6 Common Marketer Pain Points
By Rebecca Factor & Calista Vantarakis on April 18th, 2016
While marketing departments usually have similar goals, they can face very different challenges depending on their organisation, sector, and operating environment. Along with relatively new technology developments comes the perennial issues of tracking ROIs and having no decision-making impact on other departments.
Here are some of the most common day-to-day marketer pain points, and practical strategies for easing or even eliminating them from your department.
1. Tracking ROI
Coming up with a numeric ROI for marketing efforts remains a challenge for many marketers. While it’s a critical way to measure the impact of your campaigns and justify the marketing budget, it can be a big challenge for marketers, especially those in large organisations where there’s less integration between the sales and marketing departments.
Possible solutions to this issue include making use of tech tools as well as integrating traditional manual input into consumer-contact points. For example, use integrated marketing and sales software (such as an integrated CRM) to automate the process and to make it easy to generate instantaneous reports. Some CRMs are available for use free, while others are available with a subscription and offer valuable tracking features, so explore what’s out there to find the right software for your organisation.
Another option is to track customer orders manually by integrating a quick feedback question into the process. Where orders or sales are processed manually, make sure you capture feedback about how the lead was captured and converted, so you can track ROI of specific campaigns.
2. Obtaining sufficient budget
Another common pain point for marketers is the budget. This is especially true for smaller organisations with constrained budgets. There are a number of ways to overcome this issue. Firstly, meticulously track ROI so you can obtain more buy-in for the organisation’s marketing efforts. Marketers who can show they deliver are more likely to get a higher budget.
Secondly, you’ll want to direct your efforts to high-ROI activities. Experiment with different marketing strategies, including different channels (online and offline), and use proven customer-engagement solutions such as promotional products, customer freebies, gift cards, and prize brokerages. Live promotions and loyalty programs are high-ROI marketing activities that not only deliver more return on investment, but allow you to scale up quickly, and engage with customers on an emotional level while interacting almost in real time. These novel options can be integrated seamlessly into your current marketing campaigns and done right, they can be cost effective, allowing you to stretch your marketing dollars for maximum impact.
3. Standing out in the noise
Sometimes standing out amongst all the noise is a major challenge for marketers. With online and physical ads just about everywhere, constant discounting, and more consumers distracted by digital devices, some marketers are finding it harder to stand out and differentiate their brands.
One solution is to encourage feedback, fully leverage analytics, and really understand your consumers at every stage of the process. Gaining new insights into consumers about their problems, their decision-making process, and their values allows you to make suitable product offerings and present products and services in the way that will most appeal to them.
Another solution is to undertake high-impact promotional campaigns. These do not necessarily have to cost you a significant amount of money. For example, prize brokerage campaigns with attention-grabbing million-dollar prize pools can be established with a fixed price that’s just fractional of the total prize amount. Freebies, such as gift cards and experiential rewards, engage customers in a powerful way while encouraging them to talk about the reward and raise brand profile.
4. Content marketing
Content marketing is a must-have lead-generation strategy in the marketer’s arsenal, but some marketers are finding content marketing to be a challenge. It involves multiple functions and many skills beyond writing and editing: storytelling, online distribution techniques, digital knowledge, and social media marketing skills.
According to experts, the solution is to keep ahead of the game by staying aware of what’s been talked about, listening to users and consumers, and using tools and analytics as much as possible. For example, there are content management software programs that allow you to track, manage, and publish large pools of content. Analytic tools will tell you how effective each piece of content is.
In addition, being a good listener lets you understand your customer’s pain points and to generate content that addresses their issues. Some experts also suggest analysing data to understand customer’s use of content and to build a persona (or voice) around the insights from that.
5. The challenges of big data and marketing technologies
While data helps drive workable insights, some marketers are finding working with data to be a challenge. Marketing attribution (linked to the ROI issue), can be a common problem. Beyond that, turning data into actionable insights for segments is another challenge. Data migration is also a common problem.
Some marketers find it hard to work out whether they’re measuring the correct things. Some believe that technology integration is another challenge that makes it hard to obtain a single customer view throughout the whole organisation, and many marketers don’t have the right technology to achieve their goals. Many believe that marketing platforms are hard to use. And while marketers see the value of context, often they don’t track individual customer journeys and personalise content accordingly.
The solutions to these fairly common issues appear to be using the right marketing programs and tools and being sufficiently trained to do so. Marketers need to take the initiative to sell the value of user-friendly analytics programs that are fully integrated with the existing CRM for best results. They also need to ensure they have the skills to interpret the data collected so they can fully leverage all customer data and insights.
6. Marketing skills
Related to the technological and big data challenges is that expanding role of the marketer. Marketers sometimes feel that their role has become more complex, making it harder to be more effective. As a result, some find it a challenge to deliver what’s expected. Some marketers report that they have skills gaps when it comes to things like mobile marketing and marketing personalisation.
Again, the solution to this particular challenge seems to be that marketers need to take the initiative and ensure that they have access to the right training to keep their skills in line with changing technologies. The unique role of the marketer in the organisation – driving sales yet not being part of what’s considered core business activities – means it’s crucial for marketers to take the lead on all aspects of their function’s growth and development.
Rebecca Factor & Calista Vantarakis
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