Infographic: Marketers' Three-Ring Focus

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Marketers' need to constantly juggle channels, preferences, and budgets can make marketing feel like a circus. But when it comes to their 2014 objectives, marketers aren't clowning around. They list driving increased conversion rates (47%), increasing and improving brand awareness (46%), and collecting, measuring, and using behavior-based data (29%) as their top three marketing priorities for 2014, according to the “2014 State of Marketing” survey by the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

And respondents are willing to shell out more than just peanuts to reach these objectives. Ninety-eight percent of marketers surveyed plan on increasing or maintaining their spend this year. Respondents say they're willing to spend more on data and analytics (61%), marketing automation (60%), email marketing (58%), social media marketing (57%), and content management (57%) to see more Big Top results.

But email, social, and mobile are the real ringleaders of the marketing act. In fact, 68% of marketers say that email is core to their business, and 49% send more than 500,000 emails annually, according to the survey. Likewise, 46% of marketers surveyed say that social is core to their business; 57% have a dedicated social team and 86% say that social will or does provide ROI. As for mobile, 47% of respondents have an app and 30% leverage location-based functionality. In addition, 80% of marketers incorporating mobile say that mobile will or does provide ROI. But, 42% say that they rarely or never use responsive design.

Still, marketers have a few hoops to jump through to be true crowd pleasers: 65% of marketers surveyed say that increasing subscriber engagement and revenue is their biggest lifecycle challenge, followed by acquiring new subscribers (58%), and developing a stronger relationship with new subscribers (45%).

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