Covid-19 may be the biggest threat to the industry in a generation but those offering data-driven techniques are likely to be the first to bounce back as the crisis triggers a new sense of urgency for brands to get under the skin of their customers.
So says the latest Salesforce State of Marketing Report – the sixth edition – which quizzed 7,000 marketing leaders worldwide, just as the coronavirus was spreading across the globe.
It reveals that personalised, empathetic engagement is now front of mind for all brands, with marketing transformation taking on a new urgency. In the UK, innovation is a top priority for marketing leaders, while unifying customer data sources is their top challenge.
As customers navigate a series of “new normals”, personalised, empathetic engagement has never been more important, the report claims, with delivering messages and offers that resonate with an individual’s unique needs and expectations requiring deep insights.
With this in mind, marketers are shifting how they source and manage customer data and ramping up their use of technologies like artificial intelligence that help them make the most of it.
In the UK, marketers are expected to go from seven data sources in 2019 to nine in 2021, and already report a 144% increase in AI adoption since 2018.
Marketers are also increasingly tracking metrics like customer satisfaction, digital engagement and lifetime customer value to gain a holistic picture of what is working and what is not across the customer journey, Salesforce reckons.
Salesforce vice-president of marketing EMEA Ashling Kearns said: “The coronavirus pandemic has posed challenges for businesses across every industry. As we move from a crisis response to recovery and reopening, many are wondering ‘where do we go from here?’.
“From a marketing perspective, relevancy and perspective are now more important than ever, helping customers of all shapes and sizes through unexpected challenges with understanding.”
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