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Gartner Says Marketing Budgets Have Dropped Below 11% of Company Revenue for First Time Since 2014

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Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 Reveals a Reversal in Marketing Budget Growth, Yet CMOs Remain Optimistic Their Fiscal Health Will Bounce Back

Marketing budgets have shifted downwards, dropping from 11.2% of overall company revenue in 2018 to 10.5% in 2019, according to a survey of chief marketing officers (CMOs) by Gartner, Inc. Findings from Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 report reveal this is the first time since 2014 that marketing budgets have dropped below 11%.

“In the face of perplexing external and internal environmental signals, CMOs remain confident about economic and budgetary outlooks, with almost two-thirds (61%) of CMOs expecting their budgets to rebound in 2020,” said Ewan McIntyre, vice president analyst in Gartner’s Marketing practice.

“However, that same percentage of marketing executives believed their budgets would increase in 2019, indicating their optimism is misplaced. While we’re not yet witnessing a precipitous drop in budgets, this year’s downtick presents a counterintuitive scenario. You could call this confidence in the face of adversity. Or you could call it hubris,” Mr. McIntyre said.

The CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020, conducted with more than 340 marketing executives in North America and the U.K., tracks the critical areas marketers are investing in from people, programs and technologies.