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What was your greatest challenge as a digital marketer?
Let's make a discussion about the biggest challenges (and outcomes) that we've faced so far in our careers.
Here are the two biggest marketing challenges I face as a marketing consultant:
Budget - Everyone wants cheap conversions and fast results, which both are achievable, but if a client does not have the proper budget to perform adequate experiments it becomes very hard to ensure that the data being delivered is accurate and statistically significant.
Time - Here's the other edge of the sword. If a prospective client does not have a decent marketing budget they will most likely want to adopt an inbound marketing strategy, but most tactics that are used in said strategy (e.g. SEO, content marketing, etc.) can take three to six months to see any significant results. If someone hires me for only one month, the best I can do is perform an audit, fix what is broken, and lay out a content and social media marketing plan that puts the client on the right path to success. This might improve their SEO/SERP, but it is only a short-term fix.
The biggest challenge for me as a marketing business owner is...
Competition - Cheap, shitty competition on UpWork or Fiverr who can undercut legit professionals because they outsource all of their work.
1) As cliche as it sounds: hiring. Finding good, young talent is still hard, especially in the Silicon Valley. You'd expect it to be very easy to find great marketers here but everybody wants to be an engineer or CEO. 🤷🏻♂️
2) Understanding the market. I always find it difficult - not impossible - to very clearly define and profile the users I want to market to (or with, as Seth Godin says). But every time I get it done, everything else falls into place.
3) Focus. Not pursuing many small opportunities but focusing on the one big goal instead is hard nowadays. Not only because distractions are waiting behind every corner but because it gives instant gratification to make something small happen instantly that might yield a little return. But in the grand sum, those small things take away time and focus on the big goal.
Biggest challenge in digital marketing as a compete to our competitors and improve our awareness on search engine with growth the business.
Probably the biggest challenge we face in using digital marketing to do raw lead generation is:
Our clients haven't adapted to the new digital-powered consumer expectations and their empowerment generally: so they can't close the leads we send them. I know this is an industry-wide challenge, especially when generating leads in highly commodotised markets.
And of course who gets the blame for 'the leads are weak' (to quote Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross)? Us of course.
I'd be keen to hear from others who also find their clients can't close the leads you send them.
1) Focus, is for sure one. Knowing how to prioritize your time and what on. Relating also to a previous comment here about time - sometimes especially at an earlier stage company you focus mainly on activities that show results in the short term, and sooner or later this catches up with you. When and how much to allocate time for things that build up long term is a challenge.
2) A more specific challenge is around organic growth. If you're in a place where paid acquisition is working, you often don't pay enough attention to growing your organic traffic, which at some point will become a problem as you need to balance out CAC as you scale up.
My biggest challenge is the "immediacy need". Explaining to clients that digital marketing (inbound marketing) needs time upfront to research (if there has been no data collection) and set up as it's a long term strategy often meets the most resistance. Often, ego is a problem. Many clients will say no we don't need to develop personas, we know what our clients look like and so often its a basic profile, there is nothing to tell you the why, just the who.
Often, the immediacy need outweighs all other decisions. I've found clients paying for social media that is just bringing "likes and shares" and when I quiz this, again, you often feel the resistance because social media is something "you must do."
Ultimately, I think as marketers and growth hackers we are so confident in what it is we are offering, that we forget other people's nature. We can become very focused on what we do, how we do it and what the potential outcomes of that activity are, that we forget to look at what will make "this" client, become your client.
Clients aren't just buying you, although they need to believe you can deliver what you say can, but in larger organisations (and small businesses) you are dealing with politics, more ego (multiple stakeholders) and a lack of perceived value. So my goal is to work harder to understand more about these things in my opening conversations moving forward, rather than focus on my solution, which ultimately needs to pass those tests anyway.
To sign off, even in smaller businesses with a single owner, quite often, the bigger financial commitments are made between partners. That is domestic relationship partners, so your solution needs to convince all decision makers, not just those apparent in the business.
My greatest challenge in Digital marketing has been nurturing people who are an MQL to SL
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