Salesforce have released their third annual 'State of Marketing' report, incorporating feedback from some 4,000 marketers worldwide to get a handle on how they see the evolution of the role of marketing, how teams are approaching data and customer experience and what digital marketing channels are drawing the most attention (and best results).
The breakdown of participants, by region, is as follows:
The report contains a range of insights, with a particular focus on social and digital marketing trends which marketers view as most important. For example, Salesforce found that in 2016, marketers are set to spend more than two-thirds (70%) of their total budget on digital marketing channels
Social media, in particular, is getting more focus, with the majority of marketers looking to increase their social media advertising budgets in the next 12 months.
Marketers are also seeing an increased return on investment for their social media efforts, with 82% of marketers agreeing that social media marketing is now core to their business.
In 2015, 27% of marketers said social would eventually generate ROI and 28% said it already generated ROI, accounting for 55% of all responses. This year, 75% of respondents report that social is currently generating ROI.
Salesforce also found that high performing sales teams were better at responding via social, underlining the key role the medium plays in maximizing marketing results.
High performing teams are also significantly more likely to be utilizing social listening and publishing tools - Salesforce found that high performers are 8.6x more likely than underperformers to use social listening tools extensively.
More than three quarters of respondents also agreed that content marketing is now core to their business, with high performers also making best use of user-generated content.
Social advertising is also on the rise, with almost two-thirds of marketers indicating that they're boosting budgets for advertising on social platforms in 2016.
And data use is also becoming more widespread, with 91% of respondents saying they use data to segment their advertising.
There's a wide range of additional data in the full report, some great insights into the perspectives of the global marketing fraternity and where they're putting their focus in 2016. There's also regional data breakdowns, for a more in-depth analysis of local trends, and expanded data sets on wider mobile and digital shifts.
The full Salesforce '2016 State of Marketing' Report is available here.