.com has released its 2015 State of Marketing report, offering strategic insights into key priorities for marketers in the months ahead. The overarching takeaway: the customer journey will be more critical to business success than ever before.
Salesforce, which is best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise cloud apps, surveyed more than 5,000 marketers around the world to compile the findings in its second annual report.
For starters, the survey found that marketers are planning to spend more on social media advertising, social media marketing, location-based mobile tracking, mobile apps and e-mail marketing to create cohesive customer journeys. What’s more, 84 percent of respondents said they plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets in 2015, with social and mobile marketing topping the priorities list.
"The future of marketing is building cohesive customer journeys across sales, service, and marketing interactions. It is more important than ever to connect with each person interacting with your brand, and personalize journeys based on their actions and preferences," said Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. "Our 2015 State of Marketing report shows that this will be the year that businesses connect the dots accordingly and implement a truly multi-channel approach to personalize each customer’s engagement."
Budgets for 'Social' Growing
The report points to what Salesforce is calling a "massive shift" from campaign-focused marketing to personalized 1:1 customer journeys. According to recent research from Salesforce and LinkedIn, 86 percent of senior-level marketers say it is critical to create a cohesive customer journey across all touchpoints and channels.
How will marketers create this journey in 2015? The respondents are rallying around mobile apps, marketing analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM) tools as the technologies that are most effective. Of course, all this means a financial commitment.
The report reveals budgets for social are growing more than any other digital marketing channel. Salesforce reports a strong shift in how marketers view social. Specifically, 64 percent of marketers now view social as a critical enabler of products and services. That's up from 25 percent in Salesforce's 2014 State of Marketing report. Seventy percent of marketers said they plan to increase spending on social media advertising.
Mobile Marketing Moves Ahead
The Salesforce report also reveals marketers are integrating mobile into their overall marketing strategy, with an increasing focus on making sure they are reaching their customers with 1:1 interactions in real-time via mobile devices.
Sixty-eight percent report they have integrated mobile into their overall marketing strategy. That's up from 48 percent in last year's report. Sixty-five percent plan to spend more on mobile push notifications, representing a 32 percent year-over-year increase. Fifty-eight percent now have a dedicated mobile marketing team, up from 35 percent in 2014.
Last but not least, e-mail continues to reign as a key digital marketing engine. Seventy-three percent of marketers agree that e-mail is core to their business, and 92 percent report that email produces a return on investment (ROI). Forty-seven percent of survey participants cited click-through rates as the key metric for measuring email marketing success, while 43 percent identified conversion rate as the key metric.
Read more on: Salesforce.com
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