Common Marketing Challenges: Part 2
Marketers face too many challenges for one blog post! Even after finding a strategy that works for your company, success isn’t guaranteed, as we face innovation and competition constantly. Go check out the first part of this series to brush up on other common B2B marketing challenges facing businesses. Today let’s tackle providing ROI and other marketing analytics challenges and see how to make your marketing even more effective.
THE CHALLENGE: Each year, HubSpot surveys thousands of marketers about what challenges they face and what solutions they come up with to address the problems. One of the most commonly reported marketing problem in the 2017 State of Inbound was proving ROI of marketing activities. This one’s huge! Measuring the return on investment is a critical way that marketers tell if their efforts are in vain or are effective. If you can’t prove or aren’t tracking ROI then you’re not able to demonstrate it to the higher ups. And that means you’re less likely to be able to make a case for a higher budget. Tracking every marketing activity is a difficult task but you can work towards making it easier.
HOW TO OVERCOME IT: Even with all the analytics technology at our fingertips, proving that your marketing is working is something that even huge corporations wrestle with. But with a little planning it doesn’t have to be your biggest issue.
Are you clear on what you even want your marketing to accomplish? Grow your social following? Generate leads? It likely differs from campaign to campaign, channel to channel. Without clearly defined goals, measuring ROI will be certainly be difficult. And when you have a unified strategy, segmenting your efforts (i.e. marketing on social platforms vs. content marketing efforts), can also be challenging. Set aside the time to sort through everything!
After your goals are determined, make the time. Seriously, dedicating the appropriate time and resources to discovering the links between marketing and sales is a simple step in the right direction. Ensuring there is good communication between your sales reports and marketing pieces is important, too. Can you identify the loop between your marketing and sales efforts? Use your marketing software and CRM solution to see how many leads (and customers) are being generated from a particular campaign or piece of content.
THE CHALLENGE: The challenge of lead generation probably necessitates it’s own blog feed. But basically, if you’re struggling with lead generation then you’re losing potential sales. Let’s pretend that you’ve reassessed your strategies and tactics for reaching your target audiences and you’re actually getting some quality leads. Are you tracking them? Are you calculating conversion rates? Who converted? Do we know why?
HOW TO OVERCOME IT: Attribution and conversion data give rich insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaign strategies. By creating a scoring system based on that information, you can focus on what works to generate higher quality leads.
Not all customers are valued the same. How do you capture that and feed it back to better qualify and score leads? Calculating customer lifetime value (CLV) is a great metric for understanding your customers. In marketing, CLV (aka LTV/Lifetime Value) predicts the net profit/revenue that a customer will generate during future relationships. Kissmetrics has a great infographic with more details.
THE CHALLENGE: As savvy marketers know, capturing and interpreting marketing data is vital. But where do you start? How do you go about compiling reports? Before you analyze and act on data, you need to, you know, have it. And, data often lives in multiple places, meaning marketing, sales, and operations teams sometimes don’t have a cohesive picture of what’s going on.
HOW TO OVERCOME IT: It all starts with finding the right technologies. You need to have the right tools at your disposal for collecting and tracking your marketing activities. That’s right, I’m talking about reporting tools and marketing automation softwares I dove deep into the latter topic here but ultimately these are great tools for amplifying the marketing tactics you have in place. A platform for automating marketing efforts is often the main tool a marketer will use.
Data might be tracked in systems such as MailChimp or Shopify. Platforms like HubSpot and Moz are efficient at consolidating data and integrating into one view, making it that much easier to be apprised of what’s going on. With automation softwares, marketers can more easily identify the best times to reach out to prospects.
And you know all about Google Analytics, right? A fantastic website analytics tool (and free!) it tracks all sorts of useful data on how people are interacting with your website, from most visited pages to referrals, to time spent on your pages, to the demographics of your visitors. It takes a bit of skill to interpret all the data but, hey, that’s why we’re here!
Social media tools such as Sprout Social compile all your social media analytics in one place but each platform has its own analytics (which is often helpful when you’re doing more in-depth reporting): Facebook for Business, Twitter Analytics, et al.
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From small hurdles to large obstacles, marketers are creative and can overcome challenges to find more success! When it comes to metrics like ROI and leads, it boils down to tracking and interpreting results.
I’ll take a look at content marketing in the next edition of Common Marketing Challenges.