Companies across industries direct more than half of their marketing budgets (58%) towards digital activities, according to the latest edition of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Survey, conducted by Duke University with the support of Deloitte.
The biggest investors in digital marketing are companies in communications and media, which direct 90% of their marketing budgets in this area, and consumer services (87%), followed by technology (70%). On the opposite end, companies that still implement an important share of marketing activities other than digital are those in healthcare, which direct only 51% of their budgets to digital marketing, energy (53%), and banking, finance, and insurance (61%).
When it comes to categories of digital spending, they continue to be dominated by paid media, with 44% of the companies’ digital budgets, including SEO, digital TV advertising, sponsored digital video, etc. The second category of digital spending, with a share of 34% of the digital marketing budget, is owned media, which includes email marketing and marketing automation, own site and store development, post-sales digital support such as chatbots, etc. The third category of spending (11%) is earned media, which includes reviews, user-generated content, etc.
Mobile and social media spending as a share of marketing budgets returned to pre-pandemic levels and reached 14% and respectively 15%, after both climbing to 23% of budgets in the first months since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study points out that, as companies move deeper into the digital marketing journey, investments in some digital marketing categories begin to flatten or decrease. For instance, categories such as improving the company’s app, managing privacy issues, and direct digital marketing show a decrease over the last year. The top digital marketing investments are made in the optimization of the company website (75%), data analytics (67%), and digital media and search (64%).
“Two years ago, marketers were pushed into a new reality where physical interaction was not possible and they needed to find new solutions to move their marketing activities online to retain their current customers, but also to attract new ones. Digital marketing was one of the pillars for the companies’ success during the pandemic and now organizations are moving further and using new tactics and tools, such as analytics, capable of creating the premises for a more structured and easy-to-measure approach,” said Ruxandra Bandila, Marketing, and Business Development Director, Deloitte Romania.
The findings of the report underline that marketers are showing a rising appetite for investments in marketing knowledge, as spending on marketing analytics as a percentage of marketing budgets hit an all-time high of 9% and the trend is expected to continue over the next three years, reaching almost 15%. Marketers use analytics in nearly half of all their decisions (49%), compared to 38% just before the pandemic, with sectors such as consumer services (69%) being the most likely to use available or requested marketing analytics.
In terms of marketing teams, the survey shows that there is still a preference for working from home, as respondents confirmed that almost half of their team (49%) work entirely from home, while 58%, only some of the time.
The CMO Survey is based on the responses of more than 270 senior marketers, and members of top management teams, active in 15 industry sectors in the US. The survey looks at the top issues for marketing leaders and stakeholders in the post-pandemic context.