Hesitation Hampers Marketers in Media Marketing 

New CMO council research reveals shortcomings in advertising strategies

by Mike Hunter

The media marketing and advertising landscape has become much more fragmented, unpredictable and vast with the rise of digital channels. The amount of consumer choices, heightened expectations for personalization, and the need to optimize based on real-time data insights make managing campaigns and achieving desired outcomes challenging today.

New research from the Chief Marketing Officer Council, “Optimizing Outcomes in Media Marketing,” in collaboration with NCSolutions, finds two in three marketing leaders not very confident in their current media marketing and advertising strategy to effectively produce critical outcomes such as winning and retaining customers, increasing brand loyalty and enhancing customer experience (CX), among others.

“Today’s CMO must be incredibly agile in order to successfully navigate a fragmented and unpredictable media landscape,” says Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “They have to be able to learn quickly and pivot fast when things aren’t going to plan. They need to make smart decisions based on data, not only gut hunches.”

“In our survey of marketing leaders, we learned they resoundingly do not feel confident in their ability to drive direct outcomes through their marketing and advertising efforts,” says Deirdre McFarland, SVP of marketing at NCSolutions. “A vibrant partner ecosystem already offers help for many of these obstacles. Brands can seek partners to run more efficient campaigns with targeting and optimization solutions.”

The report notes a growing interest among marketers for a data clean room, which can provide a host of benefits in media marketing and advertising. Chief among these benefits are in-depth analytics and the ability to have more access to analytics — which can lead to optimization and better outcomes.

“Optimizing Outcomes in Media Marketing” examines the impact of media marketing and advertising, where marketers can improve their capabilities, what they should be planning over the next 12 months, what challenges need to be overcome, and more.  

How do you measure media marketing/advertising performance?

Tactic Percent
Sales lift  64%
Return on advertising spend 59%
Reach of targeted audience 47%
Brand lift 45%
Clicks/online engagement 41%
Marketing mix modeling 30%
Multi-touch attribution 28%
Purchase intent 26%
Impressions 23%
Last-click attribution 22%
Cross-media measurement 18%
Other 3%

Where can media marketing/advertising make a difference?

Tactic Percent
Customer acquisition 66%
Drive customer growth 46%
Increase brand loyalty 43%
Connecting with the customer 30%
Enhance customer experience 25%
Customer retention 24%
Direct-to-customer marketing 18%
Conquest for new customers 17%
Expand partnerships 14%
Win back campaigns 7%

How important is optimizing media and audience for an in-flight campaign?

Extremely 40%
Very 43%
Moderately 14%
Slightly 1%
Not at all 3%

What gets in the way of optimizing in-flight campaigns?

  • Lacking the right data inputs
  • Lacking expertise and resources
  • DSP/media partner/publisher doesn’t provide the tools

Source: Optimizing Outcomes in Media Marketing


The report is based on a survey of more than 160 marketing leaders in North America, predominately in CPG and retail. Additionally, we conducted in-depth interviews with executives from companies such as Blue Buffalo, Red Wing Shoe, and Cuisinart.

NCSolutions has been helping CPG brands, publishers and retailers improve advertising effectiveness for over a decade. With a mission to improve advertising effectiveness for all media, the NCS team has pioneered new ways to target, optimize, measure and enable sales-based outcomes.

The Chief Marketing Officer Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries.

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