There has never been a more exciting time for marketers. On one hand, they have a rising number of tools at disposal to speak to their customers. On the other, the explosion of social and digital channels mean marketers need to wrestle with the challenge of engaging their audiences in a crowded marketplace. Added to that is, of course, is the pandemic, which has vastly shifted not only marketing priorities and spend, but consumers’ expectation.
According to the Salesforce’s 6th State of Marketing report, innovation is a top priority for APAC marketers. They are evolving their strategies to gain a more cohesive view of their customers, and increasingly using technology to engage with their customers in real-time. Marketers are also looking to the long-term - with ‘customer retention’ now a key metric of success after ‘revenue’ and ‘sales effectiveness’.
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The State of Marketing report surveyed 7,000 marketing leaders globally who are leading through change, all over the world including Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, across all major industries, across B2C/B2B/B2B2C, and all sizes of companies to get their pulse of what is going on within their organisations and teams, with their technology and data, and their tactics to achieve marketing performance and business stability. Here are some of the key findings:
Marketing transformation and customer experience takes on new urgency during unprecedented times
Customer expectations for engagement continue to rise, with 84% of customers and business buyers saying the experience a company provides as important as its products and services — up from 80% in 2018. In response, marketers are expanding their purviews and operations to optimise customer experiences. 79% of marketers say they lead customer experience initiatives across their organizations — up from 45% in 2018.
In the B2B arena, this has led to the rise of account-based marketing. 92% of respondents now say they have an ABM programme in place - a significant number, considering how 64% of ABM programmes were started within the past five years. ABM allows sales and marketing teams to build personalised proposals that allow them to connect with accounts most important to them. Because of ABM’s targeted nature, it is perhaps one area where companies are still willing to spend on as COVID-19 deals a heavy blow to marketing budgets.
Marketers are ramping up digital channel adoption as digital transformation accelerates
The advancement of tech and wider internet coverage means that customers are on multiple devices anywhere, anytime. This also means that marketers need to engage with their customers on more channels, and more frequently. Marketers report a 34% increase in their use of mobile apps and a 21% increase in their use of video.
Challenges remain, however. While there is increased adoption across all channels, a fragmented data management landscape remains a challenge for marketers. 78% recognise that customer engagement is driven by data, but they also question if they are leveraging the data they have to its full potential.
|To learn more about how marketing and digital strategies are evolving, download Salesforce's 6th State of Marketing report|
The role of AI in the new normal
The focus on customer experience means that data is more important than ever to agilely shift marketing strategies and create compelling campaigns, content, and offers that reach both head and heart. APAC marketers are using an average of 9 data sources to generate customers insights in 2020 - up from 7 in 2019. That number is set to hit 11 in 2021. Facing an uncertain future, customers are also demanding more empathetic marketing from companies. It’s essential for marketers to have a clear understanding of evolving customer needs - equally crucial, perhaps, is to be able to do it at scale. AI helps marketers achieve personalisation at scale by distilling insights from data and taking action. The use of AI has skyrocketed in the past year, with 84% of marketers using AI, up from a 29% in 2018.
|For more insights, download Salesforce's 6th State of Marketing report|