Revenue growth has become the top metric for marketers looking to quantify budgets. In fact, 32% of participants in a survey released Monday named revenue growth No. 1, followed by customer satisfaction at 30%, and return on investment at 23%.
CEOs have become more involved in marketing, requiring hard numbers to back campaign budgets. "Marketing is no longer a distribution of messaging," said Mike Lazerow, CMO at Salesforce. "Marketers now realize there's a person behind every app, but they need help connecting one-on-one with them, making it a reality."
The Salesforce Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing Report analyzes responses from 5,000 global marketers about budgets, priorities, channels and metrics.
About 62% plan to increase budgets on search engine optimization and paid search, whereas 31% will decrease somewhat or substantially and 3% don't know. Content marketing will follow the same path, except 30% will decrease somewhat or substantially the budgets. Landing pages will get a 56% boost in budgets, whereas 37% will decrease somewhat or substantially, and 4% don't know.
Some 86% of senior-level marketers now recognize the need to create a cohesive customer journey across all channels, and 84% plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets in 2015. Social and mobile budget are at the top of the list to receive increases, per the study.
About 70% of marketers plan to increase social advertising and social media marketing budgets, 27% YoY and 23% YoY increases, respectively. About 65% plan to spend more on mobile push notifications, a 32% YoY increase.
The study suggests that this year marketers will begin to use social in a new way. Last year, 66% primarily viewed social media marketing as indirectly impacting their business performance, whereas 64% now view it as a critical enabler of products and services.
The most pressing business challenges for marketers this year range from new business development at 27% and quality leads at 27% to remaining up to date on marketing trends at 27% and customer acquisition at 26%.
When asked what type of technology they will use to craft a customer journey, 50% of participants said mobile applications are very effective, compared with 27% somewhat, and 22% not very effective. Marketing analytics got similar ratings at 46%, 30%, and 23%.