There is no doubt that the past few years have been a major challenge for most businesses. When it comes to ensuring consumers continue to perceive a company as strong, stable and trustworthy through difficult times, senior business leaders rely on the experience and expertise of their in-house marketing teams or agency partners.

As the economy continues to absorb and rebound from the aftershocks of unexpected downturns, a marketer’s job becomes more critical to the success of the business they serve. Here, 15 members of Forbes Agency Council share their perspectives on what the top challenges are for marketers this year.

1. Dealing With Data Depreciation

We are coming out of the age of big data, and we need to make more correlations and logical assumptions. Targeting is becoming broader, and siloed channel measurement is becoming more difficult. The good news? This is actually an opportunity to look at your marketing holistically and scale campaigns that will drive incremental volume and revenue for your business. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures

2. Not Having A Solid Marketing Plan

It always comes down to having a solid marketing plan. It doesn’t matter what trends prevail in the marketplace if your business doesn’t have a clear marketing plan. I firmly believe that strategy is at the heart of everything a business does. Your marketing plan must include the goals you seek to achieve; it’ll help your team create marketing messages that align with your ultimate goal. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

3. Revising Keywords To Reflect Current Conditions

Marketers need to be choosy with their keywords. Many businesses are experiencing supply chain issues that impact the services and products they are currently able to provide. SEO needs to accommodate these challenges by targeting other profitable keywords. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions

4. Testing Emerging Channels

With the rising costs of advertising on channels such as Facebook and Instagram, marketers are having to test emerging channels to find growth opportunities. How to test, validate, resource and scale these emerging channels—such as Tiktok—is a key challenge for marketers looking to deliver growth. – James Ross , Hype Partners


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5. Breaking Through The Digital Clutter

Breaking through the digital clutter ranks among the top challenges we hear from clients. Too many instances of weak offers, keyword exploitation, run-on copy, spam emails, mistargeting and more suggest smart strategy matters less and “impressions” matter more. We all know better. And unlike pandemics, inflation and wars, this is something we can control! – Bruce McMeekin, BKM Marketing Associates, Inc.

6. Staying Ahead Of The Pace Of Change

The biggest challenge is staying ahead of the pace of change. While Google and the social networks constantly tweak their ad offerings and platform functionality, user preferences also shift fast. You need to be in tune not just with how you’re able to reach potential customers but also how customers want to be reached. Being an expert on just one or the other will mean you get left behind. – Tellef Lundevall, Accelerated Digital Media

7. Understanding How Upper-Funnel Actions Impact Lower-Funnel Events

The line between brand awareness and performance marketing is being eliminated, and marketers need to be well-versed in the impact upper-funnel actions have on lower-funnel events. This presents a unique challenge for most e-commerce brands, as most are more concerned with lower-funnel metrics (conversions, return on ad spend and cost per action) than they are with upper-funnel metrics (reach, impressions, clicks and views). – Justin Buckley, ATTN Agency

8. Avoiding Burnout

The top challenge is burnout. The media and communications industry has some of the highest rates of burnout, and things are only getting worse. With the increasing digital pace of change, globalization, and multiple messaging and project management channels, marketers are now expected to be “always on.” Add to this budget restraints and pressure to drive leads fast, and it’s a recipe for a well-being disaster. – Azadeh Williams, AZK Media

9. Rising Above The Noise

With the continued advancements in social media, additional tech and new platforms, reaching consumers has never been easier, yet rising above the noise to get their attention has never been more challenging. Your campaigns need to be interesting and tell great, shareable stories through clutter-breaking creative. – Marc Becker, The Tangent Agency

10. Quantifying Return On Investment

Proving ROI is a challenge marketers have long struggled with and continue to face in 2022. Getting internal teams to understand that marketing efforts aren’t always quantifiable can be difficult, so finding ways to track your results that are quantifiable is essential to gaining internal buy-in. Leveraging artificial intelligence-backed tools, such as Google Analytics, to get those insights is a game changer. – Heather Kelly, Next PR

11. Measuring And Articulating The Business Value For Nonmarketers

Measuring the business value and articulating this value for nonmarketers is a challenge. The client’s business side doesn’t always know (or care about) marketing-qualified leads or sales-qualified leads; instead, they want to know what revenue we influenced, or how we bring actual value to the company. Many marketers struggle to report on this and clearly articulate it to nonmarketers. – Jonathan Franchell, Ironpaper

12. Effectively Promoting Content

Essentially, there’s a content crisis afoot: too much content on search engines and social media chasing audience attention. Pumping out content is never the problem, but effective content promotion—meaning getting the right message to the right client at the right time—is sorely lacking. Content you spent a lot of time, energy and money on ends up being like a needle in a stack of needles. – Christopher Carr, Farotech

13. Hiring Talent

Hiring talent is absolutely the biggest challenge. The drive for recruitment is incredibly high, yet there are just not enough resources to fulfill demand. Salary expectations are significantly higher, in line with an increase in living costs, with the pandemic prompting huge changes in terms of the packages that employees are demanding. It will level out, but at the moment it is tough. – Jules Herd, Five in a Boat

14. Delivering Quality Branded Content At Scale

Being able to deliver quality branded content at scale is the challenge in 2022. And delivery does not just apply to agency content production. Marketers will need to change the way they operate internally. That means more iterative and collaborative development, faster approvals, better design systems and direct lines to legal. This means new roles and more internal investment in marketing operations. – John Geletka, Geletka+

15. Maintaining The Effectiveness Of Your Website

Maintaining the effectiveness of your website remains one of the top challenges for marketers. In as little as two years, your website can become half as effective as it was at launch due to a variety of reasons, such as evolving technology, changing SEO algorithms, design trends, outdated content and the incremental (and inevitable) bugs and issues that affect your website’s reliability over time. – Steve Ohanians, WebEnertia

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