Everybody has their own marketing journey. The challenges we face in marketing keep evolving with the changing technology. Also, the way marketing works may vary from one person to another.
Here, we have got with us 5 Marketing Experts who share their marketing journey and which challenges they overcame to achieve success.
My current role is CEO of EmailAnalytics, and as part of my duties I’m also the acting CMO. I previously ran a marketing agency that I founded in 2010, so for the last 9 years I helped thousands of companies design and execute online marketing strategies.
Now, I’m taking everything I learned and applying it toward growing EmailAnalytics, primarily via content marketing and SEO.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is perfecting the actual product, which is a SaaS tool. It takes a ton of time, resources, patience, and good ideas to build and improve a product, and it’s riddled with challenges along the way.
The most important part of marketing is having a killer product or service in the first place, so nailing the product design and execution is paramount to our success. It’s also the biggest challenge we face.
I’ve always focused on content marketing through building external relationships with influencers and platforms that can help me achieve my growth goals. I have written for Forbes.com, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, and many other publications over the last decade, all of which significantly boosted my reach and credibility. This enabled me to reach new customers, drive more traffic, and make more sales.
And all I had to do was provide value to people through my knowledge of marketing and entrepreneurship. It’s really a win/win for all parties involved!
Originally thinking I’d go deep into the world of public relations, I started my career in marketing agencies – both small and large – helping various clients build, execute and measure digital marketing programs. After working for a boutique firm focused on B2B marketing and sales, I found my niche in B2B digital marketing, inbound lead generation and marketing analytics. Stepping out of the agency world years ago and into B2B SaaS, that’s where I’ve spent a significant piece of my career. In my current role leading the marketing strategy and team at Fleetio, a fast-growing B2B software company, I’m focused on driving revenue growth through digital activities like content marketing and demand gen.
With a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University, I’m also an adjunct marketing professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and have a passion for educating the next generation of marketers.
The biggest challenge I face within my organization is attribution. As I’m sure many marketers would agree, attributing marketing activities to revenue is hard to nail, and there are may ways to approach it (first touch vs. last touch vs. full path, etc.) and internal perspectives to consider. While I’d say we do this pretty well today and can visualize where most of our lead generation and revenue come from, there is always more detail we can uncover surrounding the full customer journey in order to become better shepards of our data and confidently invest our resources in the right areas.
The biggest challenge I face outside my organization is focus and segmentation. As a web- and mobile-based SaaS product accessible anywhere in the world, we have the ability to serve a huge global market and an enormous reach. And as a company whose revenue has historically been inbound marketing-generated, it took us a while to segment our market and identify pockets of perfect product-market fit. We’re constantly iterating on that framework as our product evolves, and our commitment for 2020 is to religiously segment the market in all we do, from the content we’re producing to who we’re tracking conversion through the marketing and sales funnel.
I truly don’t believe there’s a secret sauce to marketing success, at least from a tactical perspective. Every product and service is different, and best practices aren’t always the “best” for everyone. Marketing tactics aren’t a one-size-fits-all and the world of marketing is always changing. You have to be motivated to continue learning what else you can capitalize on and most importantly, you must create a culture of rapid experimentation.
The most important ingredient for marketing success, in my opinion, is people – and building a strong, growth-oriented team. Making an investment in the right people is critical. It’s important to look for marketers who of course are experts in their craft, but also crave autonomy, are life-long learners and fully subscribe to a culture of rapid experimentation.
My career began at a startup. I was terrified. I knew nothing about technology and I was making calls as a BDR to try to get anyone to talk to me. This was back in the day when people answered their phones. I had no idea what I was talking about but the more I did it the more the language and conversations became comfortable. Within 6 months of my first “high tech” job I was running inside sales for the NorthEast. Within a year I was running inside sales for the entire country. I raised my hand for any and everything. I was the first person in the office and the last to leave. After 5 years I was running all of marketing and bouncing between CT, NYC and London running global marketing for a startup that was just taking off. Then, we got bought by SAP and I resigned. I’m a startup girl. I like the family feel. It set the stage for my entire career. Build a family and a culture. Take it where it needs to go and then go do the same over and over again.
I have been blessed in that within the companies I have chosen marketing has always been seen as a need to have as opposed to a nice to have. Marketing has been respected. Always going into companies my greatest task is to get sales buy in – to create a model that they believe in and respect and most importantly that they know will deliver. I overcome this by delivering. By making a commitment and seeing it through and exceeding their expectations.
People. Hire the right people. Build a culture of excellence, humor and humility. Don’t micromanage. Let people be creative. Give them a goal and allow them to get there however they think is best.
My marketing journey started with the launch of my own company, Hot Pad. I built the company and designed the website from scratch. I didn’t have a lot of resources back then to hire a marketing team. So, I ventured into digital marketing on my own and learned with each experience. After that, I got many more opportunities and I am now a digital marketing consultant, entrepreneur, and speaker.
While there are numerous marketing challenges that I have faced, some are more common than others. The most regular ones are managing a team remotely and ensuring that each client’s guidelines are followed diligently.
This is where technology and marketing tools help me. I use Slack for internal communications and managing projects. Trello and Teamline are useful for task management. I also use many marketing and analytics tools, but the list is too big to be included here.
If you’re looking for some magic formula or marketing tactic that works with every client in every situation, then I am sorry to disappoint you because it doesn’t exist. You need to take each client and project as it comes and formulate your strategy to suit their specific needs.
For me, the secret lies in understanding each client’s requirements, right down to the smallest of details, before working with them.
Another rule that I diligently follow is using a mix of marketing tactics and formulating an omnichannel strategy rather than focusing only on one channel.
My role into digital marketing happened many years ago while I was in college. Way back in 2003. While in college a friend and I decided we wanted to build an ecommerce site that sold bowling equipment. We both on our university’s bowling team and were really just trying to figure out a way to make some extra money as college students so we could buy more bowling equipment.
Naturally, neither of us knew how to build a website. And this was back when there weren’t an abundance of tutorials and courses on how to do this stuff. So, I did a lot of trial and error and taught myself how to do it.
And within two years of launch, our site was doing over $200,000 in revenue. Not bad for a few college guys who learned on the fly.
After I graduated college with a degree that has nothing to do with building and marketing websites, I wanted to shift my career to be able to do that. So I took the leap and landed a full time job at a publicly traded company on their newly created digital marketing team. I’ve been there for over 10 years.
In addition to my full time job, I do plenty of freelance work for other businesses and also work on my side project Bulkly.
One of the big challenges I face is the repetition of certain tasks. For example, scheduling social media posts – particularly evergreen social media posts. I often found myself doing the same tedious process of adding the same content to social media accounts again and again.
So that’s how I came up with Bulkly. It’s how I was able to offload the process of scheduling evergreen social media updates.
Now, I have time to do more important things that can’t be automated.
I don’t know if I would call it a secret sauce, but for me it’s been to measure everything. I’ve found that data is very powerful when making a point of whether something is or isn’t working like expected. It’s great at preventing others from making outlandish claims. By simply presenting the results, concrete decisions can be made to move forward with something while better spending time, resources and budget on what is working.