Research shows customer engagement is now a top priority for marketers and that customer satisfaction has surpassed revenue growth and customer acquisition as the top measure for success

88% of high-performing marketing teams say a customer journey strategy is critical to their marketing success

Marketers are seeing increased ROI from email, mobile and social marketing

PRESS RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO — Salesforce today released its 2016 State of Marketing Report. Based on a survey of nearly 4,000 marketers globally, the report found marketers are increasingly focused on customer satisfaction and customer engagement as their top measures for success. In addition, high-performing marketers are creating journeys for customers, with 65% saying they’ve adopted a customer journey strategy and 88% saying it’s critical to their marketing success.

The physical and digital worlds are merging, causing people to expect personalized, consistent brand interactions across every channel and device. This shift is making the customer journey more important than ever before, and ultimately evolving marketers into customer experience designers. In fact, the research shows that nearly two-thirds of high-performing marketing teams (63%) are implementing digital transformations across their organization, compared to eight per cent of underperformers.

“The rise of the connected customer is forcing marketing to evolve from delivering outbound campaigns to managing personalized experiences that engage the customer from day one and guide them through a seamless journey with the brand,” said Scott McCorkle, CEO Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce. “The results of our research show that high-performing marketers that change their mindsets, tactics and technology to embrace a customer journey strategy will reap the benefits.”

2016 State of Marketing Report key findings:

Marketers need to prioritize the customer journey or risk falling behind. Customers have more information, choices and power than ever before

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. For marketers, the customer experience — which is all interactions between a brand and its customers — now matters more than anything. And today, marketers are empowered to create seamless experiences by adopting a customer journey strategy versus a campaign strategy.

  • Among high-performing marketing teams surveyed, 65 percent have adopted a customer journey strategy, and of those, 88 percent say it’s critical to the success of their overall marketing strategy.
  • The majority of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (58 percent) strongly agree they’re driving customer experience initiatives across the business, compared to 8 percent of underperformers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (63 percent) strongly agree they’re implementing digital transformations across the company, compared to 8 percent of underperformers.
  • In addition, 63 percent of high-performing marketing teams surveyed say they’re excellent at creating personalized, omnichannel customer experiences across all business units compared to 2 percent of underperformers.

Digital marketing ROI is on the rise. Marketers are seeing increased ROI with email, mobile and social marketing.

  • Among marketers who use email as part of their marketing strategy, 80 percent agree email is core to their business. Nearly half (49 percent) of those marketers say it is directly linked to their business’ primary revenue source, a 140 percent year-over-year (YoY) increase from the 2015 State of Marketing Report. Additionally, 79 percent of marketers say email generates ROI, a 48 percent YoY increase.
  • In addition, 75 percent of marketers who use social as part of their marketing strategy report social is generating ROI, a 166 percent increase YoY. Facebook is the most effective social channel according to high-performing marketing teams, followed by Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram.
  • Mobile marketing adoption has risen significantly, including location-based mobile tracking (149 percent increase), mobile push notifications (145 percent increase), mobile text messaging (111 percent increase) and mobile applications (98 percent increase). Additionally, 77 percent of marketers who use mobile as part of their marketing strategy say mobile actively generates ROI, a 147 percent increase YoY.

Multichannel digital marketing determines success. Marketers are taking ownership of the customer journey, and their ability to integrate digital marketing channels will determine their performance.

  • Among high-performing marketing teams that have integrated their digital marketing channels — such as email, mobile and social — at least 95 percent rate the integrations as very effective or effective.
  • Nearly two-thirds of high performing marketing teams surveyed (63 percent) have integrated their social media activity into their overall marketing strategy, compared to only 20 percent of underperformers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (64 percent) have also integrated their email marketing activity with their overall marketing strategy, compared to 19 percent of underperformers.
  • The majority of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (60 percent) have integrated their mobile marketing activity into their overall marketing strategy, compared to 12 percent of underperformers.
  • In addition, 81 percent of high-performing marketing teams surveyed align their mobile campaigns to email campaigns, compared to 46 percent of under-performing marketers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of marketers surveyed (65 percent) are increasing budgets for advertising on social platforms in 2016, making it the third largest area for increased investment behind social media marketing and social media engagement.

CRM is powering more effective advertising. Many marketers still try to target digital advertisements primarily with Web cookies, an unreliable approach with low engagement. Marketers are moving from mass, impersonalized ads to personalized ads at scale by leveraging first-party customer data. For example, marketers can take CRM data in Salesforce and match it against groups of Facebook users which are most similar to their current customers and are more likely to convert.

  • In order to create more personalized ads and increase engagement, 83 percent of high-performing marketers use CRM data (e.g., an email address or phone number) to segment or target their digital ads, compared to 57 percent of underperformers.
  • This reinforces Salesforce’s Advertising Index Report, which indicated CRM-targeted campaigns have 27 percent higher engagement than traditional targeting.

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