“The CMO Will Out-Spend the CIO": How Right Was Gartner Group?

Why CMOs Are Expected to Direct More of Their Budget to Web Development

Back in 2012, Gartner Group said that “by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO” (as a web development firm, we’re fond of repeating the phrase). 

Inarguably, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are spending more on web development than they used to–quite a bit more. In fact, so much more that it’s created a very visible shift in the culture of marketing. Phrases like “digital marketing,” “integrated marketing,” “marketing automation,” and “martech” are now common vernacular. If CMOs are spending more money on developing their web tech, possibly more than the CIO, what is motivating this big budget shift? And what is this tech being used for?

Why CMOs are Spending More on IT

In a word, control.

While technology has become essential to marketing, marketers don’t want to be limited by it. For that reason, web development is being used more and more as a support tool, building the tools marketers need to drive the results they want.

Dependence is a word that most of us, but especially marketers, recoil from. Marketers need to have full control over their campaigns to drive their objectives, and when technology becomes a blocker it’s an issue. Although the assistance of IT may be necessary periodically, marketers don’t want to have to constantly wait in order to get things done. Much of web development goes into empowering marketers so that they can be free of a dependence on IT.

Take the website, for example. Much of web development is directed towards giving marketers more control over their digital presence–especially the primary digital presence, the website. Web developers may be called on to create, build, and update the website, but CMOs dedicate more of their budget to developing web tech in order to create and maintain a system that they can directly control themselves, without an IT intermediary.

CMO MarTech Budget Stats
Image via chiefmartec.com

What is the CMO Spending Money On

Reportedly, the three aspects of digital marketing that CMOs spend the most on are social media, digital commerce, and analytics.

Why Social Media?

Having a social media strategy in place is a matter of course–it’s the reality of visibility in the age of the internet. Beyond publishing posts, social media platforms are multifunctional, whether they’re used as a communication tool–making you more accessible to users–a source of digital advertising, or a source of data. In fact, many social media platforms, like Facebook, generate a large amount of their revenue from providing user information to marketers.

Why Digital Commerce?

The internet has changed the way people shop, and this is true for any business–B2B or B2C. Having an up-to-date eCommerce website is essential to the digital success of a business, and allowing it to become outdated is something that can drastically affect revenue. For that reason, it’s unsurprising that marketers are directing more of their budget to the maintenance of eCommerce websites.

Why Analytics

The digital age marks the genesis of big data. Creating and maintaining an online presence isn’t just about outreach, it’s about creating data-collecting sources. A website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile–each of these have the potential to become sources of incredible data insights about audience behavior.

Proving ROI and testing the success of each of your marketing endeavors online is something that you can do with the data generated by an analytics system. Additionally, analytics reveal real-time data, alerting you to customer behavior in the present and allowing you to react to behavior quickly, without having to wait.

How Marketing Adopted IT

Now in the middle of 2017, it’s interesting to note the symbiotic relationship between marketing and technology. Technology has had a definite impact on marketing, but the demands of marketers have likewise affected the development of technology. If the CMO spends more on technology than the CIO, it’s because of an industry shift.

After all, how many of your customers are still reading print media, or listening to the radio compared to those that are on Facebook? How many of your leads will still call your business before researching you online? CMOs are directing more of their budget towards technology, because they’re pursuing their audience.