The Majority of B2B CMOs Expect to Increase Their Spending on A Variety of Digital Channels Next Year

August 25, 2020

Gartner B2B CMO Budget Outlook Aug2020Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, B2B marketers have seen a shift towards digital when it comes to content consumption – and their own sales model. As such, it’s not surprising that the majority of B2B marketing leaders surveyed for a report [download page] from Gartner are expecting to increase their marketing budgets for digital channels in 2021.

Among the B2B marketing leaders surveyed, 7 in 10 (69%) expect to hike their digital advertising budgets in the coming year. Likewise, roughly two-thirds of respondents also expect their budgets for email marketing (67%), mobile marketing (67%), paid search (66%) and SEO (66%) to increase. And, with B2B marketers recognizing the benefits of having a social media presence, 64% anticipate their social marketing budget to increase in 2021.

Although more than half (56%) of respondents believe their events marketing budgets will increase next year, the uncertainty surrounding the industry is possibly a factor that has led the remaining respondents to believe their events budgets will either decrease (24%) or remain the same (20%).

How Does This Compare to B2C CMOs’ Outlook?

Digital is clearly the focus of B2Cs future marketing budgets as well — perhaps even more so than B2B businesses. Some 78% of B2C marketing leaders anticipate a rise in their digital advertising next year. An equal percentage expect a budget increase for social marketing (78%), while 7 in 10 (71%) expect mobile marketing budgets to increase.

Email doesn’t figure quite as prominently for B2C marketers as B2B marketers. Whereas it was one of the top channels slated for an increased budget among B2B marketing leaders, it fell closer to the bottom in budget enthusiasm for B2C respondents, despite a majority (63%) expecting an increase. Similar to B2B CMOs, though, fewer B2C respondents expect to increase their investment in non-digital channels such as offline advertising (58%) and events marketing (57%).

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 432 marketing professions from a variety of industries. Respondents worked for companies in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the UK.


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