CMO Money Moves: Email And The Martech Budget

The CMO survey released by Gartner last week showed that marketing budgets have declined to 11.2% of average company revenue, compared with 12.1% two years ago. But martech now takes up 29% of those budgets -- outdoing agencies, paid media and labor.

Email is included in a bucket called “digital workhouses,” that now comprises 25% of the average marketing spend. That group also includes paid search, organic search and websites.

And the martech shopping list is topped by email marketing platforms, web content management and digital marketing analytics, Gartner adds. 

Those details were probably lost in some reports, given that programmatic advertising is a sexier topic. But they bear further scrutiny.

They show that email, while not always top of mind, is a critical part of the CMO’s toolkit.

But here’s a warning to email marketers who believe high open and click rates will secure their jobs. According to another CMO survey, by Forbes Insights and the Trade Desk, the five most important metrics that prove the value of marketing to the business are:

  • Return on marketing investment — 31%
  • Customer loyalty and retention — 31%
  • Sales revenue — 28% 
  • Customer acquisition cost — 25%



Customer lifetime value — 24%

Here are the bottom five, viewed as "vanity" metrics:

  • Unique visitors and pages per visit — 11%
  • Traffic by device — 11% 
  • Traffic by channel — 11% 
  • Bounce rate — 10% 
  • Feed subscribers — 9%

That aside, this study shows 86% of CMOs are boosting their investments in marketing technology over the next year. And 46% say those budgets will increase by at least 25%.

However, those expenditures aren’t their main concern. They are far more concerned about efficiency in marketing (46%), and the customer experience (42%). Investment in technology is cited by 41%, and brand awareness by 39%.

CMOs seem to be aligned with their bosses in the C suite in terms of goals.

CMOs see the top goals of their firms as increasing revenue, new customer acquisition and improving the customer experience. 

CMOs say their jobs have changed in the last few years in these ways:

  • More digital and analytics — 42%
  • Driving more overall business growth — 36% 
  • Significantly gained importance — 33% 
  • More accountability — 32% 
  • More cross-functional — 32%
  • More customer-focused — 31%

Meanwhile, back to Gartner. That study shows that CMOs expect 18% of their marketing spends to be focused on the customer experience. But customer retention and growth have fallen behind marketing technology, digital business transformation and innovation. Customer acquisition is seen by only 16% as a top-three capability. 

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