2019 Marketing Budgets: How Does Yours Measure Up?
Across the board, 10 times more marketing budgets are increasing for 2019 than are decreasing. In fact, a full 60% of the marketers who answered our “2019 Budget Survey” reported that their budgets for 2019 would be higher than in 2018. That’s remarkable growth! But what are you going to do with it?
Overall Budget Trends
Our favorite finding in this research is on the facing page: 60% of 2019 budgets are increasing and 31% are staying the same. It’s a big indication that companies are trusting their marketing departments to drive revenue in 2019. However, budgets are still relatively constrained, and 51% of companies with revenue over $100 million still report marketing budgets under $1 million. That’s a lot of room to grow.
Where is that money going? While media spend and personnel are still the two largest categories, they now represent less than half of the total department budget, 48%. Technology, data and metrics account for almost as much spending, 42%. In terms of media channel spend: Social media advertising, online video and content marketing are the top growth channels. This is a shift toward pull marketing over push tactics (like email).
3 Takeaways From the Marketing Budgets Data
1. The Money Is Moving From ‘Push’ to ‘Pull’
Marketing dollars are moving into channels that allow viewers to choose to interact with them. Content marketing, social media, SEO, search ads, online video ... These are the marquee marketing tactics for 2019, and they all support a more opt-in, visitor-friendly approach to advertising. Yes, that Dollar Shave Club ad might follow you around the Internet for a month and be kind of annoying, but it’s probably out-of-the-way and asking you to click to see a cool video, not forcing you to snap-decide about an offer.
Your Takeaway: Figure out how you can connect with your audience before trying to sell to them.
2. ... But Marketers Still Demand Conversions
Even though the techniques for getting in front of customers are becoming more welcoming and consent-based, when it comes to grading performance, marketers want, need and demand conversions. Whether it’s a sale, a lead or a sign-up, none of these efforts are unmeasured. The shift to pull marketing has only made marketers and the people they answer to more demanding.
Your Takeaway: Find the conversions that lead to business success in whatever you’re budgeting, make sure you can measure them, and focus on making those little conversions happen.
3. Tools and Metrics Aren’t Free
We see that marketers are allocating 42% of their budgets toward technology, data and data management, and metrics and performance measurement. That’s a large amount of the overall department resources. These are things that could arguably be assigned to another department, but marketers are budgeting for them. We talked about this in the marketing leadership research last issue, as well: The more the marketing department is able to drive change and tell its own story using metrics everyone in the company respects, the more budget and trust will be placed in the marketing department and the marketers themselves.
Your Takeaway: Take control of the things that determine your success and perceptions about that success.
Aside from asking marketers across the country how they’re allocating their 2019 marketing budgets overall, we also asked about three important channels, and have separate articles you can check out below: