Marketing has never been an easy job. But an argument can be made that it’s more difficult today than ever before. From the time-strapped, distracted target audience you’re trying to engage to competitors encroaching on your turf from all over the globe, marketers face a wide range of challenges every day.
In its recently released State of Inbound 2016 report, HubSpot polled thousands of marketers and one of the things they asked them was what, specifically, the challenges are. There aren’t any real shockers on the list, but you will probably be comforted when you realize that you can probably relate to every entry.
What’s Keeping Us Up at Night?
Here are the top five issues that marketers today are wrestling with:
- Attracting more website visitors and generating more leads. Marketing is a multi-faceted role, but at the end of the day, it’s about helping sales hit its number. And without web traffic resulting in leads, that’s very difficult to do. As HubSpot’s survey showed, high quality content is the key to getting the attention of your target audience. A good test of whether your material meets the “high quality” standard is to ask yourself if they would pay to obtain it.
- Quantifying ROI. Showing the return on your marketing investment was easier in the days of “traditional” marketing. Create a unique phone number for that print ad and then just compare the revenue generated by leads that came in on that line to the cost of the ad, and voila! With inbound marketing, where your relationship with a prospect tends to grow more slowly based on many interactions, it’s much more difficult. But it’s not impossible. By working to establish clear connections between your CRM and your marketing automation system (like HubSpot), you can get a good handle on your ROI.
- Getting the necessary budget. While having an adequate marketing budget doesn’t guarantee that you can (and will) produce great content, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some money to spend. The best way to get upper management to loosen the purse strings is to show that you are achieving results (see above). But if you’re thinking, “But I need a decent budget in order to make things happen,” I hear you. And that’s why this is a top challenge!
- Maximizing the effectiveness of your website. If your company is like most, your website is your most visible and most important marketing asset. Designed properly, it’s a “sales rep” that never sleeps and reliably guides visitors down the path to conversion. The challenge is to keep your website producing results over time through optimizing performance and design, and staying on top of SEO. Often the key here is resources. If you aren’t in a position to hire permanent employees, working with an agency partner (like us) can help.
- Finding the right technology. There are plenty of platforms, software, and apps out there to help you do your job. But how do you find the right ones? Advice from colleagues can provide some guidance, but it’s not always unbiased. A powerful tool for getting the lay of the marketing land is Growthverse.com. There’s a wealth of information on this site on everything from content marketing to marketing automation to analytics.
You are Not Alone
So whether other marketers you know express it openly or not, virtually all of them feel your pain. We do, too. As a leading Colorado inbound marketing firm, we’ve helped many clients meet their marketing challenges head-on. Give us a shout if you want to talk about the hurdles you face and how to clear them.
To download the entire State of Inbound 2016 report, click below.