A Cohesive Customer Journey Is Critical. Which Technologies Help?

LinkedInSalesforce-B2B-Marketing-Tech-Customer-Journey-Nov201486% of senior marketers agree that it’s either absolutely critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey across all touchpoints and channels, according to [download page] a survey of 985 senior-level marketers on LinkedIn conducted by Salesforce Marketing Cloud and LinkedIn. As part of the survey, B2C and B2B marketers were asked which technologies are important – and effective – for creating such a journey.

Among B2B respondents, of the 10 technologies listed, the most critically important are:

  • Marketing analytics (rated absolutely critical or very important by 82% of respondents);
  • Content management (75%); and
  • CRM tools (75%).

Marketing automation (55%) and collaboration tools (51%) were the only others to be rated as at least very important by a majority of B2B respondents, though they were clearly behind the top tier of technologies.

When it came to effectiveness ratings, those same top 3 technologies rose to the top, though in a slightly different order. Content management technologies were most likely to be rated very effective or effective, by 49% of respondents. That’s an interesting result in light of recent research from Adobe and Econsultancy, which found few digital professionals believing that content management systems (CMS) are good at delivering against their main objectives.

Of note, mobile apps don’t seem to have curried much favor with B2B respondents, seen by only 39% as at least very important, and by just 23% as being effective.

B2C respondents were more enthusiastic about mobile apps, though: 6 in 10 rated them absolutely critical or very important to creating a cohesive customer journey. That put apps ahead of social publishing (53%) and listening tools (51%), among others. Even so, marketing analytics (89%) was still the top-rated in terms of importance, followed by content management (79%) and CRM tools (69%).

LinkedInSalesforce-B2C-Marketing-Tech-Customer-Journey-Nov2014

Much like with B2B respondents, marketing analytics (56%) and content management (51%) technologies were highly touted by B2C senior marketers for their effectiveness. CRM tools (36%), however, don’t have the same high regard among the B2C crowd. Instead, social publishing (43%) and listening (38%) tools are more highly rated for their effectiveness. These results aren’t entirely surprising, as B2C marketers tend to be more highly focused on social and mobile than their B2B counterparts. (Separately, 86% of B2C respondents reported currently using social media marketing, compared to 73% of B2B respondents.)

Overall, only about one-third of marketing leaders rate their efforts at creating a cohesive customer journey as being very effective or effective, with this figure slightly higher among B2C (35%) than B2B (29%) respondents.

About the Data: The data is based on an online survey of 985 senior marketers on LinkedIn, fielded by LinkedIn in the United States from September 10-18, 2014. Respondents were evenly distributed across primary type of business and company size: of the total qualified respondents, 52% were B2B, while 48% were B2C; 29% were from small businesses, 35% mid-sized, and 36% enterprise. All qualified respondents are in a marketing function and hold a director-level position or higher. Respondents who qualified and completed the 15-minute survey received a $10 incentive.