4 trends in digital marketing

Salesforce surveyed more than 4,1000 marketers worldwide about strategic priorities, challenges, and technologies in digital marketing. The Survey highlights changes in terms of data volume, communication channels and knowledge about clientele and target group.

Overriding trend in advance: The experience consumers have with companies is as relevant to 80% as the products and services themselves. Based on this trend, the customer experience is crucial in all activities and has a significant impact on the future of digital marketing.

Trend 1: Collaboration

Interdepartmental cooperation continues to increase

Customer experience is a team sport! Only collaboration between marketing, sales, service and other departments enables customer experiences that meet the different requirements. This can be seen, for example, in the joint processing of enquiries and complaints, which customers increasingly send via social media. In this context, 55% of the respondents see collaboration between marketing and sales. For more knowledge about customers and their needs, about the same number of companies share customer data within their departments (54%). Nevertheless, 45% of the respondents worldwide and 36% in Germany see the main area of responsibility in marketing.

Trend 2: Second Party Data

More and more data sources require merging

What are my customer's needs? What offers can I make to suit them? Companies look for answers to these questions and find them in the existing data about their customers. But not only in their own data, but increasingly also in the so-called second-party data that comes from partner companies or various platforms. The more pieces of the puzzle come together, the clearer the picture of the customer becomes. While 69% use second-party data worldwide, 58% do so in Germany. Data management platforms are also increasingly used, according to 55% of the marketing organisations.

Trend 3: Automation

Artificial intelligence and trust are the foundation

When customers are addressed personally thanks to artificial intelligence, this has positive effects: Worldwide, 29% and in Germany 39% of the marketing managers have had experience with the use of AI. Here, 92% of the study participants observe positive effects in brand building and 85% of the study participants see an optimisation of customer loyalty. The sticking point is customer trust with regard to data protection, which is why companies need to catch up on this point.

Trend 4: Relationship management

Real-time cross-channel interaction as a target

Addressing customers where they really are. This is a challenge, considering the constantly growing number of digital touchpoints. In order to be able to decide where and when customers are best addressed, a 360° view of the customer plays an increasingly important role. This is also how 52% of the respondents see it and rely on direct feedback from their customers. In this context, 52% of the companies enter into a real-time dialogue. However, only 28% are satisfied with these measures; the majority act rather uncertainly between the different contact possibilities.

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Author Elena Baeder

Head of Marketing & Communication

I head the Marketing & Communications department of beDirect GmbH & Co. KG, which I helped to set up shortly after the company was founded as a joint venture between arvato and Creditreform in 2001. Since completing my business studies, I have been developing strategies and campaigns for our B2B communications with partners and customers. In the process, change is the greatest constant. New tools, changing legal frameworks and fast-moving markets make our work challenging and exciting.

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