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Nielsen Annual Marketing Report Underscores the Need for Brands to Evolve Strategies in Wake of COVID-19

3 minute read | April 2021

Marketers prioritize customer acquisition, CTV and addressable budding opportunities

New York, NY – April 1, 2021 – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today released its Annual Marketing Report: The Era of Adaptation. The report delves into how marketers are revamping their strategies after facing and mitigating the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that while marketers at organizations of all sizes rank customer acquisition as their top objective in 2021, smaller companies are more focused on customer retention than large companies. To achieve both of those goals, social media, search and video rank as the top channels companies will invest in over the next 12 months, but they need to go beyond only these channels to acquire and retain customers.

As marketing and advertising programs rebound, brands need to be intentional about which strategies and tactics they deploy to consumers, whose habits and preferences continue to shift. Nielsen found that for companies of all sizes, awareness around which channels and platforms to consider, including which approaches to take, vary greatly.

“The pandemic exponentially challenged marketers, requiring them to take a hard look at the strategies they’ve historically used to reach audiences across the consumer journey and to adapt and redefine those decisions with data,” said Jamie Moldafsky, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Nielsen. “As brands of all sizes chart their paths forward, the ability to access data and marketing analytics tools with speed and quality will be key to both navigating the follow-on effects of COVID-19 as well as establishing a more agile approach to future shifts in consumer preferences and  emerging channels.”

The research, based on a Nielsen survey with marketers at more than 250 U.S. brands with marketing budgets spanning from less than $1 million to over $10 million, found that:

For more key findings and recommendations for marketers, please download the Nielsen Annual Marketing Report: The Era of Adaptation report.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a leading global data and analytics company that provides a holistic and objective understanding of the media industry. With offerings spanning audience measurement, audience outcomes and content, Nielsen offers its clients and partners simple solutions to complex questions and optimizes the value of their investments and growth strategies. It is the only company that can offer de-duplicated cross-media audience measurement. Audience is EverythingTM to Nielsen and its clients, and Nielsen is committed to ensuring that every voice counts.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen offers measurement and analytics service in nearly 60 countries. Learn more at or and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.



Sarah Muratore