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Salesforce releases its Fifth Edition State of Marketing Report

The end of 2018 marks the fifth release of Salesforce’s report on practices of the marketing profession. The latest edition of the State of Marketing Report presents an exponential increase in the use of customer data, spread of social channels, maturation of social media use, increased market segmentation, and increased spend on marketing. However, the most important takeaway from the report is the customer’s increased expectations for personalized experience from brands.

What high-performing marketing teams do

According to the report, high-performing marketers are more likely to lead initiatives for enhancing customer experience in their organization. These marketers have a high level of collaboration with other functional teams in the company. It gets to the point that marketing teams share common goals with customer service and commerce teams.

Furthermore, they have great reliance on using customer data for improving their results. They have an expansive set of data sources including e-mail, transaction history, social media behavior, and ad clicks. The number of data sources utilized is expected to increase by half in 2019. One tool highly used in data analytics is artificial intelligence. This gave marketing professionals great leverage since it easily gave them access to useable information from the data collected.

However, the use of these highly sophisticated tools presents the risk of abuse on customer data. High-performing marketers realized this and proactively created measures for transparency and controls for data use. Customers who knew of these efforts are more likely to trust and buy from companies who do so.

Despite these improvements, all marketers are still having difficulty in engaging with their customers across channels. This arises from the average of 10 channels used by customers to communicate with companies.

A continuation of previous trends

These trends in the marketing profession have been observed in previous years – particularly in 2017. The increased application of these practices is no surprise since consumers are continuously moving towards expecting a personalized experience from brands.

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