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Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey; You Had Questions, We Have Answers

By Jake Sorofman | November 12, 2015 | 2 Comments

digital marketing

A couple weeks ago, we delivered a free public webinar highlighting the findings from Gartner’s 2015-2016 CMO Spend Survey. You can watch the replay here and read the summary of findings here.

You asked great questions, some of which I didn’t quite get to.

But I didn’t forget my promise; you had questions, we have answers.

Q: In B2B are you seeing a shift in budget from sales to marketing? If so, can you elaborate?

A: This year, 66% of survey respondents said they funded digital marketing budgets in part through reductions in sales budgets. Why? Because changes in the buyer’s purchase journey and digital marketing activities replaced certain activities previously performed by sales. This is an increase over the 55% of respondents who reported the same thing last year.

Q: Are there stats available for the percentage of budget allocated to personnel to non-personnel? B2C vs. B2B?

A: For the overall marketing budget, 34% of budget is allocated to labor, 33% to marketing technology and 33% to external marketing services. The percentage of marketing budget allocated to labor is about the same for B2C, B2B and B2B2C.

Q: Do you know the percentage of sales for marketing in $5B+ companies?

A: Companies with over $5 billion in revenue budgeted 11.5% of revenue for marketing, about half a point higher than the overall average.

Q: Is the trend for analytics spend (specific to digital marketing) growing year over year and what percentage of marketing budget is allocated to web analytics

A: This survey suggests there’s a slight dip in analytics spending, from 11.5% last year to 10.8% this year. A Gartner survey of digital marketers earlier this year that focused exclusively on analytics found that analytics share of marketing budgets increased from 21% in 2013 to 34% today. I decided to reach out to my colleague Christi Eubanks to dig a bit deeper. She said that, on average, analytics leaders tell us they plan to either increase or maintain their current investments in web, social, mobile and media analytics.

Q: What are the top areas you see analytics playing a role in marketing?

A: Here’s Christi again: Customer analytics is the hot topic this year (even in industries you wouldn’t expect) and the activity where the most marketers plan to shift spending. It’s interesting, because customer analytics relies on web, social, mobile and media analytics (thus marketers’ expectation to maintain current spending), but it isn’t solved by any of those existing tools alone. The tool categories we most often associate with customer analytics are DMPs, digital marketing hubs and, to some extent, tag management solutions. Along those lines, I’d also highlight data acquisition as a CMO priority. First-party data (the data your org owns and collects from websites, apps, etc.) is still the most valuable, but the most progressive data-driven marketers are investing in 3rd party data from numerous sources, and increasingly exclusive 2nd party data relationships as well.

Q: Do you know how outsourcing is impacting social listening and social marketing, in general? Are companies willing to outsource their social media customer experience?

A: I decided to consult our in-house expert on this topic. Here’s what my colleague Jay Wilson said:

Marketers are increasingly investing in social marketing technology that enables real-time listening, analytics, publishing, and engagement.  But staffing those technologies, particularly listening and engagement activities, is largely done in house. For example, a social marketer might invest in a social marketing cloud, and provide access to agency staff to derive analytics insights to help develop social marketing campaigns, and those agencies may use the cloud to publish content, but daily interactions with customers is typically done by internal customer service or marketing representatives.

Q: Please confirm marketing salaries are included in the 11% of revenue as marketing spend number.

A: The overall marketing spend number includes salaries, advertising, research, campaigns, marketing consultants or agencies, and marketing software purchased as a service.

What percentage of firms did you say have a chief marketing technology officer in name or role?

A: More than 80% of companies have a chief marketing technologist in title or role equivalent. But don’t get too hung up on titles; they’re all over the map and they’re not always chiefs.

Q: Do you have spend data by type of B2B business such as industry?

A: Stay tuned! Over the coming weeks, we’ll publish a toolkit for clients that shows spending trends by industry verticals: financial services, retail, high tech, media, CPG and manufacturing companies.

Comments are closed


  • Very insightful, Jake. Thank you for the Q&A follow-up. This part of your answer to the first question is encouraging “Because changes in the buyer’s purchase journey and digital marketing activities replaced certain activities previously performed by sales. This is an increase over the 55% of respondents who reported the same thing last year.” — That being said, I wonder how many CMOs choose to fund Account-Based Marketing programs, even though the majority ‘mainstream customer’ demand for substantive and actionable content — particularly at the front-end of the buyer’s journey — is still under-funded.

  • Thoughts on Loss of Safe Harbor — the links noted within are missing and request these be added/updated.