The most comprehensive marketing report of 2014 is here. ExactTarget surveyed over 2,600 marketers to identify the major challenges, areas of potential growth, and channel-by-channel strategies that marketers must know in 2014. That research is now available in our 2014 State of Marketing report.

Personally, here is what I found interesting:

  1. Marketing is being driven to show result for this increased investments - Almost half (47 per cent) of respondents said their top priority this year was driving increased conversion rates, followed closely by increasing and improving brand awareness (46 per cent) and collecting, measuring and using behaviour-based data (29 per cent).
  2. Increasing focus on existing customers - as  pointed out in the report, when compared to the IBM State of Marketing 2013, this report shows a much higher concern with engaging existing customers rather than continuously stoking the aquisition fires. 
  3. Data is seens as the biggest area of opportunity and will be a focus of increased investment (nominated by 61 per cent of respondents). This echoes comments from Scott Dorsey that the Internet of Customers is creating this massive opportunity to connect with customers in new ways using the data that becomes available. Sony Playstation is a great example of a customer at the front of this.
  4. Automation (60 per cent) reflects the reality that headcount and resources is still stretched and marketers are looking to technology to help them do more with their budgets. In October last year Hautelook an online retailer shared their ability to execute 200 campaigns a month with a staff of 2.
  5. Email marketing (58 per cent), Social media marketing and Content management (both on 57 per cent) remain hot areas. 
  6. Mobile continues to show missed opportunity and headroom for growth despite clear  understood value, this report shows only 30% of marketers have discovered location based marketing. In Australia the situation may be more pronounced for example the 2013 Sensis eBusiness Report showed only 17% of businesses had mobile optimised websites despite over half of activity coming from mobile devices.

For more commentary, see theAustralian. Reposted from the ExactTarget blog here.