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The 5 Biggest Marketing Challenges and How To Overcome Them in 2014

Do you feel like you made progress in your marketing efforts in 2013? For the most part, channel partners have made the adjustment to the new worlds of content and inbound marketing. Web sites are getting refreshed with content focused on education instead of product descriptions.

This is great progress, but there are still plenty of challenges that partners have to overcome to keep marketing going. Customers and service delivery are your primary concerns, as they should be, but keeping the pipeline full is a constant worry. 

As you plan your marketing for 2014, take proactive steps to overcome the most common challenges, including: 

  1. Making Time: This is definitely the No. 1 marketing killer for most partners. The only way to address this one is to hire someone, either an employee or an outside contractor, whose job is to keep marketing going. In your evaluation, look for a person or firm who can prove they will consistently create great content.

  2. Budget: You do have a budget for marketing, don't you? If not, the obvious first step is to establish one. Whether it's $500 or $10,000 a month, marketing should be a planned part of your activities and expenditures. When marketing is not planned, you are likely to bounce from one tactic to another. One-offs rarely work, no matter what the marketing vendor says.  

  3. Lack of Industry Focus: Defining your prospect base as "anyone with money" does not count as market focus. Yes, you don't want to walk away from any business, but that doesn't mean that you should spend marketing dollars that way. Your investment in marketing, both time and money, will be more effective if you focus on a specific industry.

  4. Using Too Many Tactics: Your marketing will also be more effective if you focus your efforts on one or two tactics. For example, start with a monthly e-mail newsletter to your current prospect list. Once you are getting the newsletter out every month without fail, you can add quarterly seminars. It's far better to do one thing consistently than a bunch of them occasionally.

  5. Keeping It Going: See above. The secret to marketing that works is consistency. Whatever tactics you choose, do them often and do them without end.

The year ahead looks promising for our industry. This is a great opportunity to get your marketing structure in place and humming along. You will build business in the near-term and be in a far better position to weather the next downturn.

What creative marketing are you planning for 2014? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on December 18, 2013


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