Nielsen’s first annual CMO Report finds that marketers prioritize digital media channels in terms of importance, but don’t necessarily find them the most effective.

For the Nielsen CMO Report 2018, roughly 3,000 US marketing executives were interviewed and surveyed about trends impacting their industry.

Digital media spend is expected to increase over the next 12 months, according to 82 percent of respondents. An increase in perceived importance has been placed on digital compared to traditional media, the Nielsen found. In fact, only 30 percent plan to increase spending in traditional media over the coming year, and 44 percent plan to decrease spending.

When asked how much of their marketing budgets were allotted to traditional vs. digital media, 30 percent indicated that digital accounts for between 20-39 percent and traditional accounts for less than 20 percent.

Nielsen asked how marketers felt about digital channels in terms of importance and effectiveness. Across the board, social media was considered the most important, with 79 percent naming the channel “very” or “extremely” important. Interestingly, Only 69 percent named social media “very” or “extremely” effective.

“Our research shows that while digital media had relatively high confidence scores when compared with other media, there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Nielsen says alongside its findings.

Only four percent of respondents claim to be “extremely” confident in their ability to quantify digital media ROI, while 22 percent said they are “very” confident and nearly half—48 percent—feel “somewhat” confident in this ability.

“If you take into account the respondents’ high digital media effectiveness rankings, this suggests that marketers may believe they are generating good ROI, but are not fully convinced they are measuring it accurately,” Nielsen noted.

Despite its challenges, marketers are pushing forward onto digital channels, with only four percent indicating that spending would decrease on the channel.