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How marketers continue to add business value in 2023

Leandro Perez talks to CMO about the recent State of Marketing 2022 report and what it tells marketers to focus on as we go into a year of economic and market unknowns.

Digital Marketing

A greater ability to demonstrate marketing return in revenue and customer terms is giving marketers confidence they’re delivering more value to their organisations. And it’s this commercial aptitude, along with stronger commitment to becoming a technologist, actioning data better and being innovative, which will be critical to riding out the economic and market unknowns of 2023.

That’s the view of Salesforce VP and CMO Asia-Pacific, Leandro Perez, who caught up with CMO to discuss the findings of the eighth annual Salesforce State of Marketing 2022 Report and what they say about marketing prioritisation and imperatives this year.

Salesforce’s research surveyed 6000 global marketers including 325 in A/NZ. It found 87 per cent of global marketers believe their work provides greater value now than it did one year ago, up 10 per cent on 2021 results. This included 84 per cent of A/NZ respondents.

Globally, 68 per cent of marketers said they’re able to analyse marketing performance in real time. What’s more, marketers are tracking more metrics year-on-year than ever before across every stage of the funnel. Key metrics used globally are revenue, customer satisfaction, Web/mobile analytics, customer acquisition costs and marketing/sales funnel.

The challenges facing marketers

Even as marketers exhibited growing confidence in their value, the Salesforce report detailed hefty external and internal challenges they have to navigate. A big one is changing customer behaviours: 74 per cent of A/NZ respondents agreed customer expectations are more difficult to meet than a year ago.

Nearly one-third (31 per cent) cited budgetary constraints as a challenge in the year ahead as companies tighten their belts. In addition, 71 per cent of global marketers find it harder to retain employees than it was a year ago. Three in four are also finding it harder to collaborate compared to pre-pandemic times, turning to an average of 3.83 tools to help such as video conferencing, collaboration platforms and chat apps.   

As a result, 87 per cent of A/NZ marketers, and 91 per cent of global CMOs, agree they must continually innovate to remain competitive.

Key strategic shifts since the pandemic were highlighted in the Salesforce report. Top of the list was targeting new customer segments (38%), followed by investment in collaboration technologies (38%), investment in digital-first experiences (37%), investment in hybrid and virtual events (37%), and changing the business model (37%).

It’s worth noting across CMOs surveyed, biggest influences on digital strategy were customer preferences and expectations, competitive pressure and budget.

Data and technology imperatives

Data and technology are critical enablers in all of this. When it comes to data imperatives, Salesforce found marketers continuing to pivot to zero-party and first-party data sets. Although 78 per cent of A/NZ marketers said they still invest in third-party data, 60 per cent cited a fully defined strategy to migrate from these sources. This compared to 68 per cent of marketers globally. And this is despite further delays to the final demise of cookies.  

(Nadia Cameron CMO)