Marketers are facing an increasing list of challenges going into the second half of 2023, and in 2024 those challenges don’t look to get any easier.
Increased regulation, new privacy rules, artificial intelligence, and social media and email overuse are among the biggest challenges.
However, with the right perspective, strategy, tactics, campaign, technology and process in place, marketers can be successful at generating leads and driving revenue for their companies.
Here are eight of the top challenges we see facing our clients and how we recommend they get fixed quickly.
We hear this from prospects almost every day: “We bought HubSpot, but we’re pretty sure we’re not seeing full value for it, nor are we using it as much as we should be.”
It’s a common challenge but one that is easily and quickly remedied.
There are a couple of ways to fix this challenge. You could hire someone, but HubSpot expertise is hard to find today, and hiring a full-time HubSpot admin could run you close to $100,000.
Even if you found a part-time contractor, you’re looking at $100 an hour or more. There are just too many companies that need this and not enough people who do this.
A better bet would be to work with a partner like Square 2 and have them be your outsourced HubSpot expert resource. This gives you a team of experts on call to handle all your HubSpot-related issues. They should also be there to provide training, make any necessary adjustments to your HubSpot configuration and recommend additional ways you can realize full value from the tool set.
In just a day or two, you could be onboarded, trained and have people working on those changes you’ve wanted for months but weren’t able to get done.
Here are some of the services we provide on an hourly basis to help with HubSpot-related issues. If you want us to look at your HubSpot portals for no charge, provide recommendations on what needs to be fixed and give an estimate for fixing anything we find, just click here to schedule a FREE 13-point HubSpot checkup.
We talk to clients about the condition of their data as part of every engagement and every prospect call. Your database is strategically critical to your ability to execute marketing campaigns.
If you have bad data, incomplete data, outdated data, poorly segmented data or even data that you suspect might be bad or old, you need to take a step back and get this cleaned up first.
A data audit and cleanup project can be executed quickly, but it needs to be done before you start any marketing tactics, campaigns or outreach.
These projects should be done by someone with experience doing them for several other companies. There should be a set process for reviewing the data with you, understanding your data requirements and assessing the data against your requirements.
Then there should be a process for cleaning up the data, potentially supplementing your data with other data and delivering a clean, accurate and segmented database.
Email marketing campaigns are facing a serious uphill battle today. People are inundated with bad emails and their inboxes are full of garbage. This makes it harder and harder to get your good emails through the clutter.
In addition, new regulations, privacy rules and tools like the iPhone’s hide my email features are making it harder yet to use email to get to your prospects.
However, if you shift your strategy away from trying to get them to request a meeting and instead start building a community based on highly engaging and educational content that solves your prospects’ challenges, you can use email very effectively.
Again, this fix can be applied quickly. Start thinking about your prospects’ biggest challenges and what information you can provide that helps them the most.
This is what should be the basis for your email, not discounts, promotions or product offerings.
Marketing has been a black hole for a long time. It’s been more art than science too. But today, it’s 100% metrics based and 100% data driven. You should know exactly what’s working well, what’s just working OK and what’s not working at all.
The only way to fix this is to have a marketing automation and sales CRM platform that provides access to the metrics you need to uncover what’s working and what’s not.
For most of our clients, this is HubSpot. Having your website on the CMS, your marketing run through Marketing Hub and the sales team using Sales Hub means you have full visibility into your entire customer journey.
If you add Service Hub to the mix, you’ll have visibility into their customer experience as well. This is no longer a nice to have, and there are very few competitive products that give you that full click-to-close data set you need to manage today’s revenue generation efforts.
Getting you set up on a full suite of HubSpot tools isn’t going to take a few days – it’s more likely to take a few months. But in the meantime, you can start looking at your website and seeing what sources are producing visitors, what pages are getting views, what pages are converting visitors into leads and what content is getting the most attention.
This is going to give you a very good initial perspective on how your marketing is performing and some initial insights into what you might need to do to get it to perform better. This can be done in a few days with the right analytical tools and someone with a background in doing this type of work.
We’ve seen this at several companies over the past few years, and changes in Google’s algorithm are generally the cause. Keeping your website optimized for search is something you should be working on every single week.
Today, several factors could be causing a decrease in visitors. First, the site might be taking too long to load. Google ranks fast-loading sites first, and yours should be lightning fast.
To see how fast your site is, you can have Google score it here.
The other issue, and one we don’t see as much, is that your site has to be optimized for mobile. This doesn’t mean you can see your site on an iPhone, it means someone designed an entirely different mobile experience for your site.
When someone visits your site on the phone, they need to see a mobile website.
Finally, the rankings game is one that everyone is playing at the same time. If you’ve seen a dip in organic rankings, your competition likely decided to get in the game, and they’ve worked to be ranked higher.
Make sure you’re monitoring this monthly and working on your site weekly.
This is a big issue. Historically, marketing tended to blow this feedback off, but today you just can’t have this, and there is no reason to have this situation.
Marketing has to work in alignment with sales. The leads marketing is generating must meet the requirements that sales sets.
This does go back to strategy. Sales needs to have a seat at the table when the personas are being created. They have to be in discussions when market segments are being selected and prioritized. In addition, customer service should be sharing the profile for who the best customer is right now.
All this information goes into the persona development, which drives the messaging and the content to create marketing that generates the exact leads sales wants and needs to hit your revenue goal.
If you’re not getting this feedback, you might have to go back to the drawing board and look strategically at what marketing is doing and why.
While this won’t be a quick fix, identifying the situation and getting everyone together to reset the targeting criteria can be done quickly.
This challenge is directly related to NOT knowing your prospects’ buyer journeys. Every single person who is about to buy anything has a buyer journey. Some are fast and simple, but in B2B most are long and complex.
Knowing their buyer journeys in detail is the key to knowing what content to create to turn visitors into leads and then leads into sales opportunities.
First, you should know that the simple, vertical sales funnel is so old that it should be officially retired. You might not know this, but it was created in 1898. Seriously, check it out.
Think people buy like they did in 1898? Me either.
Today, we use the Cyclonic Buyer Journey™ model. It represents today’s buyer journey, which is chaotic and cyclical. People are tossed and thrown around like you might be in a hurricane – thus, the name.
This means you have to actively manage it much more proactively.
This also means you now have a model to answer your questions about content. To fix this issue, just ask sales what questions your prospects ask at each stage of the buyer journey.
Then start creating content to answer those questions. Make sure the content is directly written and designed for the people you want to consume it. Meaning, if your prospects love video, don’t create 20-page research studies.
But if they love research, data and analysis, don’t give them two-minute funny videos. Your goal should be to create such an amazing educational experience at each stage of the buyer journey that your prospects would never consider working with anyone else.
This too might take a little bit of time. Mapping the buyer journey should be straightforward. Collecting the questions is not difficult, but creating the content is going to take a bit of time. It has to demonstrate thought leadership while being highly educational, entertaining and informative.
Do that, and you’ll have more leads than you know what to do with.
Now you’ve found the number one reason most company marketing doesn’t work. Your company story is boring. It’s exactly like your competitors, or it simply states what you do.
The story is key.
This story then has to be told by everyone in the company the same way every time, no matter who it is or what they do.
Marketing gets the story out there, sales continues it and then customer service follows along to support it. The more people tell it and the better they tell it, the more people know, remember and can share your story with others.
Your story spreads like a virus.
Creating a story like this takes professionals, just like you would hire a professional attorney to defend you in court, a professional architect to design your new home and a professional accountant to make sure you don’t pay too much or too little in taxes.
If you want the story that engages, disrupts and emotionally connects with your prospects so they want to hire you, get help from the professionals.
This is a critical – some might say the most critical – part of getting your marketing to work correctly.