It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has had lasting effects on businesses around the globe. Despite facing in-year budget cuts in 2020, with some chief marketing officers (CMOs) reporting cuts above 15%, most marketers expected budgets to bounce back in 2021. However, the annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2021-2022 now reveals that the budgetary optimism of 2020 was misplaced, with marketing budgets dropping to 6.4% of overall company revenue in 2021, down from 11% in 2020.
“This is the first time we’ve seen marketing budgets, as a percentage of overall company revenue, drop below 10% in recent times, and marks the lowest budgets have dropped in the history of the Gartner CMO Spend Survey,” says Ewan McIntyre, Co-Chief of Research and VP Analyst, Gartner for Marketers. “However, these cuts have been a slow burn over the course of the past year, where many marketing budgets have not recovered what was originally lost.”