Wrap-Up: Demand Gen Summit Spring 2021

The last Demand Gen Summit Spring was on April 28, 2021. The focus of this event was driving, engaging, and closing demand.

It was chock-full of amazing insights about how to get site visitors into your funnel, what customer engagement tools you should be using, and how to accelerate the sales cycle.

There were 3400+ registrants and over 14 hours of content. 38 of the top sales, marketing, technology, and leadership professionals shared their expertise on personalization at scale and aligning sales and marketing teams.

Here are some of the speakers we heard from:

Demand Gen Summit Spring 2021 Award Winners

Leading up to the summit, 53 of the top leaders were community nominated and over 2500 votes were cast for the Demand Gen Awards. Billy Bateman, co-founder and VP of Operations at ChatFunnels, announced the winners the day of the summit.

1. Top 3 Sales Development Reps: Lianna Cubas, Austin Pierce, Chelsea Wyles

2. Top 3 Marketing Ops Leaders: Tal Raz, Mike Braund, Kris Latulippe

3. Top 3 Demand Gen and Sales Leaders: Devin Reed, Ernest Owusu, Zach Thompson

4. Top 3 Thought Leaders: Udi Ledergor, Megan Heuer, Morgan J Ingram

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners. These were well deserved awards!

Demand Generation Benchmark Study

The Demand Generation Benchmark Survey was conducted from February all the way through April. During the Demand Gen Summit 2021, Tanner Sundwall and Dr. James Oldroyd discussed some preliminary analysis of the study.

The aim of this study was to identify emerging marketing techniques and demand generation strategies.

The key takeaway is that companies will be able to better understand where other marketers perceive value in all the technologies and strategies.

The survey asked whether or not marketers used the following strategies: referrals, inbound calling, webinars, and outbound calling.

We also measured each strategy’s perceived effectiveness by the respondents. It was evident that outbound calling is highly utilized, but less effective. Referrals, inbound calling, and webinars are both popular and effective.

Quick Overview

Here are some quick tips:

  • Steer clear of traditional marketing (physical events, etc.).
  • Be mindful with trending strategies.
  • Get ahead of the competition with ABE.
  • Follow industry adoption of webinars, customer referrals, etc.

In the next few weeks, our team, in collaboration with Dr. Oldroyd, will further analyze and interpret the results. Stay tuned for a more in depth explanation of the study.

Keynote Speakers

Tim Ash

Tim Ash was the co-founder and CEO of SiteTuners, a strategic digital optimization agency, for 19 years. He is an expert in user-centered design, persuasion, consumer behavior, neuromarketing, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s, he became one of the early pioneers of website conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Tim has been recognized by Forbes as a Top-10 Online Marketing Expert, and by Entrepreneur Magazine as an Online Marketing Influencer to Watch. Tim is a highly rated keynote speaker and presenter at over 200 events across four continents.

In his keynote presentation, he talked all about why we need a brain and how the human brain works.

Now, we know that sounds off topic from what we usually focus on at the Demand Gen Summit, but Tim ingeniously ties it into how we need to market.

The deep evolutionary psychology principles that he discussed are all connected to how we can best market to our target audience.

He started off by explaining that the human brain is lazy, impatient, and likes simple choices.

People want everything to be automated; we don’t like having to use our brain. Site visitors make a judgement within 1/20 of a second. Therefore, the first impression of your site is critical.

You need to think about what is the path of least resistance in your business for your customers? What’s the default flow? One of the best plays is a subscription model. It is the easiest for the customer because it auto-renews.

It’s really true that the default setting in our brains is to essentially be lazy and take the easiest route.

Positive vs. Negative Motivation

“Pain avoidance is approximately twice as powerful as positive motivation.”

By this, Tim is saying that our “do-nothing” wired brains need to be motivated to do something by being aware of the negative outcomes.

Surprisingly, we are not as motivated by the positive outcomes. Tim says to not sell the positive outcome first. Focus on the pain and amplify it.

3 Amazing Tips From Tim

1. Start with the fully loaded version of your product or service and make people remove options. Again, make the default include everything in your product/service and set it up so that it requires work to change it to a lower package/subscription.

2. Don’t be stingy with the length of your free trial. Let people test drive it! The longer you let them test drive it, the more likely it will be that they will fully convert to using your product. They need to establish the habit of using your product. Free trials also play into something Tim calls the power of free. Giving away things for free obligates the receiver and helps build a relationship of reciprocity with your customers.

3. Encourage customization. Give people the illusion of control. Take the lottery for example. You can choose your own numbers, which makes you feel like you can give yourself a better chance of winning. In reality, your lucky numbers have the same odds of winning the lottery as any random set of numbers do. That takes advantage of the power of ownership. Think about how these principles apply to your own business.

Scott Rhodes

Scott Rhodes is an industry leader with 20+ years of experience building and scaling marketing organizations. He has leveraged his deep expertise in B2B and B2C marketing to build revolutionary customer journeys and metric-focused marketing strategies. At BCG, he has been the strategic lead for Fortune 100 clients solving revenue challenges using data to building intuitive customer experiences across the customer journey.

In his keynote, he and Dave Elkington discuss the emerging space of account based engagement.

Overall, this keynote was a wake up call for all marketers across the nation. Maybe we aren’t doing things as well as we think we are.

And it’s important to note that it’s not just about marketers. It’s about all teams who deal with revenue.

Scale Personalization

The more personalized the customer experience, the more expensive it is for us. However, personalization at scale is affordable and effective.

With ABE, customer acquisition costs will be 200-300% cheaper! Check out the BCG article for further details.

Marketing, Sales, and Service

Before anything else, marketing, sales, and customer support need to come together to plan around strategic business outcomes.

The marketing team can create the content that can prep prospects to work with the sales team and then the customer support team needs to be ready to make onboarding a smooth experience.

You will begin to see an increase in visitors because you’ll be targeting the right customers. Marketing proficiency will increase and there will start to be a greater impact on sales. The sales cycle will become shorter over time. More than anything, your conversion rates will start to go up.

Tips For Beginners With ABE

Scott suggests to begin with 10 accounts when you’re first starting to implement ABE strategies. First nail that, and then decide what your next 10 accounts will be and then the next 10, and so on.

Technology is also crucial for ABE, but it is the last component. You need the right people and process in place before you worry about the technology.

The technology for ABE is honestly pretty basic. You just need an intelligence platform, a good CRM, and chatbots are highly recommended.

Overall, ABE is all about focus. Once you learn how to focus marketing and sales efforts on all the right customers and accounts, then the whole cost of finding and sending someone down your funnel is reduced.

In short, the big win you can see with ABE is cheaper and faster opportunities.

Check out this article for a more in depth explanation of account based engagement.


Summaries of each of the speakers’ presentations at the Demand Gen Summit Spring 2021 have been complied into a comprehensive e-book titled “The Demand Gen Leader’s 2021 Cheat Sheet.”

Download the ebook now to learn bonus tips from each speaker and more insights on effectively driving, engaging, and closing demand.

Reach out to us on LinkedIn and let us know what you learned from the Demand Gen Summit Spring 2021.


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