Marketing Budgets Drop to Lowest Levels in Recent History

July 20, 2021
Contributor: Kelly Blum

New findings from the annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2021-2022 reveal a drastic and lasting impact of the global pandemic on marketing budgets.

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.” 

The State of Marketing Budgets 2021

Get insights from Gartner's annual CMO Spend Survey.
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