CMO Survey Shows Bigger Digital Marketing Budgets and More Outsourcing

Duke University’s semi-annual CMO Survey shows that CMOs are working with larger budgets and spending it more aggressively on digital marketing than ever before. At the same time,CMOs are spending more of their money on outside marketing support from outsourced agencies. Understanding why may impact how and when you choose to outsource.

How CMO’s are Spending

According to this 2015 CMO Survey, traditional advertising is experiencing negative growth as internal marketing leaders focus more on digital efforts. For example, CMO’s are tripling their spend on Mobile and doubling down on Social Media and Marketing Analytics efforts.

These compelling stats may partially explain why:


It is expected that mobile will overtake desktop for US search dollars this year, rising from $8.72 billion to $12.85 billion (just slightly above desktop’s $12.82 billion)1


Salesforce surveyed 5,000 marketers at the end of last year on their budgets for 2015, and the software giant found that 70 percent of them plan to increase social media advertising, including mobile ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.2


Spend on marketing analytics will increase 83% over the next three years.1

As you can see, CMOs have valid reasons for allocating big dollars to Mobile, Social Media and Marketing Analytics, but according to the survey, they aren’t increasing internal hiring as a result. In fact, companies are currently outsourcing 19% of their social media activities to marketing support agencies, which is a significant increase from 17.4% just a year ago.

Why Outsourcing is Increasing

The digital marketing landscape increases the need for more targeted expertise, and wise CMOs seem to be paying close attention to how and where they can find it. While they may have strong marketing minds on their team, it doesn’t always make sense to hire an FTE with hyper-specialized skills. For instance, unless you are the CMO of a very large company, you may not have an in-house team of mobile app developers or content marketing specialists.

Today’s CMOs are performing a never-ending balancing act between results-driven spending and innovative, digital marketing. Having access to handful of highly effective marketing support agencies that can provide cutting-edge tactics with measurable results seems to be the answer for many.

Do you need additional support for your Internal Marketing Team? Read our post on the 4 Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing to a Marketing Agency.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, how we work with our clients, or just want to chat, please visit our website or Jessica.Clay@ClayAgency.com today.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top