If you want to sum up the way Canadian marketers are facing their collective opportunities and challenges in 2015 as a one-word status update or a hashtag, you could go with: #Invested.

That doesn’t just refer to the dollars Canadian organizations are putting into marketing products and services more effectively, though that’s certainly one of the takeaways from Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing Report.

The report, based on a survey of more than 5,000 marketers around the world, including 250 Canadian marketers, shows Canada in the No. 1 position (tied with Brazil) in terms of overall spending plans. A whopping 96 per cent of marketers here say they plan to maintain or increase their budgets this year, with 34 per cent shifting their focus towards digital channels.

For Canadian marketers, the concept of being #Invested also extends into many other things — the way they are approaching customers, technology decisions and their entire strategies.

Here are some of the top ways Canadian marketers are investing in 2015:

  • Relationships: 71 per cent of Canadian marketers say their No. 1 area of new spending will be on social media, and 68 per cent say they believe marketing this way is core to their business. In other words, they see channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a way to have a real dialogue with their customers, developing a more nuanced understanding of their needs. This goes well beyond the one-way marketing approaches of the past.
  • Customer Journeys: Customer relationship management (CRM) software is seen as the most important tool for orchestrating a cohesive customer journey by 72 per cent of respondents. When CRM is used successfully, marketers gain a historical perspective of their customers that complements the real-time conversations they have with them through social media or in person.
  • Simplicity: 72 per cent of Canadian marketers are integrating mobile marketing into their strategy, and 62 per cent believe mobile is core to their business. No surprise here: Making content and conversations accessible anywhere, on any device, addresses each of their most pressing business challenges, whether it’s keeping pace with competitors, new business development or customer acquisition.

None of this means that marketers in Canada are completely abandoning tried-and-true approaches to generating interest in their brand. In fact, 69 per cent say they still have strong faith in the power of email marketing. Given that 18 per cent also say they aren’t sure what kind of device subscribers are using to read e-mails, though, you could interpret the spending plans as a sign they are being proactive by staying #Invested in the future.

Beyond this sampling of Canadian stats, there are also executive summaries of marketing attitudes from eight other markets, as well as breakouts of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) firms. For a worldwide perspective on the challenges and Salesforce recommendations for using social media, mobile, email and navigating the customer journey, download the complete 2015 State of Marketing report.