More than 80 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) plan to increase their digital advertising spend over the next year, but only 26 percent of those surveyed said they feel highly confident in their ability to quantify the return on investment (ROI) of that spend, according to a new report by Nielsen.

Much of that money will be spent on social media and search, said U.S.-based CMOs who Nielsen interviewed and surveyed for the report. More than 73% of CMOs ranked those the two most important digital channels.

In line with seeking better measurement methods, some 80 percent of CMOs plan to increase their investment in analytics or attribution sources in the next year, according to the research.

While CMOs are leaning more and more heavily on digital media, they also are still investing in traditional media, such as broadcast TV and print. As the upfront spending season commences — with all of the broadcast networks finally reporting that deals are getting done — more than half of the companies surveyed said television remains the most important traditional media channel to them. Radio continues to lead all traditional media in terms of weekly reach, and 45 percent of marketers said radio remained an effective marketing channel.

But, like digital, traditional media also are proving hard to measure, with only 23 percent of marketers saying they were highly confident in measuring the ROI of traditional media.

Beyond seeking better measurement tools and analytics, marketers said they are concerned with improving the efficiencies of their buys. They are looking to do this by improved reach and frequency measurement, viewability and data management platforms. Some 43 percent of respondents said they plan to increase their spending with media agencies over the next 12 months, and 84 percent said they have confidence in agencies’ ability to deliver strong ROI.

In addition, brand advertisers are restructuring their marketing organizations so that customers — rather than channels — are at the center. More than 60 percent of marketers said their companies are organized in a way that “supports an omnichannel approach with unified reporting structures and revenue goals,” according to Nielsen.

The report represents the first of an annual survey of CMOs that Nielsen is kicking off.

[Image courtesy of Variety]

Tags: digital marketing media buying nielsen media research

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