The fourth annual Salesforce State of Marketing report has been released after the organization surveyed more than 3,500 marketing leaders across the globe. The data has revealed some unexpected statistics alongside some that were expected and are now evidenced.
One of the things that really caught my eye is that just 12% of marketing leaders consider their team “high performers” who are extremely satisfied with their current outcomes. Only 12% - a very small number and if you’re in that limited group of businesses with a high performing marketing team, well done. But if you’re not, you need a little help in the right direction.
Today I’m mapping out three of the key trends revealed in the State of Marketing Report for 2017, why they matter and what your marketing team can do to address them straight away.
Customer Experience Is Key
Customer experience is more important now than ever before.
- 68% of marketing leaders say their company is increasingly competing on the basis of customer experience.
- 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communication to them.
- 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if a vendor doesn’t personalize communications to their company.
Customers have exceedingly high expectations when interacting with businesses that range from product quality to service time, communication to delivery methods and customer engagement. It all comes down to making the customer feel really great about themselves while they’re interacting with the business, essentially creating a positive interaction.
So, what can you do about it? Learn everything about your customer. Understand what they do and don’t like, understand where their expectations lie and understand what they prioritise. For example, a Gen Y customer living in the ‘now’ will prioritise service or delivery speed – instant gratification. A baby boomer customer is likely to prioritise service quality and is happy to wait for it, as long as it’s worth it. Once you understand your customer, you can strategically map out a journey that suits their needs and support it with the best messaging, language and tools. Think of it as customizing the customer experience.
Channel Coordination Evolves Leads To Customers
You might have the right marketing messages, but are you delivering them in the right way to actually grow the customer journey?
- 63% of marketers say their company has become more focused on expanding marketing efforts across channels and devices.
- The report indicated that channel coordination is a challenge especially for moderate and underperforming teams (remember that accounts for 88% of all marketing teams).
- High performing marketing teams are twice as likely as underperforming marketing teams to evolve messages across channels but only 43% actually do.
Channel coordination is essential but the term doesn’t mean what most think. 51% of marketers surveyed said their marketing messages are identical across channels. While this is great for brand consistency, it isn’t great for the customer journey. Each marketing channel approaches a different target market in a different way. Strategic marketers will use this to further leads or targets along the sales pipeline. Customers want a personalized approach and this means using smart technology to support it. Some of the most basic methods of doing this are having linked or related products listed on websites or targeting product specific social media advertising to a target who clicked on that product in an email but chose not to buy it. Conversely, a customer who has purchased a product but is still receiving social media advertising promoting it is likely to recognize that the business has not personalized this. Think about what messages you are delivering and when. Take a customer on a journey by coordinating your messages across channels.
Messaging Matters Now More Than Ever
Purpose driven marketing was an issue highlighted by all types of marketing teams that showed that it presents a challenge not many know how to address.
- Marketers don’t want to risk putting out a message that polarizes audiences
- Marketers are unsure how to connect corporate values to the marketing strategy
- Marketers have insufficient executive buy-in
- Despite the challenges, 60% of marketers say purpose driven marketing is important and they have become more focused on it over the last 12 months
The term really comes down to marketing messaging and brand positioning that reflect and organisation’s greater purpose, beliefs and values. It has become significant in accordance with the rise of the ‘conscious consumer’ who has evolved over the last decade or so. One in Three Aussies will pay more money for an ethically sourced or produced product and 91% of consumers worldwide will switch brands to one more aligned with their own views on the issue, so ensuring that your corporate values are aligned with your customers views and communicated is critical.
So what can you do about it? Firstly make sure you have organizational values. If you don’t, it’s time to do some strategic planning. If you do, then look at them from the perspective of a customer. Are they aligned? Are they visible to a consumer? Ensure that there’s already a communication foundation in any online and print branding, then turn it to clever marketing. Use these values to your advantage and be proud of them, encourage people to have pride in sharing the same values and you will create brand loyalty. Bring your community of customers together by leveraging these values and you will have customers for life.
Amplifying your marketing by following these trends and implementing everything you can will help your business to compete in any increasingly competitive market, but across all three things there is one key thing - understanding the customer and strategising around that is the single most important thing you can do. If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage these findings to improve performance in your business, please don't hesitate to contact me.
To download a full copy of the report visit www.salesforce.com