Gartner: CMO budgets rising, digital commerce driving growth

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CMO budgets are on the rise, and digital commerce is becoming the dominant means for driving profitable growth as the lines between marketing and digital marketing disappear.

A whopping 98 percent of marketers confirmed that online and offline marketing are merging, according to the "CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016" report from Gartner, which polled 330 organizations on their marketing budgets and expectations.

According to the report, one-third of responding marketers believe that digital techniques are fully incorporated into their marketing operations, while 10 percent say they are expanding marketing's role to create new digital-first business models.

"The blurring of physical and digital worlds allows marketers the opportunity to create and test new digitally led experiences," the report reads.

Marketing budgets are on the rise overall, accounting for 10 percent of corporate revenue in 2014 and 11 percent in 2015. Gartner's poll shows that two out of three marketers believe their budgets will continue to grow in 2016—encouraging news for marketers who are always looking for more funding to power new initiatives.

The primary areas where executive expectations of marketing's responsibility increased over the past year include digital commerce, innovation in marketing, converting leads to sales and improving customer retention, according to the report.

Gartner also found that 33 percent of marketing budgets are going toward technology—with 28 percent of that money spent on infrastructure needs such as servers, data storage, networks and expenses for hosting and cloud-based services.

The top areas of technology investment are not surprising, with the majority of respondents focusing on social media marketing tech (65 percent), followed by digital commerce (64 percent), marketing analytics (61 percent), customer experience (56 percent) and advertising operations (54 percent).

The e-commerce piece of the puzzle is becoming increasingly important, with 11 percent of digital marketing budgets going toward e-commerce this year (up from 8 percent last year).

"B2B and B2BC companies are investing heavily and using digital commerce initiatives to build more direct bridges to their end customers," the report reads.

For more:
- download the complete report

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