Customer satisfaction more important than revenue growth: Salesforce

Customer Satisfaction has surpassed revenue growth and customer acquisition as the top measure for success, according to Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing Report.

Based on a survey of nearly 4,000 marketers globally, the report found marketers are increasingly focused on customer satisfaction and customer engagement as their top measures for success. In addition, high-performing marketers are creating journeys for customers, with 65% saying they’ve adopted a customer journey strategy and 88% saying it’s critical to their marketing success.

The physical and digital worlds are merging, causing people to expect personalised, consistent brand interactions across every channel and device. This shift is making the customer journey more important than ever before, and ultimately evolving marketers into customer experience designers. In fact, the research shows that nearly two-thirds of high-performing marketing teams (63%) are implementing digital transformations across their organisation, compared to 8% of underperformers.

The key findings of the survey are:

Marketers need to prioritise the customer journey or risk falling behind 

Customers have more information, choices and power than ever before. For marketers, the customer experience — which is all interactions between a brand and its customers — now matters more than anything. And today, marketers are empowered to create seamless experiences by adopting a customer journey strategy versus a campaign strategy.

  • Among high-performing marketing teams surveyed, 65% have adopted a customer journey strategy, and of those, 88% say it’s critical to the success of their overall marketing strategy.
  • The majority of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (58%) strongly agree they’re driving customer experience initiatives across the business, compared to 8% of underperformers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (63%) strongly agree they’re implementing digital transformations across the company, compared to 8% of underperformers.
  • In addition, 63% of high-performing marketing teams surveyed say they’re excellent at creating personalised, omnichannel customer experiences across all business units compared to 2% of underperformers.

Digital marketing ROI is on the rise

Marketers are seeing increased ROI with email, mobile and social marketing.

  • Among marketers who use email as part of their marketing strategy, 80% agree email is core to their business. Nearly half (49%) of those marketers say it is directly linked to their business’ primary revenue source, a 140% year-over-year (YoY) increase from the 2015 State of Marketing Report. Additionally, 79% of marketers say email generates ROI, a 48% YoY increase.
  • In addition, 75% of marketers who use social as part of their marketing strategy report social is generating ROI, a 166% increase YoY. Facebook is the most effective social channel according to high-performing marketing teams, followed by Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram.
  • Mobile marketing adoption has risen significantly, including location-based mobile tracking (149% increase), mobile push notifications (145% increase), mobile text messaging (111% increase) and mobile applications (98% increase). Additionally, 77% of marketers who use mobile as part of their marketing strategy say mobile actively generates ROI, a 147% increase YoY.

Multichannel digital marketing determines success

Marketers are taking ownership of the customer journey, and their ability to integrate digital marketing channels will determine their performance.

  • Among high-performing marketing teams that have integrated their digital marketing channels -- such as email, mobile and social -- at least 95% rate the integrations as very effective or effective.
  • Nearly two-thirds of high performing marketing teams surveyed (63%) have integrated their social media activity into their overall marketing strategy, compared to only 20% of underperformers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (64%) have also integrated their email marketing activity with their overall marketing strategy, compared to 19% of underperformers.
  • The majority of high-performing marketing teams surveyed (60%) have integrated their mobile marketing activity into their overall marketing strategy, compared to 12% of underperformers.
  • In addition, 81% of high-performing marketing teams surveyed align their mobile campaigns to email campaigns, compared to 46% of under-performing marketers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of marketers surveyed (65%) are increasing budgets for advertising on social platforms in 2016, making it the third largest area for increased investment behind social media marketing and social media engagement.

CRM is powering more effective advertising

Many marketers still try to target digital advertisements primarily with Web cookies, an unreliable approach with low engagement. Marketers are moving from mass, impersonalised ads to personalised ads at scale by leveraging first-party customer data. For example, marketers can take CRM data in Salesforce and match it against groups of Facebook users which are most similar to their current customers and are more likely to convert.

  • In order to create more personalised ads and increase engagement, 83% of high-performing marketers use CRM data (e.g., an email address or phone number) to segment or target their digital ads, compared to 57% of underperformers.
  • This reinforces Salesforce’s Advertising Index Report, which indicated CRM-targeted campaigns have 27% higher engagement than traditional targeting.

“The rise of the connected customer is forcing marketing to evolve from delivering outbound campaigns to managing personalised experiences that engage the customer from day one and guide them through a seamless journey with the brand,” Scott McCorkle, CEO Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce, said.

“The results of our research show that high-performing marketers that change their mind-sets, tactics and technology to embrace a customer journey strategy will reap the benefits.”

Image: Shutterstock