All marketing managers face a unified problem. The spectrum of marketing is an ever-widening field, and they are only one person.
As the world of marketing continues to expand, even the most savvy marketing manager has a tough task ahead with keeping up on recent developments in the promotion and marketing arena.
It might be time to ask for a little help. Inbound marketing agencies can help marketing managers solve all sorts of problems, but the majority of those problems can all boil down to five points which cause many marketing managers to lose sleep.
1) Team is Inexperienced or Understaffed
With the huge expansion we’re seeing in internet marketing, there are numerous roles to fill. A team, though full of many specialties, can often find that they’re missing several key people to fill important roles. While they may have a graphic designer, do they have access to a conversion rate optimization analyst? They might have great content writers, but do they have a technical SEO expert to do on site optimization?
And even if this team decides to educate themselves on these various disciplines, there are only so many hats a person can wear before they become top heavy and fall over. When you try and be good at everything, you’re rarely proficient at anything.
The Marketing Manager’s Solution:
Managers faced with this problem need a team around them that understands internet marketing strategy and knows how to deliver content, using their technical knowledge to generate the results that they want. They need an adviser and a team of capable individuals that knows their trade.
A capable internet marketing team can come alongside them and help them work toward their marketing vision. We understand how defeating it is to have set your goals but to also be unsure of how to accomplish them.
Whether a marketing manager is looking for more traffic, more leads, more sales - or all three - good inbound agencies should be able to develop a comprehensive strategy that will reach their company’s marketing goals.
An inbound marketing agency can:
Function as a strategy adviser
Fill in an internet marketing team
Work within a marketing schedule
Keep their client involved in the process
2) Difficulty Interpreting Marketing Report Data
Marketing lingo is a dialect that’s constantly evolving. Every year, new words and new synonyms are added to the pool of marketing verbiage as new strategies and ideas emerge. As a marketing manager, it can be difficult to keep up to date on marketing linguistics so that report data can be accurately interpreted.
Thankfully, a good general knowledge will help a lot in navigating the intricacies of report data - such as knowing the general idea that surrounds CTA’s (call-to-action), CRO (conversion rate optimization), CTR (click through rate), and so on. This will help managers get by, but it simply won’t be sufficient in allowing them to be able to truly compile and process report data.
The reason is this: if you are unsure or shaky on your understanding of a certain type of data, you will not be able to accurately interpret the significance and impact of that data. This makes it not only difficult for you to strategically leverage areas that have good ROI (return on investment), but it makes it pretty much impossible to communicate well to other management staff (including the CEO), which we’ll take about in points three and four.
If you present them with iterations to your content strategy (an example of a great content strategy template can be seen here), and they ask you how you formed those conclusions—what will you say? And how will you convince them with a surface level understanding of the technical marketing data that the budget they’ve given you isn’t going to waste?
Inbound marketing companies can bring a highly valuable tool—an ability to make sense of raw data. Their collection of report and data gathering tools, and experience, can give them insight into nearly every facet of marketing campaigns.
How Can an Inbound Marketing Agency Solve This Problem?
A team of inbound marketing professionals can help interpret marketing data in the following ways:
Provide advice on how to modify the marketing strategy
3) Breakdown in marketing department communication
Marketing managers understand that marketing can often be a gamble. They rework their website, issue a press release, design ads, and hope that their target market responds as your marketing strategy expected them to respond.
Yet, without a comprehensive reporting methodology, those results can go unseen and not communicated. Without a comprehensive, sure-fire method to gather, organize, and interpret campaign data, the marketing manager is unable to effectively disseminate results reports that will help their team improve their marketing strategy for the next time around.
When there is an insufficient reporting system, or no reporting system, a breakdown in communication begins to develop. The marketing department simply will simply not have the information they need to keep their strategy together and make changes based on informed results.
What Should an Inbound Marketing Report Include?
One of the most effective organizational processes for reporting is to determine success in three key areas and solve any marketing problems that may be occurring:
Driving traffic - Did we generate more traffic with the new strategy endeavors?
Generating Leads - Did the traffic that we generated turn into leads?
Sales Results - Did the leads generated turn into customers that actually made a purchase decision?
At the end of the day, having data in front of you that communicates your campaign’s effectiveness makes all the difference in the world, and that is where an inbound marketing agency can turn the gibberish data into a results-based report.
Furthermore, you can take that comprehensive report to your particular powers that be and inform your executives of your team’s success and your plans for the next marketing strategy iteration.
4) Disconnect when interacting with executives
Facilitating communication is one of the biggest hurdles in the business world. When there is no data translation, no comprehensive reports, and no concrete results, it can lead to confusion or doubt for management team members.
Regretfully, this often results in a disconnect when marketing managers interact with their management team members, who aren’t as involved in the development of the marketing strategy, the deliverable decisions, or the process of execution.
When the marketing team doesn’t have the necessary data and results analysis that they need to communicate their success or problem-solving strategies to their superiors, the situation can get unnecessarily tense.
In many cases, marketing managers may feel stuck, unable to move forward, and unsure of how to present their plans to their executive management. This gap in communication regarding the effectiveness of a marketing strategy can be very stressful, which is why solving problem number three is critical.
There must be an established process for creating a strategy, delivering on that process, measuring success, and making future changes so that those details can be communicated up the chain of command.
How Can an Inbound Marketing Agency Help?
The following data-gathering and translation techniques can help tremendously boost a marketing manager’s reporting process:
Gathering and translating site data
Implementing call tracking software
Reporting the success of various pieces of content
Providing a comprehensive report of marketing campaign results
Demonstrating where problems are most likely occurring
Building a strategy to solve for any problems
In our experience, helping marketing managers through the reporting process is a huge asset for them. The results are clear, the success story is evident, and the future changes are planned out in full.
5) Can’t “Close the Loop” with the Sales Team
So, what happens when your marketing strategies are producing quality leads and generating significant amounts of great traffic, but it seems that a company is still not getting any new clients or customers? It’s time to take a look at how the company is closing that sales loop.
Sales Loop Gap 1: Disconnect in handing leads/conversions to the sales team
In some situations, marketing simply fails to hand their leads over to their sales team in a way that facilitates success in reaching out to them. It is possible that a mistaken assumption has been made in believing that the sales team has access to the leads and understands how to approach them.
Sales Loop Gap 2: Inadequate Handling of leads/conversions by the sales team
It might be that there is no system in place to handle those leads/conversions and nurture them so that they become customers. If this is the case, the staff should learn how to occupy this vacancy loop through training how to correctly handle leads.
Also, there should be clear communication between sales and marketing about whether or not the leads that are coming through are quality leads or not. While your systems and strategies indicate that the leads coming through are high quality, the sales team might have information to the contrary.
It is vital that there is an effective feedback system in place between your marketing team and the sales team. After all, this is about teamwork, so rather than approaching these meetings like a scrimmage, consider them a team strategy sit down. Share your data and collaborate to improve the process.
The reality is, no matter how difficult and irascible your sales team might be, you need them on your side (and the side of the company as a whole), otherwise all your efforts could be going to waste.
A good feedback system between your departments is going to help your company grow exponentially. If your sales loop isn’t closed, there will be a constant disconnect on your success factors and performance.
What other problems do marketing managers face?
Originally published Oct 1, 2014 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017