Are we utilizing the right channels? Is there a better way to convert? What’s in it for us? The daily challenges of a marketing manager in 2022 are continuous, especially with the rapidness of digital change. But at the end of the day, we have to find solutions, whether pragmatic or creative, data driven or practical. Here, we tackle frequent and significant marketing challenges and the tried-and-tested solutions to help you overcome them.
Are you a marketing manager? Be sure to check out the other blogs in this series. So far, we’ve covered the ultimate digital marketing audit checklist and the importance of AI to your marketing, as well as growth areas for Nordic marketers to keep a close eye on. After reflecting on the marketing mainstays of 2021, it’s time to address some of the key marketing issues that we see arising time and time again. Let’s find out how you can win in the evolving digital area.
The great marketing balancing act
As we see it, one of the red-hot threads of marketing in 2022 is balance. From cross-channel distribution to handling big data and privacy concerns, it’s safe to say the marketing managers have inherited more weight on their shoulders as digital innovation has evolved. According to Adobe’s Vice President of Marketing, Duncan Egan,
Marketers are both the keepers of where trust is created and the protagonists that create personalization that aid the delivery of engaging customer experiences.
We can’t fault that description. As a solution-driven agency continuously in dialog with clients, we at Nordic Morning can relate to the flurry of new challenges that come with the inevitably changing trends. As we specialize in data-driven marketing services, it’ll come as no surprise that we believe in the data when it comes to meeting the demands of digitalization. For us, focusing your efforts on optimizing every part of your customer’s journey to meet today’s demands tomorrow is enormously worthwhile. Not to mention creating the ultimate customer experience, which preferably should be personalized—as Egan’s quote points to.
1. Monitor your search traffic and your competitors
Today, research is key for the progress of your marketing. And the number of digital tools at our disposal to monitor your own or your client’s progress is immense. But leveraging these tools to monitor our competitors can prove significantly valuable to marketing reach and growth.
One valuable aspect to focus on is search traffic. How do you translate total search engine traffic to sales potential? First, we can categorize the total search traffic and see where competitors are succeeding, or where our client is performing well. Or better still, where untapped potential exists, namely, where there’s demand but no client pouncing on the opportunity. For us, this is all part of our market insights analysis (MIA) within the SEO team. This is where marketing segmentation has its true calling. By breaking down your existing and potential customers into subgroups sorted by shared characteristics, while leveraging the technology and data, you can get to know your customers better than ever before. Personalization, targeting, and positioning are the strategic advantages available for you to snap up. Read more about our thoughts on marketing segmentation and the magic of relevance.
We’ve mentioned it before, and we’ll mention it again: paid search is a critical tool that continues to help marketers evolve. Want to see who’s bidding for that same set of keywords that the client is? Conduct an auction insights analysis. This enables you to see how your ads are performing with others competing for the same auctions, i.e., the battle for a place in Google's search rankings. Paid search also allows you to sync SEO insights and boost newly launched pages until they start to rank organically. Neat, right?
2. Always test, don’t assume
Let’s talk about testing. Just as you’d expect your website to have ongoing maintenance from a security and/or technical standpoint, you should also run tests on your content (conversion efforts). A/B testing has always been great for comparing content for a collection of audiences. It’s all about trying out different scenarios for your visitors.
First and foremost, preparation is vital. As obvious as it sounds, you need to know exactly what you want to test—know your hypothesis. Often, you’ll see in your data that something just isn’t working as expected, such as drop offs in the conversion funnel for example. A next step would be to use your data to test a different flow and compare it to conclude whether it works better than the original. This is where conversion optimization enters the picture, playing a significant role in creating the different versions based on the data analysis and conversion models.
Want to test multiple changes or change combinations (a call to action button and image for example) at once? Well, now you can with multivariate testing. This compares a higher number of variables and is far more comprehensive than A/B testing. Again, using the data in your possession, it gives you a better chance in providing your visitors with an optimized experience. With this approach, you can already have an indication of different user segments and what they like. But the most important thing to remember is to always test and not assume.
3. Address your technical and creative elements
To improve user experience and search visibility, a lot comes down to technical elements such as page speed and loading time, as well as good navigation flows. Using large images? You’ll probably have to scale them down in size or change to newer formats such as WebP.
That said, let’s give design the credit it absolutely still deserves in improving user experience. We’re not just talking about design as art, but as a tool for creating content or a service or, in fact, any element that makes it easier for the consumer to understand and digest. UX Planet puts increased personalization as one of their top UX design trends of 2022, saying “the focus is on creating a data-driven online experience that can address customer needs before they even ask for it.”
Copywriting is another obvious contributor to user experience. But it goes way deeper than just the traditional copywriting used to convince potential consumers. Copywriting has many facets. UX copy is so important to design in 2022. Trained in the art of design thinking and essential for navigating your audience using microcopy, the UX writer follows the entire design process and helps make full sense of the user journey. Ensure this role is in place from the beginning, it’ll be well worth it particularly from a customer satisfaction standpoint.
4. Get the most out of your media investment
A common challenge we see is marketers being unaware of the impact of their media budget distribution. Ultimately, the customer journey is much more complex than just one channel, with multiple touch points across various devices. Dividing your media investment between different channels takes thought as opposed to simply making full use of ongoing optimization. For us, questions usually pop up from clients around the distribution of the media budget for different effects, such as leads and conversions. The problem is that a lot of decision makers feel that the investment should lie in the lower funnel stage.
This means some channels that are very important in the customer journey will not get any investment based on incorrect conclusions. What should be considered is filling the funnel with more awareness prospects, namely, spending money on brand awareness rather than going large on transactional channels. What primarily goes amiss is the perception of who gets the credit, i.e., the last click channel where all the money goes.
The bottom line here is that you have to think of the bigger picture instead, making sure you have access to relevant data that’s both set up correctly and accessible in real time. It shows what's really working for you and allows you to make data-driven decisions. If you work with performance marketing, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right immediately, it’s about adjusting along the way. This is where the right attribution model can be hugely significant, particularly in calculating how much media investment you can divide between media channels.
5. SEO and repurposing existing content
Marketers should be treating SEO as a very close friend when it comes to growing and evolving relationships with their audiences. The search engine results pages (SERPs) have become a more competitive battlefield than ever, which is why marketers need to equip their content with enough quality content to increase traffic and provide memorable user experiences.
Helping clients to shift online is something we deal with in our day-to-day activities. Let’s give you some examples of how we’ve successfully leveraged digital to transform our clients’ return on investment (ROI).
When the pandemic stole opportunities for meaningful interactions in real life, it greatly affected one of our client’s, who relied so heavily on showcasing their products at exhibitions. We knew a digital experience was the way to go. Together, we created a digital experience built on a gamification platform for audiences to interact with a 3D version of the product. This came complete with demonstrations for the benefits of the planet and customer case videos to support.
To attract visitors, we created a centrally run paid media campaign for numerous markets in multiple languages, using paid search (SEM), YouTube advertising, and social media. A healthy number of videos, carousel and static posts were created, translated, and subtitled for all relevant social media channels. As a result, the client saw a huge increase in unique visitors to the website, millions of video views, and thousands of brochure downloads—a memorable online experience indeed.
Of course, this type of transformation can be heavily reliant on budget. So, what happens when there’s not an unlimited pot of money at your disposal?
Another client in the food industry was already seeing a lot of online success with regards to SEO performance. But things started to stagnate because we’d reached the limits of working with SEO manually. To scale things up in the areas of organic traffic, a smarter user experience, and a more automatic content management, we proposed our approach Market Driven Site Architecture (MDSA). This involved repurposing existing recipes and indexing large amounts of category pages.
Instead of the recipe pages that Google was presenting before, these category pages then served a different purpose—as landing pages. As each recipe was able to rank for more than one keyword, it enabled huge growth in organic traffic and a solution that proved to anticipate trends before they happened, further helping the editors with content creation.
It just goes to show how using existing content and presenting it in a different way can be so impactful, not to mention cost-effective.
Let go of traditional media methods
To make the digital shift a successful one, you have to be willing to do the research. Who do you want to sell to, engage, sweep off their feet? Identify your target groups and gather the data that’ll mean the most to them to help you achieve your goals. At Nordic Morning, when we work with a client, we make sure everything is set up correctly in their analytics tool (usually Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics). We then create dashboards where the client can follow the performance of the campaign in real time, making sure to track everything in the campaign to reveal what kind of creatives are performing the best.
Instead of telemarketing, use the power of data and use your website to convert and online media channels to acquire advertising. Decrease cost per acquisition and use only media instead of other traditional media. Use channels such as LinkedIn to reach targets, utilize automated services such as InMail advertising and personalize it to an employee. Then when the lead is hot, you get the real people to come into the picture.
It goes without saying there’s been a massive shift in how we consume media. We’re home more, we’re travelling less, which means less thinking about print ads and more online media campaigns. With so many digital tools come endless opportunities to capture data for both existing and potential customers. But, when you’re thinking of your pay offs, you mustn’t disregard the earlier stages of the brand journey. If you don’t work with brand awareness you don’t generate new clients, and therefore, you can’t evaluate channels in the same sense because they don’t do the same job.
Our message is simple: Invest in data. Don’t just take our word for it. Studies have shown that businesses using data-driven strategies experience five to eight times higher ROI. What are you waiting for?
Ready to start leveraging your data to drive marketing growth? Contact us here.