Media incrementality testing

Given the vast range of digital media options available from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and publisher programmatic platforms it’s really important to be able to assess your ROI for different types of channels and ad formats.

Digital media attribution is commonly used to assess which marketing channels are influencing leads and sales across multiple customer touchpoints. This is a powerful technique and tools like Multichannel funnels in Google Analytics can help you assess the effectiveness across different attribution models. However, attribution doesn’t definitively show you which techniques are contributing to uplift or decline in leads and sales when you start testing them.

Kenshoo defines an incrementality test as:

“An incrementality test compares the revenue or relevant KPI generated between a test group and a control group. By exposing the test group to an advertising tactic versus the unexposed control group, marketers can easily isolate the affected variables, clearly, assess immediate business impact, and formulate next steps with confidence supported by data”.

Geo-experiments are one testing technique that can be used to isolate separate audiences and show the impact of the advertising technique.

Incrementality testing can be used to test hypotheses such as:

  • Are we limiting new customer sales by relatively too much spend on brand bidding or remarketing?
  • Does Google’s Smart bidding / Target ROAS / Data-driven model may make perform better than previous targeting approaches

Google Ads Campaign Experiments are an example of incrementality testing specific to their platform. You can use these to test new audience targeting strategies or smart bidding against other alternatives.

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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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