Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

With marketing budget taking a hit from the pandemic, marketers are shifting priorities to brand building, finds latest analyst firm report

Brand building is now a priority over analytics, personalisation and martech, according to the 2020 Gartner CMO spending survey.

It’s in the top three strategies of the CMO playbook, with the uncertainty and economic turbulence from COVID-19 bringing brand awareness and relevance to the fore.

“We are seeing successful brands take action that is authentically connected to their brand strategy and value proposition,” said Gartner vice-president analyst for marketers, Ewan McIntyre.

Analytics is still in the list of top strategies, although it's has fallen in usefulness, yet the survey found marketers continue to struggle to build even rudimentary analytics capabilities. Personalisation, another previously strong strategic priority, has lost emphasis in 2020. Garner said this finding supports its prediction that 85 per cent of marketers will abandon their personalisation efforts by 2025 due to a lack of ROI and the perils of customer data management. 

Martech utilisation is an ongoing challenge for CMOs, as marketers report using only about half of their martech stack’s full capabilities.

“CMOs believe technology will help them navigate through difficult times and recover faster, and thus will continue to shield these investments, like customer data platforms, mobile marketing platforms and digital commerce, from further cost efficiencies,” said McIntyre.

Digital is another area which has been significantly affected by COVID-19, with the pandemic accelerating the plans of many organisations. In 2020, investments in paid, owned and earned digital channels account for almost 80 per cent of multichannel budgets, with digital advertising and search advertising taking nearly a quarter, social marketing and website topping the list.

The CMO Spend Survey 2020 was conducted with more than 430 marketing executives in North America, UK, France and Germany from April to May 2020 and tracks the critical areas marketers are investing in and where cuts are being made from people, programs and technologies. 

In terms of budget, while they have been hit in 2020, three-quarters of CMOs reported they will increase spending on digital advertising and 66 per cent expect to increase spending on paid search. “CMOs should tread lightly with their expectations for paid media in the months ahead, as solid investments are likely to weaken as economic challenges following the global pandemic persist,” said McIntyre.

Finally, the Gartner report said CMOs should plan for future budgetary pressures now, rather than gamble on budgets bouncing back. “The brands that succeed in uncertain times are those that recognise the change around them and adjust to it, rather than wait for things to go back to normal," McIntyre said.

"CMOs need to build a plan that sets out the costs that can be eliminated, the essential costs that must be shielded and the costs where greater efficiency and ROI can be delivered.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia


Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

It's an interesting direction, and fair play that they've backed what their service differentiator in the market is. It's a bit clunky bi...

Jeff

Versa launches bot-activated website

Read more

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in