Marketers Set Their Sights on Brand Awareness

May 18, 2022

Brand awareness is the top objective for marketers around the world this year, edging out customer acquisition, which in turn is more important than customer retention, per results from Nielsen’s 5th Global Annual Marketing Report [download page].

As part of the report, Nielsen asked close to 2,000 marketers around the world to rank the order of importance of a variety of marketing objectives for their business from most important (1) to least important (7). Respondents gave brand awareness an average ranking of 3, giving it top billing among the objectives listed.

Following close behind was customer acquisition (3.1), which was deemed a more critical objective this year than customer retention (3.3). This signals a shift from the height of the pandemic, when brands tended to switch focus to retention over acquisition. This latest order of importance is reflected in marketing budgets in the US: the latest CMO Survey indicates that on average, customer acquisition budgets are about 15% higher than retention budgets.

Meanwhile, an interesting statistic is included in the report relating to branding: Nielsen data indicates that “marketing accounts for 10%-35% of a brand’s equity.”

Brand Awareness Also the Top Metric

Not too surprisingly, given that brand awareness emerged as marketers’ top goal, it’s also their most important marketing metric. About two-thirds rated it as extremely (30%) or very (36%) important, putting it ahead of engagement (63% extremely or very important), marketing mix modeling (61%), full-funnel media ROI (61%) and viewability (61%).

Although it’s their most important metric, brand awareness isn’t the one that marketers feel most confident in measuring. That honor goes to sales, as 64% rate themselves extremely (29%) or very (35%) confident in their organization’s ability to accurately measure sales.

Next up, 61% are at least very confident in their ability to measure brand awareness, with similar numbers seen for engagement (60%) and viewability (59%).

The metrics that the fewest are very confident in are full-funnel media ROI (54%) and unduplicated reach and frequency (53%).

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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