A few months ago we released our State of Customer Marketing Report for 2022.

Now, as the year is closing up, and plans are being made for the new year, we wanted to share this sneak peek into customer marketing budgets.

Learn about the trends of how they’ve been used in 2022 in order to set your team up for success in 2023.

We cover:

The annual customer marketing budget

Let's begin by drilling down into the annual budget available to customer marketers. When we surveyed our community, we found that most answers were within the $100,000- $500,000 range at 30.7%, with the next highest percentage being within the $25,000-50,000 range at 23.1%. This was followed by the $10,000-25,000 range (15.4%).

Pie chart showing the breakdown of budgets

When analyzing the results, there was no correlation between the size of a company and the budget available to them. Mid-growth companies had budgets ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. This was also where those that said they didn’t have a budget set. Late growth/scale-up companies ranged from $0 to $500,000. Enterprise companies had budgets ranging from $25,000 to $500,000.

Where is the customer marketing budget being spent?

Now that we know the scope of budgets available to customer marketers, we asked our survey participants, “Where is the majority of your budget spent?” (participants could pick more than one answer).

Bar chart showing the percentage of each tool that the budget is spent on

Again, answers varied with no dominating result. The two highest answers were software and tools (20%), and video creation/editing (17.5%). These were followed by conferences (15%) and written content (10%), with advertising (7.5%), customer research (7.5%), and design (5%) bringing up the rear.

Budget is one of the key areas that shows customer marketing is still a relatively new position. There is no cohesive bracket of budget in which customer marketing currently fits. The importance of customer marketing isn’t fully realized, with companies investing a varied range of money into these departments and their programs.

Perhaps with an increase in the overall budget, customer marketing teams can invest in tools that help streamline the process of managing their programs, such as advocacy. The role of customer marketing is an important one for both a company’s customers and for things like overall revenue and growth.

With this increase in budget, teams can optimize their time by taking advantage of these tools to focus on the customer-business dynamic more, which is what customer marketing most often relies on.

Those that selected ‘Other’ said the majority of their budget is spent on things like swag, gifting, non/conference events, Customer Advisory Boards, and peer reviews.

Customer marketing pain points and budget

When considering how much is spent on marketing budgets, from 6 to 10% of a company's revenue, its curious to see how much of a variety customer marketing budgets are, and how little the size of a company (and consequently revenue size) impacts customer marketing budgets.

When we spoke to our survey participants about any particular pain points they experienced in their position, a number of them cited both a lack of resources and a lack of budget as the biggest parts impacting the ability to do their role.

Here were some of the comments made:

“Resources mainly — people put a lot more emphasis on demand and performance marketing at my organization, so those teams get more people, $$, etc.”  
“It comes down to resources. As a team of one, I can only do so much, and I spend a lot of time on execution. If I had a team, I could focus more on strategy over execution.”
“It comes down to budget (or a lack thereof).”    
“Resources. Really nothing more to add here. I need more people, more budget for tools, and more time.” -Aunalisa Arellano, Head of Customer Marketing at Filevine

Looking at these, it's important to discuss why customer marketing might be having these kinds of issues when it comes to being given the support needed to carry out their tasks.

Do people understand customer marketing?

We wanted to ask the customer marketers who took the survey whether they felt other internal teams and stakeholders understand their role. With 53.9% saying some teams and stakeholders do, while some others don’t, it’s clear there’s a way to go before customer marketing is universally understood.

There was a close divide between those that answered ‘no, it’s a constant challenge’ (26.9%), and ‘yes, they have a good understanding’ (15.4%). Only 3.8% answered ‘yes, 100%’.

Chart showing the percentage of internal teams and their understanding of the customer marketing role

With this inconsistency, it’s not surprising that the variety in resources and budget is as big as it is. Improving the awareness of what customer marketers do, and the impact it has is such an important part of allowing customer marketing to function effectively.

Without a clear understanding, customer marketers aren’t being given the chance to utilize their skills. Improving the customer marketing function comes directly out of businesses having a clear understanding of the role.

Is customer marketing valued?

The role of customer marketing is getting bigger each year and has more impact on a business's success. But, with the role being a newer addition, we wanted to see if this importance was being recognized. We asked, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how much do you feel like your role as a customer marketer is valued at your company?” (0=Least valued, 10=Most valued).

It was nice to see that a higher percentage (73.1%) rated it at a 6 or above, resulting in an average of 6.6/10.

Rating of how valued customer marketers feel with an average of 6.6

When comparing how valued customer marketers feel, to whether or not they are understood by

other teams and stakeholders, there was a clear correlation. Those that said ‘Yes, they have a good understanding’ wound up with an average of 9/10. Those that said ‘Some do, some don’t’ had an average of 5.2/10. Those that said ‘No, it’s a constant challenge’ had an average of 5/10.

These results speak for themselves. Without stakeholders and other teams taking the time to learn about customer marketing, this team will continue to go undervalued, and as such, underutilized.

Despite the divide in understanding, it seems that most customer marketers do feel that their position is being valued within their company. It’s an interesting dichotomy between the two results, as it suggests that some customer marketers still feel valued in the role, despite other parts of the business not having a solid understanding of what exactly customer marketers do. Perhaps in the following years, we’ll see these two figures become more aligned.

Want to read more?

This article is a sneak peek into our State of Customer Marketing Report for 2022.

You can download the full report using the button below and unlock a whole 70+ pages of unique insights into the current state of customer marketing and how it fits in with the rest of the market. Set yourself and your team up for success.