Top Marketing Trends: A look at Salesforce’s 5th State of Marketing Report

Salesforce's 5th State of Marketing Report

Business marketing strategies have been evolving at a significant pace in the past few years considering the swift market changes. One of the most prolific change has been customer expectations. 80% of the customers now believe that the experiences they get from a brand from all the touchpoints are as important as it’s products or services. Today’s business landscape is completely driven by savvy customers as they are empowered with more options, more offers, and more access to information. Based on a survey of more than 4,100 marketing leaders across the globe from varied industries, Salesforce’s 5th State of Marketing report has precious insights for marketers explaining challenges, strategic priorities, and disrupting technologies which are transforming the way they are currently working.

Let’s have a close look at a few of the key takeaways from the report.

Marketers are leading organizational customer experience initiatives

Customer service is no more limited to a single department. Everyone within a company should consider superior customer experience as a part of their role and customer success as their goal. In order to achieve overall customer experience, all the departments within an organization must work together. Marketers with their expertise in understanding customer needs, behaviors, and trends work as the center of customer experience initiatives in an organization. The survey report state, nearly two-thirds of the marketers believe that other teams like sales, service, operations are more aligned in this initiative than ever before. While almost 54% of the high-performing marketers lead organization’s customer experience initiatives.

Few other stats from the report:

  • 53% of marketers share common goals & metrics with their customer service team.
  • 52% of marketers share common goals & metrics with their sales team.
  • 50% of marketers share common goals & metrics with their commerce teams.

Expanded medians of data sources

The role of data in making crucial marketing decisions is at an all-time high. Marketers keep on exploring new medians to extend their data portfolio. The median number of data sources is predicted to jump from 10 in 2017 to 15 in 2019 – a whopping 50% increase in just two years. With marketers having a huge portfolio of data, many are struggling to utilize it properly. The survey also reports that there is no one-solution-fits-all platform to unify customer data. Data management platforms (DMPs) is one kind of solution, which 76% of the marketers use for customer identity.

Few other stats from the report:

  • Only 47% of marketers say they have a completely unified view of customer data
  • Use of DMPs will increase by 64% by 2020

With AI, personalization becomes more attainable

As per Salesforce recent State of the Connected Customer study, 53% of the customers expect the offers they receive from a brand to always be personalized. Therefore, personalization has become the #1 priority for marketers. To offer highly personalized offers, marketers are increasingly leveraging AI. While 20% of marketers admitted they extensively used AI in 2017, 29% now say their companies have adopted it. Other disrupting technologies like IoT & AR are also being used by top marketers.

Few other stats from the report:

  • 51% of marketers say they’re more attentive about balancing personalization and privacy than they were two years ago.
  • 30% of marketers are completely satisfied with their ability to balance personalization with privacy.

Cross-channel customer engagement, still a milestone to achieve

As per the report; Only 28% of marketers are completely satisfied with their ability to engage customers across various touchpoints. As now the number of customer touchpoints are increasing, it has become a daunting challenge for the marketers to offer the same level of engagement. Real-time customer engagement has become the top priority as well as the top challenge for marketers.

Few other stats from the report:

  • 32% of marketers engage dynamically across channels (up from 28% in 2017)
  • 29% of the marketers describe their channels as siloed (up from 21% in 2017).

Customer experience – Top marketing KPI

While most age-old marketing metrics like revenue growth, online traffic, high search ranking are transforming, customer experience is becoming the top KPI for marketers. 60% of marketers now track customer satisfaction, for example, and 52% track customer referral rates. 54% of the marketers use social analytics while 49% of them us mobile analytics to track customer engagement.

Salesforce State of Marketing survey offers a great arsenal of insights which can help marketers identify key focus areas which can help them offer greater customer experiences as well as help them understand the best ways to close more deals. You can download the complete report here.

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Source: Salesforce