Marketers face increasing pressure to compete, deliver results, and stay on top of shifting trends. With the right approach, however, you can overcome these challenges and springboard to success.
In a recent study by HubSpot, 78% of marketers said their industry had changed more in the past three years than in the preceding five decades. This staggering pace of change requires teams to be agile and innovative, ready to pivot and adapt to dynamic market conditions.
Today’s marketing challenges blend foundational issues, like figuring out how to position your brand and demonstrating a return on investment (ROI), with more modern digital marketing challenges, like maintaining an industry-leading website and captivating online audiences.
With confidence, creativity, and expert insight, marketing teams can ride the shifting tides and help their companies become stronger than ever.
7 common marketing challenges and how to solve them
Identifying a problem is the first step in solving it. Here are eight top marketing challenges to be aware of, plus our expert tips for combating them when they arise.
1. Catching people’s attention in the cluttered digital marketplace
With an overwhelming number of brand messages competing for digital attention, getting people to notice yours is a significant challenge. On average, people look at display ads online for less than one second — and readers only register around 35% of the ads on the screen. Even if people view an ad, they’re unlikely to remember it the next day.
Email marketing, social media campaigns, and video ads all suffer from different versions of the same problem — oversaturation. To cut through the clutter, leverage a combination of creative, personalized, and genuinely engaging content to create messaging that makes people stop, read, and interact.
To catch people’s attention online, follow these expert tips:
- Personalize your messaging. Use data to segment audiences and align your content, offers, and microcopy to the interests and needs of each group. This strategy boosts engagement and fosters more personalized connections. Tailor email subject lines and product recommendations based on data-driven insights such as purchasing history, browsing behavior, and demographic information to improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates.
- Make content interactive. Animation, image carousels, and integrated maps engage audiences and encourage them to spend more time on your platform. Participation also provides insights into user preferences and behaviors, paving the way for more personalized and effective marketing strategies.
- Leverage search-optimized content marketing. Content marketing — offering information on your website that’s genuinely useful to your audience and designed to rank highly in web searches — helps you circumvent the competition for attention. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your brand’s content appear prominently in search results when people are actively looking for solutions, driving organic site traffic and positioning your brand as a reliable and authoritative source of information.
2. Improving conversion rates
Even marginal improvements in the percentage of visitors interacting with your site, becoming subscribers, or purchasing a product can significantly increase your revenue and ROI. To move the needle, carefully analyze your bounce rates and user flow analytics to identify bottlenecks where visitors lose interest or abandon the process. Reduce friction by simplifying complicated checkout sequences, auto-filling data in forms, and optimizing your site across different devices to encourage visitors to stay.
To improve conversion rates, you can also:
- Use specific design techniques to drive conversions. Draw on conversion-centered design strategies when creating your website, such as using images to communicate the benefits of a product and leading lines to spotlight CTAs.
- Weave social proof throughout your website. You should have a well-presented testimonials page or section, but don’t stop there. Incorporating social proof at other user journey stages, such as the homepage or at checkout, can nudge users to take the next step.
- Showcase your products and services through videos. According to a study by Wyzowl, video content increases website traffic, generates leads, increases dwell time, and improves sales. The demand for video content is also notably high, with 91% of respondents wanting to see more from brands.
3. Maximizing campaign effectiveness
A tightening economic environment often means a limited marketing budget and increased pressure to prove marketing ROI. To keep campaigns laser-focused on their target audience, conduct detailed market research at the start of each campaign to identify audience segments most likely to convert.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider focusing on the following high-ROI content types and marketing channels:
- Email marketing — this channel has an extremely high ROI, at $36 for every $1 spent, but you’ll need to catch people’s attention through other channels first if you don't have an extensive subscriber list
- Video content — short-form videos, in particular, offer the highest ROI of any content type
- Facebook — provides the highest ROI of any social media platform
To improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, try some of the following tips:
- Set clear goals and track your progress. Set KPIs for each marketing strategy and track your progress toward them each quarter to keep your team focused and accountable. Aim for challenging but achievable outcomes.
- Use the right tools to track campaign success. While email marketing, video content, and Facebook are the most cost-effective options on average, every industry and target market differs. Use tools like Google Analytics to check your campaigns' metrics and performance on other channels and focus on the most effective ones. Use A/B testing tools to compare the effectiveness of different campaign designs and formats.
- Start small and iterate. Beyond its design applications, many marketing teams use the iterative process to experiment, adapt quickly, and develop products and strategies with proven effectiveness. Adopting this approach also lets you rapidly identify ineffective campaigns and projects, saving time and money.
4. Staying on top of a shifting market
Buyer preferences, economic conditions, and competition sources constantly change. Social media and search companies continuously update their content ranking algorithms while broad cultural trends come and go overnight.
Stay actively engaged with your target audience to be aware of these market changes. You can do this through market research, surveys, and social media listening, as well as by closely monitoring your competitors.
You can start this process by clarifying your company’s core values — which shouldn’t change much over the long term — to balance continuity and change in your brand messaging. Then, devise a shorter-term marketing plan to adapt how you communicate those values according to current market patterns.
To stay on top of an evolving market, try some of the following tips:
- Go undercover. Spend time on the social media platforms most popular with your target demographic, monitoring viral trends and changes in language use to understand your audience’s preferences. This proactive approach uncovers insights you can use to inspire fresh, resonant content and stay ahead of the competition.
- Analyze search trends. Use analytic tools like Google Trends to track emerging keywords and topics to identify new interests for key demographics and demand changes for products or services.
Test predictive analytics. Several data visualization tools include predictive analytics capabilities that use AI to project future demand and market changes. Consider testing one of these to determine whether it can offer any valuable insights.
5. Keeping up with marketing and design trends
Marketing and design trends move fast — even the average person can tell when a website is a few years old based on outdated layouts, font choices, and non-responsive design elements. Marketing teams must adapt to evolving methods to keep the company relevant.
However, chasing every new fad isn’t sustainable or advisable. Instead, selectively follow trends that align with your brand and campaign goals. For example, a TikTok video following the latest viral format might better suit an apparel brand targeting Gen Z than a B2B firm.
Before hopping on the latest craze, make informed decisions by consistently scanning the digital environment and analyzing the potential impact of engaging with a trend. Consider factors such as your target audience’s preferences, the trend’s relevance with your product, and its alignment with your brand’s voice and values.
To keep up with marketing and design trends, try these tips:
- Participate actively in industry associations and events. Ensure at least one of your team members is involved with the core professional groups in your area to invite network expansion and knowledge exchange. Encourage everyone to participate in conferences, conventions, and other events to keep them up to date with the latest trends and insights.
- Subscribe to marketing publications. Invite team members to follow blogs and publications that match their interests and areas of responsibility. Adweek, MarketingProfs, Think with Google, and the HubSpot marketing blog are good general choices. Specialists may want to sign up for publications like Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, or the Content Marketing Institute blog.
- Include discussions of current trends in your regular meetings. Make researching, sharing, and discussing current trends a regular practice during team meetings to keep everyone informed and spark innovative campaign ideas.
6. Maintaining your website
A company’s website is the digital face of its brand, making website maintenance a high-stakes task. However, balancing website upkeep with other responsibilities can be challenging.
To ensure strong website technical performance and relevant content, conduct regular website updates and implement rolling improvements. Addressing issues before they snowball into more significant problems means less heavy lifting for subsequent updates or website redesigns.
Maintaining an up-to-date, glitch-free website that consistently furthers your marketing goals is challenging. To keep your website in good shape, try some of these tips:
- Monitor site performance. Continually monitor the website’s performance to identify target areas for improvements and updates.
- Establish an editorial calendar and content management system (CMS) approval workflow. Ensure you’re giving visitors fresh content regularly by maintaining a weekly, monthly, or quarterly editorial calendar. Create a streamlined content approval and publication process to reduce bottlenecks and create collaboration opportunities.
- Choose an intuitive design and CMS platform. Using a visual web design platform like Webflow allows marketers to make direct changes to the website without needing help from IT, saving time and fostering more agile responses to market demands.
7. Leveraging new technologies
Many campaign management, analytics, customer relationship management, and content generation technologies are available today. With the right software, you can crunch massive amounts of data to find the best marketing leads and sales sources for your company or streamline campaigns to target the most promising prospects. You can also explore writing apps to generate marketing content more efficiently.
But with so many new marketing tools coming onto the market, choosing which ones to adopt takes time and effort. To effectively leverage new technologies for maximum benefit, follow these tips:
- Try before you commit. Research the tools available, list the ones that best align with your marketing goals, and take advantage of free versions and trial periods to evaluate how well the features match your needs.
- Collaborate with IT and other relevant departments. Work closely with colleagues in other departments to choose and deploy tools and develop standard training and troubleshooting processes.
- Investigate data visualization tools. Many data visualization tools pull marketing data from various sources, analyze it centrally, and present their findings intuitively. Some of these tools even send out automated weekly reports by email, freeing time you can spend on more creative or big-picture tasks. You can also use data visualization tools to communicate the rationales behind your decisions to colleagues outside the marketing department, including executives.
Meet challenges head-on with Webflow
In rising to meet challenges, teams unlock new opportunities for innovation and growth. Marketing teams that embrace change and constantly search for ways to improve can set their companies up to succeed well into the future.
Webflow empowers marketers to build customized, high-converting websites without coding, opening the door to creative designs that deliver outstanding customer experiences. With Webflow’s intuitive visual web design platform and powerful CMS, marketing teams can simplify workflows, collaborate more confidently, and roll out effective campaigns.