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Customer experience focus driving up marketing budgets - report

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8th May 2014
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Marketing budgets will see a 10% boost this year, in line with the increase in customer experience efforts.

A new survey from Gartner has revealed that marketing investments will continue to rise in 2014 at a similar rate to 2013, which also saw double-digit percentage growth.

Gartner's Digital Marketing Spending report is based on a survey of almost 300 US-based workers, representing organisations across a spectrum of industries: financial services and insurance, high-tech, communications, manufacturing, media, retail, government and healthcare.

The report also set out to discover what this budget is likely to be spent on. Last year, more than one in ten respondents to the same survey said that over half their marketing allowence was spent on digital, meaning it took a 28.5% share of the total budget overall. This is up a good 3% on 2012, and the trend shows no sign of abating.

Yvonne Genovese, managing vice president at Gartner comments: "Marketing leaders are securing bigger budgets to define markets, develop offerings, and attract, acquire and retain customers. Digital marketing is taking an increasing share of the marketing budget with annual digital marketing operating budgets totalling 3.1 per cent of a company's revenue in 2013, as compared with 2.6 per cent in 2012, representing a 20 per cent increase."

This year, marketers are also planning to throw some considerable cash in the direction mobile marketing. Michael McGuire, research vice president at Gartner says this is in line with the growing popularity of smartphones. "Until now, many marketers have taken a cautious approach to mobile because it involves so many variables such as different operating systems, devices and carriers. Now that more than 50% of American adults are smartphone owners, marketers are compelled to develop mobile strategies that ensure their products and services can be found, and purchased, by consumers on the go."

This proliferation of proliferation of new marketing channels may well account for the rise in the number of chief customer officers. Gartner found that over three quarters of companies now have someone in this role or an equivalent. Laura McLellan, research vice president at Gartner says: "Customer experiences with a brand or organisation span so many channels — both online and off — that customers have come to expect consistent experiences, no matter where an interaction initially takes place. Customer touchpoints include websites, mobile apps, social profiles, directory listings, on-site search, email interactions, communities, call centre and more; hence, the increasing popularity of the role of the chief customer officer to help guide the customer right through the buying cycle and beyond."

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