Marketers Increasingly Relying on Behavioral Research to Influence Decisions

July 2, 2015

MillwardBrownDigital-Marketers-Use-of-Research-Tools-to-Influence-Decisions-Jul2015Some two-thirds of marketers currently use behavioral research (consumer behavior insights) to influence their marketing decisions, and almost 7 in 10 expect the use of behavioral data to grow over the next 3 years, according to a Millward Brown Digital study [download page]. Results from the survey also show that a majority are using audience measurement tools (61%), but that fewer have adopted marketing mix modeling (30%).

Achieving the optimal marketing mix is a work in progress, per the survey’s respondents, as only about half of media and agency marketers are confident that they have an optimized media mix. Even fewer – 1 in 4 – brand marketers share that confidence.

For brand marketers, a best-in-class media allocation (based on time and effort designated to each channel) breaks out as follows:

  • Website / content development (18% share of time and effort, down 1% point from last year);
  • Traditional advertising (17%, up 1% point);
  • Online advertising (14%, down 2% points);
  • Social (13%, up 2% points);
  • Mobile advertising and applications (12%, up 4% points);
  • Search (12%, up 1% point);
  • Email marketing (7%, down 3% points);
  • Direct mail marketing (4%, flat); and
  • Events / conferences (3%, down 2% points).

It’s interesting to note a slight gain for traditional advertising, with the opposite true for online advertising. That may be due to additional emphasis being placed on ROI for digital as opposed to traditional channels. Indeed, while more than 7 in 10 marketers would increase their spending on mobile (79%), digital (78%) and social (74%) were they better able to track ROI, only 47% said the same about traditional advertising. The difficulty in measuring ROI affects most digital channels, per recent data from Econsultancy.

In other results from the Millward Brown Digital survey:

  • Brand, media and agency respondents were all most likely to say that the use of big data represents the biggest opportunity facing marketers this year, ahead of multiscreen marketing, breaking down mobile and social silos, optimizing the role of video, and location-based marketing;
  • Even so, just 14% of brand marketers reported being confident in the use of data in their organizations, down from 39% last year; and
  • Only 38% of brand marketers are confident that their organization is up-to-date on digital best practices, well behind the comparable figures for agency (61%) and media (64%) respondents.

About the Data: The 2nd Annual “Getting Digital Right” study is based on input from more than 400 marketers spanning brands, media companies and agencies.

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