Nielsen 2024 Marketing Report: Key Takeaways for Marketers

Nielsen 2024 Marketing Report

Content Roadmap

Nielsen’s 2024 Annual Marketing Report offers valuable insights into the complexities of modern marketing. By understanding the critical themes of spending optimism, marketing misalignment, media balance, and measurement confidence, marketers can develop strategies that maximize ROI in a fragmented media world. 

2024 annual marketing report
Image rights belongs to: Nielsen

Topic 1: Spending Optimism Rises

This document summarizes the key findings of the “2024 Nielsen Annual Marketing Report” using a clear and concise writing style.

  • Budgets are up: 72% of global marketers expect bigger ad budgets in 2024, driven by optimism about digital channels.
  • Digital Dominance: Marketers plan to allocate 63% of their budgets to digital, favoring social media, search, online video, and digital display.
  • Retail Media Networks (RMNs) Surge: Nearly 70% of marketers consider RMNs more important in 2024, driving significant investment.

Despite inflation, slowed consumer spending, and supply chain issues, 72% of global marketers expect bigger ad budgets this year, up from 64% last year.

Marketers feel more optimistic about ad spend. Delivering ROI has always been a top priority. While “returns” mean more than sales figures, the unsettled global economy has forced marketers to focus on revenue. This year, 72% expect bigger ad budgets, compared to 64% last year. APAC is particularly optimistic, with 81% anticipating budget increases, versus just 56% in 2023.

Global marketers plan to increase digital spend. On average, they will dedicate 63% of their budgets to digital channels. Social media, search, online video, and digital display will see the largest increases. Last year’s respondents said they allocated about half of their 2022 budgets to digital channels.

Marketers are leaning into digital’s perceived effectiveness. They remain committed to increasing spending across select digital channels due to higher perceived effectiveness. Social media, search, online/mobile video, and display are seen as extremely or very effective by a majority.

Retail Media Networks investments are also on the rise. Nearly 70% of global marketers say retail media is more important than a year ago. Industry ad spending forecasts are similarly optimistic, predicting growth ranging from 4% to 7%, with retail media, search, and CTV driving the biggest increases.

Social media and search spending measure up. Social media continues to see the biggest marketing increases. Over the past three years, the average ROI of social media spending has been 36% higher than the average ROI across all media. 75% of people exposed to social media ads say the ads made them more likely to purchase, use, or consider the brand.

Topic 2: Misalignment Between Tactics and KPIs

  • Revenue is King: Marketers prioritize revenue growth amidst economic uncertainty.
  • Performance Marketing Takes Center Stage: 70% of marketers favor performance marketing over brand building to drive immediate sales.
  • Traditional Channels Decline: Spending on linear TV and AM/FM radio continues to decline as marketers shift towards digital.
  • The Importance of Brand Building: While tempting for quick wins, neglecting brand building can harm long-term growth and customer acquisition costs.

Marketers’ top KPIs are long-term and full-funnel ROI. However, 70% plan to prioritize performance marketing over brand-building initiatives. This means short-term gains are favored over long-term brand health.

Conversion-focused marketing stacks up against long-term KPIs. While performance marketing delivers quick wins, it can undermine brand equity if not balanced with brand-building efforts. The pressure to show immediate results often leads to an overemphasis on lower-funnel activities at the expense of upper-funnel brand awareness and consideration.

Topic 3: Finding the Right Media Balance

  • Reach Remains Crucial: Effective marketing hinges on reaching the right audience, which is challenging in today’s fragmented media landscape.
  • Digital Targeting Varies: On-target rates for digital ads fluctuate significantly by region, highlighting the need for quality audience data.
  • Balancing Short-Term and Long-Term: Marketers need to find the right balance between performance-driven and brand-building campaigns.

Digital dominance may hurt holistic returns. With nearly two-thirds of media budgets going toward digital and performance channels, achieving holistic returns might be challenging. A balanced media mix is critical for comprehensive campaign goals.

Understanding channel nuances is vital. Each channel plays a unique role in the customer journey. Digital channels excel in targeting and measurement but may lack the broad reach of traditional media like TV and out-of-home. An integrated approach can help leverage the strengths of each channel to drive overall campaign success.

Topic 4: Measurement Confidence and Challenges

  • Confidence is High, but Incomplete: 84% of marketers feel confident in their ROI measurement, yet only 38% measure holistic ROI across channels.
  • The Need for Comprehensive Measurement: Marketers must adopt tools and strategies that measure the full impact of their campaigns across all channels.

Measurement confidence is high, but incomplete. 84% of global marketers are confident in their ROI measurement capabilities, up from 69% in 2023. But only 38% evaluate the holistic ROI of their marketing efforts by measuring traditional and digital marketing together.

There is a disconnect between confidence and execution. While marketers feel good about their measurement tools, they often fall short in integrating data across channels. Full-funnel measurement is crucial for understanding the true impact of marketing efforts and making informed decisions.

Actionable Insights for Marketers:

  • Prioritize ROI: Focus spending on channels that deliver the highest ROI for your specific KPIs, even if it means exploring less conventional options.
  • Embrace Full-Funnel Marketing: Balance short-term performance marketing with long-term brand building to maximize both immediate and future sales.
  • Measure Holistically: Implement comprehensive measurement strategies to understand the true impact of your marketing efforts across all channels.
  • Leverage Data for Optimization: Use data-driven insights to continuously optimize campaigns and ensure you’re reaching the right audience with the right message.

This summary provides a concise overview of the report’s key findings. For a deeper understanding, refer to the full report.

Maximizing ROI in a Fragmented Media World: A Deep Dive into Nielsen's 2024 Annual Marketing Report

In 2023, we braced for a recession. It never fully came, but budgets got slashed. Layoffs were everywhere. This year might be the same, but global marketers remain hopeful.

They’re diving deep into performance marketing and digital platforms. These channels give quantifiable results. Automated ad buying based on audiences can be measured and optimized in real time. But a balanced media mix is essential. It needs a cross-media approach, continuous tailoring, and measurement across the full marketing funnel.

This Nielsen Annual Marketing Report looks at how global marketers allocate budgets and measure success, all aiming to prove and improve ROI. By studying their priorities, we’ve developed strategies to sharpen your ROI for 2024 and beyond.

Conclusion

The marketing landscape is constantly evolving. To maximize ROI in a fragmented media world, marketers must balance short-term performance and long-term brand building. They need to embrace a cross-media approach, continuously tailor their strategies, and measure success across the full marketing funnel.

By aligning their tactics with their top KPIs and leveraging the strengths of both digital and traditional channels, marketers can navigate the complexities of today’s media environment and achieve holistic returns.

Jesus Guzman

M&G Speed Marketing LTD. CEO

Jesus Guzman is the CEO and founder of M&G Speed Marketing LTD, a digital marketing agency focused on rapidly growing businesses through strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns, and website optimization. With an MBA and over 11 years of experience, Guzman combines his marketing expertise with web design skills to create captivating online experiences. His journey as an in-house SEO expert has given him insights into effective online marketing. Guzman is passionate about helping businesses achieve impressive growth through his honed skills. He has proud case studies to share and is eager to connect to take your business to the next level.