Marketers’ 2015 Priorities Revealed

Salesforce revealed marketers’ top priorities for 2015 in its recently released “2015 State of Marketing” report. And while many of the more than 5,000 marketers surveyed seem to have broader budgets on the brain, the report also listed integrated strategies and meaningful metrics as key areas of focus.

In terms of budgets, the second annual report says that marketers intend to increase investments in email marketing, location-based mobile tracking, mobile apps, and social media advertising and marketing to create uniform customer journeys. In addition, 84% of respondents say that they plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets in 2015, with social and mobile marketing sitting atop the priorities list. Plus, 38% of marketers plan to shift spend from traditional mass advertising to advertising on digital channels.

“Customers no longer tolerate fragmented engagement across different channels,” says Scott McCorkle, CEO, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, when asked what this information tells us about 2015. “All departments—sales, service, and marketing—are a part of the customer journey, and we expect 2015 will be the year that businesses connect the dots accordingly. This means implementing a truly multichannel approach to personalize each customer engagement.”

Social budgets are increasing more than any other digital marketing channel. Sixty-four percent of marketers—up from 25% in 2014—currently view social as a critical enabler of products and services while 70% of marketers say that they’d increase spending on social media advertising.

Other budget-related findings include the following top five areas of increased spend:

As for strategy, 68% of marketers say that they’ve integrated mobile into their overall marketing plans, a 20% rise from last year’s research. For instance, 65%—up from last year’s 33%—plan to spend more on mobile push notifications, and 58% now have a dedicated mobile marketing team, which is up from 23% last year. In fact, 57% of respondents consider mobile apps imperative to achieving the uniform customer journey. Marketing analytics and CRM tools shortly follow, both at 54%.

When it comes to producing meaningful metrics, email continues to be the channel through which marketers can prove that they’re getting the most bang for their buck. Consider the following: 73% of marketers concur that email is pivotal to their business, and 92% say that email produces a ROI. Almost half (47%) also say that click-through rates are the key metric for measuring email marketing success while 43% deem conversion rate as such.

However, marketers will still face their fair share of challenges this year. According to the report, marketers listed new business development, quality of leads, and keeping up with current marketing technology trends as their main obstacles.

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