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The 5 New Must-Dos of Marketing

4 minute read | Lana Busignani, EVP, U.S. Analytics | February 2020

It’s no secret that marketing has undergone a massive transformation in recent years. Digital channels now capture over half of all advertising spending in the U.S. Understanding that marketing has changed doesn’t mean you know how to navigate the new landscape or what others in the field are doing to keep up.

Nielsen’s second annual Marketing Report surveyed over 350 marketers from around the world to generate detailed findings that offer a powerful view into the current state of marketing. As the new decade unfolds, follow these five new truths of marketing to stay ahead.

Gut feel doesn’t cut it anymore (and probably never should have in the first place) 

Digital’s expanding influence means marketers have to be much more agile in allocating their precious media dollars, but calculating the ROI for digital investments can be tough. Our survey found that when the going got tough, investments in paid digital media channels became the product of gut feel more than quantifiable ROI metrics. This is a scary proposition when millions of dollars are at stake.

While such digital marketing investments may indeed be worthwhile, it’s time for marketers to seek out measurement solutions to back up gut feel decisions and stop relying on assumptions. Partnering with industry experts can help organizations determine which digital marketing investments are, and aren’t, paying off.

Pay attention to data quality 

When it comes to accurate measurement, the key to having high-quality output is having high-quality input. As the saying goes, “good data in, good data out.” Yet we found that audience targeting, ad creative, and audience reach are global marketers’ top three priorities for marketing campaigns. Data quality comes in fourth. Placing such a low priority on data quality dramatically increases the risks that your marketing investments will be less effective, or even worse, simply off-target.

Marketers shouldn’t under-value the importance of data quality. Instead, they should focus on increasing data quality just as much as they focus on targeting and reaching audiences. After all, none of that targeting will hit the mark if the data that sustains it isn’t accurate.

Re-evaluate the role of promotions 

Most of us have leafed through coupon books in the Sunday newspaper in search of a discount for a local restaurant, air conditioning service, etc. Those one-for-all coupon books are good examples of what trade promotions used to be. But today, most consumers aren’t saving, clipping, or carrying around paper coupons. Instead, they’re using digital shopping apps, digital coupons and acting on personalized offers.

In today’s digital marketing world, trade promotions are ripe for disruption. Now’s the time for forward-thinking organizations to re-evaluate the role of trade promotions for their brands. Prepare for tech-enabled promotions and use them to learn about your customers, including their motivations and shopping behaviors.

Start preparing for Connected TV 

Connected TV has the potential to be a bridge between traditional and digital media, combining the reach and captive audience of TV with the addressability of paid search and video. To date, adoption has been hampered by various challenges, such as internal knowledge gaps, organizational buy-in, and media planning efficiency. 

But industry partners are ramping up connected TV measurement solutions and organizations need to sharpen their in-house skill sets to prepare. Good first steps include running small-scale campaigns as well as forming media and technology partnerships to hit the ground running when connected TV breaks open.

Reprioritize your customer priorities 

It’s human nature to like shiny new things, whether it’s a new gadget, a new city, a new marketing channel, or new customers. But that’s not always a wise strategy for customer retention.

According to our survey results, customer churn is the last priority when it comes to companies’ marketing objectives. Believe it or not, many brands rank acquiring new customers as their top marketing objective instead of investing in and focusing on retaining existing customers.

This lack of emphasis on churn is a missed opportunity for marketers. Studies have shown total spending is highly concentrated among a small segment of customers, proving that the 80/20 rule (that 20% of your customers drive 80% of your revenue) still holds true. 

With global disloyalty growing, brands need to adjust their marketing tactics and investments to boost retention. For marketers, that means segmenting high-value customers and developing media planning and messaging strategies for the best, not the rest.

Making Digital Marketing Investments Pay Off

With digital marketing, it’s impossible to slow down the rate of change. That’s why it’s vital to step back and make sure your brand’s digital marketing investments are paying off.

Rather than relying on gut feel for what’s working, organizations should seek out partners that can help them quantify ROI for digital marketing, increase data quality for better marketing effectiveness, prepare for broader connected TV adoption, and identify ways to boost loyalty of high-value customers.

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