A report by Nielsen recommends that marketers focus on “three pillars” to simplify measurement in light of increasing complexity.
Marketing budgets have always been subject to scrutiny, but the pandemic’s arrival and its presence almost two years later continues to spotlight the need for efficient and effective spending. That, in turn, has intensified the importance of accurate and holistic measurement, especially as brands increase their usage of new platforms and channels for their marketing efforts.
In addition to navigating new platforms and channels, marketers have notably increased their spending this year, mostly across mass reach channels (after a pullback during the first half of 2020). That spending aligns with sentiment from marketers surveyed for Nielsen’s 2021 Annual Marketing Report, which cited customer acquisition and brand awareness as their top priorities.
As spending increases, so does the focus on tracking ROI. And unlike digital, conversion-oriented marketing efforts, which can be measured with current martech solutions, mass reach efforts are often viewed by marketers as more challenging to correlate with actual, long-term sales. Now, while Nielsen’s experience base shows that on average, a 1-point gain in brand metrics such as awareness and consideration drive a 1% increase in sales, marketers surveyed for Nielsen’s annual marketing report aren’t confident in their existing marketing technology. Importantly, the introduction of new platforms, devices and channels—along with enhanced privacy considerations and the depreciation of third-party identifiers—increases the complexity that martech solutions need to account for.
As complexity rises, Nielsen believes brands should focus on three pillars:
- Trust: Measurement that is from an independent third party (not a media seller) and which is funded by the advertiser (lending full transparency to the advertiser directly) is critical.
- Comparability: For the largest components of a media budget, brands need to be able to accurately compare channels with consistent methodology, to facilitate a clear understanding of relative performance.
- Adaptability: For the largest components of a media budget, brands need to move from measuring what happened at the executed level—to what could be achieved. This will help brands improve, instead of simply validating that marketing strategies are working sufficiently. For the smaller components of media budget, brands will need a way to test and learn to ensure that successes can be scaled and investments in shortcomings can be appropriately limited.
So, there is no one-size-fits-all measurement solution. As media options multiply, so do martech solutions, potentially adding more confusion than clarity. Across the realm of measurement capabilities, marketers tell us they are least confident with measuring awareness, full-funnel ROI and multi-touch attribution (MTA).
Source: Nielsen. (2021, October 27). Media is complex: Three pillars can simplify measurement for marketers.
Insights: Media, Nielsen
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