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Navigating the Media Landscape: Strategies for Effective Media Mix in 2023

Explore the pivotal insights from Kantar Media Reactions 2023! Delve into emerging trends, consumer preferences, and optimal media strategies for impactful branding!

Published onSeptember 27, 2023
Written byEzgi Arslantay
Timing5 min read

In this tumultuous era marked by rapid digital evolution and global socio-political shifts, the quest for an optimal media mix is more challenging than ever. Decisions are intricate with the rise of digital spaces and the fluctuating availability of channels, demanding nimble strategies and a precise understanding of each advertising platform’s strengths and weaknesses. You can find further insights in Kantar’s Media Reactions study here.

The Impact of Ad Preference

Understanding ad preference is paramount, as advertising campaigns prove to be seven times more impactful when targeting receptive audiences. Marketers must be attuned to the nuances of each platform, evaluating their inherent merits and limitations while aligning them with campaign objectives.

Balancing Act: Digital and Real Life Convergence

The modern consumer traverses a world where digital and real life experiences seamlessly blend, offering a spectrum of media encounters without the constraints of physical presence. Despite this amalgamation, the significance of in-person ad experiences has surged, underlining the enduring value of traditional advertising channels.

Spotlight on Top Ranking Media Channels and Brands

Sponsored events, cinema ads, and outdoor ads have emerged as consumer favorites, earning high ad preference rankings. These channels have successfully navigated the digital transition, evolving to offer hybrid formats and leveraging high-quality production in their online counterparts.

Analyzing Trends: Online Video and Outdoor Advertising

Online video remains a staple for marketers, being their most preferred media channel for the fourth consecutive year. However, consumer preferences are inclining more towards innovative platforms like Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising. DOOH breaks the monotony often associated with traditional outdoor advertising, infusing creativity and employing advanced technologies to enchant both marketers and consumers.

Shifts in Marketing Spend

Despite high trust levels, TV has experienced a decline in marketer interest, falling from 3rd to 12th place in one year, with a mere 6% of marketers saying they will increase spend in TV in 2024. Meanwhile, online video and sponsored events are gaining momentum, with a net of 74% of marketers and agencies expecting to increase their budgets for online video in 2024, the largest positive change among all mediums.

Spotlight: Video Streaming and TV Streaming Ads

There’s also strong positive momentum for video streaming ads (62% net positive) and TV streaming ads (59% net positive), with social media occupying about one-fifth of global ad spend. A net majority are planning to increase their spending on social media stories (59%), influencer content (59%), and social media news feeds (53%).

Retail Media Emerges

Newly added to this year’s survey is the fast-growing channel retail media, with the share of respondents planning to up their spend outpacing those planning to cut it by 46% points.

Ad Equity Leaders

Kantar surveyed approximately 16,000 consumers globally to discover which channels they ranked highest in ad equity. Traditional media ads are still among the most preferred by consumers, with sponsored events again ranking #1 in ad equity across all media channels, followed by cinema ads (#2) and out of home ads (#3). Interestingly, cinema has net negative momentum of -6%, magazines (-44%), and newspapers (-47%).

Branding Dynamics

Amazon retains its status as the consumer's preferred ad platform, valued for its relevance and minimal negative qualities. However, marketers have displayed a growing preference for YouTube, propelled by improved trust levels in the platform’s advertising capabilities. Marketers cite YouTube, Google, and Instagram as their most trusted ad platforms, with YouTube taking the first position for ad equity, ahead of Google and Instagram.

The Metaverse and Branding Dynamics

The anticipated influx of marketing spend in the metaverse has not materialized as expected, with actual investments falling short of marketers’ projections. This discrepancy raises questions about the viability of the metaverse as a marketing frontier and calls for ongoing observation of spend trends in this domain.

Capturing Attention in a Fragmented Media World

As attention becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, the importance of selecting ad platforms that resonate with consumers is paramount. The evolving media landscape necessitates continuous reevaluation of media budgets and advertising spend to optimize impact and navigate the intricate media battleground successfully.

Controversies and Declines

‘X’ (formerly Twitter) has experienced a decline in trustworthiness among marketers, illustrating the complex and often volatile nature of consumer and marketer ad preference. Its net receptivity among marketers is in the negative.

Navigating the media battleground successfully demands meticulous planning, an understanding of consumer preferences, and agility to adapt to the shifting landscapes of media channels. The convergence of digital and real-life experiences, evolving consumer preferences, and the rise and fall of various media channels necessitate a strategic approach to media planning and spending. For further insights and comprehensive details, refer to the full Kantar Media Reactions 2023 report.

Q1: Which medium is expected to see the largest positive change in budget/resource allocation by marketers in 2024? Online video ads are anticipated to experience the largest positive change, with a net of 74% of marketers and agencies planning to increase their budgets for this medium in 2024.

Q2: Despite the anticipated positive spending momentum in some digital channels, which traditional media still holds the top spot in consumer ad preference? Sponsored events continue to rank #1 in ad equity, or consumer ad preference, across all media channels, demonstrating the enduring value of this traditional advertising channel.

Q3: What discrepancies exist between marketer and consumer perspectives on attention-grabbing media channels? Marketers perceive influencer content, cinema ads, and TV ads as the top media channels that deliver attention, while consumers believe cinema ads, out-of-home ads, and digital out-of-home ads best capture their attention.

Q4: Which platforms have marketers cited as their most trusted ad platforms, and which has experienced a decline in trustworthiness? Marketers cite YouTube, Google, and Instagram as their most trusted ad platforms, while X (formerly Twitter) has experienced a decline in trustworthiness among marketers.

Q5: Have marketers' and consumers’ perspectives on ad preference for specific brands aligned, and how has it changed from the previous year? For consumers, Amazon retains its status as the preferred ad platform for the second consecutive year, whereas, from a marketers' perspective, YouTube has taken the lead, overtaking last year’s leader, Instagram. TikTok has fallen to 3rd place behind Google in consumer preference.

Highlights from Kantar Media Reactions 2023

Key InsightMarketers' PerspectiveConsumers' Perspective
Most Preferred Media ChannelOnline Video Ads (for the fourth consecutive year)Sponsored Events
Shift in PreferenceTV has declined to 12th place from 3rd last year. TV Sponsorship from 12th to 20th.TV never ranked among top preferences.
Ad Equity LeadersYouTube, Google, Instagram are the most trusted platforms. YouTube overtaking last year’s leader Instagram.Amazon retains top spot for the second consecutive year.
Spending Momentum 202474% net positive for online video ads, strongest performer.
Metaverse Investment61% projected increase, but actual increase was only 12% in 2023.
Discrepancies in PreferencesInfluencer content is the surprising number one.Doesn’t feature in the top 5 for consumers.
Marketing Insights

Ezgi Arslantay

Co-Founder at fucimo

Ezgi Arslantay is a marketing professional and entrepreneur with a diverse background in brand strategy, marketing management, and business development. As the co-founder of fucimo, she assists SMBs and startups to reach and buy media, and enables creators and media networks to increase monetization through innovative technology. Before co-founding fucimo, Ezgi navigated diverse roles in both rising startups and household brands. Follow her fucimo blog for the freshest insights as she explores the intersection of technology, advertising, and business.


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