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Innovation Will Drive Marketing Agendas in Times of Uncertainty: Report

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Thierry Nicault, Salesforce
Thierry Nicault, Salesforce

The global player in CRM Salesforce has released the sixth edition of its State of Marketing report which revealed that as technology drives customer expectations to new heights, UAE marketers have emerged as not just messengers, but engagers who foster meaningful customer relationships well beyond the first purchase. The research also found that standards of customer engagement are shifting again, and UAE marketers are finding new ways for innovation in a radically altered landscape.

Today, marketers — along with the rest of the world — are facing a crisis. But as time goes on, business will recover, confidence will increase, and a newfound appreciation for innovation will take root. In addition to expanded online populations, marketers in the UAE also expect that virtual reality and new regulations will also bring transformational impacts by 2030. However, nothing is anticipated more than the new customers and prospects brought online as digital life permeates the global population even more than now.

For this 6th edition of the State of Marketing report, Salesforce collected data from nearly 7,000 marketing leaders across the globe, spanning six continents, just as the COVID-19 crisis emerged. After carefully dissecting the survey results, Salesforce Research deemed that the insights in this report provided significant relevance, value and a helpful guide to marketers as they navigate through these uncertain times.

“The COVID-19 crisis is forcing UAE marketers to rethink every aspect of their business – from strategic priorities and challenges, to the technological and team skills they will need — as they navigate getting back to work during a global crisis, and then continuing to transform the customer experience to be best positioned for success in the years ahead,” said Thierry Nicault, Regional Vice-President for Enterprise Business Unit (EBU), Middle East, Africa, and Central Europe, Salesforce. “The insights in this year’s State of Marketing report are a helpful guide for marketers as they journey to recover and transform their business.”

The trends revealed in the State of Marketing report were collected from marketing leaders from B2B, B2C and B2B2C companies across 30 countries, including 200 respondents from the United Arab Emirates, which showed the following:

  • Marketing Transformation Takes On New Urgency: The expectations and behaviours of consumers, businesses, and society at large are shifting with unprecedented speed and magnitude. Marketers are at the forefront having been increasingly tasked to take a leadership role, with 76% in the UAE leading customer experience initiatives across their companies. This involves a combination of both technological and organisational innovation. In the UAE, engaging customers in real time is the top priority for marketing leaders, while balancing personalisation with customer comfort levels is a top challenge.
  • Customer Data Sets the Stage for Empathetic Marketing: As customers navigate a series of “new normals,” personalised, empathetic engagement has never been more important. Delivering messages and offers that resonate with an individual’s unique needs and expectations requires deep insights. Marketers are shifting how they source and manage customer data and ramping up use of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) that help them make the most of it. In the UAE, marketers use an average of 10 customer data sources and 94% are using AI with the top use case being resolving customer identity.
  • Marketers Double Down on Business Value: As businesses shift from crisis triage to recovery and adaptation, marketers have a unique opportunity to turn trusted customer relationships into business value. Marketers increasingly track metrics like customer satisfaction, digital engagement, and lifetime customer value to gain a holistic picture of what’s working and what isn’t across the customer journey. B2B marketers have a particularly strong role in business growth through account-based marketing (ABM). In the UAE, 44% of marketers track customer lifetime value (LTV) to measure success.

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