82% of marketers plan to increase digital spend, but only 26% are confident in ROI
- Eighty-two percent of surveyed marketers plan to increase their digital spending as part of their overall ad budget by an average of 49% over the next year, according to findings from Nielsen's new CMO Report 2018. Nearly 80% plan to increase their investment in analytics or attribution solutions over the next 12 months.
- Search and social were the most important digital channels for 73% of respondents. The study, based on interviews with CMOs and survey data, found that marketers are looking for better insights rather than more data. Only 26% said they were confident in their ability to measure ROI on digital. Marketers are also increasingly focusing on consumer-centric, omnichannel strategies, according to the report. Sixty-two percent said their structure supports an omnichannel strategy with reporting solutions and revenue goals. Respondents also cited a need for better marketing technology that integrates consumer data and insights across channels
- Marketers also still find value in traditional channels when it comes to brand building, awareness, ad recall and favorability. However, less than one-third of respondents plan to increase their traditional media budgets over the next 12 months. TV was ranked the most important traditional channel by 51%, and 30% said TV was "extremely important" to their strategy. Like digital, measuring ROI on traditional media is also a struggle, with just 23% saying they were "highly confident" in their ability to track effectiveness.
Nielsen's latest CMO report sheds light on the double-edged sword digital marketing continues to present, where marketers are pouring more and more resources into the channel but can't always accurately gauge the success of their efforts in terms of ROI. Data is another large piece of the equation, and something more CMOs and those in equivalent roles are feeling pressure to wrangle control over.
Digital ad spending reached an all-time high of $88 billion in 2017, a 21% increase over the previous year, according to the IAB. But given some of digital's ongoing headwinds, not all marketers are ramping up their investments. A recent CMO Council survey found 21% of industry professionals are pulling back their spending due to poor digital campaign measurement. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed said digital media needs to be more reliable.
Marketers continue to express the desire for more transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement, as well as real-time access to consumer data and intelligence. The Nielsen report suggests that these issues persist across traditional channels as well. That TV remains an important channel for about one-third of marketers should be welcome news for networks. With declining revenues and viewership, many analysts have predicted a fairly bleak future for TV advertising.