The second annual report revealed marketers plan to increase investments in social media advertising, social media marketing, location-based mobile tracking, mobile apps and email marketing in an effort to create cohesive customer journeys. In addition, 84% of respondents reported 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, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce. "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", he added.
Key findings include:
- The customer journey is now critical to business success. There is a massive shift from campaign-focused marketing to personalized 1:1 customer journeys. According to recent research from Salesforce and LinkedIn, 86% of senior-level marketers say it is critical to create a cohesive customer journey across all touchpoints and channels. In the 2015 State of Marketing report, respondents cited mobile apps, marketing analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) tools as the technologies that are most effective at creating a cohesive customer journey.
- Budgets for social are growing more than any other digital marketing channel. There is a major shift in how marketers view social: 64% of marketers now view social as a critical enabler of products and services, up from 25% in the 2014 State of Marketing report, and 70% of marketers said they would increase spending on social media advertising.
- Marketers are integrating mobile into their overall marketing strategy and are increasingly focused on ensuring they are reaching their customers with 1:1 interactions in real-time via mobile devices: 68% report they have integrated mobile into their overall marketing strategy (up from 48% in last year's report), 65% plan to spend more on mobile push notifications (a 32% year-over-year increase), and 58% now have a dedicated mobile marketing team (up from 35% in 2014).
- Email reigns as the digital marketing engine: 73% of marketers agree that email is core to their business, and 92% report that email produces a return on investment (ROI); 47% of survey participants cited click-through rates as the key metric for measuring email marketing success, while 43% identified conversion rate as the key metric.