It's something of a "dog still has its teeth sunk into man" story, but yet another study finds companies making cuts in their marketing expenditures. Forrester Research's Q1 Global CMO Recession Online Survey, released this month, finds budget cuts of 20 percent or more at just over half of the respondents' companies. Seventy-one percent said their budget is smaller this year than in 2008. The polling was conducted in March among 63 "marketing leadership professionals" on the company's Marketing & Strategy Research Panel.
Old media have borne the brunt of the spending cuts at respondents' companies, the survey finds. Among those whose budgets are lower than last year, 67 percent said they've reduced outlays on TV, print, radio or magazine advertising. Fifty-two percent have cut spending on direct mail. Significantly fewer said they've pared outlays for online advertising (27 percent), Web-site development (22 percent), loyalty programs (21 percent), e-mail marketing (11 percent) or social media (7 percent).
Indeed, some parts of respondents' budgets have grown. Forty-seven percent said they've increased spending on social media. Forty-four percent said the same about Web-site development, 40 percent about online advertising and 38 percent about e-mail marketing.
Notwithstanding the shrinkage in their overall budgets, just 18 percent agreed that “The role of marketing is changing with the downturn." Asked to describe "the role and position of marketing in your company during a downturn," 51 percent subscribed to the statement, "Marketing is seen as a revenue enhancer that needs to be supported." Still, 41 percent agreed that "The efforts of the marketing department are under increasing scrutiny from all levels of the company."