Digital Diplomacy
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Digital Diplomacy

Common marketing challenges most businesses face

The most crucial matter for companies today is their ability to quickly adapt to new conditions and assess what’s working and what’s not.

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Businesses always face problems, and with so many unpredictable events in the past year and a half (hello, pandemic), brands have had to remain flexible and quickly adapt to challenges as they arise.

Let’s look at what marketing challenges businesses, regardless of their size, most often encounter.

Main marketing challenges businesses face

The pandemic has accelerated the globalization and digitalization of businesses. The most crucial matter for companies today is their ability to quickly adapt to new conditions and assess what’s working and what’s not, what needs to be changed, and what to stop doing altogether.

Problems are much easier to tackle once you’ve identified them. So what are the common marketing challenges businesses face?

Resource shortages

In a 2021 survey by Pyxl, 20% of businesses mentioned a lack of three resources as one of their biggest marketing challenges:

  • Quality talent
  • Time
  • Money

Of course, these challenges have always been there. Qualified specialists are becoming more and more expensive and harder to find, there is always not enough time, and budgets are frequently cut. However, the 2020 recession only made things tougher. According to Pyxl’s 2021 Digital Marketing Survey, the primary goal of marketing departments remains to increase sales and revenue, while recruiting specialists is at the end of the list. Businesses are struggling to keep up and are trying to do more with less.

How to overcome resource shortages. Automation and analytics! First of all, you should keep in mind that marketers spend too much time on low-value tasks (collecting and processing data, creating and maintaining reports, etc.). Modern technologies can quickly cope with these tasks and do the job well, easily automating routines.

Automation tools can save you time and money while helping you avoid human mistakes when working with data. Whether you’re a small business or a huge corporation, modern martech solutions are here to save your day.

Secondly, in conditions where budgets are cut and businesses still need to grow, analysis of marketing efficiency is needed more than ever. According to a Gartner survey, 85% of marketing executives expect a significant part of their organization’s marketing decisions to be based on marketing analytics. Making decisions based on guesswork is a highway to nowhere.

Bridging the tech gap

Many offline companies thought about moving to the digital world for years but didn’t expect to change their processes so quickly. However, the pandemic didn’t leave businesses a choice. From booking haircuts to buying clothes and cars, consumers abruptly switched their activities from offline to online, and companies had to respond.

On the one hand, the rise of modern technologies has made a basic level of analytics available to all companies. Today’s services allow even tiny startups free access to necessary marketing analytics. (All hail Google Analytics!)

On the other hand, modern technologies have deepened the gap between large corporations and small businesses. Small companies often don’t have the budgets to build quality analytics in-house, while for large companies, doing so is a long and challenging process. Which is sad as there’s a lot of data for analysis, and this data is a real treasure that can bring you valuable insights for the development and growth of your company.

How to overcome the tech gap. First, you have to identify the stage of development of your company’s marketing analytics. Second, depending on your stage, you should list what you have and what you lack, and what you need to do to get the necessary results for your business. For this, you’ll need a list of goals and KPIs from those allocating the budget.

Note! Most CMOs don’t trust data in reports and experience difficulties in connecting insights gathered and their company’s bottom line. According to the Gartner Marketing Data and Analytics Survey 2020, in 54% of cases, analytics doesn’t influence decision-making. Poor data quality, unactionable results, and a lack of clear recommendations are among the reasons why marketers cannot use data to its full potential.

After you’ve made up your mind on the major points of setting up analytics, it’s time to analyze the main tools on the market and find yourself a service that meets your requirements. Don’t forget about the upcoming age of the new Google Analytics — the services you choose should be able to work with it. If your company hasn’t yet completed the primary stages of analytics, we recommend starting with them:

Feel free to sign up for demos of marketing analytics services so you can quickly understand what you really need. You can start by signing up for a demo with OWOX BI specialists, who will help you find meaning in your data.

Image courtesy of the author

Making full use of your data

Data must make sense, and data must work for you. Otherwise, why even bother collecting it? It’s one thing to gather data and another thing completely to actually put it to work. It’s no longer enough to be a data-driven company using descriptive analytics. You need to transform into an insights-driven business to remain competitive.

For starters, to get a complete picture of what’s happening and evaluate the success of your marketing efforts, you need to fit together all the puzzle pieces:

  1. Define the customer journey and user touchpoints
  2. Define data sources (website, advertising services, email, call tracking services, CRM system, etc.)
  3. Collect data in one place (for example, Google BigQuery)
  4. Process and normalize data (single format, single structure, etc.)
  5. Blend data to be ready for reporting (using OWOX BI)
  6. Build reports and enjoy insights

Note! As you can see, there are many important steps in the data preparation process. Unfortunately, marketers often struggle when it comes to processing data from a growing number of sources. In fact, marketers waste 21% of their marketing budgets because of bad data.

Once you’ve overcome the difficulties of data preparation, a new problem arises: understanding the results of marketing efforts and applying the insights.

How to make full use of your data. As you can see, it’s quite a task to make every piece of data work together. In addition, marketers often find it difficult to prove their value and contribution to increasing a company’s revenue. It’s simply impossible if you aren’t constantly monitoring marketing department performance and can’t clearly highlight the goals you’ve achieved.

Moreover, achieving full data usage without the help of a team of analysts is problematic. Therefore, we recommend solutions that give business users the ability to get insights on their own by:

  • having access to up-to-date, quality data they can trust
  • being able to generate ready-made marketing reports without the help of analysts, developers, or SQL knowledge
Image courtesy of the author

Keeping up with trends and technology

Due to the pandemic and the rapid transition to a digital world, marketing has turned from a cost part into a key figure of the revenue. It’s vital for companies to quickly adjust to emerging threats and take advantage of opportunities to catch rapidly changing trends.

Among the current marketing challenges are a departure from using third-party data and the new version of Google Analytics. Thus, we can say that analytics has been shot from two sides at once by limits on the data available for analysis and changes to the structure of data in the most popular web analytics system.

The main thing to remember is that the world has accelerated and businesses no longer have decades to think about their next steps. A new era is coming! Everything that’s working right now will stop working, reports will have to be redone, SQL queries will need to be rewritten, and so on. In such conditions, it’s impossible not to change!

How to keep up with trends and technology. New marketing rules and regulations appear every day, data structures in data sources are constantly changing — and that’s normal. What’s not normal and what’s difficult for companies is needing to remake reports every time changes happen and needing to track all changes in the market. Possible ways to overcome these challenges are:

  • partnering with a digital agency
  • choosing among flexible services that quickly adapt to changes

Our recommendation is to relax and let OWOX BI do its magic. With OWOX BI, your reports won’t depend on changing data structures. You won’t need to rebuild them, and moreover, any marketer will be able to easily build reports on their own. Plus, you can say no to rewriting SQL queries, which is especially relevant in the world of the new Google Analytics.

Key takeaways

As the digital marketing industry is constantly changing, businesses have to become more flexible to survive and grow. Dive deep into the data gathered by your advertising platforms and make decisions quickly and confidently with the help of modern business intelligence solutions.

With help from analytics, your business can navigate the uncertainty of the upcoming year. Use your data wisely and prosper!

Tech, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with policy, government, and social good.

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Marie Sharapa

Marie Sharapa

Head of Communication at OWOX BI

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