The size of your budget shouldn’t determine your success. The quality of the customer journey is the biggest factor.

This year’s Salesforce State of Marketing Report highlights the possibilities open to marketers and how we are delivering exceptional customer journeys. Whether your budget is big or small, clever insights, personalisation, and experience are the keys to success.

Here are my key takeaways and insights from the report that will show marketers the practical steps they can take to drive similar high ROI results, regardless of budget.

1. Invest in the right people with the right expertise


The biggest mistake an organisation with a small marketing budget can make is to not invest in their marketing team. According to the State of Marketing report, only 12% of Australian marketers are “extremely satisfied” with the current outcomes of their company’s marketing investment, which means budgets are not being used to their best ability by the teams involved.

Smaller marketing budgets should not mean negotiating on the talent and skills hired for the team. In today’s market,  deeply thoughtful and clever marketers, who understand how to interpret data, and have visibility and input across the business will have the competitive edge.

Practical tip:

Recruit marketers into your team based on the level of expertise required, rather than the hours in the office. Consider employing someone for less days per week but with more experience, rather than five days a week at a more junior level. You will also find that more senior marketers have existing relationships and contacts that they have worked with before. These are advantages you can’t buy and that only come with experience.

Also, don’t be afraid to break the mould when building your marketing team to suit your business needs. In the State of Marketing report, 59% of marketing leaders believe traditional marketing roles limit their ability to engage customers. It’s up to you to find the right structure and the right people to engage with your consumers’ evolving demands.

2. Make customer experience a priority for everyone


Customer experience is a company-wide responsibility, with 67% of ANZ marketers agreeing that a connected customer journey positively impacts overall revenue growth. On top of this, 52% of consumers are likely to turn to a competitor if messaging is generic and either not relevant or personalised to them. Marketing needs to focus both on recruiting incremental customers, as well as nurturing and retaining current customers.

High performing marketing teams are 3.7x more likely to collaborate well with other departments. The marketing team needs to work closely with any department that touches the customer and not just sales - Customer Service, Product Development, Purchasing, Finance, Operations - to ensure they are all aligned on messaging that is based on the same data and information. For example, if the data is telling an FMCG Marketing Team that customers are concerned about the origin of their food and a large % are vegans, the Purchasing Department need to know this and adapt their strategy.

Practical tip:

Having a regular meetings ensures constant internal communication across the entire marketing plan, not just in the development stage. There are also plenty of collaboration apps such as Quip that can help foster productivity on any cloud-based device, save time, and increase satisfaction for customers and employees alike.

3. Focus on investing throughout the storytelling journey, not just at a couple of points


Worryingly, the report revealed that 51% of marketers admitted that their campaign messages are identical broadcasts from one channel to the next. Innovative global brands have set customer’s expectations in this new multi-message and platform digital era. They want a continuation of storytelling and messaging, and seeing the same advertisement format across multiple different channels starts to build frustration.

It also disconnects them from the brand as they don’t speak directly to their needs and behaviours, which connected customers now expect. According to the State of Marketing report,  high performers are twice as likely as underperformers to evolve their messages across all channels, but despite how crucial a connected customer journey is, still only 43% currently do.

Practical tip:

Develop a customer matrix model that communicates different messages based on their behaviour - i.e if a customer has purchased a new car from you, they need to start receiving ‘serve your car with us’ messaging not your ‘end of year sale on new cars’ ads.

Collaborate with the right partners for your model’s needs. This can be those who have extensive experience in customer messages, retargeting, location targeting or website development. Filling the gaps with the necessary skills enhances the storytelling journey for a  customer.

Ultimately, marketing today is about thinking and planning your customer’s needs from end to end. You need to plan the customer journey from before they even need you, to post-purchase, and delivering on the story you told. So, whether your budget is big or small, clever insights, personalisation, and experience will be your ultimate keys to success.

For more insight into how 3,500 global marketers are driving results through an emphasis on customer experiences over the size of their budgets, check out Salesforce’s fourth annual State of Marketing Report.