Being a marketer requires to anticipate the future trends, challenges, opportunities, and then bring up a well-calculated plan of action. Since, the beginning of 2015, I’ve come across a range of studies that indicate complexities and opportunities ahead. However, nothing impressed me more than Salesforce State of Marketing Survey 2015. Primarily because it was a collection of multidimensional insight by marketers around the globe.
The key ideas of survey can be summed up in these points.
- There is a shift in marketing spending; from traditional advertising to advertising on digital channels like; social media.
- A vast majority (84%) will have more budgets for marketing.
- Top channels for marketing spending (in 2015) include; social media, mobile, apps, location-based mobile tracking, content, and SEO.
- 60% believe that email is a critical enabler of their product/service. So it’s not dead yet.
- 66% of marketers agree that social media marketing is core to their business & 64% take it as key enabler of their products & services.
- Mobile penetration was all time high in 2014; 9 countries passed 50% penetration rate.
- 74 % marketers take responsive design and mobile friendliness as a key factor in their drip campaigns.
- Read more stats here.
However, the most interesting and valuable thing (my personal view) in the survey was identification of key business challenges of 2015. In the following, we are sharing those top challenges and also giving some professional tips to meet those effectively.
Top 10 Business Challenges in 2015
The survey report indicates the following being the top business challenges against the percentage views of marketers.
1. New business development – (As per 27% of marketers)
2. Quality of leads – (As per 27% of marketers)
3. Keeping up with current marketing trends – (27%)
4. Customer acquisition – (26%)
5. Integrating marketing tools/systems – (25%)
6. Quantifying marketing ROI – (25%)
7. Budgetary constraints – (23%)
8. Demand & lead generation – (23%)
9. Producing unique & quality content – (22%)
10. Talent acquisition & retention – (20%)
We can summarize the challenges into lead generation, customer acquisition, process automation, and team building.
After CRM & Analytics, 45% marketers will employ a marketing automation solution, to counter their marketing challenges.
How to Meet Them?
In search engine optimization they say; there is a shift from ‘link building’ to link earning. Similarly, marketing is no more a lead generation exercise; instead, a lead earning drive.
My key recommendations for marketing managers would be:
- Analyze your entire marketing strategy, campaigns, their fallout, and assess overall results of the previous campaigns.
- Pick up the most useful channel & allocate more amount there. It’s not necessary that the Salesforce survey findings are 100% applicable on your business model. Therefore, you need to be very careful in channel selection.
- Yes, mobile is the future. Whatever channel you adopt keep an eye on mobile requirement (like landing page’s mobile friendliness) and applications.
- Integrate your marketing channels and manage them with single focus. Stronger integration between marketing and sales creates harmony in strategic thinking and improves overall success rate by 40%.
- If you are not using, then start using marketing automation. Don’t be confused as there are many platforms that offer simple marketing automation services.
- This is an era of hyper personalization. Give prospects a personalized touch of service, information, and advice; results would be much better. Here are our 5 tested strategies to give your emails campaigns a personal touch.
- Content is, was, and will be the king of marketing. However, the focus should be on information not promotion. Smart marketer does not sell; instead, shares information to help people buy.
- Conduct performance review of your team (marketing in particular) and send them on training on the regular basis. Ask for their feedback and seek professional advice on improving performance of your team.
- Talent acquisition and retention is a key problem as per 20% marketers. I expected this percentage to be higher as it is actually a big problem. The words of advice are; if you are expanding your teams, hire the best resources. They might be expensive to attain but once hired, bring you the best results. Spending on your HR and processes is always an investment; indeed a profitable investment.
- Introduce a system of feedback in your organization. Be it a campaign, process, team performance, or some individual exercise; seek and give fair feedback. It’ll help everyone analyze the performance, set the right priorities, and finally improve in a disciplined manner.
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