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Comprehensive Analysis of Chief Marketing Officers' Investment Strategies in Search and SEO in 2023

Comprehensive Analysis of Chief Marketing Officers’ Investment Strategies in Search and SEO in 2023

Following a recent survey by Gartner, 74% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) intend to either enhance or sustain their investment in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. In comparison, the proportion increases to 80% for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) initiatives.

In a fluctuating economy plagued by layoffs and shrinking marketing budgets, there’s a silver lining to be found in the SEO and search advertising sectors in 2023, as their budgets appear secure, according to Gartner’s most recent CMO Spend and Strategy survey.

The study pointed out that despite the likelihood of reduced investments in paid search advertising and SEO, most funding for these channels remains intact for 2023. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Paid Search Advertising

An impressive 74% of CMOs expressed plans to either escalate (40%) or uphold (34%) their investment in this channel, leaving only 26% intending to decrease their investment in paid search. As a point of reference, the forecast for paid search expenditure is projected to reach $110 billion in the U.S. alone this year.


Furthermore, 80% of CMOs aim to either bolster (46%) or maintain (34%) their SEO budget in 2023, while a minority 20% plan to curtail their SEO investment this year.

In addition, 53% of CMOs plan to boost social advertising, compared to the 14% planning to decrease it. Digital video advertising and influencer marketing are other sectors for increased allocation in 2023.

Considering their proven effectiveness, organic and paid search are fundamental marketing channels that can heighten visibility, brand recognition, lead generation, revenue, and profitability for brands. Failing to invest in search could mean potential revenue loss.

However, with marketing budgets remaining stagnant and 71% of CMOs expressing concerns over inadequate budget to successfully execute this year’s strategies, careful decision-making will be paramount regarding where to allocate resources.

This survey encompassed 410 CMOs and marketing leaders polled in March and April 2023. Participants hailed from North America and Europe, representing a range of industries and company sizes. Most respondents reported an annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.


In conclusion, despite economic uncertainty and fiscal constraints, most CMOs strongly commit to maintaining or enhancing investments in key areas such as paid search, SEO, and social advertising in 2023. These findings from Gartner’s CMO Spend and Strategy survey underscore the importance of these channels in fostering brand visibility, recognition, and profitability.
However, given the prevalent budget constraints, CMOs must make reasonable decisions about their resource allocation to ensure the successful execution of their strategies.

Furthermore, this survey provides insightful data and trends, which are instrumental in informing strategic decisions for businesses across industries and geographies.

See also: Sales Need To Rely on SEO More Than Ever; Here’s Why.

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