Two-thirds of Consumer Packaged Goods Marketers Cite Return on Ad Spend as the Most Important Performance Indicator for Business Today in a New Survey

  • 79% of marketers surveyed have investigated or will investigate a clean room in the next year 
  • 71%  are using incremental sales lift to measure advertising outcomes
  • Close to three-quarters plan to increase their spending on connected TV advertising and audience targeting 
  • 55% expect their advertising budget to increase in 2022

NEW YORK, April 26, 2022 – According to the results of a new survey on the future of outcome-based metrics and tools for marketing effectiveness, two-thirds (67%) of consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers say that return on ad spend (ROAS) is the most significant advertising key performance indicator for their business today –  followed by 16% indicating target audience reach was most critical, purchase intent (10%) and clicks and online engagement (7%). Brand Innovators conducted this survey in collaboration with NCSolutions (NCS). 

Most marketers say that return on ad spend is the most significant advertising key performance indicator for their business today

When asked what methods marketers use to measure advertising campaign outcomes, almost three-quarters (74%) say market mix modeling, 71% incremental sales lift, 42% multi-touch attribution, 30% last-click attribution and 13% cited other metrics inclusive of return on ad spend, site engagement and brand health tracking. Respondents were able to select multiple options. The full survey findings are available in a report prepared by Brand Innovators and NCS. 

Data clean rooms, also known as customer data platforms, have received much attention over the past year as companies become more serious about privacy, data and in-housing their applications. Among those CPG marketers surveyed, 59% indicate they evaluated a data clean room at some point over the last two years, with 20% planning to do so in the next 12 months and just 20% indicating they have no plans to do so. The reasons cited by CPG marketer respondents for exploring a clean room include:

  • More control over data (58%)
  • Support first-party data strategy (53%)
  • Ease of aggregating data (49%)
  • Privacy (45%)

Investigations into data clean rooms on the rise

The importance of third-party data is underscored by the range of purposes marketers noted. The top uses cited are customer acquisition (67%), first-party data enrichment (62%), personalization in campaign activations (54%) and outcomes measurement (43%).

The majority of CPG marketers surveyed (96%) use some form of third-party targeting and two-thirds (68%) specifically use purchase-based targets. Among the uses of third-party data, respondents cite that 67% use it for new customer acquisition, 62% for first-party data enrichment, 53% for personalization in campaign activations and 43% for outcomes measurement.

“The pandemic has accelerated and necessitated changes in our industry. This is the very reason we sought to collaborate with Brand Innovators on this CPG specific survey,” commented Lance Brothers, chief revenue officer, NCSolutions. “CPG marketers face the eventual demise of cookies, changes to consumer privacy and the pandemic evolution of consumer behavior. This confluence of disruptions makes it critical to have the right campaign performance metrics at your fingertips. At NCS, our core business is to enable CPG brands with the right metrics like ROAS and sales lift, and empower our clients with actionable data and the right insights to be competitive.”

The outlook for more significant investment in advertising in 2022 vs. 2021 is strong with over half of respondents (55%) expecting their budgets to increase while 18% of respondents expect a decrease in funding. Thirty percent of marketers say their budgets would increase between 1 and 10%, 10% predicted a rise of between 11-to-21% and 14% said their budgets would rise by more than 21%. Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed expect their budgets to remain the same.

As for marketing channels which brands plan to increase their media budgets in this year, more than two-thirds (71%) selected connected TV. Other top picks are social media (59%), retailer media networks and search–tied (49%) and mobile (35%). Marketers were able to select as many channels as they wished.

“These types of B2B consumer packaged goods insights are incredibly useful for CPG marketers to provide visibility into how other brands are thinking and acting about advertising effectiveness in today’s marketplace. We are thrilled to be releasing these B2B survey results in collaboration with NCSolutions,” said David Teicher, chief content officer from Brand Innovators. “A huge thank you goes out to all the survey participants; we appreciate your insights and intelligence as we all shape the future of our industry.”

Other findings:

  • In terms of changes they foresee in their campaigns/media strategies as a result of the active and pending Apple and Google privacy changes, the top responses cite “a greater emphasis on measuring the return on ad spend from campaigns (55%) and moving budget to addressable channels (39%)
  • Forty-nine percent of marketers feel their demand-side platform needs to optimize the bid price for their programmatic activation, 36% say it’s somewhat important and 6% indicate it’s unimportant.

The NCSolutions team will be presenting high-level findings from this survey at the 2022 Brand Innovators Spring Media Planning Summit in New York on April 26 at 4:00 p.m.

The survey, conducted in Q4 of 2021 by Brand Innovators, Inc. in collaboration with NCS, set out to examine CPG marketers’ advertising spending plans and attitudes towards a range of next-generation marketing and advertising effectiveness tools and the various issues impacting their efficiency and the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. There were 69 CPG marketers surveyed. To read more about the findings, you can download the full report.

NCSolutions (NCS) makes advertising work better. Our unrivaled data resources powered by leading providers combine with scientific rigor and leading-edge technology to empower the CPG ecosystem to create and deliver more effective advertising. With NCS’s proven approach, brands are achieving continuous optimization everywhere ads appear, through purchase-based audience targeting and sales measurement solutions that have impacted over $25 billion in media spend for our customers. NCS has offices in NYC, Chicago, Tampa, and Cincinnati.

The goal of Brand Innovators is to accelerate the digital transformation of the marketing and media industries. Established in 2011, the Brand Innovators community includes over 25,000 senior brand marketers from Fortune 500 and other leading brands from coast-to-coast, making it the largest professional network of its kind. The Brand Innovators Advisory Board and Professional Councils include some of the most innovative brand marketers or change agents in the marketing and media industries today.

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