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Using incrementality as ground truth in marketing measurement

This article was based on the interview with Jaysen Gillespie of RTB House by Greg Kihlström, MarTech keynote speaker for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Incrementality is the ground truth when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts. In the podcast transcript, the speaker explains that incrementality is like a sixth-grade science fair project – if one group of users receives marketing and another does not, any difference in outcomes can be attributed to that marketing. This method of measurement is based on a fundamental principle of causation and control, ensuring that the impact of marketing activities can be accurately assessed.

On the other hand, Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) is described as a flawed measurement mechanism that often relies on arbitrary weightings assigned to different touchpoints along the customer journey. Marketers may not have a clear understanding of how these weightings are determined, leading to a lack of confidence in the accuracy of MTA as a measurement tool. Additionally, the impending demise of third-party cookies poses a challenge to the effectiveness of MTA, further highlighting the limitations of this approach.

In contrast, Media Mix Modeling (MMM) is presented as a more robust alternative to MTA, grounded in strong mathematical underpinnings such as multiple regression analysis. MMM has a historical foundation in traditional advertising channels like TV and is likely to surpass MTA in terms of accuracy and reliability. However, the speaker suggests that incrementality will remain the gold standard for measuring marketing effectiveness, providing a clear and unbiased assessment of the true impact of marketing activities.

The importance of incrementality as the ground truth in marketing measurement cannot be overstated. By focusing on incremental sales and accurately attributing them to specific marketing efforts, companies can make informed decisions about their advertising strategies and optimize their campaigns for maximum impact. Deep learning, with its ability to uncover hidden insights and optimize marketing performance, can complement the use of incrementality measurement to drive success in the competitive landscape of advertising.

Incrementality serves as a reliable and objective measurement mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities. By embracing incrementality as the ground truth and leveraging tools like deep learning, marketers can gain a deeper understanding of their customer segments, personalize their campaigns, and ultimately achieve incremental sales growth. Incrementality provides a solid foundation for making data-driven decisions and optimizing marketing strategies for long-term success in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.