How can marketers help lead business recovery during unprecedented times?

Amidst entirely new levels of complexity, marketers are absolutely critical to business recovery. So what do we need to know, and where do we go from here? 

Customer experience has never been as significant as it is today. In a Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report, 84% of customers said the experience a brand or business provides is as important as its products or services.

What does this have to do with marketing? A lot, in fact. In high-performing organisations, marketers lead customer experience initiatives. 

Another recent Salesforce report – the sixth edition of State of Marketing, a study of almost 7,000 global marketing leaders early this year – revealed 69% of marketers believe traditional marketing roles limit customer engagement. This is because they focus on a specific stage of the sales funnel, or on specific tactics such as social or email, rather than working across the entire customer journey.

The time has come for dramatic change, and State of Marketing offered an image of what that change might look like. 

In Asia Pacific, for instance, marketers told us their number one success metric was revenue, which aligns with global marketing views. But in the new, post-COVID environment, while revenue is clearly always going to be an important metric, the question has to be asked whether it should be number one. Some territories, such as the Philippines, are instead focussing on customer satisfaction as their main success metric, for example.

Market transformation in Asia Pacific has also taken on a new urgency. The top priority for Asia Pacific marketers is to innovate, they told us. This priority is closely followed by improving the use of tools and technologies and engaging with customers in real time.

This all represents an excellent direction in which to move, as such transformation will also address Asia Pacific marketers’ top challenges of engaging customers in real time and sharing a unified view of customer data across business units. Ultimately, it will improve customer experience. 

The major technological impacts over the next decade, Asia Pacific marketers said, will come from 5G and from a deeper integration of online services amongst the general population. AI will be utilised for three main purposes: to surface insights from data pools, to improve customer segmentation and lookalike audience modelling, and for programmatic advertising and media buying.

In these ways and more, technology will assist marketers greatly as they help steer businesses through a difficult period of recovery. It will help businesses to keep up with customer expectations, which has doubled down on empathy. 

“Just as businesses do, customers feel shaken and uncertain during the post-COVID period,” says Jess O’Reilly, Area Vice President, Cloud Sales ASEAN at Salesforce. “Empathy is what they’re experiencing from the best-performing businesses, and so it’s now what they expect from all businesses.”

These topics and much more will be discussed by Chris Jordan, Salesforce’s Head of Data and Identity ASEAN, during the Salesforce sixth edition State of Marketing launch webinar on August 5. Chris will discuss practical solutions that come from the insights from the latest State of Marketing report as marketers help stabilise, then grow, their organisations.

For more marketing insights download the sixth edition of the State of Marketing report.