CMO Council, Nielsen Find Marketers Love Digital, Want ROI

Remember when the idea of doing a brand campaign online was laughable? The technology wasn't optimal, delivery options were narrow, pricing was pretty much CPM, and KPIs were click-throughs. That wasn't so long ago, really, but neither were flip phones. Now "rich media" is as redundant as “smartphones.” 

Chief marketers get it, and are spending more on it. The CMO Council's latest take on where digital dollars are going shows big increases in digital branding versus direct marketing. Their survey — with Nielsen assisting, of 546 senior marketers, 661 agency executives and 377 publishing representatives in April through July this year  finds that marketers are running 33% more digital ad campaigns than direct response and that overall, marketers are doing 19% more digital ad campaigns this year versus last.



Seventy percent of marketers increased digital ad spend this year, a 15% increase versus last year. Within that group, 70% said they would increase their use of mobile for brand ads and 50% said they would increase ads optimized for PC and laptop. Fewer than 10% said they would lower brand ad spend online. 

Sixty-five percent said they would increase spend on digital video, and among those, 49% said they that increased digital video spend is being funded by shifting budget from offline. 

Conversely, while around 10% to 15% of respondents said they would actually increase spend against TV, out-of-home, print and radio, in all cases the percentage of marketers who said they would decrease spend in those categories was greater  much greater in the case of print and radio. 

The one big barrier element holding back a bigger digital spend is brand-relevant measurement capabilities. Ninety-five percent of respondents said the ability to verify ROI is causing resistance to bigger digital commitments; 82% said better verification of delivery of their message to the right target is key; 79% said they want better purchasing efficiency; 64% cited the ability to use the same metrics to evaluate brand advertising effectiveness online as off; and 54% said there's a paucity of guidance on how to run cross-platform campaigns.

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