As your business continues to expand and grow, it’s important the marketing department keeps up. Unfortunately, there are several marketing problems that might hold your team back from doing their best.
It is important to recognize these issues and address them immediately. But how?
There are certain marketing obstacles nearly everyone in the industry encounters at one time or another. Fortunately, you can remedy all of them, even if you’re a small business / organization with no marketing team at all.
Here are five of the most common marketing problems, and how to solve them!
1. No Clear Strategy
Smart Insights tells us about 50 percent of companies using digital marketing have no plan or strategy in place.
That means that half of all businesses and organizations using digital marketing literally have no cohesive plan for achieving their goals. They are simply groping in the dark, hoping to grasp results.
If this sounds familiar, chances are you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in place.
How to Fix It
First, choose clear, focused marketing objectives. Build a clear, cohesive strategy that centers around these goals.
This might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by asking yourself basic questions:
- What is our primary objective as a company or organization? (I.e. sell widgets, get more subscribers, raise awareness for a cause, etc.)
- Who is our target audience? What is our customer’s buyer persona?
- How do we reach our audience? Where are they? How do they consume digital media?
You get the idea!
As you start to get a strategy in mind, write it down. Share it with your marketing and sales departments. (If you’re a smaller business without entire departments, designate members of your staff who are best equipped to help you reach sales and marketing goals.)
Having a clear strategy to work with opens up dialogue and invites ideas to improve the overall strategy which will lead to accomplishing goals in a more powerful manner. It also provides guidance for team members, and allows them to know how their responsibilities contribute to the overall plan. This ultimately strengthens accountability, as well as the relationships between sales and marketing.
2. Lack of Time and Resources
Marketers must move at breakneck speed. In fact, the most recent Adobe Workfront State of Marketing Work Report found marketers spend less than 20 percent of their time on high-value work. They used the other 80 percent on other tasks, like meetings, administration, and responding to emails. (Yet another example of the 80/20 Rule in action!)
This leaves less time to focus on more meaningful activities, which can have a negative impact on your overall marketing.
How to Fix It
Every business owner and manager probably feels they don’t have enough time and resources to achieve their goals. This is not easy to correct, but you can address it.
Using a project management system allows you to reduce the time and energy devoted to different activities. It will also help prioritize tasks more efficiently.
Prioritization means identifying certain tasks for elimination. This applies whether you delegate to someone else, or simply remove them from your schedule.
Create Better Processes
A clear, efficient process allows you to accomplish marketing activities more quickly, or delegate to another team member. If a certain activity is draining too much time, reconsider that task. What would make it more efficient? Is this really the best way to spend your time and energy? Answering these questions can streamline your work day for maximum efficiency and productivity.
Focus On Your Strategy
An effective strategy, will simplify prioritizing your activities. You will know exactly which things will have the most impact on your goals. This means you can start cutting out tasks which are not contributing effectively to prioritized objectives.
3. No Alignment with Buyer Personas
Determining buyer personas, and actually implementing that knowledge into your marketing strategy, is a big challenge.
It takes a blend of analytical thinking, heavy research, creativity, and psychology to craft a strategy that will speak to your customers in a relevant and powerful way.
Some businesses believe they have their audience figured out, but not everything in their marketing strategy actually aligns with that individual.
How to Fix It
This goes back to having a clear strategy. Consider each component of your marketing plan carefully. Ask yourself: is my customer really interested in this? Will they actually open this email, or care about this topic?
Make a habit of thinking in this way. Create a “model” customer who exactly matches your buyer persona. Give him or her a name and detailed description and think about him or her every time you are working on a component of your marketing. To get started, try this template.
Using a buyer persona to relate to your activity lets you cut down on generalizations and abstract ideas, which can ultimately be ineffective. Instead, you’ll be more focused on the needs and desires of a real person.
4. Inability to Adapt to New Trends
It’s easy to get caught in a routine. When this happens, you may find it difficult to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape.
Failure to adapt in the digital marketing world is death. The Google search algorithm updates several times per week. What’s hot on social media right now will be old news tomorrow. Today’s hot new app will be forgotten by next month. If you don’t keep up, you’ll be left farther and farther behind.
How to Fix It
Understand that Digital Marketing = Constant Change. Subscribe to emails from industry thought leaders, and frequent major websites in the digital realm. Keep an eye out for any breaking news or recent trends.
Here are a few great resources we use and recommend:
Having a thirst for new knowledge is essential in marketing, because you need to be ready to explore and analyze new ideas and methods. Then, start integrating the most relevant trends into your own marketing.
If marketing automation will boost your sales, consider integrating it into your strategy.
Keep in mind, not every trend will fit your needs. There may be other ways to make the best use of your time and budget, if you keep an open mind and do your homework.
5. Proving ROI
HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report has found demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) of marketing activities to be the #1 roadblock for marketers.
If you’ve ever tried to do this yourself – come up with a dollar figure for how much business your marketing efforts have generated – you can understand the challenge therein.
Evaluating ROI his is also important when attempting to prove value to upper management. If done successfully, this leads to more marketing dollars and a greater pool of resources.
How to Fix It
Closing the loop in your digital marketing reporting is a necessity.
Marketing relies heavily on sales to close deals. Without the power of marketing and sales reporting working together, it is extremely difficult to calculate ROI.
It is important to not only close the loop, but calculate the right metrics. Know what matters for your strategy and your audience. This will come in handy when you’re attempting to get the buy-in you need to implement new strategies or secure more funds.
Addressing these common marketing problems can have a positive impact on your overall business. With a focus on strategy and results, your team will become more efficient and effective.