Social, mobile top marketing spend priorities, but email delivers the ROI

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan January 13, 2015
It's social, local and mobile that are top priorities for marketers (again), but old-fashioned email delivers the ROI.

Data and analytics are so last year when it comes to marketing strategies, supplanted by investment in mobile and social.

That’s one of the top line conclusions from a study of 5,000 marketers in ten countries - The State of Marketing, published by Salesforce yesterday.

Overall, 84% of marketers plan to increase or maintain their digital spending, with mobile and social attracting most money. Both are well up on investment priorities identified in the same report in 2014: mobile by 14% and social by 39%.

Last year data and analytics, marketing automation, and email marketing were the top three priorities. This year the top five areas for increased marketing spending are:

  • Social media advertising - 70%
  • Social media marketing - 70%
  • Social media engagement - 67%
  • Location-based mobile tracking - 67%
  • Mobile applications - 66%

The report concludes that investment in mobile typically means more investment in digital marketing overall:

Marketers who have integrated mobile are shifting more of their marketing spend from traditional advertising to digital channels . . . Additionally, the total spend dramatically increases as marketers integrate their mobile marketing.

Similarly, as marketers integrate mobile into their overall strategy, effectiveness of individual channels also rises . . . In short, when mobile is integrated, all marketing technologies and channels become more effective.

Salesforce Marketing Outlook 2015-3
Source: 2015 State of Marketing

Other mobile-centric highlights included:

  • 70% believe mobile is a “critical enabler of products and services”
  • 46% of respondents use “some form of mobile marketing, either SMS, push notifications, mobile apps or location-based functionality”, up from 23% a year ago
  • Among those doing mobile marketing 68% of respondents reckon they have integrated it into their broader marketing strategies
  • Mobile loyalty campaigns are seen as the most effective form of mobile campaign tactics
  • Mobile site/app traffic is the most commonly used metric to measure campaign success, followed by conversions and lead generation
  • 27% of marketers have a mobile app; while an additional 34 percent were planning to create one in the coming year

From a social PoV, Facebook remains the favoured channel with 80% using it and 73% testifying to its effectiveness, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube respectively.

Salesforce Marketing Outlook 2015
Source: 2015 State of Marketing

My take

Social, mobile, local - is anyone else getting a sense of deja vu at this point?

We seem to have been talking about this holy trinity in marketing for years, but if this study is to be believed, then 2015 might finally see that coming true. Time will tell.

Headline numbers such as 64% of marketers now viewing social as a critical enabler of products and services, up from 25% last year are telling, of course.

But there’s also some good old-fashioned pragmatism here amid the marketing clouds in that fact that traditional email campaigns remain the tried-and- trusted approach, with 92% stating that email produces a return on investment (ROI).

I find that curiously comforting.

A grey colored placeholder image