For many CMOs, budget cuts have become the norm following the COVID-19 outbreak. But in a welcome contrast to the trend, two areas of spend may actually enjoy growth — marketing technology and digital channels. Respondents to the Gartner 2020 CMO Spend Survey believe their budgets for these functions will grow in the coming year.
The research surveyed 432 marketing leaders in North America, the U.K., France and Germany. At the beginning of 2020, CMOs expected budgets that averaged 11% of revenue. But as demand collapsed in many sectors after the pandemic began, organizations clamped down on spending. Marketers put major initiatives on hold. In a Gartner poll, 34% of senior finance leaders said they had furloughed staff across all business functions, and 65% said they had imposed hiring freezes.
“CMOs remain under pressure to cut labor and other costs,” says Ewan McIntyre, VP Analyst, Gartner. “Longer-term budget cuts will require another look at staffing that could result in permanent changes to hiring and organizational makeup.”