Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
A new survey of Salesforce customers globally has found Australian organisations are leading uptake of the marketing cloud as CMOs take greater ownership of the customer lifecycle.
The latest State of Salesforce Report produced by global consulting group and Salesforce partner, Bluewolf, showed 22 per cent of Australian respondents have adopted the vendor’s marketing cloud, and an additional 32 per cent plan to do so in the next year. This compared to 17 per cent of respondents globally who have invested already, and 14 per cent who plan to in the next year.
Bluewolf global head of mobile, Patrick Bulacz, told CMO a core theme from the report was that marketing now owns the entire customer lifecycle – and is also commonly leading the digital push at an executive level.
“Marketing is getting more involved in the data side of the business, and more CMOs are leading customer lifecycle accountability and owning the customer engagement piece,” he said. “They’re more engaged in that customer engagement strategy and are working hand-in-hand with the CIO/CTO.”
Bulacz noted marketers were rarely involved in CRM deployment discussions 10 years ago, as most focused purely on campaign execution.
“Today, CMOs are in the room more and more often, and are participating most heavily in the lifecycle discussion,” he said.
“In the B2C space in particular, marketers hold the most amount of data on how customers are engaging. It makes sense to impart that knowledge to the rest of the business. People were previously working in silos, but we’re starting to see those walls break down.”
The latest Bluewolf report also found a strong push across Salesforce’s customer base towards mobile.
Globally, 48 per cent of organisations are planning investment into customer-facing mobile initiatives, and 56 per cent are investing into customer mobile apps. Other areas of planned mobile deployment include sales apps (56 per cent) and services apps (36 per cent).
Bulacz said very early adopters of Saleforce’s mobile capabilities were twice as likely to invest in mobile in the future. He pointed out 38 per cent of total respondents are planning mobile interactions in the future that are customer facing, a figure that jumped to 75 per cent across early mobile adopters.
“Organisations who didn’t adopt mobile early are taking a ‘softly, softly’ approach, but as they do, they see the benefits,” he claimed. “Mobile is not just about efficiency, it’s the digital representation of your brand.”
Not everyone is ready to be so strategic about mobile, however. A big surprise for Bulacz was the large percentage of companies only now allocating spend on optimising on building responsive websites – 55 per cent.
“This should be part-and-parcel of any brand strategy now, so this says many organisations are lagging behind on that,” he commented. “Over time, customers engaging in mobile will have stickier engagements with customers over a longer lifecycle span.”
The State of Salesforce Report is based on a survey of 1000 Salesforce customers globally, 8 per cent of which were based in Australia, and 70 per cent in the US.
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