note: You could be any of these archetypes in different circumstances, but I strongly default to The Sidekick, so maybe you have a “type” too.

The Sidekick

Venn diagram with Who (target audience) and Why (business goals) with "The Sidekick" at the intersection.

This professional is the friendly Marketer who works really closely with sales. Maybe too closely, because she gets LOTS of her recommendations from them. Have a target list you want something to go out to? Done! Know what outcome you’re looking for? On it!

The Sidekick isn’t taking time to uncover the collateral that will perform best. She might be creating collateral for demand based on convenience, or worse, at random.

Could she be doing more? Sure, but how does she know what to do? It’s easier for her to fill the orders that come in from Sales. They keep her busy enough!

The Old School Marketer

Venn diagram with What (marketing activities) and Why (business goals) with "The Old School Marketer" at the intersection.

This kind of Marketer is a traditionalist. He’s got a creative eye and knows how to orchestrate a beautiful campaign, but why? Well, because it’s a beautiful campaign.

The Old School Marketer never worries himself too much about the data because he’s got a strong gut feeling that things will work out. Nobody else is as certain as he is about a campaign’s performance and if you recommend testing he might shrug you off with something about letting the best content rise to the top.

The opportunities for optimization are endless with his campaigns, and it might be time to put an end to those that just aren’t working. No need to do things this way just because that’s how it’s always been done.

The Free Spirit

Venn diagram with What (marketing activities) and Who (target audience) with "The Free Spirit" at the intersection.

This marketer approaches work as they approach life: an uncharted adventure. They’re optimistic and go with the flow, but probably won’t be able to tell you what is working and what isn’t.

The Free Spirit will encourage doing something – anything! – and will have the whim to change for the sake of change. They have a hard time measuring things, and aren’t very focused on outcomes.

They need some help creating objectives behind their campaigns to connect them to business needs.

The Leader

The Leader isn’t defined by a title, but how they do their job. The Leader can be any of the other Demand Gen personalities by default, but uses their team and resources to make sure they’re filling all the gaps.

Who, what, and why venn diagram with The Leader at the center intersection.

Their plans never lack action, insight, or purpose, and are able to communicate that clearly. At that end, they’re able to execute strategic, intentional, and impactful plans that lead towards growth.

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Samantha Cibelli

Samantha Cibelli is responsible for Marketing Strategy & Operations at Klearly. Also known as Sam, she has a background in marketing roles at startups, so she's knows how to get things done and likes being a part of a team of innovators. Sam came to Klearly with the hopes of bringing humanity into software that can truly help make people's lives easier. Outside of work, Sam stays busy learning new things including most recently languages, quilting, and indoor gardening.