What’s Up with Mobile and Digital Marketing Budgets? They’re Bigger, Suggests New Gartner Survey

growthMarketing departments in the U.S. and UK should be sending up a big cheer these days.

That’s because a new survey by research firm Gartner, Inc. confirms that their budgets are continuing to rise. The survey revealed that marketing budgets increased to 12 percent of company revenue in 2016, from 11 percent in 2015.

And that’s not all. Fifty-seven percent of the marketing honchos surveyed said they expect their budgets to increase further in 2017.

Not every department is cheering, perhaps; about 14 percent of marketers did report that they are bracing for budget cuts. That’s an increase from 3 percent just two years ago.

The findings — encapsulated in Gartner’s “2016-2017 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey” — tallied responses from 377 marketers at companies with more than $250 million in annual revenue in North America and the U.K.

“Marketing is now responsible for critical customer-facing, revenue-generating systems, and applications,” said Jake Sorofman, a research vice president at Gartner. “As the marketing leaders’ mandate broadens, we are seeing the CMOs’ marketing tech spending approach the levels of the CIOs’ technology spend.”

Although marketing budgets have, on average, increased, marketing leaders have many demands on their resources. The top three categories in 2016 marketing spend identified in the survey — web, digital commerce and digital advertising — illustrate how critical digital marketing has become.

About 8 percent of their budgets are designated for digital commerce, said the respondents, notes Gartner.

“Digital commerce matters to marketers on multiple levels, from driving incremental revenue, to measuring attributable performance, to gaining customer insight through direct engagement,” said Sorofman. “In addition, we’re seeing marketing leaders look beyond traditional storefronts and shopping carts, investing in rich commerce experiences, experimenting with the Internet of Things and treating digital commerce as a multichannel strategy.”