According to the Nielsen 5th Global Annual Marketing Report, brand awareness is the top objective for marketers around the world this year, edging out customer acquisition, which in turn is more important than customer retention.
Nielsen asked approximately 2,000 marketers around the world to rank the order of importance of a variety of marketing objectives for their business from most important (1) to least important (7). Respondents gave brand awareness an average ranking of 3, giving it top billing among the objectives listed.
Next was customer acquisition (3.1), which was deemed a more critical objective this year than customer retention (3.3). This shows a shift from the height of the pandemic when brands tended to focus on retention over acquisition. This latest order of importance is reflected in marketing budgets in the US: the most recent CMO Survey indicates that on average customer acquisition budgets are about 15% higher than retention budgets. What’s more, Nielsen data indicates that “marketing accounts for 10%-35% of a brand’s equity.”
Top Goal: Brand Awareness
Given that brand awareness emerged as marketers’ top goal, it’s also their most important marketing metric. About two-thirds rated it as extremely (30%) or very (36%) important, putting it ahead of engagement (63% extremely or very important), marketing mix modeling (61%), full-funnel media ROI (61%), and viewability (61%).
Even though it’s their most important metric, brand awareness isn’t the one that marketers feel most confident in measuring. 64% rate themselves extremely (29%) or very (35%) confident in their organization’s ability to accurately measure sales. 61% are at least very confident in their ability to measure brand awareness, with similar numbers for engagement (60%) and viewability (59%). The metrics that the fewest are very confident in are full-funnel media ROI (54%) and unduplicated reach and frequency (53%).
About the Data: The results are based on an online survey conducted from December 2, 2021 to January 12, 2022 among 1,943 global marketing professionals at or above the manager level, working with annual marketing budgets of at least $1 million. Respondents were from the auto, financial services, FMCG, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, travel, tourism, and retail industries.
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