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Top 10 Challenges Interactive Marketers Face

by Aaron Kahlow  |  
September 16, 2008

The top 10 challenges facing the interactive marketing community are very much the same as those facing the entire marketing community... in that almost every marketing professional must address the interactive/online marketing medium.

Having spent the last two years traveling the world for the Online Marketing Summit events (more the United States, but you get the point), educating marketers on the best practices of online marketing, I've had a chance to interact with thousands from all areas of marketing.

When they are asked about top challenges, many marketers say things like "social media" or "search engine optimization" or "integrating online and offline." But I think the challenges are much more fundamental to the individual and the organization.

Here's my list of the top challenges, and my recommendations for dealing with them.

No. 10: Time

"I have to get this e-newsletter out tomorrow; can we talk about our landing page strategy next week?"

As marketers, especially online marketers, we are all stretched way too thin. So, I put time at No. 10 because it's never really about a lack of time—it's about prioritizing time. Right? We can do whatever we want; it just depends on what we decide to do first.

As it applies to online marketing, we get so caught up in the day-to-day execution of existing campaigns that we never take the right amount of time each week, month, or year to say, "What can I do that will have the largest impact on my marketing goals?"

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Aaron Kahlow is founder and executive director of the Online Marketing Summit ( and the Online Marketing for Marketers blog (

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  • by Diane Davidson Tue Sep 16, 2008 via web

    I am in the middle of buidling a strategy for my company and I am living the challenges you have noted above. To be as honest, I had a few personal challenges I had to overcome as well, facebook being one of them. I just was not sure how it would fit but I am attempting to get over my own bias. Thanks for a concise list of what I have been subconsiously feeling but not yet completely grappling with. It will help me to define the issues for my stakeholders and being to build thier buy in .

  • by Aaron Kahlow Tue Sep 16, 2008 via web

    Diane, I hear you. it's so challenging to even get our own mind around what needs to be done, that getting our peers and colleagues is a monumental task. If there is anything I can do (like a time tested planning doc that asks all the right questions) don't hestitate to drop me an email at or message me on facebook. That offer goes for anyone btw!

  • by Sheree Fri Sep 19, 2008 via web

    I am fortunate to work for a healthcare company that has decided to take a chance with CRM. We recently won an award from Health Leaders concerning a marketing campaign which was generated out of our CRM software. I am not sure if we won first, second or third place however we did achieve a fantastic ROI, the winners will be announced at the Oct 15th Conference in Chicago.

    I work for corporate and we have implemented CRM at 7 hospitals thus far. One of my greatest challenges is getting the Marketing Departments to use the software to generate campaigns. From a corporate perspective another one of my challenges is in regards to ROI. I stress the need for campaigns with a call to action however many of our hospitals initially at least used the software as an informational tool with no call to action. From a healthcare perspective management needs to know that you cannot expect to see a ROI on a campaign for a minimum of 6 - 12 month depending on the campaign.

  • by samrat Sun Sep 21, 2008 via web

    as i am very new to this field first have to take best use of it . & i am very sure that it wioll help me a lot.

  • by Aaron Mon Sep 22, 2008 via web

    Sheree, that's exactly it... you need to set ROI expectation b/c not everything has an ROI right off the bat... much is the "cost of doing business"... for example, what is the ROI of your Lobby, your fax machine, your bosses corner office!

  • by Mike Kedkad Sun Sep 28, 2008 via web

    Great article and to add to some of you who are contemplating about building a digital marketing strategy, contact me and I can you help put a strategy for your firm:

  • by Aaron Kahlow Sun Sep 28, 2008 via web

    Mike, nice blatant plug! but, alas, if you have some value to offer then cool

  • by eve Wed Feb 10, 2010 via web

    nice articles on the marketing field. im a marketing student in a kenyan university and im hoping the site will help me through my study of the subject and in practice after school...thanks.

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