When considering ad spend and budget allocation, incrementality plays a key role in optimization. So, what exactly is incrementality? It’s the measure of lift that specific advertising spend provides to overall impact, such as customer conversion rates. Ultimately, it allows for the measurement of advertising effectiveness, and can help answer questions about everything from budgeting to channel effectiveness and creative impact. Understanding incrementality as a baseline idea is one thing, but successfully measuring it is another.
At the core of measured incrementality is the ability to accurately identify causality – what event caused the desired outcome? Historically, traditional methods of measurement like multi-touch attribution or even last-click attribution can only provide an incomplete picture or “best guess”. At Analytic Partners, we overcome this challenge with Commercial Mix Analytics (CMA), a holistic decisioning system that provides integrated business, brand, campaign and customer views within a sophisticated framework. CMA makes it possible to measure incrementality within the context of multiple internal and external drivers, like seasonality, competition, weather, macroeconomic factors, and more.
As part of the CMA framework, Touchpoint Analytics – our unique solution to the shortcomings of multi-touch attribution – was developed to address the data challenges marketers face including noisy data and missing channels/touchpoints from walled gardens and blind spots. Measuring incrementality is at the core of what Touchpoint Analytics measures and the unique capabilities of a CMA framework combined with Touchpoint Analytics make it possible to measure incrementality at a far more accurate level.
Experimentation and test and learn is another key piece of incrementality measurement, especially for tactics that are under consideration but not yet proven enough for a broad strategic rollout. It’s important to run multiple tests based on various channels, operational variables, offers, audiences, etc. to get to the root cause of an event, and answer questions about the customer journey and which drivers have the greatest impact. Integrated in the GPS Enterprise platform, our test and learn solution, Agile Learning, supports the testing and experimentation critical to incrementality measurement. With the ability to go beyond traditional test/control comparisons to capture and quantify current complexities, measure multiple KPIs and better deal with bias and contamination, Agile Learning makes it possible to feed incrementality insights back into a holistic model to forecast expansions of tested strategies.
With the right measurement framework and strategies in place, business leaders can measure incrementality in marketing with stronger accuracy and confidence, allowing for better budget optimization and spend allocation. It all comes down to having the right tools in place, testing for success, and maintaining a holistic business view for decisioning.