On the road to marketing ROI: New Nielsen research takes the industry pulse on budget allocations, KPIs, martech, and proving ROI

by | May 2, 2024 | Marketing, Public Relations

Comms pros have never been under more pressure to prove the value of their strategies and initiatives, and as a result, to improve their approach. The obvious million-dollar question is how exactly can marketers do this? New research from audience measurement, data and analytics giant Nielsen explores communicators’ priorities and plans to improve ROI in 2024 and beyond.

The firm’s new 2024 Marketing Report, which surveyed nearly 2,000 global marketers, found that they continue to view social media, search, online/mobile video, and online/mobile display as the most effective marketing channels for ROI, but could miss out on key revenue opportunities without a cross-media strategy and approach.

marketing ROI

The firm’s sixth annual report surveyed marketers on topics including budget allocations and spending optimism, brand-building strategies, media balance, and overall confidence. 

Some of the key findings globally include:

Marketer spending optimism is up in 2024

Despite the presence of inflation, consumer spending, and supply chain uncertainties as key planning considerations, 72 percent of global marketers expect bigger ad budgets this year, up from 64 percent on a year-on-year basis.

marketing ROI

Marketer tactics may not drive top KPI results

Marketers’ top KPIs are long-term ROI and full-funnel ROI. At the same time, however, 70 percent of respondents plan to prioritize performance marketing over brand building initiatives. A shift to performance marketing, without supporting brand-building marketing, could limit long-term ROI and may cause brand decay.

marketing ROI

Digital media allocations are approaching two-thirds of spending

On average, global marketers plan to allocate more than 63 percent of their media spending to digital channels, with social media, search, online video and digital display accounting for the largest increases. A year ago, marketers split their traditional and digital spending 50:50.

Marketing technology confidence doesn’t match measurement realities

More than 8 in 10 (84 percent) of global marketers surveyed say they’re either extremely or very confident in their ROI measurement capabilities, up from 69 percent in 2023. Comparatively, only 38 percent say they evaluate the holistic ROI of their marketing efforts by measuring traditional and digital marketing together.

marketing ROI

“Marketers manage a diverse and growing number of channels—each with a unique set of activation needs and performance metrics,” said Tina Wilson, EVP and Group GM, Analytics Portfolio Companies at Nielsen, in a news release. “Our research reaffirms that effective measurement requires an integrated effort across media to understand brand and performance metrics in the short and long term.”

Download the full report here.

The report is based on survey responses in December 2023 from marketers who manage marketing budgets of $1 million or more, who work across a variety of industries (auto, financial services, FMCG, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, travel, tourism, and retail), and whose focus pertains to media, technology, and measurement strategies.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter