Customer marketers are the rising stars of marketing teams according to The State of Customer Marketing 2017, a research report conducted by customer marketing advisory firm Koyne Marketing. Influitive, the advocate marketing experts, commissioned the report, which surveyed over 200 CEOs, heads of marketing, and customer success leaders primarily from B2B companies.
The new benchmark research reveals that:
Customer marketing is on the rise. 93% of organizations expect that their customer marketing efforts will take on greater importance, and 62% will increase their staff or budgets in the area in 2017.
There’s more to be done. Only 61% were satisfied with the results of current customer marketing efforts, which represents a significant opportunity for growth in the customer marketing arena.
A stronger connection to revenue is possible. Less than half of those surveyed said that their customer marketing efforts were tied directly to revenue metrics – including cross sells, upsells, and account renewals.
“It is exciting to see that organizations expect customer marketing to increase in importance and budget commitment, and not surprising that there is a gap to realize the potential,” said Mark Organ, Founder and CEO of Influitive. “Customer marketing as a function is professionalizing, adopting new ideas, people, strategies, processes and technologies. I have seen this same trend firsthand with the demand generation function a decade ago, and believe customer marketing is similarly transforming into an area of vital importance.”
The report also identified that the skills customer marketers need to succeed are changing too. Companies identified three main skills as vital to the success of modern customer marketing efforts: relationship building, communication, and customer service.
“The skills required from customer marketers are more akin to what’s traditionally needed from a star sales representative,” said Steve Gershik, CEO of Koyne Marketing. “Today’s customer is looking for far more than just a transaction with a brand. So, modern marketing organizations need to hire customer marketers who can focus on deep, authentic relationship building.”
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