As marketers continue to search for answers regarding where they stand in relation to others in the sector, obfuscation continues to inhibit the advancement of customer loyalty across all verticals. Without a proper set of benchmarks, brands are essentially operating in the dark, with little to no knowledge about what is truly a sophisticated strategy.
In a recent survey of over 1,300 North American marketers, Marketo sought to shed light on the topic and dive into what constitutes marketing maturity—as well as which brands are leading the way in this regard. The Marketing Benchmark Report is the result of this survey.
A large part of this confusion is owed to the proliferation of marketing technologies (martech) purporting to be the latest, greatest revolution in the industry. However, effective leveraging of the correct technologies can create scalable processes capable of engaging and retaining entire market segments with minimal integration friction. This integration is so crucial that nearly all surveyed (96 percent) agreed that it is critical for a new vendor to be able to integrate with existing systems.
Much of the advantage of these martech systems lies in the ability to personalize messaging and offers. As customers become used to the CX found at giants like Amazon or Starbucks, they expect nothing less than seamless personalization, with smaller brands scrambling to keep up.  Almost half (44 percent) of surveyed marketers agree: having relevant content for each audience is the largest challenge for their program as it grows. The backbone for this relevant content is personalization technology, and as we move further into 2017, this level of data analysis is becoming a requirement, rather than a luxury.
Omnichannel engagement has been a buzzword in marketing for years, yet only now are companies effectively utilizing these streams to engage customers on a variety of channels, specifically mobile. In spite of the clear demand for mobile engagement, only 42 percent of North American marketers have a mobile-optimized, and only about a quarter are planning to incorporate mobile advertising into their strategy.
The changing face of martech presents a moving target for marketers across every industry. It’s clear from the Marketo report that as the number of available technologies continues to rapidly increase, brands are struggling to keep stride with the moving target of customer engagement.

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