New Year State of Mind: What's Ahead for Marketing in 2015

Marketers share their future plans for developing an omnichannel strategy that supports increased engagement and improved personalization.
Customer Experience

Each year, marketing leaders take time to assess their current behaviors in order to refresh and realign how they do business in accordance with evolving consumer expectations. Therefore, as 2015 gathers momentum, executives must determine the best path forward for their respective organizations.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud's "2015 State of Marketing" report explores the current marketing landscape and how marketers plan to renew and advance their approach in the coming year. Researchers polled 5,053 marketers from across the globe, asking respondents to share their budgets, priorities, strategies, and metrics for 2015. By determining which initiatives are top of mind for marketing leaders all over the world, this study offers senior-level executives insight into which trends are likely to dominate the space over the next 12 months.

The following statistics demonstrate which aspects will see increased spend and attention, while also highlighting the underlying importance of establish cohesiveness throughout the customer journey:

  • Overall, 84 percent of marketers polled plan to increase or maintain spend in 2015, while 38 percent expect to shift spend from traditional mass advertising to digital advertising.
  • Marketers will increase spend on social media advertising (70 percent), social media marketing (70 percent), social media engagement (67 percent), location-based mobile tracking (67 percent), and mobile applications (66 percent) within the next 12 months.
  • New business development (27 percent), quality of leads (27 percent), and remaining up-to-date with current marketing and technology trends (27 percent) represent the most pressing business challenges for marketers in 2015.
  • For digital marketers, revenue growth (32 percent), customer satisfaction (30 percent), return on investment (23 percent), customer retention rate (23 percent), and customer acquisition (23 percent) will stand as the top metrics for success.
  • Marketers believe mobile applications (57 percent), marketing analytics (54 percent), and CRM tools (54 percent) will be instrumental in creating the ideal, cohesive customer journey.
  • Sixty-five percent of marketers plan to increase spend on one-to-one personalization in an effort to better target consumers across email, social, and mobile channels.

Key takeaway: While social and mobile innovation promises to lead the way in terms of marketing spend, leaders recognize that the overall customer experience remains at the heart of business success. In fact, 86 percent of senior-level marketers say that it's absolutely critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey. Customers will no longer tolerate fragmented engagement across different channels, says Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Thus, sales, service, and marketing must come together in an effort to support seamlessness, personalization, and engagement. By bringing all relevant departments into the conversation, brands will be able to better understand how customers interact with the company so they may hone their strategies accordingly. In doing so, marketers will be able to pinpoint where strategy fails and where it excels, thereby allowing leaders to improve and move forward.