Navigating Tight Budgets: Unleashing Innovation in Marketing Strategies

Navigating Tight Budgets: Unleashing Innovation in Marketing Strategies

Last year, a study by insights specialist Gartner revealed that a significant 75% of chief marketing officers experienced pressure to achieve more with less in order to drive profitable growth in 2023.

This discovery was underlined by the fact that marketing budgets have held steady at approximately nine percent, a notable decline from the pre-pandemic peak of 12 percent, as indicated by the same study.

It’s unsurprising, then, that 71% of chief marketing officers expressed concerns about the inadequacy of funds to execute their 2023 strategy. With economic forecasts indicating a continuation of slow growth into 2024, the revival of marketing budgets seems unlikely in the near term.

In challenging times, what can marketing departments do to ensure positive outcomes?

According to Ewan McIntyre, Chief of Marketing Research and VP Analyst at Gartner, leaders should focus on three key areas: clarity, courage, and connection.

For clarity, McIntyre argues that CMOs must make “clear-eyed decisions” about what will be supported throughout the life of any strategy.

Courage, he says, requires leaders to “ask difficult questions” of their teams to identify any “spurious assumptions, strategic sentimentality, and harmful cultural norms.” This involves evaluating decisions and acknowledging that previous logic may not apply today.

His final point, on connection, emphasises the need to collaborate with other members of the C-suite.

Although nothing groundbreaking, McIntyre’s advice is sound, encouraging marketers to ditch obscure metrics and acronyms, translating brand speak into business language for buy-in from colleagues.

What advice does FS Partnership offer on achieving more with fewer resources?

In this disruptive era, businesses often ask us: how do we adapt and deliver simultaneously? Consistently, we offer three key considerations.

Firstly, be prepared to be ruthless. Companies shouldn’t fear tearing up plans and abandoning outdated approaches. Take control before circumstances dictate.

Secondly, don’t forget the long term. Resist the temptation to hunker down in an attempt to weather the storm. Seek opportunities to enhance your profile differently, ensuring readiness to thrive when the economic upswing occurs.

Lastly, focus on distinctiveness. This becomes crucial in challenging times, as those who stand out are more likely to secure sales than those who blend in.

To explore the practical implications of these three key points, stay tuned for our upcoming blog on marketing during the downturn. Alternatively, the FS Partnership team is always available for a chat if you can’t wait. Simply drop us a line at, and we’ll set up a call.


Gartner Survey Reveals 71% of CMOs Believe They Lack Sufficient Budget to Fully Execute Their Strategy in 2023

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