14 – 7 Actionable Lessons from the 2016 State of Marketing Research

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Every year, SalesForce releases a report call the “State of Marketing“. They survey thousands of marketers and compile the findings into a content heavy report. For 2016, SalesForce surveyed around 4,000 marketing leaders worldwide. This year, the goal of the survey was to understand:
1. Macro and micro trends influencing and changing the role of marketing.
2. How different types of marketing teams approach marketing intelligence and customer experience
3. New developments in the digital marketing industry.

In this podcast, we are going to take seven insights from the report and present it in an actionable format for our listeners so you can apply the research directly to your business.

Listen to the #AnalyticsToday mission, vision and next steps

Show Summary:
1. Understand and apply customer journey strategy

We talk a lot about the customer journey and you can listen to our #AnalyticsToday podcast #7, 6 and 2 on to learn more about this concept.
The state of marketing survey proves that understanding the customer’s journey and applying the concept to your business is absolutely critical. As per the survey, 70% participants agree that customer journey has had a positive impact on their overall customer engagement. Infact, high performing marketing teams are 8 times more likely to adopt the customer journey strategy.

2. Deliver synchronized customer experience across all business units.

Another topic that is close to our heart and which links to customer journey is the customer experience. In order to understand your customer’s experience across various business units, you have to understand your customer’s journey first. Then you can identify the gaps in the customer’s experience across sales, marketing, service or support. Your company may be doing a phenomenal job in creating an amazing social media experience and getting customers excited about your product. However, if your onboarding team is not delivering similar experience and keeping the momentum then your overall customer experience will be compromised leading to a lower net promoter score or customer satisfaction score.

The survey confirms higher performing marketing teams are 7 times more effective than applying customer experience initiatives across the business segments. Infact, more than half of the top teams have already created a single view of the customer leading to better customer experience results.

A great example is Coke. Coke’s social media presence is simply amazing and they take their experience all the way to their packaging, marketing and taste.

3. Increase adoption of marketing technology

Coming from a marketing technology world, we practice and preach marketing technology and are responsible for some either managing or driving technology adoption. The rapid growth in marketing technology is helping marketers become more efficient, agile, metrics driven and customer centric.

In line with our views, the survey found 72% of top teams will increase spending on marketing tools and technology in 2016 and 17. The survey also found more than 50% of high performing marketing teams are leading the technology adoption curve as well. Meaning, they are more likely to buy new technology for business purpose than the lower performing teams.

4. Senior leadership buy-in moves the needle

I think if you were to take home one point from this entire podcast then it will be this one. There is no question on how important it is to get buy in from your senior leadership. We can speak from our experience, whenever we have aligned our plans and strategy with the senior leadership, we have always had success in getting funding for our projects and business growth initiatives. There are several projects that come to my mind on this note including the launch of the analytics team, event strategy, marketing technology division or the customer journey focus.

It was exciting to learn, 83% of the top marketing teams have high commitment from their leadership teams. This validates our philosophy and also encourages marketers who are holding back to reach out to their senior leadership with their ideas and strategies.

5. Cross-channel digital marketing integration

I want to take this opportunity to bust a myth which is digital marketing is a marketing channel. I consistently find marketers comparing offline marketing channels such as events, print media and tradeshows to digital marketing as a whole. Yes, digital marketing consists of marketing channels such as social, search marketing, affiliate or referral marketing. Each of these marketing channel play a key role across the customer’s buying stages and beyond. However, digital marketing as a whole is a methodology which can be applied to marketing, sales, support and service. For example: your prospects can find your website using search but when they become a customer they can still use search to find content, product documentation or support tools. Similarly, social media can be used for marketing or support.

The state of marketing survey confirms high performance marketers are 3x more likely to integrate digital marketing cross-functionally. They have successfully integrated digital with overall marketing. The survey also discovered 75% of high performing marketing teams are seeing returns on their social marketing efforts.

6. Marketing is mobile

We believe it has been said enough about using mobile for marketing. Infact, Comscore in their latest mobile app report found 60% of all digital consumption is now done on the mobile devices. Mobile has replaced the desktop as the primary media of content access and communication. Here is a simple test to check if your audience is mobile – go to your digital analytics tool and create a desktop and a mobile segment and trend the report for the last 12 months. I am confident, you will see your mobile traffic is accelerating at a much higher rate than the desktop traffic. For some of the websites I have looked at lately, the desktop traffic has been flat for last 6 months and mobile traffic has increased by 200+%.

The survey reaffirms more marketing teams are embracing mobile marketing, mobile advertisement and mobile targeting.

7. Empower email marketing with data science

Email marketing has come a long way. Email marketing today is not about sending promotional email offers to your marketing list. It is more about guiding your prospect down the buying journey and delivering qualified prospects to your qualification and sales teams. It is also about making sure your prospects journey is personalized and they are able to connect at a much deeper level with your brand. To get more insights on email marketing listen to our #analyticstoday podcast #9 where we discussed the email marketing best practices for 2016.

The state of the marketing survey found top marketing teams are 4 times more likely to use data science and predictive intelligence to improve email performance. It also found close to half of marketers attribute email as major influence channel in the revenue journey.

Now take action and listen to the podcast for a more meatier and detailed action plan.

Resources discussed in this podcast:

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