Today, a new connection asked me something that I’ve never been asked before and it got some real juices flowing. “Yeah, I said juices”. I appreciate when execs and colleagues think outside the box and do disruptive things in business and the digital landscape and I’m so glad I’m connected to him now.
He presented me with the simple yet unique question of…
“What are some of the biggest hurdles you see in digital marketing right now?”
I love this as most never stop to think about problems as frequent as we should. We’re thinking sprint and not marathon nowadays it seems. Marketers usually remind me of dating in college, always going for the kill on the first date. Closing on day one. I believe there are many hurdles in the digital space however, it’s mostly due to a misunderstanding of the landscape, platforms, and lack of respect in the fact that we need to become practitioners not just marketers.
Hurdle #1: Social Media not being taken seriously. The issue here is simple, when people stop calling it social media and start thinking of it as the current state of the internet there will be a major change in how people go from users to practitioners and how much more respect executives have for these platforms. Till then, more market share for us as when they do catch on it’ll drive the cost of attention up and it’ll be higher and faster than Google ever was or is. Just look at the difference in facebook and google in regards to stock, valuation, user behavior, and acquisition.
Just as TV took over the radio, the internet is doing to TV and pretty soon if not already, these mobile devices will become our 1st point of media consumption. We’re pretty much already there though wouldn’t you say? My iPhone is my television pretty much. It’s my television, it’s my communication device, it’s my news source, it’s my everything and according to data, it’s the same way for the majority of us.
Hurdle #2: Traffic and Leads: Clearly, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the year’s progress and competition stiffen, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus our efforts. When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions…
- Are we truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for?
- Do we know the type of content our audience actually wants?
Needless to say, the content promotion playbook is not the same as it was five years ago. What makes this such a great thing for someone such as myself and you is that when this is our passion and we’re practitioners, it gives us much greater leverage in the sandbox as most are too lazy to realize we need to treat the space with respect and constantly be learning. We get comfy I think and that’s the advantage for us. I’m married to this game and every day is an opp to get even better at this.
Hurdle #3: Defining the ROI in our online initiatives: This one clearly needs to be addressed in every organization and brand. Marketers need to understand the effectiveness of each particular marketing campaign, a piece of content, etc. Proving ROI goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase the budget and prove value as a strategist.
One big issue here though is that tracking the ROI of every single marketing activity isn’t always easy if you don’t have two-way communication between your marketing activities such as the proper setup of a CRM and sales reports which of course come from another CRM. There’s a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activities and sales results. This means tying both your marketing software and a sales CRM solution together to close the loop between your marketing and sales efforts with a service-level agreement (SLA). That way, you can directly see how many leads and customers are generated through your marketing activities.
I’ve found there’s no better combination than having an SLA and doing inbound marketing. As marketers, we face different challenges and these challenges should arise daily with the fast shifts in technology and consumer behavior patterns. Although we typically share similar goals, some teams are stuck on hiring top talent, while others are having trouble finding the right technology for their needs.
Whatever the case may be, there’s always at least one area that we can stand to improve. In other words, there’s always room to optimize the various components of our strategy and turn our marketing into an even more effective revenue generator.
Do you have a clear understanding of your goals and objectives yet? do you have a strategy in place that is built around those goals and objectives? do you have the internal resources that move the needle as yes, the marketing department moves the needle for all aspects of the busines?.