Overcoming the challenges of online marketing

Overcoming the challenges of online marketing

19.5.2015 -

Is your company still discussing low returns on web marketing and whether or not marketing investments are adding to the company’s bottom line?

Is it time to revisit your web strategy? Online marketing is growing and constantly changing shape. You have to be ready to make use of new marketing approaches.

Online marketing can be implemented far more effectively than is being done today but it requires planning and hard work. Here are some of marketers’ main challenges and the solutions:

1. Building brand awareness and customer experience

According to research by NetTrack 2015, 47 percent of Finns access the internet daily using mobile devices. Customer experience is determined by every encounter, impression, and emotion that the customer receives from a brand.

Solution: Traditional methods of brand building are no longer effective. Particularly among younger target groups, brand awareness and image need to be built using videos and apps delivered via mobile devices. Video can help you build your brand in other demographics too. Social recommendations can be used to continuously create micro-trends among the audience.

2. Content creation and mobile users

It’s not easy to produce high-quality, personalized and engaging content. External professionals can help you create first class copy, but the content has to come from within your company.

All communications between a company and its customers always depend on content. One-third of all online traffic comes from mobile devices. If the content doesn’t work properly on mobile devices, your first encounter with a customer may also be the last.

Solution: Make an impression on your customers by using responsive websites and designing content that sets your company apart from the competition.

3. The social media jungle

The most important aspect of using social media is knowing your target audience. Simply gathering large numbers of “likes” doesn’t add any benefit from a brand or sales perspective. If you don’t have social media experts in your company, you could waste your entire marketing budget on social media.

Companies need genuine internal dialog, meaningful content production and clear ownership in social media.

Solution: Social media monitoring tools, analytics, and target audience research are an important aspect of professional social media management.

4. Increasing findability and traffic

If a website is properly optimized, search engines will be its most important source of traffic. In order for search engine optimization to succeed, a company’s website should feature attractive content designed to engage the target audience and demonstrate the company’s expertise.

Solution: Technical solutions must support the findability of content. Content must be easy to use on all devices. However, search engines and search engine marketing alone will not yield results. Other marketing and branding elements should also be used to increase demand.

5. Measuring ROI

No company can engage in marketing activities without understanding the impact of its actions. Consumer behavior is changing and fragmenting so quickly that traditional “tried and true” channels can no longer be considered reliable.

All activities should be continuously measured and optimized from the perspective of their profitability. Many analytics tools measure only the results of the most recent actions, and that can distort reality.

Solution: Attribution modeling, also known as effectiveness modeling, is the best tool for measuring the profitability of online marketing. It measures traffic that results in desired actions as well as touchpoints and evaluates them on the basis of effectiveness. Traditional brand metrics such as awareness, image, memory, and buying preferences should also be measured, since attribution modeling doesn’t factor them in.

6. Ongoing development and optimization

Clear and easy-to-understand analytics are required to make the best decisions. Many web services fail to define key metrics and implement them as online marketing benchmarks. Even fewer companies will encounter analysts who are able to think outside-of-the-box and can discuss business goals with sales and marketing.

Solution: Measuring the effectiveness of online marketing using benchmarking and analytics as well as ongoing development and testing of programs are absolutely necessary to increase the returns on sales and marketing.

In digital channels even the smallest details can have major significance. Many companies have made purchasing a product or using a web service unnecessarily complicated. The journey toward creating memorable online customer experiences can be overwhelming.

Juha Vuohelainen

Juha Vuohelainen

As a Senior Consultant in web marketing I work closely with customers’ marketing officers and I really enjoy seeing the results presented in customer projects. Web marketing has developed from separate online campaigns to strategic long-term customer communication, which requires full commitment of CXOs in the company. The best results are gained through co-operation with companies that challenge you and have deeper understanding of online business. That is why I enjoy training and delivering up-to-date information to my customers.

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