5,000 marketing technologists say 2015 is the year of social, local, mobile (again)

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Countries participating in the 2015 State of Marketing Tech report

It’s not like we’ve never heard of solomo (social, local, mobile) before. In fact, it’s been the next thing for …well, years.

But when 5,000 marketing technologists speak, you tend to listen.

Salesforce is releasing its 2015 State of Marketing Technology report today, and three of the top five areas marketers plan to spend more money on in 2015 are social, including social media advertising, social media marketing, and social media engagement. The fourth is local — location-based marketing — and the fifth is mobile.

But three of the top five in social?

“That’s a good thing,” Salesforce VP of marketing insights Jeff Rohrs told me. “It indicates that there is an understand that to do social advertising right, you have to do social engagement too.”

And, he says, it’s a big flip from the old “faith-based” social media marketing strategy. Now, 64 percent of marketers are saying social is a “critical enabler” of business growth, and the ROI is much easier to prove.

Above: 2015: Top marketing challenges

Image Credit: Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Solomo has been the next thing for years. But looking at what marketing technologists have on their lists for top priorities in 2015 is like looking at a greatest hits list from the previous decade, at least.

The top five marketing channels for 2015?

Corporate website, social media engagement, social media marketing, SEO/SEM (search engine optimization, and search engine marketing), and landing pages. Email is not far behind, coming in at number six, quickly followed by display and banner ads at seven.

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Where is the native advertising, you ask? The modern marketing automation? The advanced retargeting? And so on, with all the latest fancy marketing technology?

“You’ve got to optimize for the known, but then we have this tremendous opportunity to uncover the hidden,” laughs Rohrs, saying that just fully utilizing the basics is something most organizations haven’t mastered. “But uniformly across the globe, everyone always feels like they’re behind or not doing something right.”

Popularity of marketing technologies 2015

Above: Popularity of marketing technologies 2015

Image Credit: Salesforce Marketing Cloud

So either marketing technologists are having an uncommon surge of common sense, or they’re just tired of the massive outflow of marketing technology for ever-more esoteric niche uses.

“In 2014, 22 percent of marketers said email was critical, and this year it’s 60 percent,” says Rohrs, perhaps backing both options.

Essentially, however, marketing technologists are focusing ever more on closing the loop and bringing all the technologies they use together … something that’s essential for omnichannel and a single view of the customer.

“An integrated approach is where the real value is,” Rohrs says. “The holy grail is data flowing into a single repository where it becomes actionable across all channels.”

Getting to the one ring that rules them all in marketing tech, however, is not easy. Either it requires adopting one of the major marketing clouds, which is expensive and consumes human resources as well, or it requires immense amounts of selection and integration.

More money for marketing: percentage of marketers that plan to up their spend in 2015

Above: More money for marketing: percentage of marketers that plan to up their spend in 2015

Image Credit: Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Of course, it’s also in the nature of marketers to be optimistic. And most are anticipating more money from their companies to invest in marketing and marketing technology — 83 percent globally, with the highest numbers in Canada and Brazil, at 96 percent.

American marketers are just a little less sanguine, with 80 percent anticipating increases.

Clearly, however, the story of 2015 is one that is continuing from 2014: How to craft, guide, and enhance the customer’s journey from a state of ignorance to a state of continual and profitable dependence. That, the 5,000 marketing technologists say, is all about mobile, marketing analytics, and CRM, with content, marketing automation, and predictive intelligence thrown in.

Crafting the customer journey

Above: Crafting the customer journey

Image Credit: Salesforce Marketing Cloud
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