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This next episode of insights is shared by various experts coming from different digital areas. We'd like to invite you to the world of Digital Marketing Experts that work at large projects and face marketing challenges every day.

We asked them our 3 standard questions:

  • What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?
  • What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?

Use the list on the bottom to navigate the answers and enjoy their knowledge – it's worth it: 14 Digital Marketers Share How to Face Marketing Challenges.

Owain Powell- Decibel Digital

Owain Powell

Digital Marketing Manager at Decibel Digital

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


The ability to adapt quickly and communicate! The digital marketing landscape is shifting at a rate of knots, with new approaches, techniques, technologies and platforms becoming increasingly valuable for ongoing campaigns.

A core responsibility for any digital marketing manager is to stay up to date with the latest trends in digital, to be open to new ideas and to communicate these either internally to your in-house team or by being fully transparent to clients.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


I’m sure I am not alone across the industry with this, however in recent years, the biggest challenge has been to convince clients to commit to adopting a responsive website which renders across tablet and mobile devices.


Clients can invest as much as they want in digital marketing, however if their websites do not accommodate users across tablet or mobile devices; clients will generally struggle to engage their visitors or convert this traffic. The reality is that there is only so much a client can be convinced by the “case for responsive” from Digital Marketing teams based on interpretations from Google Analytics data or industry noise.


Learning from this, the key for our agency has been the adoption and investment in tools which provide additional layers of insight beyond Google Analytics. Tools which allow us to sit with clients to identify user journeys from mobile devices; then to view heatmaps and visitor replays highlighting the issues of not accommodating the needs of their audience. This approach to our reporting has allowed clients to witness first hand what happens on their website, and has proved successful in convincing clients to commit to investing spend on responsive design.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


We use various roadmap and visual collaboration tools such as Trello to pin down responsibilities and to share ideas between the team. We meet regularly to discuss existing or upcoming projects; and to discuss any ideas to progress any particular campaigns or the general approaches we undertake in-house.


This works incredibly well as it ensures smoother levels of communication, with the emphasis on a collaborative approach to achieve our targets. Moreover, it brings the team much closer together; making them feel more confident and open to express themselves.

Kristi Hines- Freelance Writers

Kristi Hines

Freelance writer, blogger, and ghostwriter

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


The ability to adapt to change. With all of the Google algorithm updates, new features for businesses on Facebook, updates to inboxes that affect email deliverability, and other changes in the marketing landscape, it's important for digital marketers to stay informed and adapt their strategy accordingly. Otherwise, they'll find themselves using outdated tactics that are not effective. 


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


I think the biggest challenge for digital marketers lately is the release of all the "shiny new objects" in the social media world. It's easy to get caught up in the waves of the Blabs, Peaches, and other latest and greatest networks. But the reality is that unless you have the time to dedicate to them + the tried and true social networks, you'll just spread yourself too thin and not get great results from anything. 


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


I like to focus on Google Analytics in the end. For the most part, it can tell you exactly which marketing strategies are affecting your bottom line and which ones you either need to invest more into or give up. It's great to see audience growth, engagement, and other metrics, but ultimately, if you're not getting business from a specific tactic, it might not be worth the effort.

Nico Sarti- Inkling Communications

Nico Sarti

Head of Digital at Inkling Communications Ltd

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


A proactive attitude, agile mind and an openness to new tools and techniques – digital marketing is all about testing, reviewing and making the necessary changes to your approach as quickly and elegantly as possible. Likewise, by keeping abreast of emergent trends and platforms you can ensure, where appropriate, that they’re incorporated into your strategies ahead of your competitors.


Finally, whilst a good digital marketer should be data-driven it’s essential to always have natural human behaviours and nuances in mind, as they can be difficult to detect through numbers. 


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


Most of the time, our biggest challenge is getting appropriate content in front of the right audiences without boring the hell out of them. We’re now in a situation where we can serve ads to consumers from the second they wake up until the moment they fall asleep – and, in my opinion, the sector is severely overdoing it.


At Inkling, we take pride in distributing the right messages at the right time, serving content which is actually useful and relevant to the audience that’s consuming it. Essentially it’s all about using reactive ads in a sensible way, and not patronizing your consumers.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


Every objective has a metric, and being honest about what we can achieve is the first step. Quantifiable success criteria agreed at the outset is a must, and we make sure to look at the context around the numbers rather than in isolation. It’s the only way to learn more and more as we proceed in our projects, and grow as an agency.

Jen Anderson- RentPath

Jen Anderson

Revenue Marketer and Digital Strategist at RentPath

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


With 70% of the B2B buyer journey happening digitally, digital marketing is no longer a distinct concept. Digital marketing IS marketing.


As such, a digital marketing manager must be able to analyze the overall lead to revenue management process. They must understand how different technologies and digital tools support the overall efficiency and success of that process. They must be able to identify bottlenecks in that process and present solutions to overcome them. They must be able to measure effectiveness and refine the approach.


Ultimately, success in this role is dependent on this person being a strategic, analytical thinker who makes thoughtful decisions based on clear objectives. I equate this with being intentional. If you're intentional in what you do, you work with purpose to move the business forward. So to me, that's the most important quality for any successful marketer to possess. 


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


One of the greatest challenges I face in my role today is effectively rolling out new processes and technologies to a sales team of more than 400.

This is not only my greatest challenge, it's also the most rewarding aspect of my job. I have the ability to hugely impact our company and the way marketing and sales work together to achieve common goals. That's incredibly exciting! I've learned a ton in this process but a few things really stand out:


1) I've learned the power of preparedness. Working in a large organization, there's a lot of stakeholders. You need to be prepared to speak to how a specific project will address each person's/department's unique goals and challenges to gain cross-functional buy-in and move forward quickly.


2) I've learned the power of leadership. I work for true marketing and sales leaders who both inspire and empower me to give my best day in and day out. I have a direct, measurable impact on the company which motivates me to set and work towards aggressive goals.


3) I've learned the power of passion. I am so passionate about what I do that there are days when I have to force myself to close up shop and head home. My colleagues share this passion. We're all incredibly excited about what we're going to accomplish this year as a team! I think we all feel powered by this excitement which pushes our projects forward at an unstoppable pace.  


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


My digital team and I are both measured in the same way – our impact on revenue. We look at how many new prospects we're pulling into the funnel, how well we're able to engage those prospects, create qualified opportunities and help the sales team close those opportunities. The broader B2B marketing team has different metrics in place based on their specific roles, but my team is focused on revenue marketing.

Marek Dorsz- Medicover Inceptox

Marek Dorsz

Digital Marketing Specialist w Medicover and Digital Marketing Expert at inceptoX

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


For me it is willingness to accept defeat. We have to admit that nothing is constant in the internet. There are some patterns but not so obvious. We have to make assumptions and test them. Majority of tests will be wrong and we need to use this fails and learn. We need to acknowledge new practices and chose best ways to grow in our businesses. One assumption is right – everything is changing.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


I think these are customers called customer 3.0. They want and need products and services now, here and usually for free. Wa all are facing challenge to somehow covered their needs. My way is to be perfect in user experience and admit if you make mistake. Customer will forgive you delays or small mistakes if you will be able to be sorry for it.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


Of course I have a lots of KPIs but most important for me is number of customers who make an order again. Acquisition of new customers is a pleasure but I think that our job is done when people trust us and are are happy to be back in our stores or apps.

Mike Perla- ClearLink

Mike Perla

Director of Conversion Rate Optimization at CLEARLINK

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


The most important quality of a good CRO manager is having a clear leadership vision.  A manager needs to be able to prioritize testing opportunities, as well as assess current capabilities and define a future state for their department.  Such an assessment should include defined roles, resources, technical and analytical capabilities, and should result in a well-defined department maturity roadmap.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


Besides resource constraints, the biggest challenge has been integrating with teams and stakeholders who feel a sense of ownership and expertise based on their previous experience with a web property. A CRO team is often "playing in someone else's sandbox," an intruder who disrupts what has long been established.  No matter if you work for an agency or an in-house team, the key to success is building relationships and developing hypotheses based on demonstrable, data-backed observations.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


An effective tool for judging a team’s work is through the development of roadmaps that prioritize tasks and provide timelines.  These serve as a contract between the manager and their individual team members.  With so many variables, it is difficult to fairly judge a team based solely on metrics such as testing velocity and revenue generated. 

Adam Jankowski- Ikea Poland

Adam Jankowski

Head of Digital Marketing at IKEA Poland

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


Very good communication skills


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


For me, the biggest challenge is to develop mesurable and strong digital influence on the main business goles like sales and customer satisfaction.

Till now, I've learned that if you choose right digital metrics to track and optimize, than it's really possible Especially now, when digital plays a major role in Customer Active Evaluation phase. But, the most difficult part is to those metrics and learn how to work with. 

What is mesured that is managed!


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


By the number of success celebrations, even those smallest ones 

Mateusz Cygan- V&P

Mateusz Cygan

Head of Digital at V&P

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


Curiosity – new channels are emerging on market every day and staying up to date is a must for any digital marketing manager, so she/he can deliver a communication which is relevant to the target of hers/his campaigns.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


Balancing between two areas – what client wants to do and what he wants to achieve, as it is not always the same thing.


It is a constant work on educating about the merits, that the specific action done within the range of „digital marketing activities” can deliver and which can become a real, long term profits in terms of sales and other KPI’s.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


Since our main area of work is retail at the moment, there is only one real effect that our work can be judged by – sales. Unfortunately, it’s not as accessible and easily compared with a campaign results as in ecommerce, so we are doing quite a lot additional analytics to check how the campaigns impact the sales.


In terms of the effectiveness, we are also checking the final number of the leads collected via our campaigns, since performance – not only in terms of sales – is in my opinion the only justified model of spending the money in marketing nowadays – especially in retail. After all – it’s all about the final result, whatever it is – products sold, e-mail addresses collected, attendants at the event – doesn’t matter. This result should be delivered by the campaign, to evaluate it as a „successful”.

Ireneusz Dworzyński- LemonSky Poland

Ireneusz Dworzyński

Performance Marketing Department Director at Lemon Sky J. Walter Thompson Poland

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


An open mind.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


Facing two worlds. On one hand, working for e-commerce, where numbers are the most important. Focusing on conversion optimization, choosing the most effective sources of traffic, focusing on the final stages of the consumer journey. 


On the other, global brands and working on their communication strategies. In this world the brand values are the most important. You have to focus on how to present brand (globaly – off-line and on-line) in it’s communication, to reach your target group. It’s working on many different levels and understanding how global marketing works – not only its part – on-line, branding, communications, but globally, involving our everyday life. 


I’ve learned how to combine these worlds together and how to understand every step of a consumer's journey (not only the end of it). Ultimately, it all leads to the main goal – a sale, but my perception now is much wider. 


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


ROI, ROAS, Traffic Volume, Awareness, Client Satisfaction, Team Happiness 

Kamil Guzdek- DragonFruit

Kamil Guzdek

Strategic Digital Marketing Manager at Dragonfruit

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


Empathy.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


Finding right people to get the job done.


We take knowledge of our workers seriously – all of them are having a perfect mix of analytical skills to asses their doings, knowledge of another digital areas, they are proficient in what they do. And they communicate well with each other. This is crucial to what we do!


Working in a friendly environment is beneficial for all – employees feel empowered, bringing new, awesome ideas, we befriend with our customers, and we build a lot of trust. Although this sounds simple it took us almost 2 years to build the perfect team which now takes care of their tasks, help each other and have a very good relation with our partners, often times helping them also with the daily issues. 


For the time we learned that these relations with our customers, and associates are the most important part of the business nowadays.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


We are asking ourselves only one question: "Was the job done in the way we would do if we ran the business?".


Each business of our partners is unique, and we know we are working with people brave enough to run their own businesses. We keep asking "if we were in their position what and why would we do?"- it's better to plan ahead and show it in the report than strictly optimize campaign for short term profits.

Jono Alderson-Linkdex

Jono Alderson

Global Head of Digital at Linkdex

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


Two most important qualities – breadth of experience, and the ability to learn quickly.


Good and effective digital marketing has so many disciplines, dependencies, intersects with other skillsets, tools, processes and considerations that you're going to keep making mistakes or missing opportunities unless you can teach yourself as you go, or if you've done it before.


You need to be a master of email marketing, conversion rate optimisation, server configuration, campaign strategy, boardroom politics, and a hundred other things. Don't relax until you've mastered it all and have hands-on experience across the whole arena.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


The biggest challenge is effecting meaningful change. Digital marketing is still new, complex, scary, and cuts horizontally through a whole bunch of established functions and processes. Getting people on board, constructing effective business cases, and getting things done – often in organisations where change simply isn't a thing – is tough.


You need to understand the motivations, psychologies, priorities and business processes which drive decisions, and to design for them as well as for your users and audiences.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


My favourite measure is getting stuff done. Unless you're doing something REALLY crazy, chances are that your ideas and outputs have *some* level of value. Given that, the thing which really makes a difference is getting them shipped, and moving on to the next thing. No clever metrics, no sophisticated attribution, just action.


Use things like Trello and Slack to keep tasks moving and to remain agile, and plough through your to-do list. Stop worrying about measuring and quantifying big campaign ideas to judge how you're doing, and just *do*.

Miłosz Woźniak- DDS Poland

Miłosz Woźniak

Digital Marketing Director DDS Poland

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


Interdisciplinarity! But the most important quality is ability of analytical thinking that allows to analyze the increasing amount of data flowing from the different digital marketing channels.


While aiming to achieve the highest possibility ROI we have to make brave decisions, which must be based on the conclusions of a comprehensive analysis of the available data.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


At the beginning of my career the biggest problem was to convince customers to increase in spending on interactive media marketing instead of traditional channels and media.


I've learned that high efficiency of the campaign and reporting the outcomes achieved in terms of business benefits have a direct impact on increasing digital marketing budget in order to obtain the biggest impact on their scalability.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


I like to measure effectiveness of the campaign basing on the achieved checkpoints in cooperation with the customer.


The first sign that the campaign is a success takes place when we achieve better results than expected KPI's at the start of the project.

Another sign is a customer openness and satisfaction which is easy to notice at the summary meetings.


The next checkpoint is expressed by the customer desire in a long-term cooperation, which leads to increasing the budget and expanding advertising channels.


Last but not least – recommendations of our services to trusted business partners.

Justyna Tchorek- Bisnode

Justyna Tchorek

Digital Marketing Consultant at Bisnode

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


The ability to identify future consumer and marketing trends.


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


In my past career my company faced a huge challenge regarding social media and the impact of consumer reviews on sales. One unsatisfied customer posted very bad reviews on blogs and social portals in which he criticized one of our top products. The sales dropped dramatically and the critique spread very fast through the web, even though our product wasn't defective. We have learnt from it that consumers' behavior changed a lot recently.


Nowadays, clients influence the marketing of the companies, they co-create the content of brand and product marketing, and they are more conscious about quality. We have also realized that companies should not underestimate social media or consumer reviews in their marketing plans.


How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


The purpose of almost all marketing activity is sales increase or brand awareness increase. I measure the impact of my marketing campaigns using the typical KPIs such as ROI. Our goal is to run effective campaigns, which provide the highest return of investment. Another important metric is consumer acquisition cost. I continuously try to minimize the cost spent on the acquisition of a new consumer.

Małgorzata Skorwider- Digital Expert

Małgorzata Skorwider

Independent Digital Expert

What is the most important quality a good digital marketing manager should have?


Nowadays, marketing manager needs to operate on data. They need to be able to put their analytical minds to data, and avoid the humanist approach.


They have to be able to read and understand figures, plan, assess actions based on performance, lead actions focused on effectiveness, run day-by-day analyses of multiple communication channels: those focused on image creation as well as off-line and sales. Then, they need to manage the process based on the abovementioned data and make further decisions in real time, so the objectives set initially can be achieved.


This needs to be an analyst who knows how to sell products.  


What was (or is) the biggest challenge you were facing and what you have learned from it?


Today, the biggest challenge we face is not yielding to pressure coming from technological advances, new tools which are designed to build businesses even faster. It is getting harder and harder to convince clients to implement a long-term strategy, and it is the new inventions and options popping up every single day that are to blame for this.


Everyone seems to be under pressure to test and implement new solutions in order to meet objectives even more quickly. When you change your mode of operations too often or try to simultaneously set a few solutions in motion, the tactics is likely to be counterproductive, lowering the efficacy of your actions instead of improving it.


Add to that the inability to analyze data from all the channels you are using to carry out your designed action, and you’ll get the full picture. The real challenge today is to possess enough know-how in order to be able to make rational decisions and run your business in a very consistent, stable way.


Novelty is not always the better option, just like something altogether different does not have to prove successful for your target group.    

  

How do you measure the effectiveness of your and your team’s work?


Over the course of many years, I have been using different tools to measure effectiveness, also because indirect objectives varied from a project to another – whether they be focused on the human or sales aspects, from short-term to long-term objectives etc. Nevertheless, there is always this one indicator gauging effectiveness, and it is called ROI (return on investment).


Regardless of the focus, whether we are talking about actions focused on the team, or the pursuit of my client’s image-creating goals, or their sales goals, ROI allows for a clear-cut assessment of how effective my team’s and my actions have been.

Do you think we've got them all?

Is there anyone you’d like to see here? Or do you believe that you should be in the list?

Go the comments section or to the Twitter profile @UserpeekCom and tell us what you think – we’ll gladly make additions!

Be sure to spread the word around and share the list – everyone should benefit! See you next week.

Disclosure: All profile pictures of experts were taken from their official profiles in social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

Torsten Tromm

About the author

Torsten is CEO and founder of Userpeek. He is an old stager in the online business with 20 years of experience as an online marketer, conversion rate optimizer and UX strategist.

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