SAN FRANCISCO: Social and mobile are the top spending priorities for marketers, who also indicate that the customer journey is now critical to business success, a global survey of 5,000 industry practitioners has revealed.

Now in its second year, the latest State of Marketing report from Salesforce, the customer relationship management company, found 70% of global marketers plan to increase their budgets on social media advertising.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) now view social as a critical enabler of products and services, reflecting a huge rise from the 25% who held this opinion in last year's report.

Mobile is also increasingly being integrated into their overall marketing strategies, according to the report, which found 68% are now doing this, up from 48% in 2014, while 65% plan to spend more on mobile push notifications.

Overall, 84% of respondents say they plan to increase or maintain their marketing budgets in 2015, but one of the other key highlights is a "massive shift" from campaign-focused marketing to personalised one-to-one customer journeys.

Global marketers believe mobile apps, marketing analytics and customer relationship management tools are the most effective technologies for creating a cohesive customer journey, the report said.

"The future of marketing is building cohesive customer journeys across sales, service and marketing interactions," commented Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

"It is more important than ever to connect with each person interacting with your brand, and personalise journeys based on their actions and preferences," he added.

Finally, as numerous other studies have demonstrated, email continues to be regarded as a key digital marketing engine.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of marketers agree that email is core to their business while 92% say email produces a return on investment.

And on their opinion about the key metric for measuring email marketing success, nearly half (47%) cite click-through rates while 43% say conversion rate is key.

Data sourced from Salesforce; additional content by Warc staff