As a business or marketing leader, we often have to recognise our marketing challenges. But that’s only half the job right? — you must also find ways to overcome these challenges.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, this article should help. Not only have we outlined the top 10 marketing challenges based on search intent going into 2022, but we’ve also provided potential solutions to help you conquer them.
1. Having a Solid Marketing Plan in Place
The challenge: Your business doesn’t have a clear marketing plan.
At StrategiQ, we are firm believers that strategy forms the base of everything your enterprise does. Your marketing plan defines the targets your company seeks to achieve and helps your team create marketing messages that align with your end goal.
How to overcome: Start small by:
- Breaking your plan into actionable steps
- Unifying organisational assets like content calendars, CMS platforms and project management tools.
- Outsourcing to specialists in strategy can provide valuable insight or that often needed ‘wood for the trees’ view of your business.
Above all, keep your plan fluid. Strategies can change, which is why agile marketers are the most successful. Set benchmarks, continuously assess your marketing plan and make changes as you see fit.
2. Selling Your Products or Services Better
The challenge: Your team is so familiar with your products or services that they have trouble creating the right marketing messages.
We’ve had clients come to us with a product or service that — because they live and breathe it every day — they are almost too familiar with. This makes it challenging to get into the mindset of the target user and construct applicable marketing content. Rather than telling the story of how the product solves a problem or what the service helps end-users achieve, their marketing efforts focus on complex features that target consumers don’t care as much about.
How to overcome: Look as your audience rather than at your audience.
Step back and view what you’re selling in the eyes of your target market. Become the guide in your marketing story, keeping your audience as the central focus. Rather than playing up special features, emphasise what a purchaser will achieve using this product or service. You may even hire an external party (like StrategiQ!) to provide an outside perspective here.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to check out what your competition is doing. Take notes of what they do well and how they position themselves. But be sure to avoid exact replication — your marketing strategy may be similar to your competitors, but it needs to be unique to your brand.
3. Being Smarter With Your Product or Service Pricing
The challenge: Your pricing isn’t aligned with your business goals or customer preferences.
Higher prices due to COVID-19 and Brexit are concerning. The House of Commons analysed the rising cost of living in the U.K. and found that prices climbed 5.4% in December 2021 compared to December 2020. Additionally, PWC’s 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey found that 70% of customers prioritise getting the best deal.
This tells us that while prices are increasing, customers are still looking to get the best deal.
How to overcome: Assess the value of your work and align what you’re selling with your growth ambitions. Then, research the market landscape to determine what competitors are charging and if they are adapting their pricing strategy.
Pricing touches everything from your business finances to your product’s positioning in the market with considerations like whether it’s timeless, bespoke, or a short-lived product. It also factors into how you make a profit selling on online selling sites. It’s a key strategic decision you need to make for your business, and it can be just as much an art as it is a science.
But it’s not a decision you only get to make once.
4. Reaching Your Target Market
The challenge: With so many ways to reach your target audience, you don’t know which one to use.
How to overcome: Research, research and then research some more. To effectively reach your target market, you’ll need to:
- Identify what channels they’re using and where they are spending their time.
- Segment your marketing strategies based on buyer personas.
- Constantly assess what works and what doesn’t — you may have to adjust your personas as your product or service evolves.
The world is constantly changing and with that your audiences and their buying behaviors are constantly evolving too. Sometimes taking a quick step back to asses can help you leap forward with renewed focus.
5. Improving Your Professional Reputation and Branding
The challenge: Your business lacks proper brand recognition, and your current efforts aren’t resonating with your target customers.
How to overcome: Invest in your brand. Hire creatives, utilise digital tools, refine your marketing messages, set up new campaigns and get your brand in front of the right people.
Your brand and how it lives in the world invigorates — or holds back —your success. A strong brand sets the stage for growth, influence and ultimately profitability. These results are measurable in awareness and perception; customer acquisition, loyalty and most importantly financial performance.
Branding isn’t just another line item in your marketing budget, it is the foundation that, when done properly, can pay dividends over the life of your business. If you don’t have the time, resources or expertise to enhance brand recognition, hire professional teams who can.
6. Recognising the Difference Between ROI and Brand Awareness
The challenge: You expect an immediate ROI after running a brand awareness campaign.
How to overcome: Brand awareness strategies are different from performance-based strategies, and as marketers we need to treat them as such. Don’t think of your different digital marketing strategies as one particular polar investment. You may be running multiple campaigns, so avoid looking at the ROI on your entire marketing expenditure as a whole.
Depending on where you’re at in the business life cycle, you may need to invest a proportion of your budget into building your digital presence and reputation — efforts that might not produce an immediate ROI — and another portion into performance-based marketing tactics, like paid advertising and lead generation.
Achieving a healthy balance between brand awareness and ROI campaigns allows you to see how brand awareness and ROI campaigns work hand-in-hand. From there, you can develop an integrated strategy that results in more qualified lead generation and customer acquisition.
7. Personalising Customer Communications
The challenge: You’re either not personalising customer communications or you’re not doing it well enough to convert leads.
Personalising your marketing is absolutely necessary for two reasons:
- People want customised marketing experiences: McKinsey & Company reports that the value of personalisation is at an all-time high, with 71% of consumers expecting companies to deliver personalised interaction.
- Your competitors are meeting these expectations: The Evergage 2020 Trends in Personalisation report found that 94% of the marketers surveyed are incorporating personalisation tactics into their strategies — so you need to be doing the same.
How to overcome: When you know who your buyers are and where to find them, it’s easier to create custom marketing strategies. Get more familiar with your buyer’s journey by:
- Working with branding professionals to create buyer personas.
- Using these personas to understand your target market’s interests and preferences.
- Segmenting prospects into lists.
- Utilising integrated CRM software and digital tools to their full potential.
- Automations and workflows aren’t as complex and daunting as they may seem.
8. Getting the Right Content to Readers at the Right Time
The challenge: Are you creating content for the sake of it — resulting in content that has no content? I originally wrote that blog in 2015 after being inspired by a Mark Ritson talk… painfully it is still relevant to this day!
As marketers we are often obsessed with the creation and delivery rather than the purpose and value. And once we’ve produced something, you question how to deliver it to your target audiences effectively. At StrategiQ, we are firm believers that strategy forms the base of everything your enterprise does. Your marketing plan and content plan should be defined by the targets your company seeks to achieve and therefore helps your team create marketing messages that align with your end goal.
How to overcome: Stop producing as much content as possible. Instead, create quality content and distribute the final products through applicable media. In doing so, you’ll develop relevant content that reaches your target market through relevant channels at the relevant time. When your content is valuable, digestible and delivered directly to your target audience, it’ll result in a higher ROI.
To do this, perform research to determine:
- What your target audience wants to learn.
- What marketing channels your target audience is engaging with.
- How your target market prefers to receive content — such as blogs versus videos.
From there, you can utilise software and leverage PR partnerships to get valuable content in front of your audience.
9. Coordinating Efforts Between Sales and Marketing
The challenge: Some things never change… your sales and marketing departments are divided, resulting in miscommunication, tension and the “the blame game.”
How to overcome: Teach your sales and marketing teams why the other exists and how they intertwine. The departments shouldn’t be separate divisions, but rather one, cohesive unit — “smarketing.”
You can achieve this by:
- Using integrated tools (like HubSpot) to bridge the gaps between sales and marketing teams.
- Adding closed-loop reporting so marketing and sales teams can pass feedback and data to one another.
- Aligning everyone around a unified goal by sharing marketing strategies with the sales team and sales strategies with the marketing team.
10. Complying With GDPR
The challenge: Still worried about Data Security, Privacy and GDPR as well as their impact on your marketing strategy and tactics?
How to overcome: Stop buying lists, stop spamming inboxes and leave the “spray and pray” approach in 2021.
If other elements of your marketing strategy are working, then GDPR shouldn’t be an issue because people will be signing up to receive your content.
Look at GDPR as an opportunity to do better marketing, it’s far more advantageous to have an opted in email list of 5,000 engaged customers than it is to have a disengaged list of 500,000. For example, if you employ the content marketing strategies above, then you’ll organically engage with your target market. This will lead to voluntary newsletter signups and no GDPR violations for you.
Overcoming These Challenges Leads to Better Traffic and Leads
While it may feel discouraging to see a long list of marketing challenges you need to overcome, there’s a silver lining: By doing so, your organisation will naturally generate more leads, traffic and revenue.
No matter what marketing challenges your enterprise faces, don’t conquer them alone. At StrategiQ, we partner with business and marketing leaders to identify the challenges they’re facing and how to overcome them. Get started by discussing your marketing challenges with our team now.