Content Matters

Discussing best practices in marketing automation, content marketing, and demand generation
24
Oct
Painting a Better Customer Experience

The True Keys To Marketing Success Revealed in Recent Gartner Survey

With digital and traditional marketing converging, focus has shifted towards leveraging the new technologies needed to be most effective when marketing in the modern digital world. Marketers must now manage brand content and messaging across multiple channels, requiring consistency in all inbound and outbound marketing efforts. Designing a “digital” buyer’s journey that drives prospects through a stage-aware, self-service buying experience necessitates the revising of sales and marketing budgets and best practices, adopting new, innovative strategies, and moving away from the older, sales-driven models.

Recently, Gartner conducted a marketing spending survey with both large and extra-large companies. Their results demonstrated increased investment in cultivating improved “customer experiences” as a best practice to drive sales growth, provide innovative business differentiation, and improve overall revenue results.

This study also revealed that revised expense, capital, and innovation budgets are demonstrating increased P&L responsibility on the part of marketing departments. Budgets for internal labor showed significant growth as more work is brought in-house, while marketing budgets remained slightly above 10% of revenue, with increases projected.

Marketers have now started increasing investment in understanding and refining their customers’ experiences in order to create unique business advantages and boost revenue performance. In fact, improved connections with customers is reported to be the top challenge for marketers, garnering 18% of their 2014 marketing budget. Leveraging the customer experience received the single highest marketing technology investment in 2014, and was the top innovation project for 2015, slightly outpacing new product innovation.

Almost 80% of companies have capital expenditures in their marketing budget for digital marketing, with almost 70% having separate digital marketing and advertising budgets. In 2014 digital advertising led digital marketing spending, and tied with mobile marketing for the largest projected increase in 2015. More than two-thirds of companies are funding recurring digital marketing efforts through reinvestment of their existing marketing and advertising budgets.

This growing competition and newly empowered consumer have shifted traditional business advantages, requiring organizations to adopt sweeping new strategies in order to ensure an exceptional customer experience. But, how should organizations approach implementation of these new best practices?

Consider creating a detailed audit of all current marketing automation strategies to diagram all of your target customer’s buying journeys. Use a multi-touch attribution model to (1) map all activities and performance goals, (2) gain visibility to cross-channel marketing performance, (3) determine target revenue forecasts, and (4) balance the distribution of your marketing budget. Keep your company’s business objectives at the forefront, and focus on achieving revenue growth to realize increased profits. Effectively expressing quantifiable ways to measure, improve, and demonstrate marketing’s overall impact elevates marketing from a cost center to a profit center.