Every marketer will go through a time where they face different challenges, especially with today’s ever changing marketing tactics and developments.

Back in the 80s and 90s, when the marketing world first started to change, focus shifted from ideas to more number driven issues like targeting efficiency and return on investment.

Since then marketing in the 21st century has altered beyond recognition, changing to becoming more mobile, social and connected.

Typically all marketers share the same goals, but some could be having trouble converting leads into customers, while others could be struggling to generate traffic to their site. Whatever the problem, there’s always an area marketers can improve on.

Here are six solutions to the most common marketing challenges:

1. Standing out from the competition

Trying to get your business to stand out in a crowded marketplace can be tough. Experian’s 2015 digital marketer report recently cited the top challenge among marketers is creating brand awareness, which when done well, can help your audience to clearly identify your values and voice across the web.

Solution: Discover what makes your business unique and more appealing than your competition and use it to your advantage. You can always conduct surveys amongst your existing customers to find out why they choose to do business with you to get a clearer understanding about how you stand out from your competition.

2. Generating awareness and driving traffic

As a keen marketer you might want to get stuck straight in to generating awareness and traffic, but before you can start generating leads for your sales team to convert into customers, you need to first make people aware you have a product or service on offer.

One main challenge marketers often face is the challenge of creating awareness, not having that prospect base to market to, or knowing what channel to focus effort on.

Solution: Look at how you are marketing yourself online; do you write a blog for your website? Are you promoting yourself on the right social media networks? By using these tools at the top of your marketing funnel, you’ll help to spread awareness about your business and services.

By using analytics you’ll be able to check on each channel and determine which ones are performing the best and you can then shift your focus and efforts around those.

3. Targeting effectively

One of the first things any marketer needs to do is identify their key audience, determining who it is you should be marketing to. To catch your audience’s attention you need to offer some sort of value to them.

Does your content offer something about your industry? Or does your product solve a problem your customers may have? Keep this in mind when targeting your audience and ensure that the message and value you’re providing is relevant to them.

Solution: First things first, you need to define your target. Look into their demographics to identify their needs and from that data you can develop behaviour based profiles.

By determining what each group or segment of your potential customers are looking for, you are able to target them and provide value. By segmenting your audience you will be able to target your content more closely to make your message relevant to every individual lead.

Related: 5 Unique Marketing Ideas Your Business Should Try in 2016

4. Using social media to generate customers and revenue

To some businesses social media is still a relatively new concept. When social media first took off many businesses hardly knew what to do with their social media accounts; they just knew they should be using them.

There is a real business value in using social media marketing, which many businesses are using, but might not fully understand how to convert social engagements into revenue.

It isn’t enough to simply have a presence on social media, you now need to target, engage and nurture your social networks, allowing you to build up a social following that you can use as a quality source of leads for your business.

Solution: The best way to boost your social media sales is to provide your sales team with information about a lead’s behaviour and interaction with your company in social networks. This intelligence will allow a sales rep to begin the conversation with specific information about that person’s activity.

5. Increasing and proving ROI

With the increase of advanced analytics tools readily available, marketers are being held to a higher standard. It’s no longer enough to simply do marketing, you must now be able to measure and understand the value of each of your efforts in terms of leads, customers and revenue.

Marketing budgets are being pushed and pulled in a variety of directions: increasing attention is turning towards how brands are gaining suitable return on investment to justify spend through respective methods.

Solution: Effective marketers should be able to tie every single lead and customer back to the marketing initiative that created them. Start using and measuring your marketing campaigns. For lead generation initiatives, you can consider using call tracking software and other relevant lead generation apps to monitor results. You will be able to track how much of an impact your campaign is having on inbound lead generation.

According to a study from BIA Kelsey, inbound phone calls are 10-15 times more likely to convert than inbound web leads, but phone calls are not something companies typically support because, historically, there hasn’t been the ability to track the customer against other marketing activities.

6. Keeping up with marketing trends

Over the past few years marketing has transformed. Marketing focus has been shifted online from print media and we have witnessed the decline of direct mail and cold calling.

Technology has introduced new tools that make communication with potential customers easier. Social media has risen as a dominant platform for communication and feedback collection.

Solution: To be effective with your marketing it is essential to know where your audience is, how to provide value to them and what the best tools and methods are for doing so.

To ensure you keep up with marketing trends invest some time in reading about the latest developments in the industry from marketing blogs to get a greater understanding of marketing trends.

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