8 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Will Face This Year

1. Generating Traffic and Leads

a. Why It’s a Challenge
Generating enough traffic and leads was the top marketing challenge, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the years progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.

b. What Can You Do?
When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants? Once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice. More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. The content promotion playbook is not the same as it was five years ago.

2. Providing the ROI of Your Marketing Activities

a. Why It’s a Challenge
Measuring the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing activities has remained a top marketing challenge year-over-year. But, it also continues to be a vital way for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each particular marketing campaign, piece of content, etc. Plus, proving ROI often goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget: No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget. But tracking the ROI of every single marketing activity isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have two-way communication between your marketing activities and sales reports.

b. What Can You Do?
When it comes to providing ROI, there’s a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activities and sales results. This means using both marketing software and a CRM solution, and then tying them together to close the loop between your marketing and sales efforts with a service-level agreement (SLA). That way, you can directly see how many leads and customers are generated through your marketing activities.

3. Securing Enough Budget

a. Why It’s a Challenge
Securing more budget is a pressing challenge for marketing globally. And often, getting more budget is easier said than done, especially for smaller organizations that aren’t working with sizable nor flexible marketing spend. But the key to securing more money for your team might not be that complex.

b. What Can You Do?
The key to unlocking budget lies in being able to prove the ROI of your marketing efforts. According to information on the web, organizations that can calculate ROI are more likely to receive higher budgets. Again, success with inbound marketing also plays a large role in driving higher budgets. Effective strategies obviously produce results, and our data shows those who feel confident in their marketing strategy are more than 2X as likely to get higher budgets for their marketing teams. But remember, inbound marketing is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off, in fact, you might consider doubling down.

4. Managing Your Website

a. Why It’s a Challenge
Managing a website was the fourth biggest challenge for marketers in 2017. And chances are, your website’s performance is high on your list of priorities. It’s an asset that works around the clock to draw in visitors, convert them, and help you hit your goals, after all. Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to designing beautiful webpages.

b. What Can You Do?
A deep analysis on the four most critical elements of website

* performance and design

* average load time and website security

* mobile friendliness

* SEO
You can make website management easier on your team by hosting your website on a platform that integrates all your marketing channels.

5. Identifying the Right Technologies for Your Needs

a. Why It’s a Challenge
Finding the right technologies was the fifth biggest concern for marketers this year. Oftentimes, this is because feedback on technology is scattered. Marketers might turn to colleagues, friends in the industry, and/or analyst reports to figure out which technologies best fit their needs, only to find that feedback is spread across emails, social media, and so on from people of varied reputability.

b. What Can You Do?
For those of you looking for a tool, software, or piece of technology to solve a specific marketing problem, we’ve found it to be a really well-visualized map of carefully curated marketing technology resources. It’s worth noting that the main tool in top marketers’ arsenals is a platform for automating their team’s marketing efforts. We found that although our respondents indicated using an array of specific products, the larger trend was telling: The top marketers use marketing automation software in some form or another.

6. Targeting Content for an International Audience

a. Why It’s a Challenge
Targeting is a key component of all aspects of marketing. To be more effective at targeting, one of the first things any marketer needs do is identify their buyer personas to determine who it is they should be marketing to. If you’re expanding internationally, it can be a big challenge not only to figure out the best ways to market to an international audience but also to organize and optimize your site for different countries.

b. What Can You Do?
Your website visitors might speak a plethora of different languages and live in totally different time zones. To make your content appealing to a wide audience, you’ll need to keep your global visitors top-of-mind when creating all your content. This means being aware of seasonal references, translating units of measure and monetary references, and giving translators the tools and permissions to customize and adapt content for a specific audience when they need to. Be sure you’re optimizing your website for international visitors, too.

7. Training Your Team

a. Why It’s a Challenge
As companies scale and technologies continue to evolve, training your team will become a greater challenge for marketers. Whether it’s training them on the concepts and tools they’ll be using every day or making sure they’re achieving their full potential, the struggle is real across the board.

b. What Can You Do?
To get an overall idea of where your team stands, take a few minutes to assess each of your team members’ marketing strengths and weaknesses, levels of expertise, and passion/commitment to your company. Then, objectively rate the priority (or level of importance) of their expertise and their contribution to bottom line objectives (ROI) to date. You also might consider requiring your team members to rack up some online marketing certification.

8. Hiring Top Talent

a. Hiring top talent was the eighth biggest challenge marketers reported experiencing this year. Why? Many companies are shifting more resources to inbound marketing, which means higher and higher demand for top marketing talent. But supply simply isn’t keeping up. From sourcing the right candidates to evaluating for the right skills, finding the perfect person could take months or more. What’s more, the type of marketing talent companies are looking for is changing, too. Facts state that of thousands of job postings on Indeed.com, they concluded that employers are seeking marketers with technical and creative skill sets. And the quick rate at which the demand for these jobs are rising has caused a marketing skills gap, “making it difficult to find candidates with the technical, creative, and business proficiencies needed to succeed in digital marketing.”

b. What Can You Do?
Employers are looking for marketers with a diverse skill set that includes digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. To find the best inbound marketer for your team, the first thing you should do is decide what that person needs to be able to achieve for your business.

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