CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019


Gartner’s CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 results have been published.

In general, Marketing budgets are leveling off, however, CMOs are expecting 2019 budgets to increase.

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Key Takeaways

  • Marketing expense budgets leveled off in 2018- on average they were 11.2% of company revenue
  • Marketing technology (MarTech) accounts for 29% of marketing’s budget
  • Innovation investments are one in every six dollars a CMO spends
  • CMOs struggle to align marketing metrics with business priorities

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Marketing Budgets

  • Marketing budgets were 12.1% of company revenue in 2016 and 11.3% in 2017
  • CMOs need to establish a clear and strong correlation between spend and impact on revenue
  • 63% of CMOs expect their budgets will increase in 2019

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Marketing Technology

  • 29% of the marketing budget is allocated to technology
  • MarTech has accounted for an increasingly significant share of marketing expense budgets in recent years
  • Key components of MarTech budgets include: email marketing platforms, web content management and digital marketing analytics platforms
  • 29% of marketing leaders surveyed in this study said they’re currently deploying either a social analytics platform or a lead management platform – 28% deploying advanced analytics and data science tools
  • Labor budgets have taken a slide in 2018, falling from 27% to 24% of marketing expense budgets


CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Advertising

Advertising Dominates the CMO’s Multi-channel Marketing Budget

Respondents cited digital advertising as the third-most-effective marketing channel during the awareness, interest and conversion phases of the customer’s buying journey

  • CMOs spend an average of just over 21% of their marketing budget on advertising
  • 8.9% of advertising spend goes to digital advertising (which includes social, mobile and display advertising)
  • 5.3% of advertising is dedicated to paid search
  • 7.0%of advertising spend is allocated to offline advertising (which includes TV and out-of-home media)
  • Two-thirds of CMOs’ advertising budget are invested in digital channels, including paid search

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Digital Media

Digital Workhorses Account for 25% of CMO Spend

CMOs dedicate a quarter of their budgets to paid and organic search, website, and email. One reason for the continued investment is that they are relatively easy to measure during a time when calculating marketing ROI is all-important. Furthermore, these dependable channels are relatively cost-effective, and organizations usually have no problem finding in-house skills to staff these functions.

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Digital Commerce

Over 9% of the Marketing Budget Is Allocated to Digital Commerce, but CMOs Downplay Its Strategic Importance

  • Digital Commerce spend is up from 8.1% in 2017 to 9.2% of marketing’s budget in 2018.
  • CMO spending on digital commerce is in-line with CEO digitization goals. 62% of respondents said there is a CEO initiative or transformation program underway to make their business more digital

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Marketing Innovation

One in Every $6 in Marketing Is Spent on Innovation

  • 9.3% of CMOs said that marketing innovation will be vital to the delivery of their company’s marketing strategy over the next 18 months
  • In 2017, CMOs reported that 10% of their marketing budgets went toward innovation
  • In 2018, CMOs allocated 16% of their total marketing budget to marketing innovation
  • CMOs intend to grow this marketing innovation investment — 63% expect to increase innovation spend within their organization in 2019

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Customer Analytics

CMOs Prioritize Customer Experience and Customer Analytics

  • CMOs cite CX as one of the top-three capabilities vital to their marketing strategies in the coming 18 months
  • CMOs estimate that 18% of their overall marketing budgets are allocated to customer experience initiatives
  • CX spending is embedded across multiple marketing activities, such as the website and digital commerce

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Aligning Marketing Spend to Revenue

CMOs Struggle to Align Marketing Metrics With Business Priorities

  • CMOs surveyed cited “awareness” as the most important metric beating out ROI, market share, and measures of customer value and satisfaction
  • Media companies value awareness the most, with 39.4% of respondents placing this metric in their top 5 – compared with only 26.9% for high-tech companies
  • Financial services companies rate ROI as the most important metric, with 45.7% placing this in their top 5 – 19.4% for high-tech companies
  • 61% of CMOs currently cite ROI as a key metric that informs the marketing strategy, but only half that number place ROI as one of their top five strategic key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Only 51% of CMOs say they track customer acquisition costs
  • Only 43%track customer retention or churn rates

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Personalization

Personalization Prevails, but Means Different Things to Different People

  • 87% of marketing leaders currently personalize their marketing campaigns and communication, and more than half have increased their personalization investment since 2017
  • Overall, CMOs spend an average of 14.2% of their budget on personalization efforts, with double-digit percentage averages across all industries and business models

CMO Spend Research Results 2018–2019 – Survey Details

The Gartner research study was fielded to understand how marketers are investing in, deploying and getting value out of technology. The primary research was conducted using online/CATI) from April 2018 through June 2018.

  • There were 504 respondents – 60% North America (and 40% U.K.
  • 86% of the respondents came from organizations with $1B or more in annual revenue
  • The respondents came from a variety of industries: financial services (88 respondents), high tech (128 respondents), manufacturing (83 respondents), consumer products (33 respondents), media (31 respondents), retail (47 respondents), healthcare (51 respondents), and travel and hospitality (43 respondents)
  • Respondents were required to have a primary role in involvement in decisions pertaining to their company’s marketing technology strategy

Additional Marketing Automation & Predictive Marketing Resources From Four Quadrant

A Marketer’s Guide to B2B Marketing Automation Platforms >>

The Predictive Marketing Analytics Buying Checklist >>

Three B2B Predictive Marketing Use Cases >>

Gartner CMO SPend Survey 2017 – 2018 >>

Download FREE Marketing Assessment Template >>

Go to Market Planning Examples


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