Despite big spending on digital, brands still aren’t sure how to measure cross-channel campaigns

Despite big spending on digital, brands still aren’t sure how to measure cross-channel campaigns

A new report published by Kantar has marked out 2020 as the year in which digital ad spend is set to skyrocket as marketers move en masse to optimize their media mix.

Getting Media Right reveals that fully 84% of marketers intend to open the purse strings for online video over the pivotal 12 months to come, with 70% planning to splash the cash on social media networks and 63% set to up their spend on podcasts.

This growth has been made possible by a robust £13.4bn spent on digital ads last year, driven in large part by smartphone ads.

This wave of profligacy contrasts sharply with moribund print media where retrenchment remains the order of the day. Here Kantar show some 70% of marketers will close their wallets further in terms of magazine spend while 66% row back on newspaper advertising.

Elsewhere the detailed report charts how marketers are still struggling to produce integrated campaigns, uncovering the fact that a worrying 25% of advertisers are not integrating their marketing while 27% do not have an integrated strategy in place to span media and non-media operations.

Drilling further into the psychology behind the findings Kantar found that a third of advertisers lack the confidence in their abilities to tailor their creative output to its specific context, even though two-thirds of respondents acknowledged that customised content is an imperative.

Discussing the report, Jane Ostler, global head of media effectiveness at Kantar said that while the rapid growth in digital ad spend comes as no surprise, she hopes the research will indicate that marketers still have a long way to go to when it comes to cross-channel measurement and proving ROI.

She said: "The next 12 months will see huge changes for the industry, with the rise of newer channels, such as podcasts and advanced TV, and the move away from cookies set to transform the way advertisers target and measure campaigns.

Ostler advises that marketers should aim for the best of both worlds. She said they need to create a framework to monitor the impact on business and brand metrics. "That means harmonising measurement tools, building an infrastructure that enables measurement across the diverse marketing mix, and creating meaningful insights to improve performance across all channels," she argued.

In July WPP offloaded a majority stake in Kantar to Bain Capital.

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