Transforming Marketing Budget Allocation Through Technology & Analytics


In 2016, making marketing decisions based on data (rather than historical precedents or pure speculation) has become more important than ever before. That’s why DataXu surveyed 532 global marketers to find out exactly how departments around the world go about a variety of processes ranging from sharing data within their organizations to allocating budgets for the upcoming year.

It turns out that marketing departments do not follow a common process when it comes to allocating annual marketing budgets. Although the majority of budget allocation methods utilize data and analytics to inform future marketing strategies and channel allocations, other allocation methods do not include the consideration of any historical marketing performance data or analytics.

The question responses of the 532 global marketers are outlined below. However, the complete results of DataXu’s 2016 marketer survey are available in our new research report titled, “Modernizing the Mix: Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics.”

Chart 1 for Transforming Marketing Budget Allocation Through Technology and Analytics blog

Where specific processes should fall below is open to debate, but the general trend is clear: nearly half of marketers surveyed are not making data their first point of call when it comes to 2017 budget decisions.

“DATA-DRIVEN” = 57% of respondents

  • 37% of global marketers state that they analyze the ROI and performance of each channel before allocating next year’s marketing budget according to the highest performing channels.
  • 12% of marketers employ a consultant to advise how to allocate budgets in the coming year.
  • 8% of global marketers leverage technology to generate their annual marketing plan.

“NON-DATA DRIVEN” = 43% of respondents

  • 27% of global marketers look at what was spent on line items during the previous year, and increase future spend by X% for the coming year.
  • 7% of global marketers allocate their annual budget based on direction from the C-Suite.
  • 7% of global marketers brainstorm ideas with their team and allocate budget according to the most popular ideas generated.
  • 2% of global marketers outsource their marketing to a third-party and are therefore not responsible for specific allocations within the annual budget.

As for U.S. marketers, 37% identify their biggest marketing challenge today as creating the most efficient marketing mix possible across channels to drive results. Those 37%, combined with the 20% who struggle to quantify the effect their marketing efforts have on new sales revenue, and the 13% who have difficulty with finding the right attribution model to show the impact of each channel in the path to purchase, add up to a majority of U.S. marketers. It’s clear that marketers still need help moving from data to insight to action.

Chart 2 for Transforming Marketing Budget Allocation Through Technology and Analytics blog