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Nielsen Marketing Campaign Priorities Jan2020In their push towards digital marketing and advertising, marketers seem to be setting priorities that direct them more to digital than traditional forms of media, results from a new Nielsen report [download page] indicate. For example, respondents cited audience targeting – for which digital is highly touted – as their top campaign priority this year.

Ad creative is the second-most prominent priority for the more than 350 brand and agency executives surveyed. This is followed by audience reach – one of the traditional benefits of legacy mass media.

Indeed, MarketingCharts’ latest edition of the US Media Audience Demographics report shows that radio and TV continue to boast the widest weekly reach among US adults.

Surprisingly, data quality is only a marketing campaign priority for 28% of respondents. That’s despite companies relying more and more on data to help with various business decisions as well as to assist in other priorities like audience targeting and personalization.

Paid Media Effectiveness vs ROI Confidence

Examining paid media effectiveness, Nielsen’s survey found that search was perceived to be the most effective paid digital channel. This may relate to the priority being placed on audience targeting, search engine marketing strategies are often informed by such tools.

Other paid digital media perceived to be effective include video (online/mobile) and social media, while emerging channels such as streaming audio and podcasts are perceived to be less effective for the time being, potentially due to lower adoption or time with which to prove themselves.

Nielsen’s report does point out that the perceived effectiveness of a channel does not necessarily mean that marketers are confident that they are able to measure its ROI. As an example, marketers are more confident in their ability to measure the ROI of email than of video or social media, yet they show less confidence in email’s effectiveness than in those other channels.

As such, businesses appear willing to continue investing in digital channels that may not be performing up to snuff or at least that they cannot necessarily prove are as effective as they think. As such, budgets may be following perceptions rather than reality: even though marketers are not very confident that they know how to measure ROI for many digital channels, most still expect to see their budget increase for the media they believe to be effective.

On the other hand, budgets for what may be considered tried and true traditional channels are, for the most part, expected to either remain the same or decrease in the next 12 months. Per the report, channels such as linear TV, radio or print “have been around for much longer, and their effectiveness is not a guarantee that budgets will increase. Consciously or not, marketers seem to hold traditional channels to a higher standard.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on data collected via newsletter and follow-up emails in 2019 for a sample of 363 respondents; 247 brand executives and 116 agency executives. The majority of respondents (74%) were based in the US.

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