Notes from the Salesforce State of Marketing 7th Edition

Every year I read the Salesforce State of Marketing report as one way to stay up to speed on marketing trends. I take notes and distill the salient points. Moving forward, I’ll start sharing them here on this blog.

To access the source of the content below and review the details including sampling method, you can download the report from Salesforce here.

Marketer’s top priorities

  • Innovating
  • Engaging with customers in real time
  • Creating a cohesive customer journey across channels and devices
  • Improving marketing ROI/attribution
  • Improving collaboration

Marketer’s top challenges

  • Engaging with customers in real time
  • Innovating
  • Creating a cohesive customer journey across channels and devices
  • Collaboration
  • Insufficient organizational structures and processes

B2B budget allocations

  • 19% Advertising
  • 16% Tools and technology
  • 15% People
  • 16% Content
  • 14% Events and sponsorships
  • 16% Account-based marketing
  • 4% Other

Channel usage

  • 91% Social media
  • 91% Digital ads
  • 90% Video
  • 88% Digital content
  • 86% Website/app
  • 84% Events and sponsorships
  • 76% Email
  • 69% Mobile
  • 69% Direct mail
  • 66% Audio
  • 53% TV/OTT

It’s surprising to see email that low and direct mail and TV that high.

Over the past year, the channels to see the biggest increases have been video, social media, digital ads, digital content, and website/app.

“Over two-thirds of marketers now describe their cross-channel coordination as dynamic — meaning that messages evolve in a hyperpersonalized manner based on customer actions.”

Customer engagement

“78% of marketers say their customer engagement is data-driven.”

“High performers are far and away more likely than underperformers to be content with their ability to use customer data in creating more relevant customer experiences.”

Data quality

Data quality is still a struggle. Less than half of marketers are satisfied with their customer data, and there have been only slight improvements from 2020 to 2021.


Top metrics reported on

  • Revenue
  • Marketing/sales funnel performance
  • Customer satisfaction analytics
  • Content engagement
  • Acquisition costs

Most valuable metrics

  • Customer satisfaction metrics
  • Revenue
  • Marketing/sales funnel**
  • Content engagement
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV)

Final notes

“80% of marketers say their organization leads customer experience initiatives across the business.” Which is important because “80% of customers agree the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.”

Marketers say ABM is a cornerstone of overall marketing strategy.

“Video content — be it preproduced or livestreamed — is extraordinarily popular, with more than nine in 10 marketers at least planning its use.”


“While creativity, content, and communication are the most common elements of marketing organizations’ curriculums, they are provided by only a minority of employers.”

“Even less common is training on interpersonal skills like emotional intelligence, the data science that underpins digital customer engagement and attribution, and perhaps the most important skill of all in 2021: resiliency.”

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