Marketers are increasing their investments in the customer experience, with 50% of companies planning to boost their marketing budgets next year, according to a Gartner survey.
The survey noted that typically, companies are investing 10.2% of their annual 2014 revenue on overall marketing activities, with the digital marketing spending averaging a quarter of the marketing budget this year.
Gartner research director Jake Sorofman said: "The amount of the marketing expense budget spent on customer experience in 2014 is remarkably consistent across all key survey demographics, averaging 18 percent.
"The survey also found that the highest marketing technology investment in 2014 is for customer experience.
"Customer experience is also considered by many companies to be the top innovation project, just edging out product innovation."
There will be a proportionate rise in the marketing expense budget with percentage of revenue, as companies with revenue of $5bn or more reported 11%, compared to 9.2% for those with revenue range between $500m and $1bn.
About 46% respondents are spending less than 9% of revenue on marketing, 24% spending between 9-13% and 30% spending over 13% of revenue.
Half of companies seeking a rise reported that their average 2015 boost will be 10.4%, with outperforming competitors expected 13.6% rise.
Gartner research vice president Laura McLellan said: "The line between digital and traditional marketing continues to blur.
"For marketers in 2014, it’s less about digital marketing than marketing in a digital world. Hence, marketers manage a much more balanced and integrated marketing mix than in previous years, which were characterized by online and offline silos.
"The resulting digital experience moves customers toward a more self-service buying model, allowing reductions in sales budgets that were designed around older, physical models."
Gartner managing vice president Yvonne Genovese said: "Gartner’s 2014 CEO Survey found that digital marketing was the No. 1-ranked CEO priority for technology-enabled business capability for investment during the next five years.
"It therefore comes as a little surprise that the digital marketing spending survey found that over 60 percent of companies that justified an addition to the marketing budget for digital marketing obtained incremental funding from elsewhere in the organisation."