Marketers around the world are continuing to struggle when it comes to assessing their performance, largely because of uncertainty about optimising their media investment and difficulties in understanding cross-channel behaviour.

That is one of the key findings in a new report from Kantar, the insights and research firm, which conducted an online survey of 468 senior marketers at brands, agencies and media companies between July and August 2018.

Now in its fifth year, Kantar’s Getting Media Right study revealed that the great majority (85%) recognise that the most important approach to ROI is a mixture of short-term and long-term measures, yet a significant proportion (40%) still focus on short-term sales, using traditional metrics.

Specifically, just 52% of brand marketers are confident that their organisation has the right balance between long-term brand building and short-term performance marketing – although marketers at agencies and media companies are more confident on this measure.

And while a majority of marketers across all organisations do measure at least some aspect of their marketing activities, only a collective 56% do it for most or all activities.

Kantar said this is an indication that nearly half the industry lacks understanding about their performance and how to improve their strategies.

Short-term sales are relatively easy and quick to measure, the report added, yet sales alone do not provide a complete picture of ROI and instead effective marketing requires a “blended approach” to measurement.

Yet, here again, the survey revealed some weaknesses because 82% of global marketers think they have integrated strategies, but only 58% of consumers regard them as integrated. That is according to a comparison between Kantar’s latest survey and its recent consumer survey, entitled AdReaction: Art of Integration.

Elsewhere, the Kantar survey found that, while confidence has grown from last year, less than half of advertisers are confident in their ability to create insights from integrated data – and just 20% of agencies and media companies are very confident.

In addition, only 51% of advertisers feel their organisation can act on real-time data, which is encouraging 47% to move to earlier optimisation of their campaigns, such as at the ideas and strategy phase.

Commenting on the findings, Jane Ostler, global head of media at Kantar’s insights division, said: “Marketers should aim for the best of all worlds: they need to create a framework to monitor impact on business and brand metrics while harmonising measurement tools and insights to improve performance across all channels.”

Sourced from Kantar; additional content by WARC staff