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7 Fast Facts on the State of Marketing

A continued shift in customer expectations and behaviors means marketers at small- and medium-size businesses adjusting strategies to achieve an evolving target of success.

As the saying goes, “If you want to catch fish, fish where the fish are.” In the world of business, the fish are customers and for small- and medium-size businesses, those customers are online.

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In the wake of Covid-19, customers are increasingly consuming marketing and media online via email, social media, and video. Marketers are busy adjusting their strategies to ensure their messaging is reaching customers where they are, often in real-time.

With effective marketing a constantly moving target, marketers need all the tools and strategies they can get. Here are seven facts and trends gleaned from Salesforce’s most recent State of Marketing report, which surveyed more than 8,200 marketers with organizations from all around the world. Small-business marketers can harness these insights to their advantage in 2022 and beyond.

1. Eighty-eight percent of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to Covid-19.

Most marketers acknowledge the impact of changing customer expectations on their digital strategies. Digital channels such as social media, digital ads, and video—and increasingly mobile messaging and podcasts—have solidified their central role in marketers’ toolkits for reaching customers.

2. Even still, 90 percent of marketers say their digital engagement strategy has changed.

Video—from YouTube to TikTok to Twitch—has been especially lauded by marketers over the past several months. The increase of video popularity has gone hand in hand with the rise of social media with more than 90 percent of marketing organizations in the UK saying they leverage social media.

Customers love video because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging. Marketers love video because they help make information more digestible and it’s a great medium for storytelling, so video can be an effective way to explain a product or service.

3. Seventy-eight percent of marketing organizations have changed or reprioritized metrics due to the pandemic, with marketers greatly expanding the importance of existing KPIs.

The definition of marketing success was already evolving prior to Covid-19. But the radical shift in customer expectations and behaviors—not to mention business objectives—put that evolution into overdrive. Marketers are placing an 18 percent higher importance on marketing/sales and funnel performance, while customer satisfaction (+22 percent), customer acquisition costs (+26 percent), and content engagement (+23 percent) are all increasing as well.

4. Seventy-six percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments, with more than half saying it generally seems like departments don’t share information.

Marketers say they are least likely to feel more connected to their colleagues in other departments like sales, customer service, and e-commerce. The effects are apparent on customer experiences.

As it turns out, utilizing a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Salesforce can be a powerful way to connect siloed departments and improve customer interactions.

5. Seventy-eight percent of marketers say their customer engagement is data driven.

In the UK, marketers say their No. 1 challenge is engaging with customers in real-time. That’s where data comes in. Like humans need water, marketing needs data—and lots of it—to be effective. Marketers across the board continue to forecast increases in the number of data sources they’ll leverage over the coming years.

Connecting these customer data streams and consolidating them can give organizations a clearer view of their customers and their behavior. They should be able to see, for example, which web visitors also come to the store, which blog readers also buy online, and more. This more comprehensive understanding can lead to better personalized marketing that compels action. It’s not just collecting it, but consolidating, analyzing, and generating insight—then acting on it.

6. Forty-two percent of marketers say they are satisfied with the quality of their customer data.

That’s up from 37 percent in 2020. Known digital identities such as email addresses and social IDs are now the most popular customer data sources, followed by transactional data and declared interests and preferences.

Whether buying for themselves or on behalf of their companies, today’s customers hop from channel to channel throughout their days. Marketers are meeting the challenge by increasing their adoption of various digital touchpoints with email and social media being key in this to boost audience segmentation and personalization.

7. Seventy-eight percent of high performing marketers say they use a customer data platform like a CRM.

With so many types and sources of data at their fingertips, marketers are turning to technology to help them make sense of it all. When you power marketing with Salesforce, you can adapt quickly, get to know your customer, humanize every moment, and optimize your impact from anywhere. Whether you’re looking for email, marketing automation, digital advertising, data management, analytics, or anything else, Salesforce has you covered.

Click here to download Salesforce’s most recent State of Marketing report and uncover more trends to help power your marketing and customer interactions.

Salesforce UK

Brand Spotlight Partner

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