Every marketer faces different challenges. And, ever since the 2020 covid pandemic, the ways we've had to pivot, adjust campaigns, and address marketing challenges have been unlike anything many of us have had to do before. Today, marketing is so fast-paced that it can be difficult to identify which areas you'll want to develop to facilitate stronger growth in 2022 and beyond.
As business or marketing leaders, we often have to recognize 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 most common marketing problems based on search intent going into 2022, but we’ve also provided potential solutions to help you conquer them.
Marketing Challenges in 2022
Technology has vastly improved, and many businesses have already made adjustments from the post-pandemic. A lot of companies are operating remotely and have tech stacks in place to keep communication, project management, and other tools needed to allow people to work out of the office. Let’s take a look at the marketing problems that businesses face and how to overcome them:
Common Marketing Problems Businesses Face
Below are some of the common marketing problems that you may face in 2022.
Despite this, many organizations struggle to stay aligned. Distributed workforces, fluctuating market dynamics, and office politics can make working in lockstep difficult. Regardless of the root cause, overcoming sales and marketing misalignment is necessary to secure long-term success. Companies tend to have conflicting goals. For example, marketing will want to capture as many leads as possible, while sales are only focused on closing deals. The problem is that they aren't working together, and thus prospects become confused when they see that the company isn't aligned.
Communication is key when trying to align your sales and marketing efforts. If you want your teams to be on the same page, you can't keep them siloed. They have to interact with each other consistently meaningfully.
Your sales team needs to be able to discuss the results it's seeing from the leads marketing is passing along. And both have to understand each other's respective plans and strategies when it comes to messaging. Additionally, if you're planning specific campaigns, both departments need to know what to expect from each other. Ultimately, you need to maintain a mutual understanding between departments.
Encourage teams to listen to each other
If you want your sales and marketing efforts to align, your teams need to listen to one another and — corny as this sounds — actually hear each other. Both departments need to have a comprehensive understanding of your sales process.
If they don't, neither can make the kind of thoughtful, actionable recommendations needed to improve each department's role in it. Sales and marketing both need to consider the other's perspective — to listen and learn until they can thoroughly explain both sides of your sales process in full.
Doing so can at least partially remedy any of the points listed above. If your teams are willing and able to hear each other out legitimately, they can develop the empathy, knowledge, collaboration skills, and strategic vision necessary to bring the departments together.
If your traffic is leveling off, and you're struggling to extract leads from what is coming through, it goes without saying that you're probably feeling frustrated and a bit discouraged.
After all, your business's ability to produce a steady stream of website traffic has a significant influence on your overall ability to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers.
Perform proper keyword research
If traffic is low, optimization is necessary. Just because you have a website in place doesn't mean it's going to do all of the work for you. If you're not already conducting keyword research, it's important that you do so. On-page SEO practices like including a keyword in your meta descriptions, ALT tags, headers, title tags, URL, and links will help you to boost your search engine results rank. Tools like HubSpot's Keyword tool, WordTracker, and WordTracker Scout all serve as great resources.
One of the surest indications that you are targeting the wrong audience is that you are not getting the desired response from customers.
With a website that is simple yet elegant, you can succeed in reaching a high-end customer base. If you've been getting a lot of site visitors after producing a lot of marketing material and putting it out there without many customers, you're targeting the wrong audience. When the number of visitors goes up and the number of actual customers goes down, you've got a problem.
Businesses that are reaching the wrong audience will get more people looking at their website than buying from it. Any marketing professional knows that to fuel growth and increase sales; you have to get attention. The problem is when you're getting the wrong kind of attention; you're not going to grow or increase sales.
Create Buyers Personas
The remedy for unqualified leads or people who don't respond to your marketing campaigns can be fixed by creating buyer personas. If you don't already have them in place, it's important that you listen closely to what I am about to say here. In order to capture the right leads, you must first capture the attention of the right audience. With detailed personas in place, marketers can pull specific information from them and use it to create content that resonates. The more you know about their pain points, the more you can do to provide solutions.
Messaging allows your business to establish a consistent way of talking about your company. We find that stakeholders, leaders, and staff each have a unique way of talking about their business—many of whom miss the mark when it comes to leaving a memorable and clear impression of what they do for whom.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that "everyone" is your target audience. Not everyone wants or needs to buy your product or service. A "mass market" approach will only allow you to reach a broad audience instead of a niche audience that already seeks solutions your business offers. A common saying we have in the office is, "if you're shouting to a stadium of people, your message reaches nobody." The more refined you can get with articulating your ideal customer, who they are, what their pain points are, where they live, their age, their income level, their buying behaviors, etc., the more robust of a target audience profile you'll be able to own.
Know Your Target Audience
To ensure your marketing message effectively boosts sales, you need to know your target audience inside out. Your content should center on your customer's needs – that's what's going to catch their attention. To best understand how you can cater to them, you need to do your research. Focus groups, questionnaires, and interviews are great for gaining insight into how you can serve existing and potential clients.
Social media is an invaluable tool here, too. Engaging with your target audience regularly via comments is a fast way to get feedback. You can tailor your message around the information you gain; that way, it'll generate a stronger response.
A tip for using that information is to address your audience as though you're already mid-conversation. Once you've discovered their needs, address them in a way that suggests you're responding to a question that they asked you, and you're providing a solution.
No matter how good your content is, if you can’t execute it, it simply can’t work for you. Without the right content creation resources and infrastructure, none of your good ideas will see the light of day. (We know firsthand how easily limited resources, lack of communication, and inefficient processes can sabotage any content marketing operation.) That’s why you need to strengthen your content creation infrastructure. In general, we believe in working smarter, not harder.
- Optimize your process. See our guide to revamp your content creation process so you can work more effectively at every stage.
- Use the right tools. See our roundups of tools and resources to create content marketing, start a blog, produce infographics, ebooks, branding, copywriting, and more.
- Have your audience create content for you. User-generated content helps you take some of the pressure off your team while giving your audience an opportunity to tell your brand story.
- Bring in the right help. A content agency can be a huge asset to your team—if you find the right partner. (According to CMI, 49% of marketers outsource at least one content marketing task.)
- Follow best practices for every type of content. There are more platforms and mediums available than ever before, and each provides a unique opportunity to engage your audience. But each type of content requires a different type of effort to produce.
Email remains one of the most effective channels marketers can use to cultivate relationships with followers. By allowing organizations to stay in contact with customers over a long period of time, email provides brand engagement opportunities that other digital marketing channels simply cannot.
That doesn’t mean all email marketing campaigns are as strong as they can possibly be. If your efforts aren’t delivering the results you want, one (or more) of the following email marketing challenges could be why. Luckily, once you know what types of common email problems you should be aware of, addressing them with a marketing makeover is much easier.
A/B Test to Improve Conversions
Even if subscribers open your emails, they may not take any action. Thus, you also need to A/B test multiple variations of your call to action (CTA). For a quick marketing makeover, try different fonts and formatting. Phrase your CTAs differently and test which delivers the strongest results. Format your overall email content in various ways to see if you can make a CTA stand out more clearly. When you constantly experiment and test new strategies, you’re more likely to learn what best address your marketing problems.
Chances are, your website's performance is high on your list of priorities — particularly since website speed and performance play a major role in your website's SEO ranking. It's an asset that works around the clock to draw in visitors, convert them, and help you hit your goals.
Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to designing beautiful web pages. Here are a few things marketers can do to deal with this challenge.
Hire the right people to help
There are free online tools to determine how your website stacks up on key metrics, including SEO, mobile, and security performance — and how you can improve it.
If your primary challenge with managing a website has to do with the skills and resources you have available, you aren't alone. This is especially true for small companies who don't have all the talent in-house required to cover content, optimization, design, and back-end website management.
One solution? Hire freelancers and agency partners. To find freelancers, we recommend:
- Tap into your personal and professional network by posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks with a description of what you're looking for.
- Browsing freelance writers and designers based on their portfolios and areas of interest.
Overall, you can make website management easier on your team by hosting your website on a platform that integrates all your marketing channels.
Many marketers struggle with marketing ROI due to following reasons:
- Time: The process seems overwhelming when you consider all the channels, content, and agencies that support marketing efforts.
- Data and Tools: How will we collect the data, and what tools do we need to get the job done?
- Skills: Analytics, Finance, and Accounting are not the strongest skillsets for many traditional marketers. The mad-men days are over as analytics is now a key skill for marketers to possess.
- Approach: What’s the best or easiest way to calculate ROI for your business?
Overcoming these challenges does not require an MBA in Finance, huge investments in technology, or a whole new team.
Tie metrics to long-term business objectives
There are many metrics to choose from. Make sure the metrics that are most important directly relate to your business objectives.
- Take a “simple ROI” approach for your entire team by identifying and including all “variable costs” such as media spend (advertising) and agency costs, as well as “fixed costs” such as salaries plus benefits and technology investments.
- Then use marketing-generated revenue to calculate overall Marketing ROI. Present this to the CEO and show him that Marketing has strategic value and is tied to the larger business objectives. Track and present overall Marketing ROI at each board meeting, and then optimize your marketing activities that produce the best return.
- Analyze campaign-level ROI. Measure the return of each program you run based on only the variable campaign investments of increased creative, content, media, and agency expenses. And then approach every campaign with the same “simple” lens.
Creating a precise marketing budget is challenging, and any mistake could be costly. Just one blunder can throw off the company's entire marketing strategy. Also, you will most likely have fewer financial resources available for the budget than you wish. So it pays to understand the common errors businesses make when planning budgets.
Failure to set clear objectives
One common mistake that B2B entities make when coming up with their marketing budgets is doing it without clear goals. You cannot budget for something you have not even defined in the first place. This could lead to underestimation of required amounts or over expenditure on marketing, funds that could have been placed to good use.
To avoid this, you need to work on your objectives and ensure that your marketing strategy is in line with the company vision. Afterward, you will prioritize all costs according to the established goals.
Failure to coordinate your marketing strategy with sales
You must develop your B2B marketing budget in conjunction with your sales, with each expense corresponding with a projected business outcome. Most companies, however, fail to relate the two. If you do not coordinate the budget with sales, you may end up with an advertising campaign with no positive, direct impact on revenue. Fortunately, this pitfall is avoidable by prioritizing communication between your sales and marketing departments. Notably, a broken sales funnel could also impact your marketing strategy and lead to failure regardless of your investment in it. Therefore, you should test it regularly and make any necessary adjustments.
As we mentioned above, 21% of marketers expect hiring top talent to be their biggest challenge in 2022. And, we're not too surprised. Hiring talent with a great track record takes time, effort, and money -- which many marketing teams do not have. While hiring is challenge marketing teams have faced throughout the past five years or so, concerns are continuing to grow even more with news of worker shortages and recruiters competing for applicants that have chosen to shift roles following the global pandemic.
Thankfully, new technology and recruiting techniques can help your company both hire AND retain top talent. Here are five things you should consider next time you find yourself desperately reaching for great candidates:
Use HR optimization software to keep organized.
Talent management can be overwhelming. Thankfully, today’s HR technology can make it easier for companies to stay organized. Human resources management software (HRMS) was developed to solve common problems an HR manager has to cope with every day. Companies can easily automate most of their talent-related processes with all-in-one HR software. This not only saves time but also allows companies to manage talent more effectively.
Understand why your employees love working there.
In order to market your company effectively to top talent, you need to know what you’re selling to them! What is it about your company that employees adore? Poll your current employees and ask them what they love most about your company. You might be pleasantly surprised by their answers. Taking time to talk with your employees can give you valuable insight into your company culture. Plus, it can give you a genuine look at your company.
Share these company qualities with your target candidates.
After you understand why your current employees love your company, tell the world! Once you’ve got the content, get it out into the universe. Share it with your followers. Encourage your employees to share it with their networks. According to a 2014 survey, almost 30% of respondents said they’d prefer to apply to a company that was honest or transparent about its culture and values. That’s why sharing honest stories about your company’s culture, and values is a great opportunity to engage the talent your organization needs.
Unfortunately, in the fast-paced world of marketing, it can be challenging for leaders to find the time to train, while employees might not have the time or money to access professional development outside of their day-to-day tasks. When you hire someone or get hired by your dream company, the work needed to grow doesn't just stop at the offer letter.
If you're a manager or marketing leader, you'll need to take time to teach that employee how your company works. This could include voice and messaging training, helping them understand buyer personas, or getting them acclimated to the tech stack or processes you use.
Meanwhile, regardless of whether you're a seasoned marketing team employee or new hire, you might wish your company had more opportunities for training, onboarding, or professional development that could allow you to excel and learn while also hitting your KPIs.
Prioritize Employee Training and Corporate Learning
Ultimately, businesses should think of training and professional development offerings as indirect ROI generators. Ultimately, even the most top-tier unicorn talent will need time to get used to how your company works.
On one end of the spectrum, companies and leaders can retain employees and save money on talent searches because of their offerings. Meanwhile, their talent will learn more, grow more, become even more competitive, and -- most importantly -- feel more fulfilled and supported in their role. Additionally, you don't always have to hire instructors or take time out of your day to train. For example, you can:
- Encourage project managers or individual contributors looking for visibility to present experiments, strategies, or learnings at events, weekly meetings, or annual team conferences.
- Book an annual professional development day during a slow season where all employees are asked to take a free online course of their choosing and report back on how it went.
- Consider hosting quarterly or bi-annual new employee or new manager training days where newer hires and new managers can plan to go to in order to train with minimal impact on their quarterly projects.
- Create evergreen training videos, internal quizzes, or other resources that you can send to new or newly promoted employees on their first day.
- Have managers develop 100-Day Plans for new hires or those that transfer to their team, which includes training assignments, resources to read through, and a contact list of people to meet or schedule training with.
Identifying and Combating Marketing Challenges
If you're a marketer who sees the same challenge year-over-year, it might be a barrier worth putting on your radar. However, some challenges can be industry-wide. Year-over-year challenges across the industry are incredibly important to note, regardless of whether they impact you or not.
Why? These challenges might not just be something you're facing but could also be faced by your competitors. If you can figure out how to navigate a reoccurring industry challenge effectively, you could have a leg up against the competition. Universal Creative Solutions helps you create a marketing plan and provides marketing consulting to help you navigate the challenges you may face this year and beyond. Schedule a consultation with our marketing and business operations expert to see how we can help take your business to the next level.