ExactTarget’s newly published 2014 State of Marketing Report claims 98 percent of marketers plan to increase their budgets in the new year, with a focus on driving increased conversion rates, raising brand awareness and leveraging more behavior-based data.
Of the more than 2,500 marketers surveyed, 61 percent planned to increase spending on data and analytics, 60 percent on marketing automation, 58 percent on email marketing, 57 percent on social media marketing and 57 percent on content management.
The survey covered a number of marketing themes, from challenges and success metrics to email, social media and mobile marketing initiatives. Here’s a snapshot of what ExactTarget discovered:
Top Marketing Success Metrics
At 67 percent the majority of marketers surveyed claimed conversion rates were their top success metric, followed by engagement rates and ROI.
Lifecycle Marketing Challenges
The report defined lifecycle marketing as, “The tactics that reach customers across four core stages: acquire, onboard, engage and retain.” Not too long ago, the top lifecycle marketing challenge was acquiring new subscribers, but the data now shows most marketers claim driving engagement and revenue is their biggest challenge.
ExactTarget says there is a “significant gap” between what marketers claim to be important in the scope of their lifecycle marketing tactics and what they actually implement:
For example, birthday campaigns are used by only 19 percent of marketers and loyalty campaigns are used by only 36 percent, however these two campaigns have the highest reported success rates compared to other lifecycle marketing campaigns.
Email Remains Major Marketing Force
ExactTarget discovered 68 percent of marketers say email marketing is core to their business, and 88 percent said it already does, or will, produce ROI. The report revealed 49 percent of marketers are sending more than 500,000 marketing emails annually.
High Hopes For Social Media Marketing
While 46 percent of marketers said social marketing is core to their business and 52 percent believe it will eventually deliver ROI, only 34 percent said their social marketing efforts were currently producing ROI.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were the most popular social media platforms for marketers in 2013. This year, marketers plan to adopt the following channels:
- Google+ (18%)
- SlideShare (71%)
- Blog (17%)
- Podcasts (17%)
- Pinterest (16%)
Marketers Continue To Ignore Mobile Marketing’s Impact
A significant number of marketers continue to ignore the impact of mobile marketing on their marketing efforts. While 31 to 50 percent of survey respondents confirmed subscribers open marketing emails on a mobile device, 42 percent said they rarely or never use mobile responsive design to create marketing emails.
When it comes to mobile marketing ROI, 29 percent of the marketers surveyed said their mobile efforts are currently producing ROI, and 51 percent believe mobile marketing will eventually produce ROI.
The full report can be downloaded on the ExactTarget blog.