Salesforce Report Finds Customer Experience Is Key

As the physical and digital worlds continue to converge, business marketers are increasingly evolving into "customer experience designers" who must work across all channels and devices to give buyers what they're looking for, according to the "2016 State of Marketing" report from Salesforce.

Released yesterday, the report found that 88 percent of marketing professionals believe that adopting a customer journey strategy is critical to success for today's businesses. Sixty-five percent have already started to pursue such strategies, according to the survey of nearly 4,000 marketers across the globe,

Those figures indicate that companies that neglect the customer journey and experience risk falling even farther behind the competition, according to Salesforce. Successful companies are those focused on multichannel and digital marketing and increasingly emphasize personalized, rather than mass market, customer relationships, the report noted.

Key: Get Best Offers to Best Customers Fastest

IDC analyst Gerry Murray said he wasn't surprised by any of the findings of the Salesforce report, but added that the results help validate the marketing trends he and others have been seeing.

Murray told us he sees the key takeaway as this: changing technology and customer expectations today mean that marketers must increasingly "get the most compelling offers to the best customers fastest."

At the moment, such high-performing marketers make up only 18 percent of those surveyed by Salesforce. However, Murray said the remainder must catch up quickly if they want to succeed in today's rapidly changing environment. "This is happening fast," he said. "They don't have a year."

Focus on Value, not Volume

The Salesforce report also found that top marketers are those who are investing the most in new technologies, and social media-driven and intelligent marketing strategies are critical factors for driving growth. Of the leaders surveyed, 72 percent expect to increase spending on marketing tools and technology over the...

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