Research shows: Collaboration makes marketers happy

1) Establish campaign objective.
2) Use appropriate metrics to measure success.
3) Align all stakeholders’ interest using the same information.

Simple, right?

What looks like the most basic roadmap for planning and executing a campaign may actually contain unforeseen roadblocks and bottlenecks.

In theory, of course, most marketers agree that establishing and sharing a campaign’s primary objective — and the metrics that will be used to determine success — is important. In practice, however, just 61 percent of media owners and 41 percent of agencies report receiving the primary marketing objective only half of the time — or less:

That’s just one surprising fact Nielsen reveals in the new report, The State of Digital Brand Advertising. Conducted in conjunction with the CMO Council, this report contains the latest information about best practices from marketers, agencies and media owners about their digital spend, current practices and expectations.


A real need for real-time adjustment

In addition to establishing the right success metrics, marketers also need real-time optimization of those metrics. Marketers identified unique visitors and GRPs as the most appropriate metrics to measure reach, and brand lift as the most appropriate metric to measure resonance.

Most media owners, however, are optimizing completely different metrics. Or, they’re not collecting any data at all to make in-campaign improvements:

In order to maximize performance, all campaign entities need the right data at the right time to make real-time adjustments. One potential solution is technology that helps all entities in the campaign ecosystem collaborate around optimizing the same data.


Skeptical marketers demand guarantees

According to a focused study of more than 150 Nielsen brand ad effectiveness campaigns, media plan participants generate, on average, 33 percent higher brand lift and they’re 25 percent more likely to perform in the top third of the campaign when the media plan participants and agencies are able to directly collaborate around the same information.

Clearly, there’s benefit from cradle-to-grave collaboration. But the lack of appropriate metrics and the ability to collaborate around them leaves marketers doubtful of what their campaigns actually achieved. Only 11 percent of marketers “strongly believe” audience reach claims; 49 percent “somewhat believe” these claims while 40 percent are “uncertain” or outright “disbelieve.”

The result? Marketers are demanding audience guarantees:

But how can those guarantees be provided if there is a lack of understanding about who the media actually reaches and how often? One answer is for media owners to run unique visitor and GRP diagnostics across their properties to build insights about audience composition to inform guarantees.


Digital brand campaigns are on the rise

As digital campaigns evolve, collaboration around brand-appropriate metrics are more crucial than ever.

For the first time, marketers report running more digital brand advertising campaigns than digital direct response campaigns — 33 percent more. In fact, 70 percent of marketers increased the amount of budget allocated to digital brand advertising in 2014, a 15 percent increase from 2013:

With more spend dedicated to digital advertising — and brand campaigns, in particular — it’s more important than ever for marketers to have confidence in their metrics. To instill that confidence, the right data must be part of the conversation for the entirety of every campaign.

If stakeholder interests are not unified around the appropriate metrics and expectations, the risks are dissatisfaction, inefficiency and decreased ROI.

The entire The State of Digital Brand Advertising survey is available here.

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