Why Marketers need to Focus on effective First-Party Strategies in 2023

A report by Neilsen highlights that 64% of marketers say that social media is their most effective paid channel. Brands find success with social media, especially on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. The popularity of these channels and growing brand successes are influencing increased spend, as global marketers plan to boost their social media budgets more than any other channel over the next year.

The global average, however, would be higher if it weren’t for marketers in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), as they intend to increase their spending less than marketers elsewhere. The planned spending across social media is also interesting, as the marketers we surveyed say they are not prioritizing engagement with Gen Z as a key business priority even though their primary increases focus on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.   

However, from a marketing perspective, the report suggests that marketers should be increasingly focused on strategies that provide holistic views of consumers—not just channel—or platform-specific look-ins.

Across paid digital channels, global marketers surveyed are most confident in their ability to measure ROI across social media (64% are extremely or very confident; equal to their perceived effectiveness of the channel). Confidence in measuring social media ROI is significantly higher in Latin America (86%) and notably lower in Asia-Pacific (55%), while North America comes in at 59% (behind paid search at 60%). In light of the planned increases across social media over the next year, global marketers’ confidence in measuring its ROI—outside of Latin America—is low.

The lack of ROI-proving confidence in these preferred channels suggests an opportunity for martech providers to help brands improve their execution and results. Perhaps more important is the lack of confidence that global marketers have in measuring ROI across other paid and traditional channels.  

The marketers surveyed for this year’s report spent more than half of their 2021 advertising budgets on digital channels, noting significant planned increases over the next year. Despite leaning into newer channels, however, many marketers express lackluster confidence in being able to prove ROI. Almost half (49%) of global marketers, for example, said they plan to increase their spending on podcasts over the next year, with 11% planning increases of more than 50%. That said, their confidence in measuring the ROI of that investment is fairly low. Only 44% are either extremely or very confident.

There may not be much confidence in tracking podcast ROI, but marketers shouldn’t overlook this growing media channel. Globally, two-thirds (65%) of marketer believe new formats, like podcasts, brand integrations, and sponsorships are greatly important to marketing strategies. This sentiment is less in Asia-Pacific (59%) and EMEA (58%), but greater in North America (71%) and Latin America (73%).

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