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State of the Marketing Budget 2023

Article by
24th July 2023 in

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are facing mounting pressure to achieve greater results with resources.

Recently, marketing budgets have struggled to reach pre-pandemic levels while businesses grapple with inflation. CMOs can navigate budgetary constraints by prioritising ROI and optimising resources to achieve their marketing goals.

The State of the Marketing Budget

400 CMOs and marketing leaders responded to Gartner’s CMO Spend and Strategy Survey. The results below show that marketing budgets have yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, slipping at the start of 2023 to 9.1% of total revenue.

Facing the challenge of brand awareness, acquisition, and community engagement, 75% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are expected to achieve more with less and 71% believe they don’t have the budget to achieve the goals set by the C-suite. They are compelled to focus on tactics that directly result in sales and return on investment (ROI).

So, how can you squeeze more out of your reduced budget and maximise your marketing efforts?

Understanding the Purpose of a Marketing Budget

A marketing budget serves as a roadmap for allocating funds. A comprehensive marketing budget helps you:

  • Prioritise projects
  • Allocate funds
  • Compare progress
  • Justify project importance
  • Calculate ROI
  • Demonstrate value to CEOs and directors
  • Identify opportunities for hiring and software purchases.

Reducing investment in marketing resources can negatively impact effectiveness in these areas.

Look before you leap

While budgeting, it may be challenging to decide what to cut, but reducing investments in areas such as marketing technology (MarTech) can hinder future innovations. However, pressure to reduce spend on MarTech is felt by 75% of CMOs, with 62% planning to cut investments in optimisation and improvements, as well as halting new solutions.

Marketers must face the challenge of using their current tools effectively to track and enhance ROI. Making informed decisions on technology adoption and sticking to a chosen solution for an extended period are key to avoid wasting expenditures.

The Power of Digital

Digital platforms provide rich data analytics which should be used to understand your target audience’s preferred platforms and messaging styles. When it comes to increasing ROI, these measures can be taken:

Personalisation: Address customers by their names and tailor messages. This fosters strong relationships and leads to higher engagement.

Optimisation: Respond to changing market dynamics by making real-time adjustments to campaigns based on data insights to save costs.

PPC: Pay when a targeted user clicks on your ad, rather than impressions. These campaigns can be adjusted at any time to ensure maximum ROI.

Attribution: Digital platforms, such as Google Analytics 4, provide evidence of ROI through various attribution models. Attribution helps you to understand the contribution of each marketing channel to the customer’s journey and identify the most effective channels for driving conversions.

Boosting Bottom Lines

Leveraging technology and AI can streamline processes, reduce manual tasks, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. These tools and platforms can help:

  • Design collateral: AI technology can create on-brand collateral. Once you upload existing brand elements into applications, suggestions tailored to you will pop up. Use Canva’s AI function to test this out.
  • Real-time transcription: Use AI to eliminate the need to manually transcribe after recording key speeches and meetings, like
  • Copywriting: AI is known for its copywriting and content creation abilities to save time for staff, but CMO’s can automate data analysis, generate reports, create tables, proofread, and provide research assistance. Using a platform like ChatGPT, you can put information in and give it a command for what you want to get out of the information.

Make the Most of Your Investments

Squeeze value out of the time and resources your staff have spent on creating content by repurposing it for other channels and updating outdated posts.

  • Republishing on different platforms: repurposing content from blog posts to create social media campaigns, repackage webinar and event content to post on social media or transcribe into blog posts, and develop email newsletters using valuable insights from your other first-party content.
  • Updating archived evergreen content: replace data with up-to-date statistics, as well as current trends and news to be relevant. Link to newer blog posts on older resources to ensure web users are staying within your website to boost average engagement time on your website and increase their awareness of your brand.

The ROI Revelation

ROI is difficult to achieve at the best of times, but especially when it feels like the walls are closing in. Considering your key performance indicators (KPIs) for each marketing tactic will help to evaluate their effectiveness, and overall ROI.

  • Brand awareness can be measured through surveys to reveal the level of brand recognition and recollection before and after campaigns to monitor their impact.
  • Lead generation can be measured through the number of leads acquired through each channel. Measuring the quality of those leads will provide insights into their value to the business.
  • Customer value can be measured through churn rate, customer lifetime value (CLV), and repeat purchase rate to show the value of each marketing generated lead.
  • Revenue generation will reveal how marketing campaigns directly contribute to the company’s bottom line. It can be measured by comparing cost per acquisition with CLV.


By effectively tracking your marketing ROI, you can identify underfunded, high performing areas, and vice versa, allowing you to make informed adjustments and squeeze the most out of your marketing efforts. This data-driven approach helps to justify the real impact marketing tactics have on the bottom line of your organisation.












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