Social And Mobile Strengthen Consumer Connections With Brands

According to the 2016 State of Customer Journey Marketing, presented by Guy Marion, Ph.D. CMO & Growth, Autopilot, social media and mobile devices have strengthened consumers’ ability to connect 1:1 with brands at any time, from anywhere. 88% of high performing marketers get results by investing in customer experience initiatives including analytics, content, social and nurture-based strategies for growth.

High performing marketers make up 24% of the marketers surveyed. Defined as attainers of 80% or more of their lead or performance goals, they grow revenue 58% faster than everyone else, generate more leads for their companies, are 2.5X happier with their performance, and have more satisfied customers, says the report.

70% of marketers now rank social media as their top performing non-email channel, and 81% are using data to personalize their marketing, with the majority saying it creates a better customer experience, says the report. 71% of high performers have mapped their customer’s journey, and 88% say this initiative is driving better customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention.

High performers are investing in customer events and marketing, referral and satisfaction programs, and analytics and attribution, rather than in online ads, says the report. 64% of high performers send automated emails to their contacts at least once a week, and automation adoption is up more than 4X in two years.

Cost, not lack of awareness or complexity, is now the main impediment of use, says the report. 48% of marketers list budget constraints as their number one challenge. B2B marketers are most concerned with converting leads into sales, while B2C marketers seek high ROI approaches to grow with thin margins and tight budgets.

In 2017, says the report, most marketers will be investing first in online ads (30%) and customer events and marketing (30%), but high performers are focusing more on the customer experience, investing in customer events and marketing (35%), and referral and loyalty programs (29%), to achieve ROI to drive referrals and repeat purchases.

US Based Markting Decision Makers Investing in 2017

Online advertising- search, display, retargeting


Customer events and marketing


Email marketing


Social media- ads and engagement


Content development


Referral and customer loyalty


Analytics and attribution


Mobile- ads and apps


Customer experience and journey mapping


Marketing automation and lead nurturing


Brand assets


Sales enablement and field marketing


Offline advertising


Offline advertising


Source: Autopilot, November 2016

High performers are even more focused, in 2017, on brand, with 27% ranking it as their top priority, followed distantly by lead generation (21%) and customer satisfaction (19%).

In contrast, everyone else is more evenly split between growing brand awareness (21.8%) and tactical lead-based initiatives such as converting leads into sales (22.1%) and generating new leads (18%). Among B2B-focused marketers, 43% indicated “brand awareness” as the leading priority at more than twice the rate of their second priority, customer satisfaction.

Top Priority Investments in 2017

High Performers

Everyone Else

     Growing brand awareness (27%)



Converting leads into sales (22%)

     Generating new leads (21%)



Growing brand awareness (22%)

     Improving customer satisfaction & referrals (19%)



Generating new leads (18%)

Source: Autopilot, November 2016

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