The sixth edition of the marketing survey by Salesforce focuses on the shifts in engagement standards, definitions of marketing success, and more

Salesforce Research has brought out its sixth annual edition of the State of Marketing 2020 report that is based on a survey of around 7,000 marketing leaders globally. According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shifts in changing standards of customer engagement and how marketers are prioritizing innovation. Marketers are under pressure to revamp their organizational models to focus on revamping their technology tools for driving digital-first customer engagement. The pandemic has brought in a huge change in customer behavior and expectation.

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As per the survey, customer data sets are getting ready to drive empathetic marketing. Customers are navigating a range of “new normal,” and hence, personalized, empathetic engagement is crucial at present. There has been a 186% increase in the adoption of AI since 2018, and marketers are tweaking how they source and manage customer data and ramp up the use of technologies.

Furthermore, marketers are doubling down on business value as businesses are gradually shifting from crisis to recovery and adaptation. The report notes that it is the right opportunity for marketers to turn trusted customer relationships into business value. There is a significant increase in the way marketers are tracking customer metrics like satisfaction, digital engagement, and lifetime customer value. This is providing an opportunity to gain holistic insights into what is working and what is not, throughout the customer journey.

The report also suggests that B2B marketers have a solid role in business growth through account-based marketing (ABM), as 92% of them have an ABM program. In the case of privacy, 81% of marketers are mindful of balancing personalization with customer comfort.B2B marketers are spending 16% of their marketing budgets on ABM, 18% on advertising, 16% on technology, 14% on people, 14% on research, 14% on content, and 6% on other. Nearly 60% of marketers said they go beyond regulations and industry standards to protect customer privacy.

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The report also said there had been an 11% increase in email marketing from 2018 to 2020. A 32% spike has been noted in social that two-year period, with a usage rate of 83%. Mobile apps and customer communities have also seen higher growth than email. But email still beats them to higher usage.

According to the report, some of the top marketing challenges marketers face includes innovating, unifying customer data sources, real-time customer engagement, creating cohesive customer journeys across channels, and more.