To say the last two years have been tumultuous for marketers would be a massive understatement.
Agility, adaptability, and constant innovation are now table stakes for marketing organizations of all sizes, across every sector.
Delivering an exceptional customer experience in this environment is a top priority and also the most pervasive challenge for marketers right now, according to the new Marketing Trends 2022 report from Oracle and Ascend2.
Oracle’s survey of over 850 marketing professionals in leadership and management roles reveals that 94% feel their 2021 marketing efforts were successful – and for 48%, extremely so.
What challenges lie ahead and how do marketing leaders plan to meet them head-on this year?
Read on to explore the top challenges and marketing solutions on marketers’ minds, as well as which AI solutions they trust, how they plan to replace third-party data, and other key trends to inform your own marketing strategy.
Top Challenges for Marketers in 2022
Oracle’s survey revealed the top marketing challenges for respondents right now:
- Maximizing performance across channels – 38%
- Ability to change/adapt to circumstances as they arise – 36%
- Delivering exceptional customer experiences – 35%
- Aligning marketing and sales efforts – 32%
- Segmenting and targeting audiences – 32%
- Ability to scale programs, content, personalization – 31%
- Proving marketing attribution and ROI – 31%
Which Performance Metrics Matter Most In 2022?
Data-backed insights are essential in resolving the above challenges. But which performance metrics are marketing organizations using right now to measure success?
Extremely successful marketing organizations say their top performance metrics are:
- Sales and revenue attributed to marketing.
- Customer lifetime value.
- Cost per lead (CPL) and cost per acquisition (CPA).
All other marketing organizations are more likely tracking “Marketing ROI” and customer acquisition and retention.
Marketing Solutions We Can’t Live Without
When it comes to the most important martech solutions that power modern-day organizations, customer data platforms top the list.
Email marketing platforms, content management systems, marketing automation platforms, and testing and optimization tools round out the top five.
How Marketers Plan To Replace Lost Third-Party Cookie Data
When asked which first-party data sources will become most valuable in the wake of third-party cookie losses, the top five selected by marketers were:
- 36%: Customer purchase history
- 32%: Social media profiles
- 31%: Website registrations
- 26%: Survey respondents
- 26%: Mobile app usage
CRM and call center interactions, loyalty programs, user community members, newsletter subscribers, and SMS messaging also made the list.
AI Will Bring Agility & ROI – At Least, To Those Who Trust It
Adapting to circumstances as they arise and being able to change course on the fly was identified as a top challenge, and this is where AI shines.
Even so, marketing organizations have varying levels of trust in the technology.
Smaller marketing teams are less confident in AI, and those on teams of 30 people or less said they only trust it for scoring leads and writing subject lines.
Across the survey set as a whole, marketers are most comfortable using AI for ad targeting, real-time content personalization, optimizing email sends, and estimating conversions.
When asked, Which of the following activities would you trust (or already use) artificial intelligence to do for you? Marketers responded:
Other Key Marketing Insights For 2022
Among their more interesting findings, Oracle revealed that:
- 37% of marketers are confident, 31% are hopeful, and 24% feel excited about their chances for marketing success this year.
- 82% of marketers plan to make changes to their tech stack this year, either adding, removing, or replacing components.
- 24% of marketers said they absolutely couldn’t live without their loyalty marketing solution.
- 40% of marketers want to add customer service insights and 36% loyalty insights to their marketing program.
- 88% of marketers are confident they’ll have access to the right data for effective decision-making this year.
Download the full Marketing Trends 2022 report from Oracle to learn more.
Featured image: Shutterstock/BAIVECTOR