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.
Marketers are ramping up spending on social and mobile activities and capabilities, and see CRM, mobile apps and marketing analytics as core technologies for building customer engagement, according to the new 2015 State of Marketing Report from Salesforce.
The marketing cloud vendor’s annual report, which is based on a survey of 5000 marketers globally including Australia, found 84 per cent of marketers plan to increase or maintain spend this year, with social and mobile marketing leading the priority list.
More than two-thirds of global respondents have integrated mobile into their overall marketing strategy, up from 48 per cent in 2014, and 65 per cent plan to spend more on mobile push notifications, a 32 per cent year-on-year increase. In addition, 58 per cent now have a dedicated mobile marketing team. More than half of these have at least four staff.
The clear move to mobile is occurring despite the fact that one in three are still waiting for an ROI from mobile marketing, and only 31 per cent have produced either ‘some’ or ‘significant’ ROI so far.
In Australia specifically, 69 per cent of respondents have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy, and 56 per cent saw mobile as core to their business. Fifty-four per cent have a dedicated mobile marketing team, up from 33 per cent last year.
Social was the other big push, with 64 per cent of marketers globally citing social as a critical enabler of products and services (57 per cent in Australia). Worldwide, 64 per cent agreed social media marketing was core to their business, up from 25 per cent in 2014. This figure dipped to 55 per cent in Australia.
The report also found marketers are increasing their budgets for social more than any other digital marketing channel. Seventy per cent plan to increase spending on social media advertising, and 29 per cent said it current produces ‘some or significant’ ROI.
In addition, 30 per cent said social indirectly produces ROI, although 27 per cent were still waiting to see a return from social activities so far. Notably, nearly twice as many marketers categorised social as a primary revenue source this year compared with 2014.
Despite the rise of these new channels, however, email marketing was found to continue its dominance in digital marketing. Nearly three in four per cent of global marketers believe email is core to their business, with 92 per cent citing a clear ROI.
When it comes to metrics being used to rate success, conversion rate was the most important email marketing metric globally and in Australia, while mobile website or app traffic came up trumps in mobile marketing. In social, traffic was the most important measurement for marketers everywhere.
Other Australian-specific findings
According to Salesforce’s Australian respondents, budgetary constraints are the most pressing business challenge for marketers, followed by new business development and building deep customer relationships.
These were in contrast to the top three global challenges, which were new business development, quality of leads, and remaining up to date with current marketing technology and trends.
The top five areas locally for increased spending are: Mobile applications (70 per cent), social media advertising (70 per cent), social media listening (68 per cent), social media engagement (68 per cent) and social media marketing (68 per cent).
Key technologies Australian marketers see as critical to creative a comprehensive customer journey are Mobile applications (59 per cent), followed by CRM tools (56 per cent) and marketing analytics (53 per cent).
The 2015 State of Marketing survey was conducted online in October and November last year and garnered responses from more than 5000 marketers.