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Marketing Challenges: How to Manage Data Effectively to Overcome Digital Challenges?

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Coresignal

November 29, 2021

All marketing and sales teams face unique marketing challenges. However, with the booming advancements in technology and data, some of the modern challenges have common points: content marketing, attracting key audiences, finding sales leads, and targeting the right consumers. The only way to solve modern marketing challenges is to correctly identify them. Let’s find out more about the challenges marketers face this year and beyond. 

What are the modern marketing challenges?

Modern marketing is no longer about advertising your business on local billboards. Regardless of your industry, you need to leverage the power of technology to increase brand awareness, generate leads, engage with your target audience, and stay relevant among your competitors.

Content marketing, for instance, has taken the digital world by storm. People are now exposed to a myriad of similar products on a daily basis.

Below, we discuss the most common marketing challenges and how you can address them.

Data accuracy and quality

Problem

A successful marketing campaign must be deeply rooted in data rather than based on guesswork and intuition. In today’s fast-paced world, we can access a virtually endless amount of information with a click of a button. However, how accurate is this information?

Marketers who work with old datasets or manual processes may find that their datasets quickly become outdated. Also, manual processes are time-consuming and prone to human bias, which means that your data quality is far from satisfying. Working with poor quality data means that your decisions are not accurate and timely, leading to lower performance metrics. 

Solution

Having an in-house team that collects and manages your data needs for inbound marketing purposes can be extremely costly—from finding talent to paying their wages. As briefly mentioned above, this may result in delayed decisions and poorly maintained datasets.

Many small businesses may lack the sufficient budget to fulfill these data needs. This can be easily solved by outsourcing your datasets—you not only save time on collecting them, but you may access information that could otherwise be unavailable.

There are some other benefits of outsourcing.

Buying datasets from a data provider is cheaper than hiring a full in-house team of specialists to collect them. You can use these resources to improve your operations, update your data management system, or boost your competitive advantage via improvements in other business areas. 

A data provider means that you have instant access to your required datasets – these are also constantly updated and curated, ensuring that they remain relevant and clean. Without spending time on these processes, businesses make more timely decisions and dedicate the extra time to other activities. 

Data providers are made of a team of data experts. On one hand, it solves the lack of quality talent issue while you reap all the benefits of expert data professionals. On the other hand, the data experts can be extremely costly for you to hire.

Generating quality traffic

Problem

Marketing success is directly dependent on your lead generation abilities and sales efforts. Once you generate sales leads, you can then guide them through the sales funnel.

Effective strategies to do that could consist of email marketing and providing your prospects with relevant and useful information. Content marketers now struggle to create relevant content that leads to quality traffic. 

One of the main issues is that many businesses struggle to attract the target audience. Without finding new sales leads, growing your business and showing sales results seem impossible. 

Solution

There are many approaches to this modern marketing challenge. It depends on how your content marketing activities look now.

To find the underlying reasons why generating traffic and attracting new leads to your website prove to be difficult, you must ask yourself several questions.

Are you targeting the right customers? What does your buyer persona look like, and how do you attract more customers of this specific type? It is important to define your buyer persona accurately, so you can create content that attracts them. 

What kind of content does your target audience consume? Once again, having enough data of what your key consumer base wants is key to setting clearly defined goals. Some may prefer reading articles or posts on social media, others may prefer an entertaining video. The right content marketing channels are crucial to finding the right potential customers. 

Search engine ranking is everything if you want to be discovered by the right customers. Search engines, such as Google, YouTube, Amazon, are the primary choices for search queries. You want to be there. Preferably, at the top. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you grow your traffic organically. Also, paid search can easily boost your chances of being discovered by potential customers. 

Use retargeting strategies. Have you ever searched for something online and kept seeing ads related to that for a few days? This technique is known as retargeting. It helps you get your visitors back on your website. It reminds them about your products, increases your brand awareness, and chances of generating leads. 

Social networks' data also plays a significant role in finding out what your customers, or prospective clients, need. If you know their needs, you can tailor your marketing efforts to answer those needs specifically.

It is especially useful for small businesess, since they can lower their marketing budgets to focus on one specific audience, implement two-way communication, and still get sales results.

Inbound marketing is heavily dependent on knowing your visitors. You can use alternative data, website data, or other sources of high-quality information to draw an outline of your prospective audience. 

Targeting international audiences

Advances in technology have revealed global opportunities to many businesses. You can now expand your reach well beyond your physical location. Especially since the global pandemic has forced many businesses to reconsider their digital presence. 

If you want to stay on top of the competition, one way to achieve that is to attract customers from different regions around the world. How to effectively do that? How to figure out what they need?

This industry challenge is linked to the lack of industry awareness. Depending on your industry, your customers may not know what you provide. For example, if you are a B2B accounting company providing specialized accounting software that automates accounting tasks, foreign companies may not be aware of your software unless you increase brand awareness.

With so many products, services, and technology nowadays, it’s impossible to be aware of all the products and services on the market. Thus, marketers have a difficult time targeting an audience that may not even know that the business has a solution for their needs. 

Use data to better understand your audience. For example, if your company sells accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses, source firmographic data to find out who your potential customers may be.

Firmographic data includes a number of significant data points: 

  • Name (name of the company);
  • Industry (industry or category in which the company operates);
  • Subsidiary status (subsidiary status of the company);
  • Size (company size in headcount expressed as integer, range or particular category);
  • Revenue (estimated yearly revenue of the company);
  • Location (company location, e.g. address).

With such an insight, you will be able to better understand what they need; therefore, improving your inbound marketing. May it be automated accounting solutions, a one-size-fits-all approach, personalized approaches, or budget-friendly alternatives that could appeal to small companies.

By understanding what your potential customers need, you can customize your content marketing campaigns to raise their awareness and educate them on the benefits of your products and services. Savvy marketers know that targeting is a key aspect of any content marketing campaign; it becomes even more important in the case of targeting an international audience. 

Handling big data and IoT

Problem

Technology is a double-edged sword. It can both hurt and help your company at the same time. On one hand, the abundance of online information allows you to satisfy your data needs. On the other hand, too much information is very impractical; it can be virtually impossible to make use of all the data gathered out there. Additionally, most of it may be cluttered with noisy data, outdated points, inaccurate information, and other hurdles. 

Although the amount of data you can use for marketing purposes is unlimited, the main challenge is knowing which data is the most important for your needs. You should be able to identify which information allows you to get to know your customers without wasting your time and resources on irrelevant data. Thus, handling big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) should be done with caution. 

Solution

The key solution to this challenge is to use the right marketing software. In fact, the more automated your data management is, the more time you have for analyzing, making decisions, and implementing better marketing tactics. The right marketing software allows you to organize everything and access the right information when it is relevant. 

Also, opting for data integration is important, too. Apart from managing all the information, you should be able to corroborate data from different sources for comparison purposes.

For instance, you may want to associate your revenues with social media metrics to see what works and what doesn’t. The quickest way to do this is to choose software that allows for it, along with having the right alternative datasets to complement your internal data.

Competition 

Problem

Whether you have a small business making on-demand jewelry, or a huge IT enterprise—competition is fiercer than ever. Since you need to turn your businesses digital to expand your reach, local competitors are no longer the only concern.

By targeting international customers, you are also exposed to international competition; hence, spending more resources. To make it even worse, with so many blogs, websites, and online marketplaces, your customers are drowning in information.

How can you build your brand's reputation to help them find the path towards your business instead of your competitors?

Solution

One solution would be to focus on personalization rather than a one-size-fits-all marketing plan. You need to create better content and use differentiation to stand out from the crowd. 

Also, keep in mind that in the light of more businesses turning digital, customers expect better quality content. Creating content and updating it once in a while is no longer sufficient. You need to constantly stay up to date with what interests your customers. Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, can help you track your performance metrics online.

Once again, the key to this is to know exactly what interests your customers. Web data allows you to have an overview of what your potential clients may need, what their consumption patterns are, and what problems they need to solve. Consequently, you need to create a content marketing strategy that targets their needs and provides solutions. 

Breaking down data silos

Problem

Data silos refer to storing data in multiple clusters—your sales data in one place and marketing data in another. Multiple departments are often translated into multiple data silos. 

Marketers struggle to break down data silos because you cannot compare or analyze data that is stored in different places, and, most likely, different formats. There may also be repetitive information which decreases the accuracy of your data analysis. 

Storing data in silos also means that your marketing department does not have access to information at the right time. Turning all of these separated silos into one dataset can be extremely time-consuming. As a result, you spend lots of time on unnecessary tasks rather than analyzing and making decisions. 

Solution

Data management and data integration are key to allowing your marketing department make better and timelier decisions. It is important for your business to have a solid database rather than keeping pieces of data in multiple silos. 

Data collected from all sources, both internal and external, should be available in one place. It decreases the chances of errors, data redundancy, and delayed decision-making. This allows you to create data-driven marketing strategies to generate better leads and stay competitive. 

Quantifying your results

Finally, let’s assume that you decide to use a data provider and improve your marketing campaigns. How do you know what works and what doesn’t? How do you know what efforts generated the most revenue?

Quantifying your results using marketing ROI (return on investment) metrics is another important challenge many marketers face nowadays. 

  • It tells you how your marketing budget performed
  • It shows if you need to allocate more money;
  • It notes how efficient your marketing strategy is.

If you do not have a solid strategy to quantify these marketing efforts, you cannot improve your business. 

ROI tracking is not quite straightforward in most cases, depending on your marketing strategy. However, it is crucial to establish a way to track all of your marketing activities in a given period in order to know what works and what doesn’t.

It’s important to find out your conversion rates when using different marketing channels and types of content. For instance, if you know that video content leads to a higher conversion rate, you can allocate more funds to creating personalized videos rather than text-based content. 

Summary

All in all, big data and technology are both advantageous and challenging for marketing professionals. Access to high-quality data helps you solve many of these modern marketing challenges. It’s all about knowing your customers, so you can personalize your campaigns and improve inbound marketing. Ads irrelevant to your key audience will only waste your time and resources. Customer experience is more important than ever.

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