Every marketer faces different challenges. And, ever since 2020, the ways we’ve had to pivot, adjust campaigns, and address challenges has been unlike anything many of us have had to do before.

And, even if you’ve somehow navigated the past three years without any surprising or tough marketing challenges, there’s likely at least one task, tactic, or strategy you’ve always wanted to improve upon. 

Today, marketing is so fast-paced that it can be difficult to identify which areas you’ll want to develop to facilitate stronger growth in 2022 and beyond. For that reason, it’s important to pause for a moment and reflect on the biggest challenges marketers feel they’re facing this year.

While this was the second biggest marketing challenge in 2022, it’s the top challenge marketers will focus on in 2023, with 19% of survey respondents saying it will be their biggest hurdle. As you might expect, generating traffic and leads is always top of mind with marketers. And, even if teams are doing well with these metrics, they’ll always want to improve them. 

Fortunately, privacy changes don’t mean the end of generating leads — it simply means learning how to re-think strategy.

As Lee told me, “To weather this storm of change, marketers need to be vigilant in monitoring and understanding industry-wide acceptance of privacy protocols and updates to search, social, and display/native platforms (consumer-side and marketing/advertising-side). And last, but not least — lean into the power of peer support and networking for sharing best practices and learning.”

Additionally, marketers are struggling with producing enough demand for their content. And as the year’s progress and competition stiffens, this will only become truer. With so many options of platforms for marketers to publish their content and even more ways to promote it, it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.

When it comes to creating content that produces enough traffic and leads, marketers should ask themselves two questions: Are you truly creating high-quality content — the type of content people would pay for? And, do you know the type of content your audience actually wants?

To ensure you’re creating content that resonates best with your audience, you’ll want to refer to analytics often. Use effective tools to properly track the types of content that perform best with your audience to generate more leads in 2022.

Additionally, once you know you’re creating the type of content your audience wants, the focus shifts to promoting it in a way that makes your audience take notice.

More than ever before, people are being flooded with content. Consumers don’t have to use a search engine to find answers. Instead, articles fill their news feed or buzz in their pocket via mobile notifications. To keep up, consider exploring alternate distribution methods — like social media or podcasting — to increase brand awareness.

While “Hiring Top Talent” was low on the list of challenges faced by marketers in 2022, it’s expected to be the biggest challenge of 18% of marketers in 2023.

And, we’re not too surprised. Hiring talent with a great track record takes time, effort, and money — which many marketing teams do not have. 

Many companies are shifting more resources to inbound marketing, which means higher and higher demand for top marketing talent. But supply simply isn’t keeping up. From sourcing the right candidates to evaluating for the right skills, finding the perfect person could take months … or more.

In 2023, hiring talent could grow even more difficult — particularly as more companies deal with transitions back to office life, competitive hybrid perks, as well as salary budget limitations due to the shifting economy.

She told me, “When I talk to high-growth companies or marketing agencies (and the marketers running those teams), I’ve found that hiring not only top talent, but diverse top talent is extremely challenging. In fact, I was just having a conversation with an agency owner who hires SEO and paid marketers, and he told me, ‘Hiring is still the biggest challenge we face.'”

Fortunately, Grieser provided me with a few tips for employers to stand out from the crowd. She told me, “My suggestion here is for marketers to invest heavily in their employer brand for the long-term. Just like you need to market your product, you also need to dedicate resources, time and energy into marketing your company as an employer.”

“Guess who leads this initiative? The marketing team. Think about how you and your team can showcase your work and your team’s work. I won’t try to assume that employer brand falls solely in your court, but as a marketer, you have natural skills that will lend themselves to marketing the company as whole.”

In 2020, we began learning the art of the pivot as many brands had to stop everything they had planned, observe the current state of everything, and navigate the bbest way forward. But, every time we think we get closer to a boring day in the marketing world, something evolves or changes that will cause us to need to pivot.

And, while some marketers are excited by the idea of working in a fast-paced, ever-evolving environment, it can get very tiring for others. That’s why we’re not shocked that 17% of marketers say that marketing strategy pivots will be the biggest challenge they face in the new year. 

While you might think pivoting during COVID-19 gave you all the skills needed to change course when its necessary, every unprecedented event that we aren’t expecting often poses new challenges (as those definitions suggest). When marketers don’t plan for the unexpected, they could risk their performance metrics, budget, or even their audience if they market to targets that are forward-thinking and find untrendy or out of touch brands uninteresting to them. 

At HubSpot, and many other companies with excellent marketing departments, our marketers always try to be one-step ahead of the potential result (or even a lack of results). 

When creating a large campaign or implementing a big strategy, it’s important to ask yourself and your team, “What do we do if it doesn’t work?” or “How do we pivot if the world changes overnight?”

When it’s time to make that pivot, try to gather as much information as you can about your customers, audiences, and platforms to learn how everything has changed or evolved, and then use what you’ve learned to determine the best course of action. For example, when COVID-19 was declared an emergency, many of our marketers paused comms with audiences and notified them through emails or social posts that it was because we wanted to focus on offering the most helpful or valuable content unrelated to sales and revenue at that time. Then, while we were on pause, we met with each other and performed market research to help us put ourselves in the audience’s shoes and learn how we could best help them.

If you do pivot, learn from what worked effectively and what didn’t. This will help you in future scenarios where a pivot is necessary — even if the situation is totally different next time.

In 2022, training top talent was the top challenge marketers were focused on. However, as more marketers now focus on recruiting and retaining greaat talent in this time of faster workplace movement, training seems to have fallen to number four. 

However, this doesn’t mean training isn’t an important factor to pay attention to, especially if you have a growing workforce.

After all, even top-tier talent need to have paths to grow, challenge themselves, learn, and become even better at what they do. 

If you’re a manager or marketing leader, you’ll need to take time to teach that employee how your company works. This could include voice and messaging training, helping them understand buyer personas, or getting them acclimated to the tech stack or processes you use. 

Meanwhile, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned marketing team employee or new hire, you might wish your company had more opportunities for training, onboarding, or professional development that could allow you to excel and learn while also hitting your KPIs.

Unfortunately, in the fast-paced world of marketing, it can be challenging for leaders to find the time to train while employees might not have the time or money to access professional development outside of their day-to-day tasks. 

That’s why it’s not shocking that 30% of marketers say that team training was the biggest challenge of 2021 and 21% say it will continue to be the top challenge for marketing departments in 2022. 

The first step to solving this problem, regardless of whether you’re an individual contributor or manager, is reframing what “training” means to you. Remember that even the most top-tier, ROI-generating unicorn marketer will need time to get used to how your company works and grow as an employee and potential leader.

Ultimately, businesses should think of training and professional development offerings as indirect ROI generators. Ultimately, even the most top-tier, unicorn talent will need time to get used to how your company works.

On one end of the spectrum, companies and leadders can retain employees and save money on talent searches because of their offerings. Meanwhile, their talent will learn more, grow more, become even more competitive, and — most importantly — feel more fulfilled and supported in their role. Additionally, you don’t always have to hire instructors or take time out of your day to train. For example, you can:

On the other hand, if you’re an individual contributor, participating in your company’s professional development training and/or taking free or affordable courses online could help you negotiate a stronger role and salaries for yourself at your company or elsewhere. 

Essentially, no matter where you look, trends are constantly changing. And, if you’re publishing out of touch content that leverages very out of date or out of touch trends, your audiences might get bored and move on to a brand that feels more interesting to them.

Unfortunately, marketers might not always have the bandwidth or budget to lean into every trend out there. So, what are we supposed to do?

Just like picking the right channels or social platforms that make the most sense for your brand, pay attention to the industries and trends that make the most sense for you to lean into, or brands that you know most of your target audience is leaning into. For example, one brand that perfectly leaned into “CornTok” was Rumba, which creatively published a TikTok of its products cleaning up — you guessed it — corn. 



In our 2023 survey, 16% of marketers cited their biggest challenge as “increasing competition from other brands.” And, that’s not shocking at all.

Business competition is a tale as old as time. And, even when you feel like you’re winning on one channel or another, competitors can come at any moment ready to outperform you. That’s why every platform, from social media to search engines, has gotten vastly more competitive over the past 10 years — and will only get more saturated with competition.

The concerns of competition are obvious. Ultimately, they could take business or attention away from you and harm your revenue. Luckily, it doesn’t take a marketing genius to get ahead of them. 

While we encourage you to highlight your unique perks and not copy the competition exactly, use your analysis results to think about the competitive selling points you can market and strategies you can use to innovate on what they’re missing. 

In 2023, 16% of marketers are concerned about securing. gaining, and keeping stakeholder support for their marketing budgets. And, although we aren’t surprised that a large chunk of marketers selected this concerm, we were a bit shocked that more marketers aren’t seeing this as top of mind given the current economic landscape.

Securing a budget has always been a pressing challenge for marketing globally. And, while marketers seemed to be getting what they needed for budget in 2022, companies could be eager to shift back to pre-pandemic strategies of placing money into sales, facilities, and other departments in the future — especially if the U.S. or other countries enter a recession.

Often, getting and keeping more budget is easier said than done — especially for smaller organizations that aren’t working with sizable or flexible marketing spend. But the key to securing more money for your team might not be that complex. Here’s what you can do.

According to our research, organizations that can calculate ROI are more likely to receive higher budgets.

Again, success with inbound marketing also plays a large role in driving higher budgets. Effective strategies obviously produce results and make a strong case for increasing your budget. But remember, inbound marketing is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off — in fact, you might consider doubling down.

While this item didn’t make our top challenge list this year, we still think it’s very important to highlight here and focus on in 2023, especially if your business is focused on spending budget wisely — or only on things that provide ROI. 

And, in 2021. 28% of marketers saw it as their top challenge, while 21% of marketers expect to see this continue to be their biggest issue in 2022. 

Measuring and gaining ROI continues to be a vital way for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each particular marketing campaign or piece of content. It also can be what decision-makers at your company rely on when determining if they’ll invest more in your project, deparment, or team headcount in the future. 

Ultimately, proving ROI often goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget: No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget.

Giroux adds, “Take presentation software, for instance. Savvy marketers today can create and use pitch decks with built-in presentation analytics that offer real-time data — such as how much time was spent viewing individual slides. Armed with these insights, marketers can better gauge stakeholder interest, inform their strategies, and adjust their campaigns.”

Mautz says, “Instead of leads and trade show success, marketing wins are now largely digital: engaging prospects and generating more clicks, downloads, and page visits.”

CMO of Moz Christina Mautz says, “To better measure marketing progress, we have to redefine the marketing process, encouraging collaboration with sales and reaching KPIs together.”

“For example, statistics such as page visits per sale or rising higher in the search engine results page (SERP) give marketers and SEOs tangible evidence as to how their work is meeting their ROI. New buying patterns and a customer-centric world require a divergence from the old, but measuring ROI will look far different than it did before and some leaders may not understand how or why.”

When it comes to providing ROI, there’s a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activities and sales results.

While our survey identified the biggest challenges in marketing, teams are still facing dozens of other challenges that are worth mentioning, but weren’t one of the top concerns. Here are just a few:

In 2023, website challenges aren’t going anywhere. If you have an online presence for your business, your website serves as a key place that consumers will go to when researching your brand.

There, they might find company information, marketing content, and other resources that nurture them into becoming a lead or buying your product. On the marketing end, your site can also be a tool that can help you drive search result and social media awareness when it is optimized and shared around the web. 

Although managing a website is consistently a challenge to marketers, it seems to be growing less threatening. While website management was the third-biggest challenge facing marketers in 2021, it didn’t even make the Top Five Challenge list for 2022. 

Issues with website management include a variety of different factors, from writing and optimizing the content to designing beautiful webpages. Here are a few things marketers can do to deal with this challenge.

If your primary challenge with managing a website has to do with the skills and resources you have available, you aren’t alone. This is especially true for small companies who don’t have all the talent in-house required to cover content, optimization, design, and back-end website management.

One solution? Hire freelancers and agency partners. To find freelancers, we recommend:

In our survey, 16% of marketers said that their biggest challenge of 2023 will involve keeping up with the latest social media platforms, as well as their growing lists of new features. 

And, with the constant evolution of how social media looks, feels, and functions comes a mess of other social media challenges that marketers are worried about, including — but certainly not limited to:

The content marketing world is vast and full of different strategies. And, each major tactic comes with its own challenge. 

For example, if you’re a blogger or video creator, SEO and ranking on Google will likely be one of the biggest hurdles and opportunities your team will face because both blogs and videos are always competing for the covered first page of search results on Google.

Meanwhile, if you focus on multimedia, such as videos, podcasts, or design, views, view-time, and shareability could be key to nurturing a lead. And, as many marketers struggle with demonstrating ROI — your efforts will be no different. While bloggers could include a form, purchasing link, or landing page URL in their posts which are easier to track, you won’t always be able to easily determine the ROI of content that doesn’t allow URL embedding in it. 

As a content marketer, it’s important to determine which goals are most important to your team and company’s growth and focus first on the challenges that will hinder reaching them. 

But, by far, the biggest challenge email marketers will probably always face is gaining and retaining subscribers. In fact, our research found that 19% of marketers see email and social media list growth being a top challenge throughout the year. 

If you’re a marketer who sees the same challenge year-over-year, it might be a barrier worth putting on your radar. However, some challenges can be industry-wide. Year-over-year challenges across the industry are incredibly important to note, regardless of whether they impact you or not.

Why? These challenges might not just be something you’re facing, but could also be faced by your competitors. If you can figure out how to navigate a reoccurring industry challenge effectively, you could have a leg up against the competition. 

Way back in 2021, I surveyed over 120 marketers on our HubSpot Marketing Blog subscriber list to gauge the biggest challenges affecting the industry. Here’s a quick graph highlighting what they said. 

This challenge was followed by 21% who said “providing ROI for your marketing activities” was their biggest challenge. 

“Delivering an account-based marketing strategy” (8%), “securing enough budget” (6%), and “managing your website” (5%) were the other three notable challenges marketers feel they’re facing in 2021. 

It’s important to note, a few other marketers marked “targeting content for an international audience”, “training your team”, and “hiring top talent” as their top challenge … but these three challenges were marked by less than 3% of the respondent pool, so they’re less statistically significant. 

A thorough analysis of your marketing strategy and its current performance will help you discover where your biggest marketing opportunity lies. This will allow you to focus on improving the areas that need the most attention, so you can start making your marketing far more effective.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated annually to include new, exclusive HubSpot data and expert insights.