There you are, standing in the gym surrounded by your peers and that intimidatingly tall box jump is staring right at you. You literally have no idea how you are going to tackle this monster. You hear the cheers of the crowd, encouraging you and telling you that you can do it. You bend your knees, grit your teeth and GO FOR IT… success! There’s no better feeling in the world than overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge.
You will be faced with marketing challenges throughout your career and you’ll find that there are consistent giants that will haunt you. With the right training and encouragement, you can overcome those challenges like the world-record setting box jumper above (63.5 inches? That’s almost as tall as I am!). Marketing is a fast-evolving discipline and customer expectations are changing rapidly so there is no time to waste!
Most customers do their research online before engaging with your brand or making any buying decisions. You have to be reachable online – your customers need to be able to find your website. More than 63% of marketers consider generating web traffic to be one of their biggest challenges. It’s not exactly easy to capture your audience’s attention in today’s day and age when every other company is vying equally is hard.
So, what’s the best way? Content. Relevant and valuable content is the best way to get found by your ideal customer profile and an integral part of an effective inbound marketing strategy. But, you can’t just create a cool blog post or infographic anymore. This is when you need to optimize everything for SEO so that you are telling search engines where to put you in the results list. You can also design promotion strategies for different channels. It’s always a good idea to follow the 80/20 rule – spend 80% of time on promotion and only 20% on creation.
After you’re done creating amazing content, there’s a lot more work to do. It’s important that you’re making sure that your content is being delivered to the right audience through the right channels. How well do you understand your customers? Have you gone so far as to create buyer personas? A buyer persona is a collection of information that reflects your ideal customer’s psychologies and priorities. Now that you’ve put yourselves in your customer’s shoes, you can come up with buying insights. What are their priorities? What turns them off about your company or product? What is their decision criteria? All of these things will help you cater your content to your ideal audience.
Now let’s go back to our discussion about big data. Dun, dun, dun… it’s Big Brother and he’s watching you! Big data allows marketers to access a gang of information about their customers and this is absolutely invaluable to a company’s success. However, all the technical mumbo-jumbo can get confusing – fast. Use the tools that are out there: artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and marketing personalization technologies. These will allow you to leverage customer data to augment your marketing campaigns and beef up ROI. You might see that customers click on this page more than that, or that they find your page through a pop up ad rather than organic search. You can buoy your marketing efforts ever further through mapping of customer profiles and online activities with these technologies.
So you have a lot of traffic going to your website now – that’s great! But, nobody is buying anything. That’s… not so great. Generating traffic doesn’t do you any good if your visitors aren’t converting into sales. There are some conversion rate optimizations strategies that you can implement. Some examples are matching landing page content with your ad copy. This one is so cool because then your visitor feels as if that page was created especially for them and makes them feel unique and important. You can also optimize the product page copy and images with SEO so that customers that are searching find exactly what they are looking for. And finally, streaming the checkout flow. Nothing makes me abandon my shopping cart faster than a difficult or confusing checkout. No, I don’t want to sign up for your newsletter and get 500 emails a day!
And finally, you feel like you are doing well on your online marketing. You’re also sending out direct mail cards, hosting events, hitting up trade shows, maybe even a print ad or two. How in the world do you capture those offline leads?! There are definitely ways to tie the two together and you may just need to get a little creative. After you’ve collected information from prospective buyers offline, make sure you use their information to connect with them on digital channels. The goal is to create a single customer view on a centralized database.
As digital technologies and best practices evolve, all of us in the marketing world have a unique opportunity to provide fantastic customer services. What’s the biggest challenge that you find in marketing? Leave me a comment below!