Fast Facts: Data woes slow marketing’s 1-to-1 shift

A new study shows Canadian marketers are moving to personalized communications, but data still proves overwhelming.

A recent survey conducted by Salesforce shows the majority of Canada’s marketers are seeing their roles shift out of traditional definitions to better align with the modern customer journey. Today, it’s all about one-to-one communications, regardless of the channel.

But getting the right data to make that work is proving to be a hindrance.

Sixty per cent of the 400 Canadian marketing professionals surveyed agreed that their role was increasingly focused on driving one-to-one communications across multiple channels. Generally, Canadian marketers reported that creating a consistent-but-personalized approach to communication was beneficial to revenue growth (69%) and customer engagement (69%).

When asked to list the biggest obstacles to consistent connected communications, those marketers listed budgetary constraints, an overabundance of channels and data harmonization trouble as their top three (the study did not break out individual stats for these issues). Data obstacles tracked among the top-three obstacles globally as well.

The blind survey was conducted in April 2017 among more than 3,500 marketers worldwide from a number of business sectors. Respondents were not limited to Salesforce customers.

The Salesforce report, its fourth annual State of Marketing, also outlined the technology most Canadian marketers were focused on to drive better one-to-one marketing. Given the list of headaches presented in the study, it’s no surprise that data management platforms top the list.


Globally, the study found that while video marketing had seen increased investment over the last two years in pursuit of stronger one-to-one marketing, email was also seeing increased investment. Within B2C marketing, video marketing saw 141% channel two-year growth, according to respondents, while email marketing saw 106% growth over the same period.

“Email’s number two spot indicates that marketers may be testing new channels in conjunction with proven ones to find combinations that work for their consumers,” the report’s authors said.

Mobile apps ranked third globally at 103% growth from 2015 to 2017.