Like any profession, marketing presents many unique challenges. Only 22% of marketers are happy with their marketing conversion rates, leaving a lot of room for improvement. The four following issues are those which marketers like you are most worried about right now and they’re likely to be affecting you too. By figuring out how to remedy them early on, you’ll ensure that they can’t continue to hinder you going forward.
1. Generating Leads
The most prevalent problem facing marketers today is poor lead generation performance. 68% of companies are troubled by their lack of ability to generate sufficient numbers of leads. This is a fairly serious problem because it can seriously hamper a business’ growth and viability; having no leads mean no new customers, and no new customers means no new revenue. For that reason, it’s important that you do all you can to remedy the situation immediately.
The best thing you can do to improve lagging quality leads is to optimize your lead capturing infrastructure and processes, and to diversify your methods and channels to get the best results. Inbound marketing has been found to produce triple the number of leads per dollar spent on it as compared to outbound marketing, so that's generally where most marketers start. You can do anything from starting a company blog to placing pay-per-click ads to holding an Instagram contest - whatever you think will get people interested in your company and product. If you'd prefer something more interactive, creating a company account on different social media platforms can also be very effective, as can attending networking events for people in your target industry. The range of possible lead generation methods is nearly endless, so experiment a little and see which mix of techniques works best for you.
You should also consider what type of leads you’re looking for since this can alter the goals you set for yourself. Sheer numbers of leads aren’t necessarily everything - one single prospect with $25,000 in purchasing power can potentially provide revenue equivalent to that of 1,000 prospects with just $25 each to spend. That’s an extreme example, but it serves to illustrate the idea that you can make up for lackluster numbers of leads by focusing on attracting those that are likely to spend more. Build a holistic profile for each of your top performers, then target those people specifically when you’re generating leads. You’re likely to achieve the boost in profits that you’re after, and that’s what counts.
2. Proving The ROI of Their Activities
At one time, a company couldn’t know the direct monetary impact of their marketing efforts until months after the relevant activities were carried out. For many marketers, that’s still the case today. Just because it is theoretically possible to track all kinds of data doesn’t mean it’s easy to do so. You have to know exactly which numbers to cross-reference in order to get a truly accurate picture of what happened on a buyer’s journey through your marketing materials. Only 42% of marketers are currently satisfied with their ability to measure the impact of their own efforts, and that number has dropped nearly 10% as compared to the previous year. That number being so low is worrisome enough, but the fact that it’s also actively dropping is even more of a concern. This suggests that the growing complexity of marketing data is making the problem worse over time.
There’s a good reason why detailed ROI statistics are a business standard now; now that everything is digital, it is always possible to prove whether an investment is worth making with the right data. However, one of the big hurdles that some companies face when attempting to assemble that proof is a lack of coherent customer data that can be made sense of in different analytical contexts.
That’s why it is extremely important that you set the stage for useful thorough analysis right from the start by getting up to date with your contact data quality. Starting with contact data quality management for each lead to ensure that you can tell them all apart and examine relevant variables for each one. Once you have that, you can link your marketing software and your CRM together to run the appropriate analytics. What you see on the other side should be much easier to parse through than it would have been had you used poor quality data, and from there, you can compare the results you get from different breakdowns and start to examine some greater trends.
3. Securing an Adequate Budget
Given the presence of the previous topic on this list, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that many marketers also have trouble getting the financial resources they need to succeed. Between the costs of staff, software, equipment, subscriptions, research materials and more, marketing is an expensive part of running a business. To be more precise, it accounts for 11.1% of a company’s total budget on average, with B2B companies allocating slightly less to it and B2C companies slightly more. Whether or not that is enough varies on a case by case basis, but if you know that your department is consistently getting less than that benchmark figure, you also know that you’re being asked to do your job with fewer resources than the industry standard.
To get a proper budget, you’ll need to make a good case for why your department deserves those funds. That requires you to not only prove that you’ll be able to make good use of them with a quantified breakdown of ROI as we’ve discussed above but also to demonstrate that you have a concrete plan to achieve or surpass those numbers. Come up with a strategy that you can back with your ROI calculations and be sure to present it confidently to those who decide your budget. Never forget that marketing is one of the primary drivers of a company’s profits; if you really do need the increase, you should have no trouble convincing anyone to give it to you.
If that approach isn’t working for you or there simply aren’t enough resources available to give you any more, though, you can also temporarily solve the problem by stretching every dollar further. Try focusing on low-cost, heavy-hitting activities like email marketing (which can provide returns of up to $44 per dollar spent on it) to get things going your way. This isn’t a good long-term solution because it limits the ways in which the business can grow, but when you’re tight on funds, it’s better than doing nothing.
4. Managing Their Website
Virtually every business has caught on to the fact that you need to have a website to remain relevant in the digital age. Managing that site appropriately, however, is another matter. Not just any type of website will do, and even when you have one that works, you need to keep it updated and functional in order for it to remain useful. Otherwise, critical links and forms may start to break down, traffic will fall due to stagnation, and you’ll lose all your marketing momentum over time. This one aspect of marketing ties back into all three of the others discussed in this article, so you can imagine how deeply your entire operation can be affected if it isn’t properly tended to.
In terms of marketing efficacy, a good website should:
- Be attractively and intuitively designed.
- Be optimized for mobile use.
- Be up-to-date in terms of the company’s current contact information, products or services, objectives, and other relevant information.
- Offer regularly-updated content to draw in traffic.
- Include a functional lead capturing page with useful fields that will ensure you start with higher-quality data.
The whole thing should also consistently load at a reasonable speed – you’ll lose 7% of your potential conversions for each extra second it takes, so your total load times should be as low as possible.
Because your website is such a key part of your overall marketing operations, it deserves some significant investment from you. Consider using a chunk of your budget to hire a freelancer or consultant to fix up your existing website or even build you a new one from scratch, focusing on the principal goals outlined above. Unless you already have a dedicated web designer on your team, the results will almost certainly be better than what you could cobble together yourself and will provide you with an excellent base site to use for years to come.
As for keeping it updated with the content you need, hiring outside labor may help you in this endeavor as well. This is an especially good idea if you’re starting from scratch, as you’ll want to build up a back catalog of content as soon as possible; businesses with websites boasting 401-1000 pages get 6 times more leads on average than businesses whose sites have only 51-100 pages. Once you get closer to reaching that goal, you might be able to handle a less rigorous content production schedule on your own. It’s still best if you work within your own strengths, though. If you know that content production isn’t your team’s strong suit or you all simply have too many other tasks to attend to without adding another on top of them, you may want to make room in your budget for long-term contracting expenses.
Don’t Sit On Your Concerns – Address Them
If you’re worried about any of these things with regards to your own marketing activities, now is the time to do something about it. There are many other marketers out there who are worried about the same things, but those who lack the confidence to do something about them may end up getting left behind. Taking action now before things get dire allows you to curb the potential impact of these issues and give your company the best chance at the stellar sales numbers it needs.
That’s all for now, but we’ll be back soon with more coverage on lead generation. Don’t forget to join us for access to remarkable content.