Gartner presented the findings of the 2022 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey in late May. Among the results was the reveal that, among companies surveyed, marketing budgets have increased in 2022 to 9.5% of overall company revenue.

The Survey

• The annual Gartner 2022 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey includes participation from 405 chief marketing officers and marketing leaders across North America and Europe ranging in industry, company size, and revenue.

• It was conducted between February and March of 2022.

• The survey’s most clear takeaway is that a recovery from the tumultuousness of 2020, even amid numerous current global uncertainties, has resulted in companies reinvesting in their marketing budgets and approaching pre-pandemic levels of marketing spending.

The Results

  • The survey revealed a few key statistics. Perhaps most notably is the 9.5% of total company revenue is going to the marketing budget, according to the survey. This is up drastically from the 6.4% of 2021’s report. It looks to be approaching the heights of the previous three years before the pandemic in which companies allocated 11.2% (2018), 10.5% (2019) and 11% (2020, conducted before global pandemic lockdowns) of their total revenue to marketing.

  •  Of the total respondents, 70% reported their marketing budgets had increased from 2021.

  •  "In the face of telling macroeconomic considerations, CMOs hold on to a belief that their own economic outlook is strong," says Ewan McIntyre, chief of research and vice president analyst in the Gartner for Marketing Leaders practice. "Despite inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain issues exacerbated by China’s lockdown measures and unprecedented talent competition, CMOs appear sanguine."

Promo Angle

  • "We have seen a steady growth of demand from our larger clients as they begin to bring back live events and employees back to the office," says Tom Goos, president of Washington-based distributor Image Source. "Our kitting and fulfillment continues to be a significant part of our business as we ship to homes but we are also seeing some larger orders ship to event sites and offices again, a great sign. Although this gives me optimism for overall marketing spend I continue to keep an eye on inflation and the global unrest we are currently experiencing, those and many other factors could impact us significantly in Q3 and Q4."

    • "As the world continues to operate in a more fragmented fashion, our clients have embraced the use of strategic branded merchandise to provide continuity, messaging and unity to their team members at all levels of the organization," says Paul Wygonik, president of Michigan-based distributor Competitive Edge. "We assume that increased budgets in branded merchandise have been funded from previous travel and entertainment funds which have been dramatically reduced. It’s not that the world does not wish to travel and be entertained any longer, it’s just that perhaps, when choosing to do so, they want to do so with friends and family as opposed to co-workers."

  • Larger revenue percentages going towards marketing is good for the promotional products industry for obvious reasons. In particular, while the survey found that digital/online marketing channels make up 56% of that budget, it is a less dominant percentage compared to recent years. The 44% that represents "offline” channels, including physical products, is described in the survey as “a more equitable split than in recent years."