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Marketing Challenges Marketers Face in 2018

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marketing challenges

marketing challenges

Marketing challenges

Marketing challenges are time and budget consuming for small, medium and large companies. In 2018 these marketing challenges make companies adopt new practices to stay relevant and to attract the attention of customers. Marketing challenges appear from customers’ opposition. Hence, people oppose to new and feel afraid of changes.

Resistance to change is an academic topic of research. Marketers must make people feel safe to try new things.

All human behaviors drive from emotional input from stored memory patterns ( Anne Riches ). Therefore, resistance to change is among the marketing challenges of all times.

Resistance occurs when we associate the announcement or implementation of a change with patterns of past poor experiences, for example more work, job losses, uncertainty, loss of power or status and discomfort.

Certainly, when introducing and implementing change in organisations, people can be encouraged and moved from resistance to commitment.

In case you are a marketer leader in your organization you must prove and explain to your team members what happened in the last years and why it is necessary to implement change. 

Marketing challenges: The funnel metaphor

Marketers have long used the funnel metaphor to think about touch points: consumers looking to make a purchase would start at the wide end of the funnel with many brands in mind and narrow them down to a final choice.

New research shows that rather than systematically narrowing their choices, consumers add and subtract brands from a group under consideration during an extended evaluation phase.

As per David Court the “consumer decision journey” is different from the funnel metaphor and therefore marketers need to adopt new approaches. The consumer decision journey is made of four stages: 

  1. consider, 
  2. evaluate, 
  3. buy, 
  4. enjoy, advocate, bond. 

According to the 2017 State of Inbound Report the leading challenges marketers face are generating traffic and leads; proving ROI to ensure a bigger budget share and identifying the right technologies for their needs. 

marketing challenges 1

Here is a list of the most common challenges marketers reported struggling with and proposed solutions from our team.

1) Marketing challenges: Generate Traffic and Leads

Marketers are struggling with getting the attention of the public. In the present we all function as content creators using our social media profiles to share with the world our vision about the world as we see it. The challenge for marketers is to invent creative content that surpasses the existing online content of competitor brands or individuals. 

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise 

  • Consider working with influencers. Being flexible and adding the support of highly famous vloggers or Instagram stars makes it easier to get your brand’s message spread to a larger audience.
  • Documenting versus creating. This is not our solution, but it belongs to a relevant successful marketer, Gary Vaynerchuk and we guarantee this solution works. Many times, we get stuck in trying to get the perfect campaign content and we waste precious time.

That makes it easy for competitors to move ahead and get the attention of the market. High-quality content refers to being true to your brand’s promise and to engage with your customers daily on all the platforms you identified as important.  

  • Find out what are the platforms where your customers spend time and which they consider trust worthy to gather reviews or recommendations.

Remember that the closest circle a customer has, his friends and family, represent the most impactful circle. In case you want to get the attention of the head of the family or the decision maker of a business we suggest you first try to engage with their close trusted friends and family members. 

  • Find out what type of content your audience prefers. Some consumers like to read long articles or posts, others enjoy video content, others save time and use audio materials, such as podcast, while doing other type of activities. 

2) Marketing challenges: Provide the ROI of Your Marketing Activities

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of the marketing campaigns is a constant challenge. It is important to track the effects of your campaigns for the sake of the team members’ spirit and the shareholder’s curiosity. Both these reasons are strong enough to push the marketing leader to look for the latest trends in measuring ROI. 

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise

  • Make sure you send the right message to the board members and the other departments from the company. In case your goals are to create brand-awareness and increase customer lifetime with your brand’s products and services the sales department must understand this from the start.

When the goal is to create awareness about new products or services and to inform and educate the existing customers the board members need to know from the start.

   Avoid adding pressure on your marketing team. In case the goals are to help increase sales work together with the sales department.  

Use tracking software tools

  • Implement tracking software tools to analyse the traffic you direct from the social platforms towards your online shop / website or sales department.

This is going to help the marketing team understand what strategies work and what should be improved. It will also prove helpful when you report to the board members about the help you bring to increasing sales with the campaigns you organise. 

  • Implement customer relationship marketing. CRM is a technique based on client relationship and customer loyalty. Develop long term relationships with your customers, build trust, aim to increase loyalty and try a customer centric approach.

Using CRM, you evaluate the customer potential value and you implement in your company culture a forward-looking approach. 

  • Implement marketing software that can boost your business. As per Forbes there are 15 types of software to help master the marketing practices of your company. We mention our favoured ones: 
  1. Marketo: https://www.marketo.com
  2. Vocus: https://www.vocus.com.au
  3. HubSpot: https://www.hubspot.com
  4. Yesware: https://www.yeswre.com
  5. Sailthru: https://www.sailthru.com
  6. Optimove: https://www.optimove.com
  7. LocalVox: https://vivial.net
  8. MailChimp: https://mailchimp.com
  9. ThriveHive: https://thrivehive.com
  10. Infusionsoft: https://www.infusionsoft.com
  11. Demandbase: https://www.demandbase.com
  12. WordStream: https://www.wordstream.com
  13. Act-On: https://www.act-on.com
  14. Optify: http://optifydigital.com

3) Marketing challenges: Secure Enough Budget

First of all, securing enough budget to move forward your campaigns is always a tricky task. Secondly, people outside the marketing department often do not understand the time it takes to see the results of a campaign.

Furthermore, apply low cost solutions. Finally, invest in one good marketing professional to work from in-house instead of using third parties, freelancers or agencies. 

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise

  • Use the benefits of inbound marketing. Keep your board members informed and educated about the time it takes to see results from inbound marketing.

Certainly, marketing practices change and improve continuously. Hence, you need to be flexible and able to explain to the company’s leader that some tools and approaches change. Trial and error is the safest and fastest way to move forward. This is how you gain competitive advantage. 

4) Marketing challenges: Manage Your Website

Managing their website was among the biggest challenges marketers mentioned. Therefore, having a responsive functional website should be among your marketing team’s priorities. Do you have the time to complete this task? What about the human resources ? In the present many companies sell websites easy to build and easy to manage by any individual.

Certainly you can build and manage your own website. Many say it is not rocket science – we agree. Still your company’s website is part of the brand image you present to the world.

Hence, it should be the best version of a website you dream of and more. We help many companies redesign their websites. Grow Wise brings websites to the present using a fresh design, professional copy and a simple interface to navigate. 

Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to choosing content that falls in between the brand’s guidelines. 

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise 

  • Perform an audit and understand the loading time and website performance (page ranks)
  • Use SEO professional help so that each page gets optimised, increases visibility and brings in more website visitors
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly. We see a shift towards mobile use more than computer users. This means you need to optimise your website for it to be excellently displayed on the visitor’s phone

Optimise your website for international visitors.

  • Optimise your website for international visitors. We live in a globalized market place and we perform business many times with different nationalities. Offer the option to your website visitor to see the content in at least two or three internationally used languages. It will pay off if people feel taken care of and you show such attention to your customers’ needs. 
  • Hire a specialist to perform maintenance, perform optimization and update the content at least for once a month.
  • Add relevant copy to the blog. The power of good quality copy should not be underestimated. We invite you to read more about creating great copy in the following e-books: 
  • Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
  • The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells
  • The Copywriter’s Guide To Getting Paid: How To Land Awesome Clients And Earn A Great Living As A Copywriter

An unprotected website is a security risk to customers, other businesses, and public/government sites. Therefore, choose a well-regarded security plugin and install it so that you Secure the website

5) Marketing challenges: Target Content for an International Audience

Part of the practice of marketing is performing the segmentation, targeting and positioning STP framework. By doing this you understand much better what market segment is most valuable for your services and products. 

When you discover the correct segment of the market you need to match the marketing efforts with this information. Your clients come from diverse cultures and with diverse backgrounds. Their needs, wants and desires are most likely different. With the help of professionals you discover the buyer persona and build strategies around that persona. 

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise 

  • As previously discussed in point 4, you must prepare all your social platforms for the interaction with the wide range of nationalities which you know make up your audience. 
  • Optimize your website. Offer your content in different languages of international importance. 

Focus on quality content

  • Create content with which your different customers can relate with easily. The work load is higher and research is necessary to understand what makes different nationalities respond better. Different nationalities have different holidays or moments of the year when they come together and they celebrate.

Understand what are these events, adapt your content and use them to send emails or direct messages to make your customers feel respected and appreciated. A personalised approach always pays off. 

  • Offer support 24/7. The customer support department can prove your best solution in creating a brand image described as professional and dedicated to the customers. Your customers are online on different timelines and this requires someone in your support centre to be present around the clock to answer to any question or emergency. 

6) Marketing challenges: Train Your Team

Investing in your human resources is as important as building a good strategy for your company. Leaders need to support the development of their followers by helping them get to accomplish their professional goals. We encourage our team members to always stay relevant in their field and we do support them by paying for industry conferences, in-house training sessions or online certificates.

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise

  • Bring in professional help to train your employees. There are many marketing experts who offer one week long training at the company’s location. This way anyone who is interested in learning about the latest practices can attend. This should be an opened invitation to people from all departments of the company. 
  • Buy books and magazines membership so that the marketers of your company can keep themselves up-to-date with the latest trends. 
  • Discuss the possibility of getting enrolled for Online certificates. This is a bigger commitment since it may take a couple of months and it may need a lot of dedication. It does pay the price by creating loyalty and improves staff retention. People respond in a positive way when they see that you are willing to invest in them. 

7) Marketing challenges: Hire Top Talent

Hire and retain top talented individuals, that is a popular advice. Certainly, it is not an easy job. New jobs emerge and there is more demand than there are people available in the work force. This means that top talented individuals are highly appreciated and hard to find and retain. 

Solution Proposed by Grow Wise

  • Use the power of networking. You should have happy employees who are currently working for you. This means they can spread the word and mention your company is looking to add more talent to the team.

You can ask your current staff members to post a message on their LinkedIn profile or Facebook page to create some awareness about the job openings. This will prove a big help for the HR department. 

  • Create clear job descriptions. There are too many general job descriptions made to attract people. The point is to attract the right candidates for the job.

It is fair for the possible employee to know what is expected of him/her and how she/ he will be paid back for the effort. Mostly the job description comes with the details of the job and there is not enough information about the benefits or the offerings the company is willing to offer in return to the services it receives. 

The challenge is to maintain a balance

  • Firstly, keep a good balance between the marketing people you hire. Secondly, marketing is not only about being creative. Marketing is also about implementing of creative solutions. Most noteworthy, you need to have technical skilled people as well as creatives.
  • Look for potential not only experience. Probably, top talented individuals can be coming out of the university to your company for their first job. Therefore, you should not keep your circle small and target only people with years of experience.

Certainly, a fresh new marketer will have the hunger to apply his knowledge. Therefore, he/she demands a smaller pay than an experienced individual.

  • Consider the benefits you offer to the employees. Above all, this relationship must be a win-win relationship for employer and employees. Many companies allow their staff to work from home some days of the week or they offer health or education benefits that will make employees who are new parents manage the responsibilities better. 

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