25.02.2019

Five Common Challenges in Digital Marketing

The field of digital marketing is extensive and chaotic. Companies often venture into modern marketing by procuring or implementing individual pieces, without a comprehensive plan, thereby losing the thread, goals and measurement of the marketing. This also leads to modest results.

We at Verkkoasema have honed our ability to capture the big picture according to the REANE model for the better part of a year now, and have achieved remarkable results with it in cooperaton with our customers.

An Extract from Our Website:

“The development of modern marketing and sales should start from the business objectives, rather than the means. The objectives themselves do not consist of a desire to revamp the web pages, the introduction of marketing automation or the implementation of search engine optimisation. Instead, the objectives may include:

  1. Reaching the right target group
  2. Attracting and engaging potential customers
  3. Converting visitors into leads
  4. Nurturing leads and raising them into customers
  5. The enhancement of operations (increasing the efficiency of working hours and saving money)

We believe in the REANE model (REANE standing for Reach – Engage – Activate – Nurture – Enhance), which steers your efforts and euros to the right targets of development. You can find the most effective means, channels and tools when you’re first clear on the direction ahead.”

In the following, I’ll review points 1 through 5 and give practical examples and recommendations on how to capture the big picture in digital marketing.

1. How can I Reach my Target Group? (Reach)

Too often, when building a new web service (a website or web store), companies spend the entire budget on the web service itself, leaving no money at all for the marketing. After publication, they are then baffled when the customers stay away. It would be wiser to build a 1.0 version of the web service, and use at least 30% of the project’s total budget on its marketing. An investment excuted in this fashion would pay for itself considerably faster. In addition, the profit made and the genuine experiences of customers would enable the development of version 2.0 – in all probability all the more efficient due to not trying to reach the final goals on the very first try.

You can reach your potential customers in the channels where they spend their time. According to a survey by NetMarketShare, up to 80.6% of the global population uses Google. This is justification enough to invest in discoverability via Google’s search engine. In practice, it translates into search engine optimisation and search engine marketing.

According to the statistics of Statista, the most popular social media channels on a global scale in 2017 were Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger, in this order. It is not only important to have a presence in channels which are popular, but to know your customers and reach them in the channels they prefer.

Search engine discoverability built on effective key words, as well as campaigning on social media, bring potential customers to your web service, putting your content to a true test.

2. How Can I Engage With Them? (Engage)

What happens when a potential customer clicks a link to your website in an ad or Google’s search results? Hopefully, the link works, and they end up on your website’s “landing page” or, in other words, directly at the product or service they were looking for.

If you now find yourself in doubt as to the functionality of your process, add goals to your analytics tools (the free Google Analytics or an equivalent). They allow you to see how the people who met the goals found their way to your website. The analytics tools also tell you if your web pages take too long to load (which, according to Google, is more than 3 seconds).

On your landing page, the contents speak for themselves. Both research and experience have shown that customers are in no rush to contact a sales rep. Rather, they proceed very independently in an online purchasing process. They analyse your contents, ask about other peoples’ experiences on social media and discussion forums, compare your products and services against your competitors’ products and services of the kind and, only if you come out on top in this comparison, they might finally get in touch with you.

3. How Can I Activate Them? (Activate)

Your potential customer will be convinced by the transparency of your operations. Be frank about what you offer, at what price and on what terms. Introduce your personnel, telling the potential customer what kind of people they are dealing with and what their backgrounds are. Let satisfied customers speak on your behalf. Show their names and photos, and mention the customer organisation as well, if you operate in the B2B sector. Demonstrate your konow-how with expert contents which you can share either in your blog, vlogs or in the form of various loadable materials.

Marketing automation often helps in activation. It offers additional resources, reacts to the movements of potential customers faster than you do, and reports any hot leads when the number of points determined by you is reached. Automation allows you to enhance the efficacy of your email marketing significantly as a result of improved targeting, and thereby steer your potential customers towards a purchasing decision in a pleasant way.

4. How Will I Nurture the Customer Relationship After Converting? (Nurture)

Let’s be honest now: “What happens after the purchasing event?” Typically, we forget the customer and focus on hoarding new contacts for delivery into the purchasing pipeline. This is a mistake. According to some research, customer acquisition is up to 4–8 times as expensive as sales to existing customers. In addition, a satisfied customer may even be willing to recommend you to other potential customers, and research does suggest that recommendation is by far the most productive form of customer acquisition. So, let’s not forget our existing customers and simply assume that they’ll turn up again if they need something. They may not even know on the basis of a single purchase all that you can offer.

There are techical tools, as well, for the nurturing of customers. Marketing automation is typically helpful in this, too. Furthermore, you can try to make your customer return to your website with the help of remarketing, either through Facebook or Google’s partner network. It is important to lend further support to the customer’s purchasing decision by offering a support service or, say, new ideas on how to use the purchased product. The objective is to turn the customer into a promoter.

5. How Can I Enhance My Business? (Enhance)

One effective way to enhance customer relationship management is a good CRM system. At its best, your CRM system is integrated, in the very least, with your billing system. But why not link it to the marketing automation system as well? This would automatically convey any hot leads to your CRM system.

Other effective enhancers of business include various intranet and extranet systems, which allow you to improve communication either internally or towards your customers. A functional intranet system reduces the use of email to a significant degree, provides everyone with easy access to the organisation’s internal services, and facilitates the location of documents. An extranet service, on the other hand, can offer your customer services that are not available to everyone who visits your website. A customer extranet will allow your customer to monitor the progress of a delivery process, for example, or view their previous orders and agreements. It can also provide them with calculators, among other things, with which to make independent estimates of the costs of future orders.

Efficient software and integrations between software free up resources for other uses and provide your customer with 24/7 service.

Verkkoasema’s marketing plan relies on the five points explained above. You can hear more about them in the online course on modern marketing as well as in Verkkoasema’s guides and blog writings.

Riikka Pohjanen

Riikka Pohjanen

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