Marketing measurement ‘still a mystery to most CMOs’

marketers_in_workplace1Marketing chiefs remain in the dark over which channels are achieving the best ROI simply because they still have not woken up to measuring the success of omnichannel activity, despite believing that they have their fingers on the pulse.

That is one of the key findings of Nielsen’s sixth global Annual Marketing Report, designed to reveal marketers’ priorities and plans to improve ROI in 2024 and beyond.

The report, which surveyed nearly 2,000 global marketers, found that marketers continue to view social media, search, online/mobile video, and online/mobile display as the most effective marketing channels for ROI, but could miss out on key revenue opportunities without a cross-media strategy and approach.

Even so, the study does confirm the findings of both the recent IPA Bellwether Report and the AA/WARC 2023 spending review by revealing that, despite the presence of inflation, consumer spending, and supply chain uncertainties as key planning considerations, 72% of marketers expect bigger ad budgets this year, up from 64% on a year-on-year basis.

In addition, on average, marketers plan to allocate more than 63% of their media spending to digital channels, with social media, search, online video and digital display accounting for the largest increases. A year ago, marketers split their traditional and digital spending 50:50.

But there are a few flies in the ointment; while marketers’ top KPIs are long-term ROI and full-funnel ROI, 70% plan to shift to performance marketing, without supporting brand-building marketing. This, the report warns, could limit long-term ROI and lead to brand decay.

Meanwhile, marketing technology confidence still does not match measurement realities: some 84% of marketers say they are either extremely or very confident in their ROI measurement capabilities, up from 69% in 2023 yet only 38% evaluate the holistic ROI of their marketing efforts by measuring traditional and digital marketing together.

Nielsen EVP and group GM, Analytics Portfolio Companies Tina Wilson said: “Marketers manage a diverse and growing number of channels – each with a unique set of activation needs and performance metrics.

“Our research reaffirms that effective measurement requires an integrated effort across media to understand brand and performance metrics in the short and long term.”

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