Some 65% of marketers expect to decrease their annual budget and 86% predict their marketing goals will become more difficult to reach this year.
Investment in digital marketing and SEO are top of mind as companies rethink budgets and prepare to make cuts in areas such as paid media and reduction in headcount, according to data from Conductor.
Conductor aggregated responses from 317 respondents, with 24% in B2B, 12% in retail, 11% in healthcare, and 10% in media. The remaining 43% were distributed across travel and hospitality, consumer technology, financial services, insurance, automotive, ecommerce-only, manufacturing and other industries.
About 91% of marketers participating in the study predict their marketing budgets will decrease or remain static, given the COVID-19 crisis. Of those, 27% believe budgets will remain the same.
Despite lowered budgets, 40% say their marketing goals will increase, while 26% say their goals will decrease slightly and 32% anticipate goals will stay the same.
More than one-third of markets said that in the event of a recession would increase investments in low-cost channels like SEO, with some 58% of marketers say they would lower their budgets and 34% will increase investment in low cost channels like SEO.
Some 63% of marketers predict SEO will become more important, while 4% said SEO will decrease in importance. Some 13% do not know.
About 66% said SEO was a top-performing channel in 2019, paid search at 50%, email marketing at 50%, content marketing at 36%, digital advertising at 36%, paid media at 18%, organic social at 14, and webinars at 11%.