AI Boosts Marketing Efficiency, Insights from Gartner’s 2024 CMO Spend Survey

Gartner’s 2024 CMO Spend Survey, released recently, shows that investments in paid media have grown. However, spending on marketing technology, labor, and agencies has decreased.

The survey included feedback from 395 global CMOs who noted that marketing budgets have shrunk from an average of 11% of overall revenue before the pandemic to 8.2% in the years following. Only 24% of these CMOs feel they have enough budget to carry out their plans for 2024.

Despite economic pressures, CEOs are optimistic, expecting growth in revenue and profitability. They see a higher return on investments made internally for 2024 and 2025. Many CEOs are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to help achieve this growth by reducing the need for agency partnerships and labor costs.

A significant majority of CMOs are investing in AI, with only 5% stating that it is not a priority for 2024.

Most CMOs believe that AI will positively impact marketing by increasing productivity and improving customer targeting and personalization. In digital spending, search advertising leads the way, making up 13.6% of digital channel spending.

It is now the largest investment in digital channels, overtaking social advertising. Search advertising combined with search engine optimization (SEO) accounts for 24% of total digital spending.

AI-driven tools like Google’s Performance Max and Microsoft’s Performance Max are giving marketers, especially those with smaller budgets, a competitive edge. Meanwhile, social advertising is the second-highest digital spending area at 12.2%, followed by display advertising at 10.7%.

Email marketing, which captures only 7.1% of the digital spend, is still highly valued for its effectiveness in driving conversions, loyalty, and advocacy. As the industry moves away from cookies, the importance of email marketing is expected to increase.

Offline channels show that event marketing is flourishing, taking the top spot with 17.1% of offline investments. Sponsorships and TV follow closely at 16.4% and 16%, respectively.

These findings were discussed at Gartner's 2024 Marketing Symposium/Xpo held in London, shedding light on the evolving landscape of marketing investments and the growing role of AI in shaping these strategies.

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