Budget Challenge for CMO, not the first time.

Gartner Survey Reveals Budget Constraints for CMOs in 2023

Key Findings:

  • 71% of CMOs believe they lack sufficient budget to fully execute their strategy in 2023
  • Marketing budgets remain flat year-over-year at 9.1% of overall company revenue
  • The annual Gartner 2023 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey was conducted in March and April 2023
  • Survey respondents were CMOs and marketing leaders in North America and Northern/Western Europe across different industries and company sizes, with the majority reporting over $1 billion in annual revenue
  • Gartner experts presented the findings at the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

Budget Challenges for CMOs

According to the Gartner survey, a significant majority (71%) of CMOs feel they do not have enough budget to fully implement their planned marketing strategies and initiatives for 2023. This reflects the continued pressure on marketing budgets, which have remained flat year-over-year at 9.1% of overall company revenue. The survey findings suggest CMOs are facing challenges in securing the necessary resources to execute their vision and meet their objectives in the current economic climate. With budgets remaining constrained, marketing leaders will need to prioritize their spending and find creative ways to maximize the impact of their limited funds.

Implications for Marketers

The budget constraints revealed by the Gartner survey underscore the need for CMOs to:

  1. Carefully evaluate and prioritize their marketing initiatives to ensure they are allocating resources to the most impactful and strategic activities.
  2. Explore opportunities to optimize marketing efficiency, such as leveraging data and analytics to drive more targeted and cost-effective campaigns.
  3. Collaborate closely with other business functions to identify synergies and shared resources that can help stretch the marketing budget further.
  4. Continuously monitor and adjust their marketing plans to adapt to changing market conditions and evolving customer needs.

By addressing these challenges proactively, CMOs can position their teams for success in 2024 despite the budget limitations they face.

Here is a list of what marketing objectives typically contain:

  • Brand awareness: Increase brand awareness among the target audience. This could involve increasing brand recognition, recall, or preference.
  • Lead generation: Generate a certain number of qualified leads for the sales team. Leads are potential customers who have shown interest in a product or service.
  • Market share: Increase market share in a particular industry or market segment. Market share is the percentage of the total market that a particular company or product captures.
  • Customer acquisition: Acquire a certain number of new customers. Customer acquisition is the process of converting leads into paying customers.
  • Customer retention: Retain a certain percentage of existing customers. Customer retention is the process of keeping existing customers happy and coming back for more business.
  • Sales growth: Increase sales revenue by a certain percentage. Sales growth is a measure of how much a company’s sales are increasing over time.
  • Profitability: Increase profitability by a certain percentage. Profitability is a measure of a company’s ability to generate profit.
  • Website traffic: Increase website traffic by a certain percentage. Website traffic is the number of visitors who come to a website.
  • Engagement: Increase engagement with the brand’s content or social media channels. Engagement is a measure of how much interaction there is between a brand and its audience.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Achieve a certain ROI on marketing campaigns. ROI is a measure of the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. It is calculated by dividing the net profit from a campaign by the total cost of the campaign.


Marketing Objective Evaluation Table

Marketing Objective Evaluation Table

This table helps you evaluate your marketing objectives and allocate budget effectively.

ObjectiveDescriptionEvaluation CriteriaBudget Allocation Considerations
Brand AwarenessIncrease brand recognition, recall, or preference among target audience– Target audience size & demographics
– Current brand awareness level
– Desired level of awareness increase
– Content marketing (blog, social media)
– Public relations
– Influencer marketing
Lead GenerationGenerate a specific number of qualified leads for the sales team– Sales team capacity to convert leads
– Lead quality requirements
– Cost per lead (CPL) goals
– Search engine marketing (SEM) & pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
– Social media advertising
– Content marketing with lead capture forms
Market ShareIncrease market share in a specific industry or segment– Current market share and competitor share
– Market size and growth potential
– Customer acquisition costs
– Competitive analysis & targeted advertising
– Product differentiation & innovation
Customer AcquisitionAcquire a specific number of new customers– Customer lifetime value (CLTV)
– Conversion rate from leads to customers
– Customer acquisition cost (CAC) goals
– Landing page optimization & conversion rate optimization (CRO)
– Retargeting campaigns
– Sales promotions & incentives
Customer RetentionRetain a specific percentage of existing customers– Customer churn rate
– Customer satisfaction levels
– Loyalty program effectiveness
– Customer relationship management (CRM) programs
– Personalized email marketing campaigns
– Customer loyalty programs & rewards
Sales GrowthIncrease sales revenue by a specific percentage– Average order value (AOV)
– Sales conversion rates
– Upselling & cross-selling opportunities
– Sales team training & development
– Sales enablement tools & resources
– Performance-based sales incentives
ProfitabilityIncrease profitability by a specific percentage– Cost structure & margin analysis
– Pricing strategy & optimization
– Customer segmentation & targeting
– Cost reduction initiatives
– Product or service line optimization
– Improved operational efficiency
Website TrafficIncrease website traffic by a specific percentage– Current website traffic levels
– Traffic sources & channels
– On-site conversion goals
– Search engine optimization (SEO)
– Content marketing & social media promotion
– Paid advertising campaigns
EngagementIncrease engagement with brand content or social media channels– Current engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments)
– Target audience behavior & preferences
– Desired type of engagement
– Interactive content formats (videos, polls, quizzes)
– Community building on social media
– Influencer partnerships
ROIAchieve a specific ROI on marketing campaigns– Campaign goals & objectives
– Cost of marketing activities
– Tracking & measuring campaign performance
– Data-driven marketing decisions
– A/B testing & optimization
– Focus on high-performing channels

Sara (Techreview)

Living in Toronto, I am at the heart of one of Canada's most dynamic tech scenes. I actively attend tech conferences, networking events, and startup launches, immersing herself in the innovative spirit of the city.

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