Digital marketing has gone mainstream and is now a top priority for marketers, reports marketing, market research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. in its study, “Gartner’s 2015-2016 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey.”

“There is little doubt that digital marketing is now mainstream,” said Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner. “Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines. As customers opt for digitally led experiences, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the context for all marketing. Digital marketing is now marketing in a digital world.”

The survey found that 98 percent of marketers say online and offline marketing are merging. Ten percent of marketers have moved beyond digital marketing techniques and are expanding marketing’s role to create new digitally led business models. Digital commerce has captured 11 percent of the digital marketing budget—up from eight percent in 2014—as marketers become more accountable for driving results.

“The rise in digital commerce is an opportunity for marketers,”says Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner. “There was a time when marketing and selling were two distinct disciplines. In many cases, digital merges these two into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness through engagement, conversion, transaction and repeat purchase. Marketers can now tie spend to revenue. In fact, it’s becoming a mandate.”

Gartner says that two main factors are driving marketers’ interest in digital commerce: the need to point to tangible results from marketing investments, and the recognition that companies need more than a commerce platform to sell. Digital commerce operations were typically disconnected from businesses marketing functions, but today, marketing and digital commerce are increasingly seen as two parts of a single discipline that brings content marketing and brand storytelling, advanced analytics and multichannel campaign management together to optimize digital commerce across channels.

The survey shows that overall marketing budgets are on the rise. For 2015, 61 percent of respondents said that marketing spending will be, on average, 11 percent of company revenue, up from 10 percent of company revenue last year.

“Bigger budgets, however, come with sizable expectations,” adds Sorofman. “Marketing is expected to drive profitable growth through the acquisition, retention and expansion of the most valuable customer relationships. As customer buying journeys and customer expectations expand, so too does marketing’s scope of responsibility. As a result, the marketing remit now often includes driving broad-mandate customer experience, digital commerce and innovation initiatives.”

For more information from the report, click here.