Where Does Marketing Fall in CFOs’ Budget Plans?

March 14, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Business of Marketing | Marketing Budgets

Marketing teams might be taking a jealous look at their sales counterparts this year, although they won’t likely be fully distraught by their CFOs’ plans, according to results from a Gartner survey of planned changes to functional budgets.

The research finds that Sales is the function that is most likely to see a hike in budget this year, with almost three-quarters (73%) of CFOs planning an increase of at least 3%. For almost half of those, or roughly one-third overall (34%), the Sales budget is expected to increase by at least 10%.

The data is more mixed for Marketing. Gartner notes that 90% of marketing functions had budget cuts during the height of the pandemic, and even as recently as July 2022, roughly 8 in 10 were planning to either maintain or cut their marketing budget through the first half of this year. So in that context, these latest figures suggest that budgets are on the upswing, at least to some degree.

Slightly more than half (53%) of CFOs surveyed by Gartner plan to increase their marketing budget by at least 3% this year (Gartner considers anything less than a 3% increase to be no or minimal change). Slightly fewer than half of those expecting an increase – or about one-quarter (24%) overall – are planning a double-digit increase, of at least 10%.

Marketing sits at about the midpoint of functions regarding double-digit budget increases, which is led by Sales (34%) and trailed by Legal & Compliance (13%). However, it’s also the function most likely to experience a cut in spend: 1 in 4 (25% of) CFOs said they would decrease their marketing budget this year by at least 3%, on par with the share who said the same about Human Resources budgets. However, Marketing is most likely to be on the block for big budget cuts: 14% of CFOs said they would shrink their marketing budget by at least 10%, the largest share for any function.

For more, check out the survey results here.

About the Data: The results are based on a November-December survey of almost 300 CFOs and finance leaders.


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