Another year has come to a close and we take a look back at what 2014 results tell us about marketing. By analyzing what strategies were used this year, and which ones seem to be getting a reaction from consumers, we will be better able to shape our marketing campaigns for 2015.

While we would certainly spend countless hours collaborating all of this data ourselves, we fortunately don’t have to because SalesForce has done it for us (thank you!). To get information from the inside, they spoke with CMOs and other marketing powerhouses from a variety of industries. Here are their findings:

What Matters Most?

The big dogs have spoken and 86% of them agree that the single most important part of a marketing strategy is the customer journey. It should be cohesive from start to finish. The funny thing, though, is that even though most of them believe this is crucial to their success, only 29% think the journey they currently give their customers is effective. So it would seem there is definitely some work to be done in that area for 2015.

Speaking of success, CMOs review so many different metrics to see if their money is being spent in the right places. But which of these numbers do they care about the most? As you would probably guess, it’s their return on investment. They want to know they are actually making money when they are spending it. Go figure.

What About Technology?

In today’s digital marketing world, there is an abundance of technology that companies use to make the process easier and more efficient. But are all of these technologies really worth your time? Probably not. However, if you are cutting out some expenses, you definitely won’t want to cut out these:

  • Marketing Analytics – When 85% of CMOs consider this critical, you better be using it. A majority (53%) of them even rate this technology as extremely effective.
  • Content Management – As far as effectiveness goes, content management takes the cake at 57%. So it’s not a surprise that 77% of CMOs consider this a vital aspect of any marketing strategy.
  • Social Publishing Tools – This is another digital technology that marketers consider extremely effective—tying for the top spot at 57%. That being said, only 48% of CMOs consider this resource as a must-have. Interesting, right? You would think the most effective would be the most important.

Is Email Still Essential?

Not only is it still a crucial part of and marketing campaign, 68% of CMOs base their entire marketing strategy around it—even though 64% of them are sending out less than one million emails per year. So which emails are the most effective? As far as revenue is concerned, abandoned cart emails are, garnering an average of $36.02 per click.

Where Does Mobile Marketing Stand?

Mobile marketing is clearly earning its place on every marketing strategy out there, but it still has a way to go. CMOs say that nearly half of the emails they send are opened on a mobile device, and 51% of them think that their mobile marketing efforts will give them an impressive ROI. Forty-seven percent of these companies even have an app currently available to their customers. However, it would seem like the biggest missed opportunity this year was taking advantage of location-based mobile technology, considering only 30% are using it.

Are CMOs Using Social Media?

It’s no surprise that many CMOs take their social media accounts very seriously, with 46% of them making social media the core of their campaigns. So which sites are they using to attract customers? Eighty-nine percent use Facebook, with Twitter close behind at 87%. After that comes LinkedIn (75%) and YouTube (72%).

There you have it: The marketing efforts of 2014 in a nutshell. What did we learn? Email is still relevant, mobile marketing is not being used to its full potential, and the customer experience reigns supreme.

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