How do you measure up?

we marketers are a critical bunch.

With our industry evolving at a breakneck pace, being a marketer is tougher than ever before. And we’re hard on ourselves about it.

A survey conducted by e-mail marketing company Emma asked marketing professionals how often they meet work expectations:

88 percent say they meet expectations “occasionally”, “rarely” or “never.”

Now, it’s unclear whether these expectations are set by the marketers themselves or they’re sent down from above—but from where I sit it doesn’t matter. Regardless of who holds the measuring stick, when you’re a “pleaser” like me, it’s a big morale buster to go home each night feeling like you’re falling shy of the mark.

We can do better, but only if we knock these major culprits out of the way:

  • Not enough time. 64 percent of marketers surveyed report that lack of time or people are preventing them from doing the kind of marketing they want or need to do.

SOLUTION: Focus. Focus. Focus. Limit your activities to those that support your primary objectives, and eliminate those that don’t. And if you’re answering to an upper management team, make sure your objectives and theirs are in alignment. And always, consider whether additional help (ahem) on an as-needed basis could fix this problem.

  • Too many choices. It’s difficult to generate meaningful results if you’re spreading your resources across too many channels.

SOLUTION: Invest your efforts on the channels your customers use most. Go deep instead of wide, and forget about the other options until resources and demand make additional channels pencil out for you. You do not have to be in all places, but you do have to be in the right ones.

  • ROI is a pain. 37 percent of marketers say measuring ROI (return on investment) is their biggest pain point. It’s difficult to measure, and worthless when done incorrectly—yet these are the letters on the lips of every member of the C suite.

SOLUTION: Be clear and in agreement with management on what success looks like. Are you just chasing views and clicks, or are you more interested in capturing actions and conversions? 

  • Lack of relevance. Audiences respond more positively to targeted messaging. And while 40 percent of marketers want to do more targeted, personalized campaigns, almost 25 percent say that sending personalized email is a challenge for them.

SOLUTION: Identify target customer groups and develop personas for them. It will make messaging easier when you know who you are talking to. Then, spend the time to segment your list into corresponding categories of customers and prospects, and tailor your content accordingly. Specific and relevant messages will deliver greater ROI over time.

the takeaway: work smarter—not harder.

If you’re among the 88 percent of marketers who say they don’t always meet expectations, let’s talk. I’m pretty sure I can help you improve your response, and go home feeling a little better.

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