Salesforce published its seventh annual State of Marketing report this year. It was based on a survey of 8,227 marketers around the world.

One of the most interesting – and under-reported findings – were the things high-performing marketers do differently.

Salesforce categorizes “high performers” as respondents who were “completely satisfied with their overall marketing performance and the outcomes of their marketing investment.” This group represents 14% of the survey sample (N = ~1,152).

The other two categories were “moderate-performers” and “underperformers.”

Moderates were defined as those respondents who were “moderately or less satisfied with their overall marketing performance and the outcomes of their marketing investment.” This group represents 72% of the survey sample (N = ~5,923).

Underperformers were “all other marketers.” This group represents 15% of the sample (N= ~1,234).

Here are some of the things high-performers do differently:

1. More likely to lead customer experience (CX).

86% of high performers say their “organization leads customer experience initiatives across the business” [vs. 81% of moderates and 72% of underperformers].

2. More sensitive to customer expectations.

92% of high performers say “customer expectations are changing our digital strategies” [vs. 85% of moderates and 74% of underperformers].

3. Adapt to innovation more easily.

Just 31% of high performers say they “struggle to innovate our marketing technology, tactics, and strategies [vs. 33% of moderates and 48% of underperformers].

4. More likely to personalize messages.

83% of high performers “personalize messages based on e-commerce actions” [vs. 80% of moderates and 75% of underperformers].

5. More likely to partner with IT.

80% of high performers “make technology purchasing decisions with IT [vs. 77% of moderates and 70% of underperformers]. (Psst! Remember this Gartner statistic bandied about?)

6. More sensitive to customers with support tickets.

69% of high performers “suppress marketing to customers with open service cases [vs. 64% of moderates and 58% of underperformers].

7. More likely to use data to drive CX.

47% of high performers “are completely satisfied in their ability to create more relevant experiences with customer data” [vs. 35% of moderates and 8% of underperformers].

8. More likely to measure results as they happen.

71% of high performers “say they can measure campaign performance in real-time” [vs. 67% of moderates and 55% of underperformers].

9. More likely to automate marketing attribution.

67% of high performers “say their measurement and attribution is automated [vs. 65% of moderates and 61% of underperformers].

Subtle Details Matter to High-Performing Marketers

If you’ve noticed, the percentage difference between high performers and moderate performers is modest – but that’s the point. Anyone can slide by as a moderate performer in marketing. The high performers give their profession just a little bit more effort. It’s a subtle difference but perhaps an important one.

It’s rarely one little thing that, in isolation, makes or breaks marketing. Instead doing all the little things, the right way, and consistently over time adds up to a big difference.

This post by Salesforce summarizes the survey findings and the full report can be downloaded here.

A version of this post was originally published on Sword and the Script.

Image credit: Unsplash and respective study

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