How Brands Win with Incrementality Measurement

Clay Cohen, Sr. Director of Product Marketing

Published 06/05/2024

It’s the old saying - show, don’t tell. We can wax lyrical about how Measured stands out as a measurement and optimization provider, but instead, we thought we would highlight three real-life customer journeys from this past year that showcase some of the ways Measured and incrementality testing can bring value to brands. 

Whether you’re trying to understand where to allocate your media spend, how to drive new customers, or are wondering if AI campaigns are a worthwhile addition to your media mix, Measured can help you gain visibility into your media investments and achieve the KPIs that matter most to your brand.

2X Media Efficiency: 50% Less Spend, No Loss of Sales

The Challenge

A premium fashion retailer came to Measured with one objective - to uncover the best way to reallocate investments across their channel portfolio to make their marketing spend as efficient and effective as possible.

The team struggled to determine what percentage of their current sales could be attributed to which marketing channels. Reporting from the ad platforms and Google Analytics seemed suspiciously overblown, and the team needed a way to understand the true contribution of each channel to optimize their media spend.

The Solution: Comprehensive Measurement and Optimization

  • Cross-Channel Dashboard identified which channels were underperforming from an efficiency perspective.
  • Geo-matched-market tests revealed the incrementality of those channels. These results were automatically plugged into a media mix model to reveal the diminishing returns of each channel.
  • The Media Plan Optimizer was then used to reduce and reallocate media spend to achieve the brand’s desired efficiency goal.

While there were many channels to be adjusted, it became clear that Google was the biggest offender, over-reporting the impact of branded search campaigns and taking credit for high-intent purchases that may have occurred regardless of exposure to the ads. 

Within a couple months, Measured had validated the brand’s instincts, finding that Google was over-reporting its impact by as much as 5X. 

Next, Measured tested the true incrementality of Google-branded search for more precise results. Measured ran a holdout geo test that withheld less than 10% of the channel digital advertising to see if and how sales would change. This small holdout size allowed the brand to continue testing on other channels and minimize business risk during the test.

Surprisingly, the effect was even more dramatic than anticipated: with Google Branded Search ads turned off, they lost just seven orders in the test markets.

These test results were then automatically fed into the brand’s media mix model, enabling them to track the channel’s performance accurately going forward.

The Results: Big Portfolio Efficiency Gains

These insights gave the team the knowledge and confidence to reallocate budget across their portfolio. The team cut Google branded search by over 84%. 

The results were powerful. Portfolio-wide, the customer reduced their media spend by 46% in six months while keeping over 99% of their orders. In other words, they generated the same number of purchases with half as much budget, turning their marketing portfolio into an efficient, sales-driving machine.

“The value we got from Measured was easily 50x our investment. Our amazing Measured rep gave us the plan anchored in incrementality, we deployed it using their platform, and the results have been tremendous.” 

  • SVP, Performance Marketing

Discovering 91% of TikTok-Driven Sales Are New Customers

The Challenge

An enterprise home services company embraced TikTok as an exciting new advertising channel, but the marketing team was charged with driving new customer growth below a specified customer acquisition cost (CAC) goal. They needed to understand if TikTok was driving new customers or simply bringing back old ones.

When the customer initially evaluated TikTok based on its performance across all customers (new and returning), results showed a lower return on ad spend (ROAS) than expected, leading the team to plan on cutting their TikTok spend. 

The Solution: Drilling Down with Geo-testing 

Before pulling the trigger, however, they turned to Measured’s automated geo-testing application to drill down deeper and measure TikTok’s incremental impact on new versus returning customers. Measured’s advanced market selection process made it easy to run a test that could distinguish the impact between the two groups with statistically significant results.

Measured’s geo test revealed that TikTok drove the highest percentage of new-to-file customer sales of any channel in their portfolio, with a full 91% of TikTok’s incremental sales being new customers. It also had the second-lowest customer acquisition cost, well below their target CAC. 

The Results: A Close Call

Only 9% of TikTok’s incremental conversions came from existing customers, the lowest among their other tested channels. With Measured, the customer discovered that TikTok is not only effective at engaging new customers, it’s one of their top performers. 

As a result, they have since more than doubled their TikTok spend and plan to allocate additional budget to TikTok to further support their new customer acquisition efforts.

“Measured helped us dive deeper into TikTok’s performance and understand its true impact on our new customer acquisition goals. Without Measured, we may have cut spend in what turned out to be a very lucrative channel.”

- Head of Paid Media Acquisition

Testing Incrementality of Google PMAX Leads to 3X Media Efficiency

The Challenge

With AI campaigns on the rise, a women’s lifestyle brand was intrigued by the opportunities Smart Shopping and PMAX offered to grow their business.

The automated aggregation and optimization of channels through PMAX seemed more efficient than buying across individual channels, but it was also a particularly black box that offered little insight into where their spend went or what was performing. 

The Solution: Incremental Lift Tests

They looked to Measured to understand how the newer Google products compared to the traditional Google Shopping approach, wanting to identify which Google channel mix would generate the greatest positive net profit per dollar spent.

The customer ran 3 tests using Measured. Thanks to Measured’s industry-leading holdout size (less than 10%), the brand was able to run these tests concurrently without risk of contamination.

First, the brand ran an incremental lift test on its Smart Shopping campaigns, and the impact was clear - Smart Shopping was over-attributing its performance by nearly 9X.

With these results, the customer pivoted back to Google’s traditional shopping platform, which they had used for years. However, ongoing analysis by Measured revealed that while traditional shopping had a higher incrementality rate than Smart Shopping, the conversion rate and ROAS were much lower.

Finally, they tested PMAX using a Scale Test, so they could simulate increased spend on PMAX. It proved to be 2X more incremental to their business than Smart Shopping.

The Results: Peak Media Efficiency

With the results of the incrementality tests, the brand had the confidence they needed to increase their budget by 13%, and ultimately increased marketing efficiency 3.1X in the following months.

“With Measured, we were able to confidently understand the incremental impact of each tactic and can ensure profitable outcomes of every dollar spent.”

- Director of Digital Marketing


Our goal at Measured is to empower marketers so you can invest media spend where it drives the maximum business outcomes. Whether you’re trying to understand which channels are driving results for your brand, what works best for your media mix, or even want to compare your metrics to industry benchmarks, we have you covered. Reach out to see how the Measured incrementality platform can help you today.