Marketers need their customer data platform, email marketing and web content management solutions. In fact, they can't live without them. A new survey says so.

Oracle and Ascend2 surveyed 853 marketers and reported this month that customer data platforms (CDPs), email marketing platforms and web content management systems lead the way for marketing solutions that marketers can't live without. 

Makes sense, right? We send emails. We post content to websites. And we collect data. No shocks there.

“We weren’t surprised that marketers rated email marketing platforms and content management systems among the top three most heavily relied on solutions (36% and 32%, respectively)," Tamara Prewitt, senior director of product marketing at Oracle, told CMSWire. "These content creation, publishing and distribution workhorses have been the mainstay of the martech stack for many years."

Marketers Are Happy, Getting Bigger Budgets

The marketers in the survey hailed from the United States, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom and gave their input between Jan. 10-22. Marketers worked for companies having a yearly revenue of $250 million or more.

And they are a successful bunch, it turns out. According to Oracle's survey, 94% of marketers' 2021 marketing efforts were effective. And nearly half (48%) believe their companies have been exceptionally successful.

Nearly half (48%) of marketers stated their 2021 marketing efforts were "very effective" despite budget cuts and event cancellations caused by the pandemic. And no wonder marketers' prognosis for the future is generally positive: They indicated budgets are expected to climb in 2022, and face-to-face and hybrid events are returning. About 37% of marketers are sure that they will meet their marketing goals, 31% are optimistic and 24% are excited. 

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Marketers Aim for Tailored Content, Loyalty Programs

Where are marketers spending their time? B2B and B2C marketers intend to expand their marketing strategies in the next year to include tailored content and offers, virtual events and consumer loyalty programs. The reliance on virtual events and tailored information is unsurprising, Prewitt said, but the emergence of consumer loyalty programs as "have-to-have" programs was unexpected. Marketers in both B2B (33%) and B2C (43%) recognize that loyal consumers are more inclined to repurchase, recommend more and test a new service.

When asked what additional business apps they would like to extract data from, marketers said that integrating customer service (40%) and customer loyalty (36%) into their martech stack would have the greatest influence on their performance.

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What New Marketing Trends Will Emerge?

Increased data deprecation appears to be driving increases in paid media costs, Prewitt added. Beyond the obvious need to have more data to generate personalized customer experiences, brands will need to push even faster to build zero- and first-party data to reduce reliance on paid targeting sources, she added.

"We believe marketers will look to loyalty and engagement programs to create a better value exchange that encourages customers to share information," Prewitt said. "They’ll also modernize the CDP to collect and aggregate everything the company already knows about its customers. 37% of marketers said they plan to invest most of their 2022 technology budgets on CDP technology, and 26% will invest most of their budget on a loyalty marketing solution."

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