Calling All Marketers: Are You in Need of Some REM Sleep?

shutterstock_179538596When I see a title like “What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?,” I can’t help but click it immediately. After all, I am a marketer, my job is to help fellow marketers and, as a marketer, many sleepless nights abound. There are so many questions that run through a marketer’s mind at any given time, such as:

  • Is my blogging platform suitably SEO-driven to reel in qualified leads and establish my thought leadership?
  • Do I feel good about my upcoming webinar topic? Will it garner enough registrants?
  • Are my inbound and outbound marketing strategies working well? Do they need a course correction?

And it seems these kinds of fears plague a number of chief marketers as evidenced by a recent study. Adobe put together a fabulous survey of over 1,000 U.S. marketers last year to find out their key stresses for a report titled “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?” Let’s take a look at some of their chief findings.

Marketing is Ever-Changing

It’s hard to remember that just a few years ago we didn’t even know of phrases like “Hummingbird” or “Dynamic Duo,” and now it seems these content-marketing-isms cannot escape our heads. Simply put, being a marketer is exhausting. Every day the space is changing. In fact, 76 percent of marketers think the industry has changed more in the past two years alone than in the past 50, according to the aforementioned study.

That’s because what works one day may prove entirely futile two days later. As we’ve learned from Google algorithm changes, split A/B testing of email marketing campaigns and social media metrics, the job of a marketer is to stay current and to realize that best practices change monthly, if not weekly.

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Today’s Marketers Struggle with Digital

Specifically, only 48 percent of digital marketers feel they are highly proficient in digital marketing and only 40 percent think their company’s marketing is effective. In large part this is due to the fact that some of the biggest obstacles getting in the way of digital content marketing success are time and a lack of ideas. Today’s marketers can’t find enough time to produce engaging, SEO-driven content; others are lost in this new-age lexicon of “follow,” “#tbt,” and “metadata”; and many are confused when it comes to demand generation.

It’s certainly impossible to ignore digital as a marketer—what with the proliferation of social media, blogging and video, among other tactics—but understanding how each platform functions independently as well as in conjunction with other strategies is the real challenge.

Reaching Customers is Hard

So hard in fact that 82 percent of marketers who were surveyed worry about reaching their customers and 79 percent grapple with whether their campaigns are effective. In today’s overly saturated digital age, it can seem near impossible for your brand to stand out amongst the marketing clutter. Not to mention, it’s a challenge to keep up with the platforms for which your customers frequent. One moment they are spending considerable time on LinkedIn and the next they are interested yet again in direct mailing.

Your customer’s attention span is fickle and reaching out to them effectively can pose a real challenge.

So What Do You Do?

Let’s face it; your job is tough. But fear not because sleep can be on your horizon if you just consider the following:

  • Assemble Your A-Team: A slap-dash marketing strategy won’t cut it. So get your best players on board. If your team is limited, consider teaming with a third-party content outsourcing vendor.
  • Push Envelopes: A key theme above with regards to what’s keeping you up is a failure to be effective. So remember that innovation is paramount. If something seems far-fetched, explore it and consider where it can take you.
  • Embrace the Fear: Fear is what drives greatness. So instead of being upset over your lack of “Z’s,” appreciate it and realize that some of your best ideas come between pillow turning.
  • Course Correct as You Go: Worried your content marketing efforts are not hitting the grade? Then be willing to course correct. Owning up to shortcomings is key to enjoying unprecedented success.

Did I miss any tips? Let me know in the comments below!

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