Marketers have always been tasked with adaptability, but the uncertainty and disruption over the past year as COVID-19 shifted many consumer habits left many marketers without a clear roadmap forward. The inability to face change and respond, however, can be costly—both when a brand stops marketing amid uncertainty, as well as when a brand doesn’t have a good read on the effectiveness of its marketing mix.
There are signs of a rebound across sectors, and consumers are growing increasingly optimistic about a recovery from the pandemic. But that doesn’t alleviate the need for marketers to stay focused on the effectiveness of their marketing spend. The pandemic simply amplified the need for focus on a global scale.
During this time of significant disruption, companies have been tasked with adjusting and reallocating their marketing mix spend to stay lean and efficient. And despite possible assumptions that being large inhibits agility, large brands report being able to adjust more successfully than smaller brands. In fact, this year’s Nielsen Annual Marketing Report found that larger companies have grown increasingly nimble, allowing them to react more quickly than smaller ones to market demand and shifting consumer behaviors. And as a result, they were better able to adjust their marketing mix spending in 2020 as market conditions shifted.
“We cut all programs that were not showing immediate benefit.”
– Marketing director, technology company
Budget is often the primary barrier to the adoption of marketing analytics and attribution solutions, and that barrier escalated among companies with small- and mid-sized budgets last year amid budget freezes, curtailments and staff layoffs. Unsurprisingly, brands with small budgets say expenditure limitations overshadow all other considerations, while companies with larger budgets say modern marketing technology solutions better position them for the future.
In response to growing client needs, the marketing technology industry has adapted, broadening the range of products they offer beyond one-size solutions that only the world’s biggest corporations can afford. Truth be told, an array of solutions have been scaled for businesses of different sizes, and so have their pricing models. In looking at planned expenditures over the next year, it looks like many companies have gotten the memo. Those that have not, should heed the call.
Marketing efforts will always face budgetary constraints, and future allocations typically hinge on proven ROI. Agility is more important than ever, and savvy marketers are continually evaluating and adjusting their marketing efforts to ensure they’re efficient and effective. That’s why marketing analytics tools are critical, as they work to ensure that your spend is well allocated and help you adjust when it’s not.
Learn how Nielsen can help you track, measure and optimize your marketing tactics and understand the impact of your media campaigns with our ethically sourced audience data.