Brands are not Walking the Talk on Customer Experience Budgets

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Leapfrog Marketing Institute’s 2017 Planning Report explores marketers’ commitment to customer experience, ROI accountability, and the differences between B-to-B and B-to-C companies

2017 Planning Report Infographic

2017 Planning Report Infographic

The fact that only two out of five executives report having a dedicated customer experience budget means CMOs must work harder to bring their enterprises in line with customer expectations or risk losing to more agile competitors.

The customer journey is a top priority for marketing executives but few have created a dedicated customer experience (CX) budget for their brands, according to the 2017 Planning Report from the Leapfrog Marketing Institute, the research arm of performance marketing solutions company Leapfrog.

One surprising result in the report finds that only 38 percent of executives have a budget dedicated specifically for the customer experience. The good news is 60 percent of those who do have dedicated CX budgets have increased them since last year, and an additional 9 percent have a dedicated CX budget for the first time. Only 7 percent report a decrease in budget since last year.

“With the growing proliferation of devices and screens, CMOs know the importance of building relevant and personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints,” says Jason Wadler, chair of the Leapfrog Marketing Institute and EVP at Leapfrog. “The fact that only two out of five executives report having a dedicated customer experience budget means CMOs must work harder to bring their enterprises in line with customer expectations or risk losing to more agile competitors.”

The 2017 Planning Report focuses on how budget owners are evolving their strategic and financial plans to become more consumer-centric. It explores the growing alignment between marketing and technology, and the budgetary planning process in which companies build their customer experiences. In addition, the report examines the planning differences between B-to-B and B-to-C companies.

Additional insights from the report include:

Measurable ROI
Budget accountability for ROI is surprisingly low, especially given the growing need for marketers to deliver results that boost financial metrics. Only 44 percent state that greater than half of their budgets are accountable for measurable ROI.

Collaboration with Internal Teams
Reinforcing the growing collaboration among key business partners, seventy percent of executives work with their internal partners on higher level strategic activities, such as creating financial plans (37 percent) or prioritizing projects (33 percent), compared to the 19 percent who worked more tactically with their partners to simply establish budget allocations.

Financial Planning: B-to-B versus B-to-C
There are also meaningful distinctions in how B-to-B and B-to-C companies collaborate on their strategic and financial plans, and their focus on dedicated CX budgets.

For B-to-C companies, the technology team is a prominent partner (60 percent), just behind marketing and finance. For B-to-B companies, the sales team ranks as the second highest (68 percent), even exceeding finance in priority.

As for a dedicated CX budget, 32 percent of respondents at B-to-B companies cited they have one, compared to 51 percent of B-to-C companies. Yet, 65 percent of B-to-B companies have shifted budgets to be consumer-centric, compared to only 40 percent of B-to-C companies.

To gather this data, the Institute analyzed survey responses from 119 executives who are responsible for marketing budgets. The Planning Report also provides perspectives from Leapfrog Marketing Institute Advisory Panel members: Deborah (Deb) Hall-Lefevre, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Couche-Tard; Bill Pearce, Assistant Dean at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business; and Tony Wells, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer North America for Schneider Electric.

MORE INFORMATION: To view the full study, visit http://www.leapfrogmarketinginstitute.leapfrog.com.

About the Leapfrog Marketing Institute
The Leapfrog Marketing Institute nurtures thought leadership and commentary about marketing in a digital world, with a specific focus on consumer-focused experiences and omnichannel conversion. Along with an Advisory Panel comprised of senior marketing and technology practitioners, and professors from premier universities, the Leapfrog Marketing Institute publishes white papers, develops research reports, and hosts events for CMOs and industry influencers. Its research has been featured in AdAge, eMarketer, The Economist, and CIO Magazine. The Leapfrog Marketing Institute is powered by Leapfrog, a Performance Marketing Solutions Company that has helped leading brands grow digital market share, acquire new customers, and deliver profitable sales for over 20 years.

About Leapfrog
Leapfrog, a Performance Marketing Solutions Company, that has helped leading brands to grow digital market share, acquire new customers, and deliver profitable sales for over 20 years. Our easy-to-integrate LFX Conversion Platform connects the consumer journey unlocking marketing intelligence that fuels omni-channel media buying strategies and the targeting of real-time, relevant consumer experiences that compel consumers to convert to customers. Leapfrog analyzes performance and consumer behavior to plan and predict with the purpose of driving continuous optimization. For more information, visit http://www.leapfrogonline.com.

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Evan Venie
Leapfrog Online
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Aaron Mays
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