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Marketing leaders struggle to allocate budgets amidst AI boom
Fri, 25th Aug 2023

Overall, 63% of marketing leaders are planning to invest in generative AI in the next 24 months according to a survey from Gartner. Slightly more than half of respondents (56%) see greater reward than risk in generative AI.

A Gartner survey of 405 marketing leaders conducted in May and June 2023 revealed the utilisation of their organisation's overall martech stack’s capability dropped to just 33% on average in 2023, marking a second consecutive year of decline (42% in 2022 and 58% in 2020).

Benjamin Bloom, VP Analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, says, “CMOs recognise both the promise and challenges of generative AI. There’s a clear tension between investing more in the current tech stack to drive utilisation, or reallocating their finite resources towards the coming crop of generative AI applications that may not suffer from the same utilisation problems.” 

Martech utilisation declines from 42% in 2022 to 33% in 2023

Gartner’s 2023 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey found that organisations are spending 25.4% of their 2023 marketing budget on technology. With the sharp decline of martech utilisation, cost optimisation pressure will be unavoidable upon recognition that marketers use only a third of technology capabilities that consume a quarter of their entire budget. 

By contrast, for the few organisations that use more than 50% of their martech stack, they are significantly less likely to report being asked to cut their martech budget. 

Increasing an organisation’s martech utilisation is difficult: Just 11% of respondents reported increasing their utilisation of marketing technology by more than 10% in 2023, compared to 12 months ago.

Complexity of the current ecosystem, customer data challenges and inflexible governance were identified by survey respondents as the most common impediments to greater utilisation of their martech stack.

Bloom says, “Marketers tend to acquire new technologies without a systematic approach for adopting them. Combined with multi-year contracts, under-utilised or abandoned technology can easily result in an unwieldy stack over time."

“CMOs should press martech teams to find opportunities to simplify so the rest of the function can flourish. Cutting underused technology within the current stack can also preserve some ‘dry powder’ for transformative applications that aren’t yet generally available.”

Gartner for Marketers aims to provide objective, expert advice, and tools that CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right opportunities, and stay ahead of trends.

The analysts provide in-depth research and analysis that focus on how to deliver results. The latest report from Gartner for Marketers is “2023 Martech Survey - Utilization Plunges and Generative AI Anticipation Rises.”