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  • Jason Lucey

Gartner's CMO Spend Study 2023: Too Thin, Too Superficial, and Recycled

Every year, I am very eager to read Gartner's CMO Spend Study. The study usually comes out in the early summer, but I always forget about it until the fall. So here we are in September, and I am just getting to it now.

Normally, these reports are pretty good. They provide a nice overview of what is going on in the minds of people with budgets and companies to support. The trends often deal with growing efficiency and the importance of technology investments. Last year, the emphasis was on strategy and pivoting towards lower brand relevance in a stronger online market.

I was disappointed with Gartner's annual CMO Spend Study this year. The report is a lot thinner than what they have produced in the past. The main message of the study is that marketing budgets are down due to inflationary pressures on businesses. Everyone already knows this. The study also stressed the importance of marketing efficiency and technology investments, and that is pretty much where the story ends.

I was hoping that Gartner's study would offer some new insights into the challenges facing marketers in today's economy, especially something on the changing expectations of consumers and how marketing teams are pivoting to meet those challenges in the current economic climate. However, it did not. The study was too short, too superficial, and recycled. I hope that Gartner will do a better job next year.

I have gone through and highlighted sentences here and there that I think are good reminders. But at this point, they are just reminders, and nothing is very inspiring. But maybe that is where we are in the current economic cycle. It is a pretty uninspiring time. Everyone is holding their breath to see what type of soft or hard landing the economy will have or if there will be a recession at all. And that is pretty uninspiring. It is hard to innovate when you are pinching pennies. Maybe that is what Gartner is really telling us.

You can download the report here with my annotations:

Download PDF • 332KB

Or get the original here.


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