What Are the Modern Marketing Struggles? An Interview With Gabriel Marketing Group
March 28, 2017 | Dan Trefethen
The world of digital B2B marketing has gone through many changes over the past decade. New technologies have been developed, new strategies, new audiences, and new struggles.
To get a glimpse into the current concerns and questions many marketing teams are having, we’d thought that we ask a marketing team whose job it is to solve those problems.
Gabriel Marketing Group (GMG), a marketing consulting and public relations firm, were happy to answer these questions for us. Below they discuss the top concerns companies are coming to them with, and how marketing goals have shifted over the past few years.
1. Tell us a little bit about Gabriel Marketing Group. What’s your specialty?
GMG is a marketing, branding, and public relations firm that is largely focused on high-growth technology companies. Our clients come to us looking for a variety of consultation and services like strategic planning, increasing market awareness, and creating communication programs, among many other marketing aspects.
We love content. GMG’s produced award-winning brands and elements including animations, videos, advertisements and rich text media for our clients.
2. Out of all the goals, struggles, and focuses your clients come to you with recently, what are the three most popular?
The three most common challenges we typically hear are:
- How do we drive more qualified traffic – traffic that converts?
- How do we track the true impact of our marketing campaigns?
- Is our web presence and owned media (website, blogs, social media, those types of channels), representative of our brand and aligned with achieving our sales and marketing goals?
3. Why do you think these are now more prevalent for marketers?
Driving traffic to a website is not rocket science. It can be accomplished relatively cheaply with any basic advertising campaign.
The challenge is to drive individuals to your website who are genuinely interested in what you offer and are likely to convert to leads and then to customers.
This is what we call qualified traffic. Generating significant volume of qualified traffic is difficult and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. This is particularly relevant today, as the digital marketing landscape is becoming more crowded and competitive.
For campaign tracking, marketers often struggle with measuring the true impact of their efforts across the organizational structure. It’s not always an intuitive thing.
This presents a problem – unless we’re closely tracking KPIs and lead status along the sales funnel, how do we improve our tactics? This challenge became particularly relevant as mass adoption of CRMs took place in the last 5-10 years.
Having a website and social media presence is no longer sufficient for brands looking to grow. Standards have gone up and competition has risen.
From the title of your homepage, to the call to action on your social media posts – there are hundreds of touchpoints that all make a difference. Digital marketing success can ride on the strategy and alignment of all these efforts.
4. What used to be a bigger priority for your clients that is now lower on the list?
When it comes to digital, clients used to be more concerned about flashy graphics on their websites, but as time and experience has taught us, those are not very conducive to converting serious customers.
Instead, companies need to focus on the user journey and delivering relevant and useful content to prospects. Pure, traditional SEO is gone – we always say think beyond the metatag. If you want good rankings, be authentic in what you produce and offer to users.
5. Can you give us an example of something that surprised you over the past few months? Either something you’ve seen externally, or something that’s come up from a client or campaign.
Audiences often perform counterintuitively. In fact, that seems to be the norm these days. For example, a client was recently convinced that their core product was most attractive to middle aged women. After testing various platforms, ad budgets and targeting, we discovered that the most frequent purchasers were younger men.
Assumptions can be wrong, but data derived from a big enough data sample never lies. Also, we’ve seen highly effective campaigns come from paid social, while some more traditional and strictly organic social has failed to produce the kind of impact and traffic needed for massive scale.
6. In just a few sentences, how should B2B marketers think about modern public relations?
B2B marketers should view PR as a way to authentically amplify a company. PR promotes the human component to business, provides 3rd party validation through media relations and enables companies to reach customers and prospects in a more impactful and meaningful way. It also can be tapped to position for major growth or exit events such as securing funding or becoming a target for your ideal acquirer.
7. In GMG’s crystal ball, what might B2B marketing and public relations look like three years from now?
Over the past five years, digital, PR and social are becoming increasingly intertwined. We expect to see this continue, with the most forward-thinking marketing teams understanding that neither of those traditionally separate disciplines can be approached in a vacuum or as a commodity.