Customer retention and advocacy are gaining a larger share of marketing budgets, as chief marketing officers shift their spending from the traditional focus on customer acquisition, according to a new study published by The CMO Club, a community of senior marketing executives, in partnership with IBM. “Marketing is a (Buyer) Journey, Not a Destination, a CMO Solution Guide,” found that CMOs are increasing their budgets and allocating more to the entire customer journey, rather than individual channels.

The CMO Club describes the shift toward customer retention and advocacy as one of the most prominent industry trends uncovered in its survey. “Traditionally, marketing has been focused on awareness—reach and frequency, staying on message, and stuffing the top of the purchase funnel. However, the research revealed that today’s CMO is much more focused on investing across the entire customer journey from discovery to advocacy—with an understanding that journeys have changed dramatically. Overall, marketing budgets were reported up, due to either strategic funds or strong organic increases, but so are expectations. Furthermore, CMOs are planning to increase their spending across every stage of the buyer journey over the next two years by an average of 50 percent,” the Club reports.

In fact, its research shows that 57 percent of respondents expect their budgets to increase over the next two to three years. Furthermore, the ability to show quantifiable returns on investments have untapped access to strategy and innovation budgets that were previously unavailable.

The CMO Club and IBM surveyed 100 CMOs for the study, and solicited feedback from eight respected marketing executives on the research and the marketplace. Click here to download the full study.