CMOs Say Digital Marketing Is Most Effective: Nielsen Study

Execs expect to increase digital media budgets by 49%
Publish date:

Chief marketing officers give digital advertising higher marks for being effective than traditional media, including television, according to a new study by Nielsen.

Nielsen, NYC Tech Hub (lobby)

Lobby of Nielsen's NYC Tech Hub

But while the world seems awash in data, few of the CMOs were confident in their ability to actually measure return on investment for their advertising. Some 81% of CMOs agreed that media owners should be held accountable for campaign performance.

"Digital ad spending has eclipsed traditional channels and we expect that trend to continue,” Nielsen said in the report.

When forecasting the next 12 months, 82% of respondents expect to increase their digital media spend as a percentage of their total advertising budget.

Respondents expect, on average, a 49% increase in digital media budgets in the next 12 months -- a big number to consider during this upfront season. And some respondents reported even higher increases.

By comparison, only 30% of respondents plan to invest more in traditional media channels in the near term.

More than 51% of respondents rated linear television as either highly or extremely important. A full 30% of respondents rated TV as “extremely important.” No other traditional channel reached 10%.

But only 13% said TV was extremely effective. By contrast, 31% called social media and search extremely effective, with 27% saying mobile is extremely effective. Programmatic was seen as extremely effective by 21%.

“Our research suggests that while traditional media isn’t perceived as being as highly effective as digital, it’s important to understand that measures of effectiveness are relative,” Nielsen said. “Campaign objectives should be aligned with the media types proven to best support specific campaign performance goals. As many of our interviews with CMOs pointed out, the traditional channels evaluated here align well with mid- and upper-funnel brand building, which is critical to increasing the size of the prospective new customer pie.”