3 minutes

B2B marketing leaders have their eye on AI as a new tool to improve the quality and quantity of their programs, according to Gartner.

B2B chief marketing officers are making do with fewer resources because of soft business conditions.

They also have their eye on artificial intelligence (AI) as a new tool that brings about ways to improve the quality and quantity of their marketing programs, according to a survey of 395 B2B marketing executives by Gartner.

According to Gartner, average marketing budgets have fallen to 7.7% of overall company revenue, down from 9.1% in 2023.

“CMOs are living in an ‘era of less,’” says the chief of research for the Gartner marketing practice, Ewan McIntyre. “In the four years preceding the pandemic, average marketing budgets were 11% of overall revenue. They have dropped to an anemic 8.2% in the four years since.”


AI gives B2B marketing a boost

Digital dominates a growing share of paid media spend, taking 57.1% of budgets in 2024. That’s up from 54.9% in 2023, Gartner says. Top channels include search (13.6%), social advertising (12.2%), and digital display advertising (10.7%).

Among offline channels, event marketing (17.1%), sponsorship (16.4%), and TV (16%) were the top channels for investment.

“In these tough times, CMOs prioritize investments that have a demonstrable impact,” says McIntyre. “However, there is a mismatch between the channels CMOs are investing in and their perceived impact. For example, CMOs ranked digital video/streaming as the most impactful digital channel, despite it only coming in fourth when it comes to spending.”

As CMOs chase revenue growth despite budget cuts, AI has emerged as an important tool, according to the Gartner CMO survey.


“Reduced budgets are only a problem if marketing leaders are working with the same tools as before — that’s not the case now that CMOs have AI,” Gartner says. “Gen AI is delivering enhanced productivity, despite constrained resources.”

Gen AI investments are most likely to be cited as delivery time and cost efficiency. More than one-third of CMOs identified these as their top three benefits when considering the ROI of AI investments, Gartner says.

More Charts & Data Stories

Check back soon for more Charts & Data Stories, like our weekly B2B infographics. Here’s last week’s. We add new content regularly. 

Submit a nomination

Nominate a game-changer for the Global B2B eCommerce Industry Awards from Digital Commerce 360 and the B2B Ecommerce Association.


Sign up

Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 B2B News, published 4x/week. It covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B ecommerce industry. Contact Mark Brohan, senior vice president of B2B and Market Research, at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @markbrohan. Follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and YouTube