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Marketing Budgets Increase For Third Year

Marketing budgets are continuing to rise with budgets increasing to 12% of company revenue in 2016, from 11% in 2015, according to a survey by Gartner.

Fifty-seven percent of marketing leaders surveyed expect their budgets will increase further in 2017. However, 14% of marketers say they are bracing for budget cuts, up from 3% just two years ago.

The findings are from Gartner's "2016-2017 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey" that included responses from 377 marketers at companies with more than $250 million in annual revenue in North America and the U.K. The survey took place in July and August 2016 and marks the fifth year that Gartner has surveyed marketers on spending priorities and marketing operations. 

"Marketing is now responsible for critical customer-facing, revenue-generating systems and applications," said Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner, in a release. ”As the marketing leaders' mandate broadens, we are seeing the CMOs' marketing tech spending approach the levels of the CIOs' technology spend."

The top three categories in 2016 marketing spend identified in the survey — web, digital commerce and digital advertising — illustrate how critical digital marketing has become. 

Digital commerce, in particular, is a recurring theme in this and last year's CMO Spend Survey, signaling the continued importance of these initiatives to marketing leaders. The marketing leaders surveyed said they spend at least 8% of the budget on digital commerce. 

"Digital commerce matters to marketers on multiple levels, from driving incremental revenue, to measuring attributable performance, to gaining customer insight through direct engagement," Sorofman said. "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."

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