As your business continues to expand and grow, it is important that the marketing department keeps up. And unfortunately, there are several marketing problems that might hold your team back from doing the very best that they can do. It is important to recognize these problems and address them before it gets out of hand.
Whether you're in charge of the entire marketing department, or your an individual contributor to some of the marketing efforts, there are certain marketing problems nearly everyone in the industry has come across. Here are five of the most common, and how to go about fixing them.
1. No Clear Strategy
According to Smart Insights, 50% of companies using digital marketing have no plan or strategy in place. That means that half of all company's using digital marketing literally have no cohesive plan for achieving their goals. They are simply groping around in the dark, hoping to come across results in the midst of a scattered, unclear plan.
How to Fix It:
Choose clear, focused marketing objectives, then build a clear, cohesive strategy that centers around these goals. Once you have crafted a strategy, write it down and share it with your marketing and sales departments. 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, which ultimately strengthens accountability, as well as the relationships between sales and marketing.
2. Lack of Time and Manpower
Anyone whose ever held a marketing position,knows the break neck speed that marketer's are forced to move at. In fact, the State or Marketing Work Report demonstrated that marketers log more hours, have more distractions, and ultimately waste more time going to meetings and doing admin tasks than their counterparts.
This leaves less time to focus on more meaningful activities, which can have a negative impact on your overall marketing.
How to Fix It:
This one is not so easy to correct, but really comes down to a few key things:
Prioritize More Efficiently
Using a project management system and other tools that allow you to cut down on the time and energy devoted to different activities. It will also allow you to keep up with, and prioritize activities in a more efficient manner. This may also mean that certain activities simply have to go: whether they are delegated to someone else, or simply removed from your schedule for the near future.
Create Better Processes
A clear, efficient process allows marketing activities to be accomplished in record time, or even to be delegated to another team member to complete. If a certain activity is draining too much time, it is time to rethink that activity. What would make it more efficient? Is this really the best way to spend your time and energy? Answering these questions can streamline each and every activity for maximum efficiency.
Focus On Your Strategy
If you've crafted an effective strategy, prioritizing your activities will be much simpler. You will know exactly which things will have the most impact on your business's goals, which means you can start cutting out those activities which simply are not contributing to the prioritized objectives.
3. No Alignment with Buyer Personas
Determining buyer personas, and actually implementing that knowledge into your marketing strategy, is extremely difficult. It takes a blend of analytical thinking, heavy research, creativity, and psychology to craft a strategy that will speak to your buyer personas in a relevant and powerful way.
Even company's who think they have their best customer's all figured out might be surprised to learn that 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, and ask yourself: is my buyer persona really interested in this? Will they actually open this email? Or care about this topic?
Thinking in this way is a habit that must be formed. A great tip is to identify a customer that exactly matches your buyer persona and think about them every time you are working on a component of your marketing. Having a real person to relate your activity to allows you to cut down on generalizations and abstract ideas of who your marketing to, which can ultimately be dangerous and ineffective.
4. Inability to Adapt to New Trends
It is easy to get caught in a routine, and fail to adapt and keep up with all of the changes. But this is completely unacceptable in the digital marketing world as it moves at such a fast pace you will be completely left behind in just a few months or weeks.
How to Fix It:
First off, accept that Digital Marketing = Constant Change. Subscribe to emails from industry thought leaders or other major websites in the digital realm, and keep an eye out for any breaking news or recent trends.
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, then consider integrating it into your strategy. Keep in mind not every trend will fit your needs, but there may be ways to maximize your time and minimize your spending if you simply keep an open mind and do your research.
5. Proving ROI
According the HubSpot's 2015 State of Inbound Report, proving the ROI of marketing activities was the largest roadblock for marketers. Subsequently, this is also an extremely important factor when attempting to prove value to upper management, which, if done successfully, 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 so heavily on sales to close deals, that without the power of marketing and sales reporting working together, it is extremely difficult to calculate the ROI.
It is also 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.