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Slicing Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spending Survey

by Bill Gassman  |  March 21, 2013  |  Comments Off on Slicing Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spending Survey

Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spending Survey was published on March 12’th as free promotional research for the Gartner for Marketing Leaders advisory service .  As an analyst that covers the digital marketing analytics market, surveys offer a welcome opportunity to get my hands dirty, diving into data.  Our research process of picking the best material to publish results in a lot of good material on the cutting room floor, but the raw data remains.  Here are some interesting findings from the long tail of our survey, teased out by slicing the averages by various segments.  When segmenting by industry, maturity and size of company, some of the results are anything but average.

Note: Gartner for Marketing Leader clients can do some of their own slicing with the “Toolkit: Compare your Digital Marketing Budget Allocation Against Those of your Peers”

First, overall marketing budgets range from nine to over 12% of company revenue and are expected to rise 5-7% in 2013.  When slicing the data by company size, mid-sized companies in the same industry, in the $500 million to $1 billion revenue range, spend more  on marketing, by over a percentage point of revenue,  than larger companies.    Efficiency of scale can account for some of this.  Larger organizations can afford better audience data and analytics , which produce better yields for the money.

The industry slice  interesting too.  While those in the media industry ranked first in a marketing spend to revenue ratio, high-tech companies spent three percentage points less, and plan lower budget growth.  This makes sense.  Media firms are part of the marketing ecosystem, so spend a lot to draw in audiences.  Many high tech firms sell B2B, with a smaller set of customers than B2C, and on average, lag in adopting new marketing trends.  Yet, in this survey, they are less behind than in previous surveys.  The shift of lead nurturing (and attribution) from sales to marketing may account for this.

When it comes to the Digital Marketing component of the overall marketing budgets, average spend is about 25%.  But, it gets more interesting when looking into the numbers.

  • Companies with a digital marketing director/manager spend an average of nine percentage points more of their marketing budget on digital marketing than those without.
  • While 70% have a marketing technology leader, when the CMO owns that resource (40% of the time), the organization spends five percentage points more on digital marketing and are growing that budget five percent more than when the CIO owns the technical resources (13% of the time)
  • For those without a marketing technology leader, the digital marketing portion averages 10 percentage points less and growth plans almost 8% less than when the CMO owns the technical resource.

This shows that leadership correlates with more investment and technical leadership within marketing is becoming common for those with higher budgets.  This is important.  After all, digital marketing technology can get complicated and someone has to make it work.

The take-away here is; if digital marketing is important to your corporate goals, hire a digital marketing director with ownership of the technical resources to get the job done.

There are two more surveys in the works, so there will be lots more data to analyze, cross-correlate, slice and dice.  I am longing for one of the cool self-service analytics tools that I regularly see in briefings, but for now, Excel is still my ‘go-to’ tool.

Category: digital-analytics  digital-marketing  digital-marketing-programs  

Tags: budget  digital-marketing  gartner-for-marketing-leaders  survey  technical-staff  

Bill Gassman
Research Director
15 years at Gartner
35 years IT industry

Bill Gassman specializes in helping marketing leaders manage, measure and optimize their Web, mobile, social and search marketing programs. For more than 15 years, he has advised marketing teams on how to use technology ... Read Full Bio




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