According to the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing report, marketers are changing their digital marketing priorities for 2015. While last year marketers scattered their attention across multiple disciplines, this year marketers are focusing on social and mobile channels.

4 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing in 2015 and Beyond

The report surveyed over 5,000 marketers about their budgets, metrics and strategies for 2015. While revenue growth is still the top metric for success, marketers are shifting attention from traditional metrics like conversion rates to metrics that better reflect customer satisfaction.

We’ve read the report and wanted to share our top four takeaways for 2015.

1. Create a Compelling Customer Journey

A “customer journey” is the experience individuals have with your brand, products or services over time from prospect to brand advocate. A cohesive customer journey factors in each person’s personality, how they interact with your messages and how they perceive your company based on actions and preferences.

According to the research, “86% of senior-level marketers say that it’s absolutely critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey.” In order to achieve this, marketers must ask themselves a few questions:

• What channels best reach their audience?
• What positive and negative events have impacted their customers?
• What metrics best measure this information?

Every aspect of your company’s communications should be examined from a customer perspective to ensure that the journey is strategically sound. Then, to measure the effectiveness of various technologies in creating a cohesive customer journey, many marketers are using mobile applications, marketing automation and CRM tools to continue to track and optimize the journey.

2. Make a Move Toward Mobile

Today, mobile is providing an unprecedented opportunity for marketers. With 72% of US online adults sending or receiving personal emails via smartphone at least weekly, and tablets and smartphones increasing the time people spend online, this is fertile ground for attracting new business.

As far as impressive numbers go, “58% of marketers have a dedicated mobile marketing team, 68% have integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy (SMS, push notifications, mobile apps, or location-based functionality) and 61% say the integration as very effective or effective.”

If you’re behind the curve when it comes to mobile, you could run into some problems. The study found that “those who haven’t integrated mobile cite their number-one challenge as creating a personalized cross-channel experience (one-to-one customer journey).” They’re also in the minority of marketers.

Both B2B and B2C reported higher success rates in other channels and technologies with the implementation of mobile marketing. Start optimizing your content for mobile by updating landing pages, your website, apps, social media, and email. These are all adaptable to mobile-friendly layouts.

3. Engage socially with your audience

From 2014 to now, twice as many marketers listed social media as a key revenue source. And compared to 25% in 2014, now 64% of marketers believe social media marketing is a “critical enabler for products or services.”

The numbers don’t lie. This huge increase is an indicator at how successful social media marketing is proving to be. In order to find the right social media channel for your firm, research your customers and see where they are most active. While Facebook was reported as a fan favorite, newer social media sites like Tagged also performed well.

There is also a lot of data on how customers are behaving online. For instance, new information spotlights the weekend as the time when most consumers are engaged with social media. Study how your own business hours and customer engagement times align. If they don’t, make changes so that your social media marketing is more effective.

4. Rethink Your Email Campaigns

Email has been around for a long time, but it’s changing. With mobile usage on the rise, marketers need to think like a customer and figure out how to best tweak their email strategy to harmonize with this industry shift.

For example, newsletters are implemented most often but don’t perform well, while mobile opt-in campaigns are regarded as the most effective, but only used by 26% of marketers.

Optimize your email marketing to use responsive design that works on tablets and phones. Also don’t inundate inboxes with too many messages. A quick way to end up in the spam folder is to overwhelm customers.

Think like a customer, observe technological trends and determine how you like to be spoken to by your favorite brands. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to staying on top of this evolving industry.

Digital marketing continues to change rapidly each year and, for B2B marketers, new business development continues to be the most pressing business challenge. By following these trends, your firm can stay ahead of the competition and focus on the initiatives that will get results.

What is your firm focusing on in 2015? Let us know in the comments below.