It’s almost the end of the year, and if you are like most small and medium business leaders, you may be facing one or more of these common marketing challenges. These are just a few of the most common issues, but you are certainly not alone, since 47% of small business owners handle their own marketing, and most struggle to figure out where improvements can be made and how gains can be achieved. Here are five of the most common challenges with some advice on how to solve each of them – and how to make sure your solutions are all consistent and effective.
Lack Of Resources (Time/People/Budget)
Every company has resource issues, and finding sufficient budget and talent may become even more challenging in 2022 for a variety of reasons. But that doesn’t mean you cannot solve these issues. Marketing technology (MarTech) has evolved and become easier to use, and the right technology can help reduce the time you spend on marketing, decrease your overall marketing costs, and enhance efficiency and productivity without increasing your marketing team. The key here is to make sure the technology you are using is not just what fits in your budget, but also provides the functionality and scalability to meet your needs for at least a year or two. The cost of MarTech can be expensive upfront, but the right tools can actually cut your costs drastically.
Increasing Visibility And Leads
Getting in front of people is different than getting in front of the right people. If you increase visibility with the people who fit your customer avatar – the right audience – and have a message that resonates with them, your leads will increase in both quality and number, and your sales should follow. A quick way to make sure you are sending the right message to the best prospects is to ask your top customers why they buy from you, and make sure that is part of your messaging. If you are in front of the right people with the right message and still don’t have enough high-quality leads, you may have a sales issue not a marketing one.
Using The Right Channels
This is related to the visibility issue above. If you are not being seen in places that your prospects are looking, you are not going to increase leads no matter how well your message appeals to prospects. A single-channel marketing approach is never a good idea (Want to know why? Read this blog). But even a multi-channel approach can fail if you are not using the right channels. Choose the channels that your prospects use, and provide content they need for each stage in the buyer’s journey on each channel they visit to get that information.
Consistent Execution Of Marketing Activities
Perhaps one of the single most common marketing issues companies face is the lack of consistency in their efforts. This can result in less clear messaging, confusion about the brand or your offerings, and fluctuating sales among other things. Again, the right MarTech can help with this issue, but you may also need to consider whether it is time to add a dedicated marketing team to your organization. For most smaller companies, using an outsourced marketing agency before building an internal team is a cost-effective approach, but you may want to consider bringing in a Fractional Marketing Officer, whose job it would be to manage the agency’s activities to ensure your best interests are met while you pay attention to doing the things you do best – the revenue generating activities.
Keeping Up With Trends And Technology
As I’ve mentioned above, technology is changing and evolving. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the myriad of new options and features, let alone follow the mergers that are also changing the face of the MarTech world right now. As new options hit the market, the technology you are using may become less than optimal for meeting your goals. Many business leaders are aware of this, but they may believe that changing providers is just too much of a hassle to make it worth changing. In some cases they may be correct, but in a significant number of cases I have seen this year alone, the cost-savings for better functionality or an easier to manage platform totaled tens of thousands of dollars per year (per company). This is also something a Fractional Marketing Officer can provide for your company.
The Value Of A Trusted Resource
Each of the five issues above should be addressed in your marketing strategy and plan, and that strategy must be measured and enhanced throughout the year. Making sure your marketing program is optimized and firing on all cylinders is a fairly complex and time-consuming task. This is where the addition of a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer can be a very worthwhile investment: You get the talent and experience you need on a fractional (part-time) basis without adding to your overall employment costs, and you can devote your full attention to doing those things you do best.