CMOs around the world are splitting their budgets between brand awareness and engagement (50.1% share) and performance media (49.8%), according to Gartner’s State of Marketing Budget and Strategy 2022 report [download page]. And while those in the US continue to prioritize digital over traditional advertising in terms of spending growth, Gartner’s study reveals a rebound in offline ad spend.
This year, the more than 400 CMOs surveyed around the world estimated that they allocate 56% of their budgets to online channels, versus 44% to offline channels. That’s quite the change from last year, when respondents indicated that some 72% of budgets were being allocated to online channels. Gartner attributes this to CMOs balancing awareness and performance and recalibrating journeys, suggesting that “CMOs have made the shift from digital-first to hybrid multichannel strategies.” Such multichannel strategies have proven fruitful in the B2B world, where omnichannel has been credited with an increase in sales.
How CMOs Are Allocating Online Budgets
The survey asked CMOs how they are allocating their marketing budgets for digital channels, finding that social advertising gets the largest piece of the pie, at 10.1% share of online budgets. Recent research has found marketers around the world expressing their highest level of confidence in social as a paid media choice, with 64% either extremely or very confident in its effectiveness.
Close behind social, search advertising is the next-biggest beneficiary of digital channel budgets, occupying 9.8% of spend. While advertisers believe that social media is effective across the purchase journey, search is highly rated towards the bottom of the funnel, particularly for the bottom-line goal of increasing sales.
Among other paid channels, digital audio advertising (8.1% share – and the fastest-growing digital ad channel in the US) was found to receive a larger share of budgets than digital out-of-home (7.4% share).
Looking at unpaid channels, and SEO is tops, at 1 in 12 digital dollars – or 8.5% of digital budget allocation. It’s followed by email marketing (7.8% share of digital budgets), content and messaging (7.8%) and organic social/influencer marketing (7.6%).
How CMOs Are Allocating Offline Budgets
Gartner’s study reveals that two offline channels that had seen big budgets cuts during the height of the pandemic have enjoyed a rebound: event marketing; and sponsorship. This year event marketing hogs the largest share (18.8%) of offline budgets among respondents dedicating spending to offline channels. B2B marketers are the driving force here, dedicating more than one-fifth (21.9%) of their budgets to events, as the B2B exhibition industry mounts its comeback. For comparison’s sake, B2C CMOs estimate spending 16.4% of their offline budgets on events.
The next-largest share of offline budgets overall goes to sponsorships, at 15.3%. Within the US, this was expected to be one of the fastest-growing offline areas this year.
However, the largest area for B2C marketers’ offline spend is TV (excluding OTT and connected TV). While this channel occupies 14% share of offline spend overall, that rises to 16.7% for B2C CMOs, or about 1 in every $6 they spend offline.
Further down the list, CMOs estimate allocating 12.9% of their offline spend to direct mail, 12.5% to radio, and 12.3% to out-of-home (excluding digital out-of-home).
For more, download the study here.
About the Data: The results are based on an online survey of 405 respondents “who were required to have involvement in decisions pertaining to setting or influencing marketing strategy and planning, as well as have involvement in aligning marketing budget/resources. Seventy-four percent of the respondents came from organizations with $1 billion or more in annual revenue.”