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Digital Budgets Now Harder To AuditGartner’s annual survey reveals that spending on websites, digital commerce, and digital advertising is still on the rise.

“Marketing budgets continued their steady ascent in 2016, climbing to 12 percent of company revenue, according to the Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey,” notes the venerable research group. “The survey polled over 300 marketing leaders across the U.S. and U.K. to uncover how much their companies spend on marketing and what budgets reveal about marketing’s competing priorities to improve short-term performance and long-term customer experience.”

In fact, the 2016-2017 survey confirms the third consecutive year of budget increases.

What tops the list? Spending on websites.

“Marketers spent 9 percent of their budgets on websites, the most out of 14 spend categories surveyed,” according to Gartner. “Website spending increased to 14 percent of the budget for marketing leaders from media, including publishers and entertainment companies. This is consistent with a broader trend of re-platforming websites to provide richer, more responsive, more personalized experiences.”

An important takeaway from the research is that digital advertising is going strong.

“Despite concerns over ad blocking and questions about effectiveness, nearly two-thirds of marketing leaders plan to increase spending on digital advertising in 2017,” notes Gartner. “Out of 14 categories of marketing activity, 65 percent of marketing leaders surveyed told us they plan to increase their spending on digital advertising.”

Why the increase for digital advertising? Among the reasons are:

  • A continuing and consistent shift of offline media spending to digital advertising.
  • The decline of organic social in favor of paid social.
  • The rising importance of video, which is more expensive than other digital techniques.

Gartner’s recommendation, in light of these facts?

“Refine your use of attribution and marketing mix modeling to measure the impact of marketing and media efforts,” explains Gartner. “Work with publishers and agency partners to continuously test new ad formats and ensure your digital advertising investments conform to the same standards of measurement and accountability as other marketing investments.”

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