Keeping up with customer demand is a top requirement across a majority of industries—and today, with access to myriad online tools through which they can voice their wants and concerns, interact with their favorite brands, and encourage or dissuade the loyalty of their peers, customers are, now more than ever, a driving force in corporate success. To this end, today’s marketer is constantly searching for the best avenue to reach their target audience—how to spark their initial interest, maintain ongoing engagement, and ultimately, capture their long-term business.
In its 2016 “State of Marketing” report that contains insights from more than 4,000 marketing leaders worldwide, Salesforce reviews how high-performing marketing teams are making the most of the tools at their disposal to not just market to or at customers, but to truly connect with them in a way that leads to a more fulfilling, sustainable, and profitable relationship.
Meeting and Managing Expectations: How CRM Can Help
According to the report, CRM solutions emerged as a top investment leveraged to improve the customer experience. In fact, 82 percent of high-performing teams currently use CRM tools, compared to 66 percent of moderate performers and 44 percent of underperformers. The survey found that overall, high performing teams are 3.3 times more likely to be extensively using CRM tools, providing their marketing, sales, and service teams with a unified view of the client, leading to a more seamless and streamlined customer experience.
Interestingly, however, 21 percent of underperformers are currently piloting or are planning to use CRM tools in the next 12 months, as are 18 percent of moderate performers and nine percent of high performers, pointing to the fact that adoption is increasing across the board, especially by companies who are seeing a need for more targeted and direct engagement.
As such technology investments gain ground, more marketers are beginning to take advantage of the advanced capabilities they provide, especially data analytics and predictive analysis tools that allow executives to design campaigns specifically around proven and time-tested customer traits, preferences, and expectations. This type of strategic thinking is a step in a new direction—away from traditional marketing launches aimed at simply everyone, with no clear focus or directional aim, toward intentional, direct engagements designed to maximize interest and response.
As a result of this shift, data-driven advertising is seeing an upswing, as the report found that an overwhelming 91 percent of marketing leaders currently use data to target or segment their campaigns. Furthermore, 83% of high performers use customer data to segment or target ads, 1.5 times more often than underperformers. These types of rich insights are not only made possible, but made stronger and more manageable, when obtained and organized within a proven CRM system.
Future-Focused: Investing in Innovation to Drive Growth
As innovation becomes smarter, technology investments are only expected to increase, with 48 percent of high performing companies currently engaged in “substantially increasing” their spending on marketing tools and technology, compared to 21 percent of moderate performers and 17 percent of underperformers. However, though top performers may be investing more at the moment, there is an impetus across all performance levels to boost technology spend—the report found that 63 percent of all teams (high, moderate, and low-performing) plan to increase their spending on marketing tools and technology over the next two years.
CRM systems are leading this movement, making it easier than ever for teams across the enterprise to communicate with each other to share the important data that could help close a sales deal, speed a service call, and, in this case, strengthen a relationship—business initiatives that anyone can get behind.
“2016 State of Marketing,” Salesforce Research.
McGinnis, Devon, “New 2016 State of Marketing Research Report,” Salesforce Marketing Cloud Blog, March 30, 2016, http://www.exacttarget.com/blog/state-of-marketing-research-report/.