For marketing leaders, the last 18 months have been characterised by uncertainty and change, and while marketing budgets as a whole grew in 2023, growth rates were significantly below prior years, and in sectors such as technology, there were material corrections in spend. 

2024 is poised to be a year of transition, as marketers emerge from a period of limited budget visibility and rapidly changing market conditions, to one where there is optimism of a more stable economic environment. Yet marketing leaders continue to face challenges from evolving buyer media consumption patterns to ongoing privacy changes and the emergence of Gen AI and other technologies.

As a result, Plural forecasts moderate spend growth of 4.5% in the US and 4.8% in the UK in 2024 with growth accelerating in the mid-term driven by improved economic conditions. These figures, however, mask interesting activity dynamics, with greater focus on digital, data and in-person events over more traditional channels. Marketers seek better visibility on the performance of spend, while increasingly experimenting with GenAI though not currently at the expense of agencies who fulfil an important cost-effective and flexible role for many marketers.

What are the overall marketing budget trends for 2024?

Plural Strategy’s third annual Marketing Spend Outlook, created through in-depth interviews with senior B2B and B2C marketers across UK and US, has unveiled:

  1. Moderate growth in marketing budgets expected in the near-term.
  2. Data and measurement are strategic priorities, driving spend allocation.
  3. MarTech bounces back, but differently.
  4. GenAI is neither a fad or a revolution….yet.
  5. B2B: ongoing shifts towards in-person and capturing digital footprints.
  6. Agencies more than fill the gap in a transition year.

Which factors are influencing trends in marketing spend?


Long-term strategic shifts

Technological and regulatory changes

Marketers are now dealing with budget scrutiny amidst shifting technology, consumer and regulatory developments:

Marketing budget spend allocations will reflect this confluence of factors, with more moderate spend growth masking channel shifts.

How is marketing spend shifting between channels?

Find out more

Download the full reports for a detailed view and forecast of US and UK marketing spend across channels in both B2B and B2C.

Download the UK edition

UK edition

Download the US edition

US edition