Gartner has said that marketing budgets are continuing to increase in the US and UK, and half of marketers expect their budgets to increase further next year.
The analyst’s 2016-2017 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey details findings from over 370 marketers and companies with over $250m in annual revenue, and found marketing budgets rose by 1% of company revenue over the last year.
A smaller number (14%) of marketers say they are expecting their budget to be cut, however, which is also higher than two years ago.
Although marketing budgets have, on average, increased, marketing leaders have many demands on their resources. The top three categories in 2016 marketing spend were identified in the survey as being web, digital commerce and digital advertising.
We are seeing the CMOs’ marketing tech spending approach the levels of the CIOs’ technology spend
Digital commerce is a “recurring theme” in this and last year’s CMO Spend Survey, with marketers spendnig at least 8% of budget on this area in 2016.
Digital commerce investments remain a high priority with marketing leaders as an important way to meet company growth objectives, particularly in consumer packaged goods (CPGs), Gartner said.
Despite ad effectiveness concerns, as well as a rise in the number of adblocking software users, digital advertising remains a strong area. This is highlighted as 65% of those surveyed said they plan to increase their spending in this area.
Elements that contribute to this increase include a decline in organic social in favour of paid social and the rising importance of video, according to the survey.
CMO martech spend reaching CIO levels
“Marketing is now responsible for critical customer-facing, revenue-generating systems and applications. As the marketing leaders’ mandate broadens, we are seeing the CMOs’ marketing tech spending approach the levels of the CIOs’ technology spend,” said Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner.
“Digital commerce matters to marketers on multiple levels, from driving incremental revenue, to measuring attributable performance, to gaining customer insight through direct engagement,” he added.
“In addition, we’re seeing marketing leaders look beyond traditional storefronts and shopping carts, investing in rich commerce experiences, experimenting with the Internet of Things and treating digital commerce as a multichannel strategy.”
Over the last few years, Gartner said it has witnessed an expansion of the CMO mandate, from what was largely a promotional role to what is now often seen as the growth engine for the business.
“In more than 30% of organisations, at least some aspects of sales, IT and customer experience now report into the CMO,” Sorofman added.