How Are Marketers Deciding Where to Allocate Their Budgets This Year?

October 16, 2019

The majority of senior marketers believe that their organizations have successfully established integrated marketing communications. And three-quarters (76%) of these same marketers say that research helps collaborate between marketing departments, per a report [download page] from Kantar Media.

Not only is research easing the collaboration between departments, but it also plays a major role in deciding where to allocate media budgets. Two-thirds (66%) of the global and senior-level respondents, including advertisers, agencies and media companies, say that one of the factors that most influence how they allocate their budgets among channels is the preferred channels of their target audience, based on research.

Another 63% of senior marketers say that channels that are appropriate for specific campaign objectives represent an influential factor for budget allocation, as well as channels that have been successful in the past based on research (56%). More than half (56%) of respondents also said that how they allocate their media budget among channels is influenced by channels where their target customers are most receptive.

Targeting Audiences

On the topic of audience targeting, the majority of respondents say they feel at least somewhat confident that their organization is successfully targeting the right audiences, although that sentiment differs somewhat between advertisers (68%), agencies (87%) and media companies (74%).

Some 80% of all the marketers surveyed say they are currently using programmatic targeting for their campaigns. Kantar’s research found that the number of marketers who use programmatic targeting is expected to rise to 90% in the coming year. However, prior research focusing specifically on B2B found that although spending on programmatic had risen, the use of it had leveled off at the end of 2018.

Beyond programmatic, three-quarters (76%) of marketers find the application of survey data such as customer needs, attitudes, and values to be valuable in improving profile-based targeting segments.

Getting the Balance Right

While marketers are emphasizing target audiences, they are not completely confident that their organization has the optimal media mix. This lack of confidence is especially high with advertisers and media companies, with 2 in 5 of respondents from both sectors saying they are “not very” or “not at all” confident that their media mix is optimal. By contrast, only 17% of agencies lacked confidence that they were delivering the optimal media mix.

The report hypothesizes that this is due, in part, to not understanding customer touchpoints and the context in which creatives are delivered. This is reflected in other research that has found that while a majority of digital marketing executives say they have mapped the customer journey across all digital touchpoints, identifying critical touchpoints is one of the biggest customer experience challenges for CMOs.

Challenges in Measuring ROI

Advertisers (46%) and media companies (45%) also lack confidence that they have the right balance and synergies between digital and traditional (offline) media. This could be because marketers have incomplete ROI measurements.

Measuring the impact across channels or campaigns has been a challenge for marketers in the past, although many are finding it easier with the use of marketing automation. That being said, few respondents say they measure or monitor performance on all marketing activities and the majority do not measure ROI continuously.

Additionally, while most respondents say that it’s most important to measure ROI on the short and long-term, fewer are currently measuring for this mix.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Report findings are based on a global survey of 488 senior marketing leaders at advertisers, agencies (creative and media) and media companies.

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