20% of CMOs to invest less in paid search, SEO this year

20% of CMOs to invest less in paid search, SEO this year

Paid search advertising and SEO are among the channels most likely to have reduced investment in 2023, according to Gartner’s latest CMO Spend and Strategy survey. But it’s not all bad news for search marketing.

Search advertising. Although 26% of CMOs planned to reduce their investment in paid search, 40% of CMOs said they plan to increase investment in this channel.

  • ICYMI: Paid search spend is forecast to hit $110 billion in the U.S. this year.

SEO. While SEO was identified by 20% of the survey respondents as a channel to reduce investment this year, 46% of CMOs planned to increase their SEO budget.

Social advertising and beyond. Surprisingly, 53% of CMOs planned to invest more in social advertising, compared to 14% who are decreasing investment. Two other categories that can expect more budget in 2023: digital video advertising and influencer marketing.

Here’s the full chart from Gartner:

Source: Gartner 2023 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey

Why we care. Organic and paid search are two proven marketing channels that can drive visibility, brand awareness, leads, revenue, profit and more for brands. If you aren’t investing in search, you’re potentially taking money off your table.

Dig deeper. SEO vs. PPC: Differences, pros, cons & an integrated approach

Budget woes. Marketing budgets are flat – and 71% of CMOs believe they lack the budget successfully to execute this year’s strategies. So it will be important for CMOs to make smart decisions about where they spend their budget.

About the survey. 410 CMOs and marketing leaders were surveyed in March and April 2023. Respondents were based in North America and Europe, representing various industries and company sizes, with most reporting annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.

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