Today’s marketing professionals are tasked with a wide array of goals and objectives.
In the past, a job title in “marketing” was often focused on branding. But today’s marketing professionals are involved in a variety of areas, including;
- Business analysis
- Data analysis
- Public relations
- Sales support
- Market research
- Product research
- Consumer trends
The list goes on and on. Along with these varied job duties and marketing concentrations, come a whole host of challenges. A recent study from DataXu, took a closer look at the biggest challenges facing marketers today:
How can you overcome the top marketing challenges?
For this post, we’re going to address the top two challenges facing today’s marketing professionals:
Creating an efficient marketing mix.
One key component of marketing is to leverage different channels to reach your entire target audience and surround people with your message. At BARQAR, we suggest starting with marketing research. Take the time to truly understand your target audience. Find out what their biggest challenges and headaches are. Find out where they spend their time. Examine data about their consumption and usage of different media platforms. Uncover who their key influencers are (both at work and at home). Once you find answers to these key questions, you can form a strong marketing message and decide which channels will be most effective at reaching that audience. We often suggest testing different channels to determine effectiveness, and then altering your implementation strategy based on data. We find that relying on just one marketing channel is a recipe for disaster–whereas using both online and offline marketing tactics together yield much better results.
Quantifying marketing’s impact on sales.
This is a biggie! Marketing needs to prove their worth and add value — without proving value, marketing could be seen as an unjustified expense. The problem though is that it’s often hard to quantify the impact. To help, here are some places to start:
- Your website.
This is the easiest channel to track. With online marketing, we look at Google Analytics and quantify website traffic. We can look at where traffic is coming from (what marketing activities drove that traffic). We can examine source of traffic (search engines, social, direct traffic, referrals, etc.). But perhaps most importantly, we can track conversions – prospects that completed a contact form, people that visited the contact page for your phone number, or sales generated directly on-site.
- Social media.
All too often, the metrics we focus on are around branding – total followers and total impressions. It’s hard to tie this to sales. Instead, we suggest focusing on the actions people take from social media. Look closely at your website analytics and pay attention to traffic from social media. You can track this traffic all the way through to conversion/sale. Use this metric to display the effectiveness of your social marketing.
- Direct mail.
When using direct mail, we like to integrate trackable elements. For example, you can drive people to a personally branded URL (and know when they engage with your message). You could create a unique trackable phone number. You can also just cross reference client name against sales records if you track customer data.
Much like social media, many people focus on branding impact – viewer/listener reach. But again, this is hard to tie specifically to sales. We suggest looking at spikes in online traffic during commercial time slots (and whether that traffic converts) or using a unique trackable phone number that is just used in these spots.
Finally, one of the best ways to tie marketing efforts to sales is to ask your customers how they found you. We recently had a client that was engaged in online marketing activities (content marketing, social media and search engine optimization) for roughly 6 months and questioned the investment. We could show increases in contact page visits and overall website traffic. But since this was a B2B consulting business (not e-commerce) it was harder to track through to conversion. The sentiment was “my sales people’s cold calling are driving this increase and marketing is a waste of money.” So instead of just guessing at this, we had the receptionist ask all inbound callers how they heard about this company–and this was tracked in a Google form. After 30 days we examined the results and 80% of all leads came from search engines and social media – a direct result of the online marketing activities. The moral of the story here is to ask your customers, don’t just assume.
Looking to drive more sales revenue from your marketing investment?
At BARQAR, we focus on helping companies make smart marketing decisions. From online marketing to print and traditional media, BARQAR’s team of marketing experts can help. Contact Buffalo’s top marketing agency today!