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Unpacking the 2024 Nielsen Marketing Report: Strategies to Supercharge Your Campaigns

Kristin Fang
May 17, 2024

Nielsen’s Annual Marketing Report is here, with insights into how marketers should be allocating budgets and measuring success in 2024. And…well…it’s pretty long! If you’re pressed for time, fret not – we read the whole thing and recapped the key takeaways and findings in this blog post. Aren’t we nice? Read on for the insights you need to know as you prepare for the rest of the year and beyond.

Takeaway #1: Despite a Down Economy, Spending Optimism is Up

Despite inflation, slowed consumer spending, and supply chain uncertainties, 72% of global marketers anticipate bigger ad budgets this year — up from 64% last year. Global marketers plan to allocate 63% of their budgets to digital channels, focusing especially on social media, search, online video, and digital display, driven by the higher perceived effectiveness of these channels. Among all the digital channels, social media stands out as a frontrunner with an average ROI that is 36% higher than all media over the past three years. 

Random’s Take: While it’s tempting to pour all your resources into digital, don’t neglect other media channels! What’s effective for one brand may not work so well for another. A balanced mix may help you reach a wider audience and maximize your ROI. Industry specifics aside, billboards, radio and print ads, and other non-digital marketing channels are still effective with the right strategy.

Takeaway #2: Misalignment Between Marketing Tactics and KPIs

As the economy dwindles, it seems like the marketing department is busier than ever with more opportunities, but with those bigger budgets comes a catch: more pressure to deliver results.

Here’s the irony though — 70% of marketers are focusing on performance marketing over brand-building initiatives, but the top KPIs are long-term ROI and full-funnel ROI. 

According to Nielson, a brand loses an average of 2% of future revenue for every quarter it stops advertising, whereas ongoing brand-building efforts can account for 10% to 35% of a brand’s equity. It’s important to balance your short-term performance goals with long-term brand-building strategies. Advocating for a full-funnel approach means recognizing that some insights might be hiding in plain sight! Optimize your budget for short- and long-term goals and reassess underperforming channels for secondary objectives.

Random’s Take: Performance marketing might garner more immediate and measurable wins, but building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. Performance marketing does little to attract new customers and can lead to brand erosion when overused. Don’t forget that you need top-of-funnel leads to nurture along the buyer’s journey; without brand-building efforts, you’ll have a tough time converting if consumer’s don’t know who you are first.

Takeaway #3: Media Balance is Key

With today’s fragmented media, reaching your audience amidst all of the noise requires a deep understanding of your audience. Nielsen’s data shows the average on-target rate for digital ads in North America is just 65%, and confidence in measuring the ROI of CTV (Connected TV) investments is only 31%. In simpler terms, there are challenges in targeting precision and ROI measurements for digital channels. 

Random’s Take: Precision is everything! A one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it anymore — knowing how your audience interacts with media is crucial. A cross-media approach can help overcome these challenges and enhance reach.

Takeaway #4: There’s a Disconnect Between Insights and Execution

While 84% of global marketers are confident in their martech’s ROI measurement capabilities, only 38% actually evaluate the holistic ROI across traditional and digital channels. This disconnect means blind spots and misattribution, causing marketers to underestimate the overall impact of their efforts. Not to mention, fewer than half of marketers feel confident in measuring the ROI of individual channels like social media.

Marketing mix modeling (MMM) tools, like this one by Analytic Partners, offer a full picture of how your campaigns are performing. Even though MMM is highly effective, only 30% of marketers rely on it for measuring holistic ROI. 

Random’s Take: Ultimately, it’s important to embrace a comprehensive media planning and measurement strategy. This approach will help you make smarter, data-driven decisions and get the most out of your marketing budget.

Looking to fine-tune your marketing strategy? Our team of experts is ready to help you leverage these insights and achieve your goals. Get in touch with us today, and let’s take your campaigns to the next level!

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