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The Top 5 Improvements Marketers Are Making Right Now + More From Our Marketing Intelligence Report

We asked over 1,000 marketing decision makers in seven countries for their current priorities, projects, and objectives. See how your marketing plan measures up.

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[@BONNINSTUDIO/Stocksy United]

Eighty-eight percent of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives, yet nearly one in three marketers has reported a decrease in advertising and marketing spends over the past year. The pandemic has forced businesses to optimize budgets and double-down on activities that drive immediate business value. But marketers are now challenged to use fewer resources to meet targets and test out new marketing strategies to drive growth. In our latest marketing research, Marketing Intelligence Report: Data and Analytics Trends to Drive Future Growth, we asked marketers how they’ll excel under these resource constraints.

Salesforce surveyed 1,050 marketing decision-makers in leading markets around the world to understand this marketing analytics conundrum. What we found will help arm you with the facts you need to understand how you can use performance and customer data to maximize marketing-led growth.

For the second annual Marketing Intelligence Report, we expanded the scope of our research to look at growth marketing on a global scale. We learned that businesses around the world have accelerated their digital transformation to meet changing customer expectations and behaviors in an all-digital world.

Growth is a top priority for marketers

Today’s marketers are increasingly tasked with leading growth in their organization. In fact, nine out of 10 marketers globally have made marketing-led growth one of their top priorities.

With over half of marketers seeing growth as a long-term pursuit, driving growth requires planning and investment at the right levels of the purchase funnel. Businesses need to take into account a balance of business and customer metrics like brand equity, revenue, customer satisfaction, and more.

Ranking of Marketer’s Top Three Choices for Growth-Defining Metrics

1 – Sales/revenue

2 – Customer satisfaction/Net promoter score

3 – Lifetime value of a customer/Brand loyalty

4 – Return on marketing investment

Source: Marketing Intelligence Report: Data and Analytics Trends to Drive Future Growth

Although marketers are focused on growth as a priority, less than 50% of them said they are “very successful” in achieving the growth metrics that they deem most important (sales/revenue, customer satisfaction, customer lifetime value, etc.). 

Disappointingly, nearly four in five marketers report that they are not exceeding their growth goals. While there are many obstacles to achieving optimal growth, many challenges are tied to data, including misalignment on measurement and reporting, lack of data management, and a lack of real-time insights.

The analytics landscape is more complex than ever before

Many marketers now rely on a diverse mix of marketing channels — website, display ads, email, social media, and more — to interact with today’s digital-first buyers. On average, marketers report using eight different channels to execute their marketing strategy, and an average of 21 marketing platforms to measure their efficacy. Each platform is generating droves of data.

Seventy-nine percent of marketers agree that it’s important to have an overview of all cross-channel marketing activities, but 52% describe their analytics infrastructure as average or poor. An integrated platform makes it possible for marketers to get a complete picture of their marketing performance to provide valuable analytics for smarter marketing decisions.

The growing need for smarter data integration and analytics

Collecting and understanding data poses one of the greatest challenges for marketers. Gathering data from multiple sources is time-consuming — 43% of marketers spend a week or more each month collecting, cleansing, and harmonizing data sets. This is valuable time lost that could be spent analyzing data for real-time, cross-channel insights and applying those learnings to marketing strategies.

Marketers are increasingly turning to automation to quickly and efficiently collect and report on their data, freeing up valuable employee resources in the process. Nearly all – 92% – felt that real-time decision making is an important factor in the success of their marketing. Automating data preparation and management processes enables access to accurate and actionable insights to help make real-time decisions.

Data-driven transformation will set marketers up for success

Accurate and accessible data is vital for marketing success — over half of marketers believe data veracity and accessibility are the most important factors driving marketing performance. Marketing intelligence makes these a reality, giving marketers the tools they need to optimize marketing spend, get a strategic overview of marketing performance, and understand and engage their customers.

Top Improvements Marketers Are Seeking in the Next Year

1 – Optimizing marketing spend

2 – Strategic view of overall marketing performance

3 – Better ability to understand/engage customers/Efficiency of data management/preparation

4 – Revenue growth and campaign KPI performance

Source: Marketing Intelligence Report: Data and Analytics Trends to Drive Future Growth

A data-driven approach to marketing was and continues to be top-of-mind for most marketers. They are implementing new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) (58%) and marketing analytics platforms (57%) to improve data efficiency and better understand their impact. 

With their data unified in one platform, marketers are positioned to lead the charge on growth in their organizations and engage their customers.

Go deeper into all of the trends transforming marketing analytics by reading the full Marketing Intelligence report.

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