CMOs are prioritizing company brand strategy over martech and personalization, says Gartner.

Chief marketing officers (CMOS) are prioritizing brand strategy over personalization and marketing technology amid the COVID-19 pandemic led budget cuts, as per a recent report from Gartner. The CMO Spend Survey 2020 notes that brand strategy is one of their top three priorities of 34% of CMOs. Forty-four percent of CMOs have seen midyear reduction in budgets because of the crisis and 11% of them are witnessing a decrease of over 15%.

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The research firm says that 73% of respondents expect the pandemic’s effects to be short-lived. In fact, they expect to see a positive outlook for the next 18 to 24 months. Marketing budgets are expected to increase in 2021 as per 59% of CMOs. According to the report, CMOs need to focus on brand strategies to take it ahead despite the disruption in sales as well as marketing channels. Today, several CEOs and CFOs are creating plans that include the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19.

The report notes that 28% of CMOs have canceled media buys and they are confident about the outlook for paid media in 2021. Close to75% of CMOs plan to bolster spending on digital advertising while, 66% expect to witness a rise in paid search spending because of the significant increase in digital media consumption.

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As per Gartner, 80% of multichannel budgets comprise investments in paid, owned, and earned digital channels. In 2020, marketing technology investments took up about a quarter- 26% of budgets. Nearly 70% of CMOs expect to increase martech spending this year.

One of the top challenges among CMOs is martech utilization as they use only 58% of the full capabilities of their martech stack. The report expected to see a reduction in martech spending if it fails to deliver expected returns. Close to 15% of CMOs prioritize personalization and hence Gartner had predicted earlier that 85% of marketers will abandon personalization by 2025 owing to poor ROI and concerns about data sharing and privacy. Overall it appears that CMOs will be optimistic about their budgets post-COVID-19.

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