Nielsen’s new report predicts seismic changes in media budgets

Over the next year, 52 percent of marketers said they are planning to decrease their linear TV budgets.

Marketers are planning to make big-time budget increases across multiple paid digital channels, including CTV and display, according to Nielsen’s fifth annual global marketing report.

Indeed, some of the largest gains are predicted to be in key digital channels such as social media (up 53 percent), display (50 percent, including mobile), online video (50 percent, including mobile), and connected TV (37 percent). By contrast, analog channels such as linear TV (20 percent) and traditional radio (13 percent) are growing at significantly lower rates.

The report, which surveyed nearly 2,000 global marketers who managed budgets of $1 million or more between December 2021 and January 2022, highlights the rapidly shifting landscape of modern marketing. Underscoring this point is that 52 percent of marketers surveyed are planning to decrease their linear TV budgets.

“There is no discounting the growing reach of select digital channels, such as online video and connected TV, and marketers are increasing their spend accordingly,” the report states. “Importantly, they’ll want to ensure that their spend is reaching the right audiences — real people making real choices.”

Brand awareness is the top objective for the marketers surveyed and according to the report, the easiest way to accomplish this is through digital. The report’s findings suggest marketers were more confident that their ads would be more effective on nearly every digital channel over linear TV. Social media (64 percent), digital video (58 percent), and search (58 percent) topped the list of perceived effectiveness.

Data is key to making ads effective, according to the report, as it allows marketers to glean insights that can’t be seen through traditional channels. While digital affords new opportunities for data, it also brings new dimensions to traditional targeting.

These findings dovetail with the anticipated phasing out of third-party cookies. Only 26 percent of global marketers surveyed are fully confident in their audience data, according to the report. To that end, a leading way to increase confidence is through improving first-party data. Refining data solutions will be another method of optimizing performance as we go full steam ahead into the digital future.

“Robust and accurate data must be marketers’ North Star for understanding
and engaging the consumer and for measurement and attribution that enables the highest ROI,” said Jamie Moldafsky, Nielsen’s chief marketing and communications officer. “With the complexities of ongoing disruption and media fragmentation, several things remain constant: the need-to-know consumers and clients, what they want from you, and how you most effectively and efficiently can engage them.”