A couple of months ago the industry analyst firm Gartner published research suggesting that most companies in the US and Europe have increased their marketing budget over the past year. In fact, the Gartner analysis suggests that marketing budgets in 2022 are now 9.5% of total revenue – compared to 6.5% last year.
That is a large chunk of the total revenue of any business to be focused on marketing. Of course marketing has a value – it is often how customers hear about your services and products, but I think there should also be an important focus on how customers interact with your brand. This is the best form of marketing, but it is not usually included in the official marketing budget.
Think about all the day to day basic services your business needs. Accounting, IT, HR, and facilities. That’s all internal. Your customers don’t see any of those services, but they do experience delays and mistakes when these internal processes go wrong.
Secondly though, what about the customer service process? A great customer experience can lead to increased loyalty and even advocacy – that’s when your customer loves your brand so much they tell friends and family about it. Nobody can buy that kind of advertising with a marketing budget.
Planning those customer interactions and ensuring they are so good that the customer can be transformed into a fan is another marketing process that isn’t captured in the official budget.
Gartner says that marketing spending is up significantly, but think about your existing customer base. How they experience your brand is far more important than the marketing spend, yet how many executives are partnering these budgets together?
I think they should be. Our CXperts team covers a wide range of customer processes. We can build customer care solutions, social media moderation, sales, technical support, back office, and collections.
The key point here is that how a customer experiences your brand, how they feel after every interaction, is not just as a result of the spend on marketing. Marketing can draw in potential customers, but your social media engagement, customer service processes, and sales team all create the actual impression of your brand. Combine this with all those basic back office services and there is a lot more than just marketing spend that is influencing how customers see your company and services.