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Digital Marketing Budgets to Increase by 8% in 2015


Digital marketing budgets are being cranked up by companies far and wide, and are expected to increase by 8% in 2015, according to a Gartner survey of advertising executives.

The survey found marketing budgets in 2014 averaged around 10.2% of total revenue, with digital spending accounting for around a quarter of the entire budget. Around half of all companies say they plan to increase their spending in 2015; the average planned increase for those companies came in at 17%.

Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spending report surveyed 315 organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Participants had to be bringing in more than $500 million in annual revenue. The questions were issued over the summer as a way of gaining insight into marketing priorities and future plans. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the larger companies allocate a higher percentage of revenue to marketing spend. Businesses with revenue in excess of $5 billion reported a current budget of 11%; those with revenues between $500 million and $1 billion averaged 9.2%. 

It all points to the fact that digital and ‘traditional’ marketing strategies are blurring into one. As Laura McLellan, Gartner’s research vice president puts it, 2014 was ‘less about digital marketing than marketing in a digital world.’ Companies in all industries are devising cohesive, integrated strategies with a heady mix of online and offline tactics, each feeding into the other. Customers are moving towards a self-service model, in which ‘The Internet of Things’ enables them to complete multiple transactions at home with minimal technical know-how. 

Next year will see a healthy progression of these trends, as brands, advertising agencies and publishers invest in targeted ads based on personal preference. The monolithic platforms of television, radio and billboard advertising are seeing their value take a hit in favor of vastly cheaper online strategies which have the added advantage of easy tracking and tweaking.

These changes are not the whim of over-excited digital marketing execs. Gartner found digital marketing was the No.1 priority for CEOs during the next five years. They’re moving more and more cash into digital purse, and they’re seeing the results as hard data that can be analyzed on a minute-by-minute basis.

If Gartner’s survey respondents are a true reflection of the state of business today, the English-speaking world of commerce is undergoing a slow revolution. Marketing budgets are migrating to places where their effects can be quantified, allowing businesses to adjust their spending over time.


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