Looking ahead, marketers see improving skills in content marketing, campaign strategy, and data analytics as crucial to success in the next two years.

The eighth annual State of Marketing report, produced by our partners at Salesforce, brings together insights from marketing leaders worldwide to reveal how they’re driving value and delivering exceptional customer experience in a rapidly evolving landscape. Based on a survey of 6,000 marketing managers, directors, VPs, and CMOs across 35 countries, the report explores how marketers are prioritising their efforts in the face of uncertainty and innovating to meet changing customer needs.

Here at redk, we’ve summarised the highlights of this in-depth report in a series of three blog posts. This week, part three:

‘Building a future-proof marketing organisation’

Collaboration: the key to a seamless customer experience

Marketers today are facing a number of challenges: rising customer expectations, challenges managing data, and shifting KPIs. Collaboration is key to gaining a 360° view of the customer and providing a first-class customer experience. High-performance marketers are increasingly tracking cross-departmental metrics, with 89% of B2B marketers using an account-based marketing (ABM) platform to deliver a unified end-to-end customer experience. 

80% of marketers say their organisation coordinates its customer experience initiatives across marketing, sales, service, and commerce

However, successful ABM relies on complex, holistic data-driven marketing strategies, which many companies still haven’t fully established. 31% of B2B marketers still feel that sharing a unified view of customer data is a challenge, and 62% of business buyers say they feel they’re communicating with separate departments rather than one single company. 

According to Salesforce, 69% of marketers feel it’s harder to collaborate now than before the pandemic

And collaboration isn’t just an issue across business units: the global pandemic brought with it a rapid shift to distributed teams, meaning that collaboration became a priority. In a digital-first environment, the speed and ease of collaboration can make the crucial difference between you and the competition.

Marketers have adopted an average of four collaboration techniques to unify their global marketing teams. Most notable has been the rise of video conferencing, closely followed by the adoption of collaboration platforms and instant messaging – although traditional communication tools such as voice messaging and phones still have their place.

Values-based messaging: a unique opportunity to connect with customers

As a May 2022 Salesforce report found, customers are increasingly looking to buy from companies that clearly state their values, with ethical, social, and environmental issues being of particular concern to consumers. 88% of customers say they expect brands to demonstrate clear, strong values – and 66% have stopped buying from a company whose values didn’t align with theirs.

93% of high-performing marketers say their external messaging reflects their corporate values, compared to 70% of underperformers

In 2022, Salesforce itself launched a values-based marketing campaign, #TeamEarth, to coincide with the Team USA campaign for the Olympic Winter Games, including an advertising spot featuring actor Matthew McConaughey. Promoting the company’s core values of sustainability, equality, and inclusion, the campaign aimed to engage global audiences and promote the power of business to ensure a fairer, better future. 

Initial results have been positive: a 30% increase in organic search of the brand during the first few months of the campaign, as well as a sharp increase in social conversations. And after seeing the campaign, employees reported an 80% increase in their pride in working for Salesforce.

Mind the skills gap: the top five skills for the future

Employees are, of course, another vital factor for the success of any organisation – and in today’s challenging economic climate, recruiting and nurturing skilled talent is more important than ever. Rising customer expectations and rapidly evolving technology mean that marketers must constantly update their skills in order to stay ahead of the competition. 

Talent gaps remain a top challenge for one in three marketers

How do marketers anticipate filling this talent gap? Survey responses revealed that content marketing was viewed as the most important skill to improve over the next two years, with campaign strategy and data analytics also featuring in the top five.

Despite the challenges, it’s clear that marketers have a number of strategies at their disposal. Collaboration, values-based marketing, and upskilling teams all present opportunities to build a future-proof marketing organisation.

Here at redk, we have over 15 years of experience in digital transformation, working with our expert partners to advise on and implement the technical solutions that are right for your business. Get in touch now to find out how we can help you optimise your processes, drive value and deliver a great customer experience.