Three in four CMOs are fearing budget cuts in the coming year, according to a new report from Gartner. Rather than spending time worrying and complaining, a whopping 86% of those CMOs are being proactive and already making significant changes to how they function in order to achieve sustainable results.
One of those biggest changes is evaluating the 2024 marketing budgets. While budget cuts are never pleasant, it’s always an opportunity to cut some legacy marketing spending that we continue to carry on because either ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it,’ or it’s been a board member or leader’s pet project.
The Gartner study shows that ahead of anticipated budget cuts in 2024, marketers are looking for areas to make cuts already. Paid media continues to be the slight leader at 25.6% share of overall budgets, virtually on par with last year’s 25.7%. Marketing technology is right up there with it at 25.4% share of spending, unchanged from last year. But there’s a hitch with the marketing technology line item: It’s hard to measure ROI. Part of that is due to a lack of total implementation. On average, marketers report using only 42% of the functions of their marketing technology, down from over 50% in 2020. The data and functions that marketing technology provides can be a huge benefit, but with the marketer’s attention drawn in so many different directions, it appears that the Ferrari is sitting in the garage with no driver.
Back to paid media. Where are those dollars being spent? Social media advertising is the channel in line for the biggest increase, with 53% of respondents to the Gartner study planning to increase their investment. A majority (51%) also expect to increase their digital video ad budgets, with the same percentage expecting an increase in their influencer spending.
If you haven’t started thinking ahead to your 2024 strategic marketing plan and budget, now is the time. Make this a year that, whether you experience budget cuts or not, you get out of the velvet rut of marketing tactics, really dig in to identify your ideal member, and align your strategy, creative and tactics to educate and engage those ideal members, making sure your efforts have the most chance to convert them into new members and new products and services that will improve their lives.