FAQ    Marketing Measurement     What are the Pros and Cons of Incrementality Testing Versus MMM or MTA?

What are the Pros and Cons of Incrementality Testing Versus MMM or MTA?

Incrementality Testing, like MMM (Marketing Mix Modeling or Media Mix Modeling), benefits from controlling for the broad set of media and non-media factors that impact the consumer decision making process. Like MTA (Multi Touch Attribution), Incrementality Testing can measure the effects of media at a very granular (campaign/audience/ad set) level but without relying on the challenges associated with user level path building and data collection/reconciliation issues.

Furthermore a properly developed design of experiments that encompasses a broad range of marketing channels can inform tactical marketing optimization where MMM forecasting stops without the limitations and drawbacks of MTA.

MMM is a top down (aggregate marketing data) and very artistic statistical exercise where one or more models (e.g. econometric, multi-linear regression) are leveraged to extract key information and insights by deriving information from multiple sources of marketing, economic, weather and financial data. MMM is also a high-touch consultative approach that is very manual with little to no automated data inputs, whereas MTA and Incrementality, when deployed properly, is a very automated approach leveraging preconfigured connectors that extract the required marketing data on regular cadence. (It’s important to note that MTA can take 6 months or more to deploy, whereas Incrementality can be up and running with reporting in 4-6 weeks.) See this article for more on why always-on automated experimentation is the future of marketing measurement.

As a result, in most cases MMM insights are delivered on a quarterly basis, whereas Incrementality and MTA results are reported daily. MMM lends itself to big strategic media portfolio considerations and long-term planning cycles while incrementality and MTA outputs can be used to make very tactical near-term shifts in budget allocation.

Incrementality Testing vs MMM vs MTA

Incrementality MMM MTA
Full Media Portfolio Planning Yes Yes No
Tactical Media Optimization Yes No Yes
Digital Ad Optimization Yes No Yes
Reporting Refresh Frequency Daily Quarterly Daily
Measures Clicks & Impressions Yes Yes No
Offline Marketing Measurement Yes Yes No
Scenario Planning/Forecasting Yes Yes Yes
Design of Experiments Methodology Yes No No

Measured provides cross-channel reporting and incrementality testing capabilities. Learn more here.

Author

Madan Bharadwaj - Cofounder & CTO

Expert in advertising measurement, attribution and analytics

 

Multi-touch attribution is more challenging today due to limited tracking options, identity and cross-device resolution hurdles, data leakage and the massive amount of time it takes to implement.

 

What is cross-platform attribution (or cross-channel attribution) and why is it difficult?

The goal of cross-platform attribution in marketing is to gain clarity on the interplay and contribution of influence that each channel/tactic/campaign has on driving conversions over and above baseline sales.

It’s a task that has proved to be very difficult for many reasons including but not limited to:

  • Walled gardens are typically inaccessible to third-party tracking of impressions
  • Identity resolution across media platforms is quite low
  • Cross-device tracking is difficult and match rates are extremely low
  • Instrumenting a tracking infrastructure by a third party measurement provider has proved to be fraught with breakage and data leakage
  • It is extremely time consuming to implement without the help of a partner

Video: Landing a source of truth cross-channel media reporting dashboard

 

 

What are some cross-channel attribution tools?

MTA – collects individual, or user-level data, for trackable addressable media and conversion events in order to determine the impact of each media event to the desired conversion at the customer level. By summing the impact of each addressable media touchpoint on each customers’ likelihood to convert, MTA quantifies the total media channel lift provided by addressable media. MTA does not account for the impact of non-addressable media, and furthermore much addressable media is either non-trackable or lost due to the innumerable challenges of tracking data at the user level.

Incrementality Measurement – Incrementality in marketing refers to the incremental benefit produced per unit of input stimulation. Incrementality is the lift in desired outcome (awareness, web visits, conversion, subscriptions, revenue, profitability) provided by marketing activity.

Incrementality in marketing is especially needed for channels where ad impressions such as display, Facebook, social, or even TV are hard to measure. To measure incrementality, the audience is broken out into test groups (exposed to the ads) and a control group (suppressed from seeing the ads).

MMM – MMM is a top down (aggregate marketing data) and very artistic statistical exercise where one or more models (e.g. econometric, multi-linear regression) are leveraged to extract key information and insights by deriving information from multiple sources of marketing, economic, weather and financial data. MMM is also a high-touch consultative approach that is very manual with little to no automated data inputs, whereas MTA and Incrementality, when deployed properly, is a very automated approach leveraging preconfigured connectors that extract the required marketing data, across many channels, on regular cadence. (It’s important to note that MTA can take 6 months or more to deploy, whereas Incrementality can be up and running with reporting in 4-6 weeks.) See this article for more on why always-on automated experimentation is the future of marketing measurement.

Author

Trevor Testwuide - CEO

Expert in business strategy and marketing measurement.

 

Multi-touch attribution is more challenging today due to limited tracking options, identity and cross-device resolution hurdles, data leakage and the massive amount of time it takes to implement.