Report: Marketers lack confidence in media and advertising measurement, optimisation and targeting

New CMO Council report shows many marketers lacking confidence in their ability to harness the data and agility needed to drive media and advertising campaign effectiveness

Two in three marketers lack confidence in their current media marketing and advertising strategies to effectively produce outcomes, new research from the CMO Council has shown.

According to the fresh Optimizing Outcomes in Media Marketing report, 34 per cent of US marketers surveyed felt extremely or very confident in their media marketing and advertising capabilities, while 53 per cent hinted at moderate confidence. The remaining 15 per cent showed a decided lack of confidence.

What was clear from the findings was ongoing recognition of the importance of media and advertising in customer acquisition. For example, eight in 10 said media marketing and advertising is either extremely (37 per cent) or very (47 per cent) important in winning customers. By contrast, only 52 per cent said the same of media marketing and advertising for retaining customers.

Key to success for in-flight campaigns is optimising media and audience. More than eight in 10 (83 per cent) said this was extremely or very important. Yet less than half showed confidence in their ability to do this (49 per cent). Roadblocks include lacking the right data inputs, lacking expertise and resources, and lacking access to sufficient tools from third-party partners.

Accurate and efficient customer targeting, another crucial element in effectiveness and one also driven by data, was another capability in which marketers lack assuredness. Only 57 per cent agreed they were confidence in their abilities in this area.

In addition, 85 per cent said it’s extremely (34 per cent) or very (51 per cent) important to obtain a sales lift report when choosing to advertise with a publisher or retail media network. What’s more, 82 per cent said it’s extremely (35 per cent) or very (47 per cent) important to understand if the campaign is creating a sales lift at other retailers and online stores.

However, only 42 per cent expressed confidence in their ability to drive consistent campaign results, with four in 10 not-so-confident in this area. And 23 per cent said they’re not-so-confident in their ability to understand why a campaign is successful or not.

Top ways marketers are measuring the performance of media and advertising are sales lift (64 per cent), return on ad spend (59 per cent), reach to target audience (47 per cent), brand lift (45 per cent) and clicks or online engagement (41 per cent). Market mix modelling was only listed by 30 per cent of respondents as extremely or very important, while multi-touch attribution was seen by 28 per cent in the same way.

Not surprisingly, top areas of investment over the next 12 months are in-flight campaign optimisation, accurate and efficient customer targeting, measuring campaign performance and third-party data evaluation and analysis. Equally not surprising is the fact lack of budget was suggested as a major hindrance to realising media marketing and advertising potential.

The CMO Council and NCSolutions report was based on a survey of 160 marketers in North America, with a skew towards FMCG and retail, and also took its cues from additional in-depth surveys with executives.  

“Like other marketers, I live in a state of readiness. In marketing, you have to anticipate change and be somewhat comfortable with not knowing what lies ahead,” commented NCSolutions SVP of marketing, Deirdre McFarland, in the report. “This sentiment is reflected in the findings outlined in this report, a collaboration between CMO Council and NCSolutions.

"In this survey of marketing leaders, we learned they resoundingly say they do not feel confident in their ability to drive desired outcomes through media, marketing and advertising efforts. They report a desire to improve their marketing impact in the coming year yet cited several obstacles to campaign success. These included a lack of budget, lack of data science talent, lack of tools, and failure to understand why campaigns are successful.”

The CMO Council executive director, Donovan Neale-May, said today’s CMO must be incredibly agile in order to successfully navigate a fragmented and unpredictable media landscape.

“They have to be able to learn quickly and pivot fast when things aren’t going to plan. They need to make smart decisions based on data, not only gut hunches,” he added.

Check out CMO's special report into the current state of marketing attribution in CMO magazine here.

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page





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