More than a third of their budget – that’s how much marketing leaders say they’re spending on channels that, just five years ago, they didn’t know existed.

The phrase ‘We’re living in an age of rapid change’ is so overused (not least by marketing professionals) it’s fast becoming a cliché. But when it comes to the way companies – be they B2B, or B2C, or even B2B2C – reach out to their customers, its undeniably true.

As our fourth annual State of Marketing report reveals, five young channels have seen monumental growth over the last two years:


  1. Video advertising – 204% growth in B2B, 141% growth in B2C
  2. SMS/text messaging –  197% growth in B2B, 92% growth in B2C
  3. Mobile apps – 161% growth in B2B, 103% growth in B2C 
  4. Native advertising and sponsored content – 147% growth in B2B, 81% growth in B2C
  5. Social media marketing – 80% growth in B2B, 68% growth in B2C


But you don’t boost conversions, revenue and customer loyalty simply by adding more channels to your mix. So, how are today’s highest-performing marketing teams using these new conduits to outperform their peers, and win the battle for the best customer experience?

Ultimately, it’s about four things.


Leveraging new marketing channels is about coordination

Today’s top-performing marketing teams are focussing on quality, even as the quantity of channels they use soars.

Indeed, high-performers are 12.8x more likely than underperformers to heavily coordinate their marketing efforts – pursuing a harmonised approach across ten or eleven different channels.


Leveraging new marketing channels is about sophistication

Getting to grips with any new tool – and discovering how to use it to the greatest effect – takes time. And the same applies to new channels.

Right now, marketers admit that most of the messages they broadcast are identical – regardless of the channel being used.

But top marketing teams are once again ahead of the curve. Compared to underperformers, they’re twice as likely to actually evolve the message they send across channels, based on customer actions.


Leveraging new marketing channels is about Artificial Intelligence

When you’re trying to optimise communications with an ever-growing customer base, across rapidly proliferating channels and touchpoints, you need all the help you can get. And increasingly for marketers, that help isn’t human.

When it comes to delivering the right message, on the right channel, at the right time, 61% of marketing leaders expect AI will substantially impact their business over the next five years.

What’s more, there’s every reason to believe they’re right. 57% of marketers already using AI say it’s essential in helping their company create a 1-to-1 marketing across every touchpoint.


And in the end, it’s all about the journey

As we’ve seen, there’s a danger that in focusing on the number of channels at their disposal, marketers fail to give enough attention to what really counts: the journey each individual customer is on.

Here in the UK, 73% of leading marketers believe delivering one connected customer journey – across all touchpoints and channels – positively impacts two of the most important KPIs:

  • Revenue growth
  • Customer satisfaction scores


Building from the traditional, to the new – with tailored messaging

One company that’s moving to harness new channels is London-based Enclothed – the men’s retailer that’s saving its customers a trip to the high street, by delivering boxes of hand-picked clothes to their door.

With the help of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Enclothed is combining traditional and emerging channels in deeply personalised customer journeys. It’s already created a re-engagement journey, to send targeted emails to cooling prospects – tailored to reflect their age, style, and the point at which they dropped out of the onboarding process.

The next step? Bringing social and mobile channels firmly into the picture. As co-founder Dana Zingher explains:

 “More than 60% of our customers engage with us via a mobile device […] We want to use SMS and social media as a way to build excitement about the arrival of a new box or to follow up on returns.”


Dive into the full report…

Learn about the marketing tech that’s really making waves, and how marketing teams are sparking change across their organisations – download our full State of Marketing report to gain a wealth of unmissable insight gleaned from 3,500 marketing leaders, worldwide.