Currently, 68% of marketing leaders say their company is increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience. That’s according to data in the fourth annual “State of Marketing” report published by Salesforce Research. The report, which analyzed findings from a study of 3,500 marketing leaders worldwide, highlights the shifts in customer habits that are shaping new paths for top marketing teams across the globe.
Gaining a single view of the customer is something that is increasingly essential, but also increasingly difficult. This is in no small part due to the continuous emergence of new marketing and communication channels. Indeed, on average, marketing leaders today say that 34% of their budget is spent on channels they didn’t even know existed five years ago — and this growth is not expected to slow down anytime soon, as they expect it to reach 40% by 2019.
With new marketing channels regularly added to the mix, and growing pressure to create individualized customer journeys across them all, it’s no easy task for marketing teams to keep on top of emerging channels and reach their customers most effectively.
The fourth annual “State of Marketing” report breaks down the marketing channels that have seen the biggest growth over the past few years, helping marketers determine which channels would most effectively align with their own business and marketing strategies.
For example, in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, there’s been a 204% increase in video advertising, and a 197% increase in SMS or text messaging from 2015 to 2017. For B2B marketing teams, mobile, sponsored content, and social advertising round out the top five growth channels. Video advertising is also indispensable in business-to-customer (B2C) marketing, and has seen 141% growth over the past two years. In the B2C space, email is still a principal marketing channel. Over the past two years it has grown by 106%, making it the second most important channel for B2C marketing.
The focus, then, is on marketing across all major channels. In the “State of Marketing” report, 63% of all marketing leaders said that their company has become more focused on expanding marketing efforts across channels and devices over the past 12–18 months. Furthermore, high-performing marketing teams are 12.8x more likely than underperformers to heavily coordinate their marketing efforts across these channels. But the sheer volume of marketing channels makes coordinated marketing efforts a challenge for even the best teams.
Customers are looking for 1-to-1 experiences across the many channels they use, but marketers say that only about a quarter of their messages evolve from channel to channel based on customer actions. Marketing teams admit that 51% of their campaign messages are identical from one channel to the next. With high-performing marketing teams twice as likely as underperformers to evolve messages across channels based on customer actions, it’s clear that this is a difference maker.