What Do Marketers Think Is Most Important in Influencing Campaign Performance?

May 13, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories: Advertising Trends | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Creative & Formats | Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Personalization

Targeting, creative, reach…? Which is most important in positively influencing campaign performance? Turns out marketers around the world are fairly split on this question, and you can add data quality to the mix of important factors, according to Nielsen’s 5th Global Annual Marketing Report [download page].

Almost 2,000 marketers around the world were asked by Nielsen to rank the order of importance of a variety of marketing tactics from most important (1) to least important (9) when considering contribution to campaign performance.

The results indicate that audience targeting came out on top by a hair, with an average rank of 4.1. Following closely was a grouping of ad creative, audience reach, and data quality, each with an average rank of 4.2.

Rounding out the top 5 was personalization (average rank of 4.6), ahead of path-to-purchase message sequencing (5), AI/machine learning (5.1) and publisher placement (5.3).

The results are interesting in light of an analysis released almost 5 years ago by Nielsen, in which it found that at least for CPG campaigns, creative (quality/messaging) had a far greater contribution to sales lift from advertising than did reach or targeting. A more recent survey from Westwood One and Advertiser Perceptions, however, revealed that marketers and agencies believed that targeting was a bigger driver of sales than creative or reach.

One factor unique to this latest survey is data quality, and there appear to be some concerns in this area. Only about 1 in 4 (26% of) survey respondents strongly agree that they have access to the quality audience data they need to get they most out of their media budget, though it’s true that an additional 45% somewhat agree that they do. This is supported by recent research from Ascend2, in which only 1 in 3 respondents said that the quality of their data allowed them to make effective decisions on where to spend marketing and/or sales resources, though another 55% somewhat agreed.

There are various aspects of audience data that the Nielsen survey respondents are struggling with. More than 1 in 3 report the following to be extremely or very difficult: data access (36%); identity resolution (36%); actionable data insights (36%); data accuracy/quality (35%); and data scale (34%). An additional third or so find these topics to be moderately difficult.

To read more, download the study here.

About the Data: The results are based on an online survey conducted 12/2/21-1/12/22 among 1,943 global marketing professionals at or above the manager level, working with annual marketing budgets of at least $1 million. Respondents hailed from across the auto, financial services, FMCG, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, travel, tourism and retail industries.

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