3 Key Challenges Marketers Face & How to Overcome Them

Engagement Marketing


Today’s marketer continues to face steep challenges when it comes to engaging with customers across multiple channels and touchpoints. It takes both smart marketing and the right technology to be able to listen, learn and respond to your customer at speed and with scale. Yet according to Marketo’s recently released The State of Engagement report, nearly half of the marketers surveyed (48%) said that finding the appropriate tools to enable them to engage with customers is the biggest challenge they face today.

In this blog, I’ll highlight 3 challenges marketers are facing today and marketing technology innovations that are helping them to overcome them—including some that are included in our latest product release.

Challenge #1: Engagement Doesn’t Happen Effectively Without Coordinated Data and Insights

Marketers today have access to more data than ever before. But, delivering experiences that will truly engage your customers requires you to go beyond the numbers—you’ve got to be able to translate data into actionable insights. There’s no question that it can be challenging to understand all the signals consumers share and how to leverage the data from those signals to deliver personalized, authentic messages. That’s where marketers should look to tools to help inform their strategies for deeper engagement.

For email marketers, tools like Marketo Email Insights is one way to gain insights into email performance. Using historical data, marketers can see trends in email delivery and engagement metrics and break results down by audience, content, and platform. And, in our recent release, we made several enhancements that give marketers new ways to prepare, analyze, and share email performance data— elevating it from highlighting interesting points to delivering actionable insights.

Another way marketers are leveraging data to deliver personalized experiences is through artificial intelligence (AI). The new Marketo ContentAI enables marketers to personalize interactions for broad audiences as precisely as if you were marketing to a segment of one, and it does it by using AI-powered insights to predict the best content to engage each individual. In Marketo’s summer release, new AI-based analytics provide rich insights into which of your content assets are most popular, which are trending, and how specific content pieces are performing for defined audiences (location, industry, visitor type). With machine learning tools like ContentAI powering predictive content on website, mobile, and email, your mountains of data are quickly synthesized to provide the insights needed to match the right content to the right audience for the highest possible engagement with your brand—something that simply isn’t scalable without technology.

Challenge #2: Engagement Doesn’t Happen Without Personalization

What’s the number one reason consumers don’t engage more often? The answer may surprise you.  According to Marketo’s State of Engagement research, the answer is irrelevant content. People don’t engage with brands they feel don’t speak to them. This is likely because interactions that don’t provide the right message, offer, or content, fail to deliver any meaningful value. Here’s where tools like ContentAI that I wrote about above offer tremendous value. They help marketers make sense of their content engagement data and choose the best assets to use to target individuals across segments. With AI-recommended content to help drive higher engagement, marketers must ensure they’re equipped with the right tools that enable them to deliver relevant content to each individual at the right time and in the right place, at scale.

And because websites are a main point of interaction between prospects and content, it’s not surprising that tools like Marketo Web Personalization are rapidly becoming a priority for marketers seeking to deliver a deeply personalized experience with individuals in real-time. Offering up personalized messaging, content, and offers based on firmographic, demographic, and behavioral data is a powerful way for marketers to ensure site visitors are always met with an engaging experience on the web. Why is this critical? When it comes to audience attention, according to a study by eMarketer, 83% of B2B buyers say company websites are the most popular channel for online research. Based on our research in The State of Engagement, more than 60% of consumers (both B2B and B2C) expect all of their interactions with brands to be personalized.

In our Q3 release, we’re giving marketers even more ways to deliver a personalized experience with more flexible personalization campaigns. As a marketer, you know your audience and what works for your business best, and so we’ve made it easier than ever to preview web personalization campaigns to see what they will look like across different devices. Now, there are even more ways to trigger campaigns based on a visitor’s activity like time spent on a page or specific movements on the page. All of these enhancements were designed specifically to help marketers present relevant content for a more personalized engaging experience every time.

Challenge #3: Engagement doesn’t happen in silos

In a world where every experience matters, siloed, unconnected teams are failing to create real connections with buyers and customers. For most, the real challenge is working cross-functionally to unite all customer-facing teams around the customer experience. To win in the Engagement Economy, two teams that have to work in lockstep are Sales and Marketing. These teams not only need to align on processes, but they have to truly partner around all aspects of the customer’s experience with the brand. But, without the right tools to support this relationship, that partnership can be a real challenge.

Successful companies are seeing Sales using more messaging and tools from Marketing and Marketing developing more playbooks to guide the Sales process—partnering to engage buyers across all phases of the customer experience. Sales Engagement tools, like Marketo ToutApp, help to bring these two teams together. Through digital playbooks, proven content, and engagement analytics, Marketo ToutApp focuses your Marketing and Sales teams on driving more predictable pipeline and revenue growth. And recent enhancements to Marketo ToutApp in our Summer release make it easier than ever for marketers to categorize and share content, so Sales has the right messaging and content to close more deals.

Overcoming the challenges

As marketers face the challenges and hurdles of an ever-evolving landscape, technology is more important than ever to create authentic customer experiences. Today’s marketer has access to an expanding technology arsenal to turn data into insights, to personalize at scale for segments of one, and to focus the combined power of Sales and Marketing on the customer experience. Today, success depends not only on the tools but how they come together in a unified marketing platform. One that enables marketers to listen, learn, and engage at scale to create the types of personalized experiences consumers demand.

How do you see marketers winning with technology today?