The 2015 State of Marketing report by Salesforce, a San Francisco-based, customer relationship management company, found that 84% of respondents plan to boost or maintain their marketing budgets in 2015, with social media and mobile marketing topping their list of priorities.
The findings indicate that 2015 will see companies “implement a truly multi-channel approach to personalize each customer’s engagement,’’ Scott McCorkle, chief executive officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a division of Salesforce, said in a January statement.
The survey of 5,000 marketers worldwide concluded that now more than ever personalized customer experiences have become crucial in a company’s success. Rather than traditional, campaigned-focused marketing, marketers cited apps, analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) technology as the best tools for “creating a cohesive customer journey.’’
Increasingly, social media budgets are growing faster than any other digital marketing channel. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of marketers said they view social as a “critical enabler of products and services,’’ up from 25% in 2014.
Other findings of the report, now in its second year, point to the rising importance of mobile marketing:
Bottom line: Mobile boosts sales.
While social media and mobile marketing continue to rise, email still reigns as the digital marketing king: 73% of respondents agreed that email is core to their business; and 92% said email makes them money.
Even with millions of smartphone applications already available for iPhone and Android devices, more are on the way. The Salesforce report found that 34% of marketers plan to launch a mobile app this year.
To succeed in the crowded field, firms will need a long-term strategy not only to push downloads but also boost app engagement, Jeffrey Rohrs, vice president of marketing insights for Salesforce, wrote in a January article for Forbes.
Rohrs offered advice for businesses: Look to your existing audience – website visitors, email subscribers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers – to download and use your app, as well as spread the word. Leverage your brick-and-mortar staff to share the app’s features during their interactions with customers. Also, reward mobile app users with discounts, giveaways and other promotions that lead to increased use of the app.
App development is likely to continue at a rapid pace. Rohrs said the key challenge for chief marketing officers will be to propel more downloads while keeping customers engaged and coming back for more.