Did you know?

Last year, 62% of companies predicted an increase in budget and headcount for their customer advocacy programs?

The RO Innovation team, and our customers, were curious how that prediction actually panned out. So recently, we asked a bunch of Customer Advocacy professionals about it. What we found out was fascinating.

Customer Advocacy Programs: Staff Size Benchmarks

While over half of programs predicted an increase in headcount dedicated to their customer advocacy programs, in reality, only 37% actually saw additional staff members added to their teams this year. This is frustrating, especially to those who already feel overworked and understaffed. In fact, nearly 80% of customer advocacy teams are 4 people or less. While most teams may remain small (but mighty) in 2018, with the right set of technology integrations and best practice strategies to execute top program priorities, it extends the capabilities and ability to leverage advocacy with a broader team of people who know your customers best.

Customer Advocacy Programs: Budget Benchmarks

We were happier to see the benchmark in this area match a bit closer to the prediction than in the headcount category. Of those that responded to our survey, 58% received a positive budget increase for their program in 2018. In fact, the standard customer marketing budget is somewhere around the $150,000 mark. However, we know the size and maturity of a customer advocacy program plays a role in how big the budget is. So, we broke the average program budget ranges down by company size as well:

  • Small company: $100,000 or less
  • Mid-size company: $50,000-$300,000
  • Enterprise/Large company: $100,000-$500,000+

Want a bigger budget? Here’s the secret.

Research shows that dedicated staff and resources dramatically improve customer advocacy outcomes. Furthermore, customer advocacy teams that are able to tie moderate to significant revenue impact from their efforts tend to at a minimum maintain, but usually increase future customer advocacy program investments.

So ask yourself, is your program up to par? Does it align with some of this benchmark data? Do you have the metrics, reports and strategies in place to ensure bigger investments in your program next year?

The group of your peers who excel in growing their programs and increasing corporate investment into customer advocacy initiatives will be sharing the secrets to their success at the RO Elevate Customer Summit this fall. Trust us, you won’t want to miss what they’re about to say…so get yourself registered before it’s sold out!

Nichole Auston
Customer Marketing Director at RO Innovation
Nichole Auston is the Customer Marketing Director at RO Innovation. With a background in digital marketing and nearly a decade of experience managing marketing programs for a variety of SaaS companies, she’s passionate about sharing insights, best practices and stories about sales enablement and customer reference management, and the people and technology that power it.
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