Everywhere you look, growth in digital marketing channels is increasing. Print is holding steady (in fact, according to Target Marketing‘s Media Usage Survey 2016, 25% of marketers are increasing their use of print), but the world in which print lives is increasingly multichannel. You may not need to offer email, social, mobile, and web marketing in-house, but you need to be aligned with third parties who do.
The “2016 State of Marketing” report from Salesforce Marketing Cloud reinforces this need. The research, based on a survey of more than 4,000 leading marketers worldwide, shows strong growth in mobile and social media, in particular.
- The report notes that, between 2015 and 2016, every form of mobile marketing covered in the report has shown growth, including 98% growth in mobile app usage and 111% growth in SMS usage.
- It used to be that marketers could not prove ROI from social media, but that is changing. Three-quarters (75%) of marketers now say that their social media efforts are showing ROI.
- Email continues to morph and change, as well — what Salesforce calls “top performing teams” are 4.2x more likely than underperformers to leverage predictive intelligence or data science to personalize emails.
- Two-thirds of marketers are advertising on social media, and this rises among top performers. A whopping 83% are targeting ads based on customer data.
This is a very different world than the “one two punch” of direct mail and email in which we are most comfortable discussing multichannel. Multichannel is becoming truly multichannel. Not just two channels playing of one another with a QR Code or personalized URL thrown in for good measure, but true integrated multichannel efforts that span four, five, even six channels, all working together under a common marketing umbrella.
As if this weren’t complicated enough, the “customer journey” is taking the driver’s seat in how these multichannel efforts are deployed. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers in the Salesforce survey say that the customer journey is part of their marketing strategies, and among high-performing companies compared to 23% of moderate performers and 7% of underperformers. Sixty-one percent are actively mapping those customer journeys.
Multichannel marketing isn’t just about coordinating channels anymore to accomplish a specific, “single point in time” goal. It’s about understanding the specific phases of the customer journey and all of the micro-goals along the way and knowing which channels are best used to communicate and accomplish them as the marketer moves the customer through the sales funnel over time.
Perhaps the next major investment you make shouldn’t be a piece of equipment. It should be some more marketing brainpower.