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State of marketing report: Marketers optimistic about profession

Salesforce has released its eighth annual state of marketing report with South African marketers saying their work provides increasing value despite macroeconomic and labour headwinds.

The report also reveals how marketers in the countries surveyed are adapting to changes in privacy regulations — all while managing more data sources than ever before.

Greater Value

Eight-six percent of South African marketers say their work provides greater value than it did a year ago — a 34% point increase from last year. However, they face an uphill battle in an uncertain economy: Thirty-seven percent of South African marketers cited budgetary constraints and 64% of South African marketers agreed that customer expectations are more difficult to meet than they were a year ago.

To help meet the moment, marketers are focusing on:

  • Improving use of tools and technologies
  • Modernising tools and technologies

“Meeting customers’ digital-first expectations is increasingly the main priority for CMOs and their marketing teams, and the pressure is on to do more with less, while accommodating evolving data privacy laws to prepare for a cookieless future,” says Zuko Mdwaba, area vice president and country leader, Salesforce South Africa.

The trends revealed in the State of Marketing report were collected from a survey of 6,000 marketing leaders across 35 countries and six continents, including 200 from South Africa.

Insights include the following:

  • The march toward digitally-led engagement treads new and familiar paths: Marketers are investing in a combination of channels and technologies to reach audiences in new places and build lasting relationships. Audio, TV/OTT and digital ads have seen the largest increase in usage in the last year by South African marketers. However, email marketing remains dominant, accounting for over 80% of all outbound marketing messages, according to trillions of messages sent from Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

  • Marketers navigate a complex technology and regulatory landscape: Marketers are adapting to changes in privacy regulations and calls for data transparency. Although 71% of South African marketers still invest in third-party data, 73% say they have a fully defined strategy to shift from third-party data.KPIs shift as marketers pursue real-time intelligence. Across every stage of the funnel, marketers are tracking more metrics year over year than ever before. Speed to insight remains a competitive advantage. Eighty-three percent of South African marketing organisations engage customers in real time across one or more marketing channels.

  • Distributed teams unite with collaboration technology: Recognising that remote and distributed work is here to stay, leaders are making investments into new collaboration tools. Sixty-four percent of South African marketers say it’s harder to collaborate now than pre-pandemic and are turning to an average of 4.1 collaboration tools to help.

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