Digital Marketing Budgets Continue to Rise

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The share of budget allocated for digital marketing is growing. According to Gartner's “Digital Marketing Spending” report, digital marketing budgets will increase by 10% in 2014; 28.5% of marketing budgets were allocated to digital in 2013, or about 3% of revenue.  And about 12% of marketing budgets were earmarked for digital advertising in 2013. On average, companies surveyed spent nearly 11% of their 2013 revenue on marketing activities overall. This is expected to increase by 10% this year.

More than half (54%) of respondents say their marketing operating budgets will increase in 2014; 44% say their budgets will stay the same. Just 2% expect a decrease this year.

Some respondents have deep digital pockets; 11% spent more than half of their marketing budgets on digital in 2013, a significant jump over the 3% they allocated in 2012. Fifty-eight percent of respondents say their digital marketing budgets will increase in 2014, with 17% cited as the average increase; 40% say their digital budgets will stay the same. Only 2% expect a decrease.

In terms of staffing, the report uncovered an increased focus on both marketing technology and customer centricity. More than 80% of marketers surveyed say their organizations have a chief marketing technologist in 2013, about a 10% increase over 2012. Two thirds of respondents note that the role of their chief marketing technologist is to align marketing technology with business goals, while 65% say the role includes facilitating communication and projects between IT and marketing. The majority of respondents' organizations (77%) have a chief customer officer (CCO) or an executive with a similar role; nearly half report to marketing. Additionally, more than 40% of respondents say they have “a significant role” in strategic planning for the business overall.

“Customers have come to expect consistent experiences, no matter where an interaction initially takes place…,” Laura McLellan, research vice president at Gartner and author of the report, said in a statement, “hence, the increasing popularity of the role of the chief customer officer to help guide the customer right through the buying cycle and beyond.”

Gartner's Digital Marketing Spending report is based on a survey of 285 marketing executives conducted in late 2013. Respondents' organizations earn more than $500 million in annual revenue, with an average of $4.4 billion, and represent eight industries: communications, financial services and insurance, government, healthcare, high-tech, manufacturing, media, and retail.

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