Salesforce recently released its 2016 State of Marketing Report and its leading takeaway is that top marketing teams are succeeding with a customer journey strategy. In fact, the report states that the high performing marketing teams are 8.8 times more likely than underperforming teams to have adopted a customer journey strategy.

Even more notable, the report also reveals that 88 percent of those high-performing teams feel that a customer journey strategy is critical to the success of their overall marketing efforts. Having a view into the customer journey is valuable in many ways to any organization, regardless of its product or service.

It’s certainly beneficial to sales and marketing teams to understand the stages of the journey and what the consumer is doing at each stage, as they work to move those consumers through their funnels. When you can understand the level of buying intent of your consumers because of where they are on their journey, you are empowered to customize the way you message to them and treat them accordingly.

There are also many additional benefits across an organization. For example, the Salesforce report found that 73 percent of respondents believe that a customer journey strategy has positively impacted their overall customer engagement, among other benefits to retaining happy customers.

Technology Plays a Big Role in Marketing Success

Of course, it’s hard to have a clear picture of a consumer’s journey or market to it accordingly without the right technology solutions in place. And, as you might expect, the report reveals that top teams are 2.4 times more likely than under-performing teams to say that tools and technologies are very effective at creating a cohesive customer journey.

Leading marketing teams recognize that investing in the right tech stack will enable them to be more successful. To that point, the Salesforce report also exposes that 72% of top marketing teams plan to increase their spending on marketing tools and technology over the next two years and that high-performing marketing teams are 2.8 times more likely to substantially increase spending on marketing tools and technology. In fact, 53 percent of high performers qualify as heavy tech adopters, compared to only seven percent of under performers.

That’s a pretty clear message: if you want to build a successful marketing team, technology adoption is crucial. If you’re not allocating budget to technology investment, your marketing team is not going to be competitive.

Some organizations may not have the budget available to invest in all of the technologies they’d like to deploy. And, even when there is sufficient marketing budget available, it can be difficult to determine which technologies would be most beneficial to your marketing organization. If your marketing team has limited budget or is one of the many under performers that are overwhelmed by the myriad choices in the software landscape today, you might want to take a look at the entries and winners for this year’s MarTech Stackies Awards for some inspiration.

The report also revealed that the high-performing marketers are not only using more technology, they are also working with more advanced types of technology, such as predictive intelligence – with 10.7 times as many high-performing marketing teams using predictive intelligence than underperforming teams.

Why Predictive Intelligence?

It is understandable that predictive intelligence tools are rapidly growing in adoption, since they are instrumental in helping marketers understand their consumers’ behavior and likelihood to buy. The Salesforce report points out that seventy-nine percent of high performers currently use predictive intelligence — and 49% report extensive use. In fact, these top teams are 3.6 times more likely than underperforming teams to strongly agree that predictive intelligence and data science are important to their overall marketing strategy.

As website and email personalization capabilities continue to become more sophisticated and readily available to marketers, predictive data becomes increasingly valuable. With the ability to access behavioral data, you can strategically map your messaging to where each consumer is in his or her journey. The Salesforce report illustrates this by revealing that top teams are 4.2 times more likely than under performers to use predictive intelligence or data science to create personalized emails.