Kantar Talks | Identifying the barriers to improving media ROI process


Following this year’s Kantar Talks, we take a look at some of the inspiring and insightful sessions, with a specific focus on insights and measurement, and give our view on what they could mean for your business.

Despite years of research and analytics, according to Kantar, only 7% of marketing professionals claim to have all the data they need to effectively plan and measure media. Only 50% of brands are confident they know how their customers interact with their brand.

When looking at their brand and performance split only 54% of respondents are somewhat or fully confident that they have the right balance between the two.

Drilling down into specific channels, sponsorship came out as the worst performer, with 44% of respondents having no understanding of sponsorship ROI compared to all other channels which ranged from 18-24%.

In order for the industry to improve on the current status quo, the panelists across eBay, Mindshare, Snap Inc and Kantar identified four key barriers that, if solved, can help to improve the media planning & ROI process:

  • Integration – currently the majority of channels and teams live in siloes, which can generate multiple contradictory insights based on only a subset of data. In order to increase confidence in ROI and media allocation, these need to be brought together through the process of team integration and alignment of data sources
  • Short Termism – there is often a focus on achieving short-term sales and value targets in order to satisfy shareholders. Those channels which are able to provide short term ROI such as digital therefore tend to be favoured over channels where measurement and evaluation takes longer and is not as attributable.
  • Digital Measurement – there are a host of digital techniques such as digital attribution, which only look at the online ecosystem and do not consider any offline or external drivers, this can often inflate measurement across digital
  • Data Speed – when trying to measure impact across multiple channels holistically, the time taken to collect data for each channel from various sources can act as a barrier to measurement, sometimes leading to delayed or, even worse, no measurement. By integrating teams and data sources as suggested this will help to improve the efficiency of data supply.

Although these barriers impact both brand and performance marketing channels, brand marketing tends to suffer more. Brand marketing typically uses longer term messaging and is often activated across offline channels which have longer data turn arounds and lack direct sales attribution. In some cases, this makes the justification of cutting spend from brand easier as there may not exist a direct link through to sales.

Despite the problems with brand measurement, some companies such as eBay are investing more heavily in it. Rosie Hanley, Head of Brand Marketing, has been part of a process whereby eBay has has shifted its share of brand from 10% a few years ago to around 35% in 2019, with a significant proportion of this being invested in offline channels. The reason for this shift is that while performance is great for supporting short-term goals, it tends to focus on existing customers rather than reaching new or lost customers. Brand advertising is able to reach new audiences and re-educate lost customers on how a brand may have changed over time.

Following this increase in brand advertising clients are finding that overall consideration metrics are shifting positively and that there is a synergistic benefit on performance channels when running brand activity. Therefore, there is a case for marketing professionals not to treat measurement as a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead we need to look at both the objectives and KPIs of each channel rather than a purely short-term direct sales point of view.


Like brand marketing channels, sponsorship can often suffer from the same barriers when looking at the measurement and evaluation of ROI. This can lead to budgets being put at risk. Despite being the fact only 44% of marketers have any measure on ROI, there may be an opportunity for sponsorship to integrate itself within the other channels as marketers begin to bring their teams and data together. It is therefore essential for sponsorship marketers to ensure they are not acting in silo. They must work together to build a view of the data they have at their disposal and what they need to do to ensure they can measure moving forward.

To read our full report on Kantar Talks, click here.