Is climate change marketing a thing? New Gartner Results 2023 CMO Expenditure and Strategy Survey reference to evolution.
CMI’s Chief Strategic Advisor, Robert Rose, shares his thoughts in this week’s CMI News video. Watch it below or keep reading for the highlights:
Marketers are reducing their reliance on search advertising
Gartner’s survey announcement reveals some interesting data on advertising priorities and budget expectations. (The full report is only available to Gartner customers.)
Marketing managers have increased their investments in social advertising, digital video advertising and influencers. Most survey respondents also reduced their investment in search-based advertising.
These investment choices reflect what is happening in the consumer world. Internet searches have become less and less useful with the growth of vertical search and generative AI.
More and more CMOs have reduced their search ad budgets and increased their investments in social ads, digital video ads and influencers via @Gartner_inc #research via @Robert_Rose @CMIContent. Click to tweet
The rise of push content (à la TikTok) also means relevant, targeted and personalized content now finds the user rather than the user finding the content (searching). Robert wonders if these results allude to climate change marketing, where marketers are more successful in reaching their audience through influencers and social content than through search.
CMOs complain that budgets don’t allow for strategy success
But this change in consumer behavior was not the title of the Gartner CMO survey results. Instead, he focused on the 71% of CMOs who feel they don’t have enough budget to fully execute their 2023 strategy, even though marketing budgets are in line with last year – experiencing a slight drop to just over 9% of sales.
“Budgets don’t appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels,” Robert says. So he created a chart using budget figures from Gartner’s annual survey. It reveals the trend line of CMO budgets that have been steadily declining since 2016, apart from the pandemic course correction in 2022.
Is seven years a real trend in marketing budgets? Could budgets as a percentage of revenue drop further? Does it even matter?
Instead, says Robert, marketers should ask themselves if measure the impact of marketing as a percentage of the company’s total revenue really gauges its efficiency.
Does a reduction in the marketing budget lead to a drop in its revenue share? Or is the marketing more effective and generating more revenue per dollar spent? Or has the democratization of media brought down costs, so that the same amount of marketing costs less today? Or is it something else?
Gartner seems to believe that marketing costs go up while productivity goes down – that both “squeeze the buying power of CMOs”. The research notes that 75% of CMOs said they face increased pressure to do more with less to drive profitable growth in 2023. 86% of marketers said they need to change how the marketing to achieve lasting results.
Of course, no marketing manager has ever said, “My marketing team has too much time and money.” These results from Gartner do not surprise us.
Ironically, marketers also spend more time the acquisition and implementation of new technologies to increase productivity and reduce costs than to create things of value. (Unsurprisingly, technology received the largest line item increase this year.) These attempts often slow down the process.
All of this budget data led Robert to rethink his five Cs of strategic marketing: coordination, collaboration, content before containers and channels. “Make sure your siled teams are coordinating with a single source of truth when it comes to content and how it’s managed,” he says. “Make sure they collaborate, plan cohesive ideas, and develop content that can be reused in multiple containers. Only use channels where you can demonstrate your worth. »
Even Gartner agrees. He recommends that CMOs double down on scenario planning and balance near-term execution with investments that allow them to build future capabilities.
What do you think? How do your marketing teams balance the need for more technology and increased productivity with the challenge of marketing budgets? Let us know in the comments.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute