Leaders and business owners face all kinds of challenges from day to day. Whether you run a small business or a billion dollar multi national corporation, you know the struggle that is lead generation, ROI, and operating within your time and budget constraints. There are daily obstacles to overcome that might be unique to your field or company, but there are definitely a few we can ALL relate to.
Here’s our definitive list of the greatest hurdles marketers will face in 2018. Plus a few helpful tips and tricks to overcome them!
1. Lead Generation
So what is lead generation?
According to Marketo, “Lead generation describes the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline.” Sounds simple enough right? Then why is lead gen one of the hardest parts of marketing? One reason is that taking a lead and turning it into an actual sale requires m
any different people and skill sets on a sales team working together. It takes a lot of skill and collaboration to successfully move leads through all 4 phases of the sales funnel, as shown in the graphic below.
Not only that, but generating leads to begin with is a whole separate feat in and of itself. So what can you do?
–Directly engage leads by sending messages or emails.
–Take advantage of new technology i.e Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
–Start a company blog and encourage users to subscribe.
–Create buyer personas so you can get inside the heads of your potential customers and figure out exactly what they’re looking for.
2. Keeping Up With Changes in Technology (i.e Social Media, Live Video, AI)
There are few things more exhausting for marketers than trying to keep up with the ever changing landscape of technology. From artificial intelligence to smart home speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, the list is always changing and growing. The key to any good marketing strategy is to remember it’s always easier to go to where your customers already are, rather than trying to get them to come to you. So how do you keep up?
–Be an active user of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t underestimate the power of these three resources. Twitter especially is a great place for daily news, updates, and trends.
–Subscribe to tech blogs and publications such as Entrepreneur and TechCrunch.
–Pay close attention to your competitors and take notes on how leaders in your industry incorporate new technologies into their strategies.
3. Developing a Brand Identity and Voice
Many businesses make the mistake of overlooking the importance of developing a solid brand identity. On the long list of to-do’s for entrepreneurs, this one tends to receive the least attention. It’s hard to know how to get started and how to visualize what your brand’s voice is. The infographic above provides some helpful tips and tricks.
–Logo: Be sure you use the same color scheme, fonts, and style across al platforms. Make sure your logo is clean, easily recognizable, and makes sense with your product or service.
–Language: You want your customers to see your brand as human, not as a cold corporate entity. It’s important that the language you use is consistent across all of your channels. Content scheduling platforms like Hootsuite are a great tool to help your accomplish this.
–Mission: Your company’s mission is a huge part of brand identity. Your customers can read between the lines and can see if your mission stays consistent no matter what you post.
4. Using Data to Inform and Enhance Strategy
Data in marketing is something that seems to incite a lot of fear and trepidation in the world of entrepreneurs. There is so much data out there that it can make your head spin. But with a little organization, the data you have on your customers or projects can greatly improve your ROI and bottom line. So take a deep breath and log in to your Google Analytics account.
-A/B testing: Running an A/B test on all your email marketing campaigns will help you know specifically what’s engaging your audience and what’s not.
–Paid Search Optimization: Do your research. Figure out what keywords your audience is searching the most and go from there.
–Retargeting: This is a great way to reach leads that have already visited your website but did not make a purchase or result in a conversion.
5. The Million Dollar 3 Letter Word: ROI
Return on investment, colloquially known in the marketing world as ROI, is actually a very simplistic formula. ROI= (Gains-Cost)/Cost. But while the formula itself is simple, putting it into practice is not. But there are a few basic things you can do to make sure you’re getting the biggest ROI possible.
–Run analytics often. Use free tools like Google Analytics to track your conversion rates be sure you’re not investing more money than what you’re getting back.
-Repurposing content. Don’t be afraid to repurpose old content from your blog or social media channels. If you created a super baller guide to using Facebook for business, repost or share the article if the opportunity arises. It will save you time and money! Just use this sparingly and don’t repost too often.
6. Targeting the Right Audience
This one is key. It’s not enough to simply attract anyone and everyone. You want to attract the right audience. It takes a bit of skill and nuance to learn how to narrow in your lead generation efforts on the right audience. After all, you’re wasting your time if you attract leads that are not likely to convert. Be mindful of who your buyer personas are and spend your time focusing on those.
7. Time & Budget Constraints
This is one of those hurdles faced by marketers that, for better or worse, you will likely always face. Very few brands have the luxury of unlimited advertising dollars and unlimited man power. That being said, it’s an incredibly valuable skill to be able to make the most of a limited budget and turn it into a robust marketing strategy that works.
–Use free marketing tools like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Everyone can start somewhere. Even if you have virtually no marketing budget, anyone can learn to use Facebook pages or create a business instagram account.
–Influencer marketing. This recent phenomenon in the marketing world is pure genius because your customers are essentially doing the leg work for you.
-Crowdfunding. Depending on the project, you might be suprised at the amount of people in the general public who are ready and willing to contribute their hard earned dollars to your project. It doesn’t hurt to give it a shot!
As you can see, there are universal hurdles faced by marketers regardless of industry, size of business, or years of experience. We ALL struggle with the elusive mysterious beast that is lead generation, ROI, and brand identity. But! Luckily, there are a handful of shortcuts and tips and tricks that will help your business be more successful and make your life a little easier.