How Often Should I Run Incrementality Tests?

How Often Should I Run Incrementality Tests?

Nick Stoltz, Expert in Cross-Channel Measurement Strategy and Adoption

Published 07/18/2023

In the newest video of our Incrementality Explainer series, we’re addressing a common question that marketers who are just starting with incrementality ask - how often should I be running incrementality tests?

While the exact answer is always going to be brand specific, the key takeaway is that you should be running a lot more incrementality tests than you think. For instance, brands with a mature incrementality practice should be running tests at least 20 times a year.  

How Often should I run the tests?

Factors influencing the incremental performance of your media spend

Having run tens of thousands of tests at Measured across hundreds of brands, we know that there are numerous factors that drive changes and have meaningful impacts on the incremental impact of your media spend. Just some of these factors? 

  • Changes to your product or marketing strategy, media tactics, or audience targeting
  • Seasonality 
  • New ad products like Meta Advantage Shopping or Google PMAX 
  • Major environmental factors like iOS14.5  

A common misconception among marketers is viewing incrementality testing as a singular, isolated effort. However, this isn’t a one-and-done exercise; the real value of incrementality testing lies in its systematic application across your entire marketing mix. This approach gives you a killer competitive advantage by enabling you to stay ahead of the constant dynamic change taking place in the market.

Where to begin with incrementality testing

So, how should marketers start to build the incrementality testing muscle? 

  • Start by testing your largest media tactics first.
  • Once you have reliable results for your biggest spenders, use those insights to build learning agendas.
  • Establish uniform criteria for how and when new media channels or ad products will be tested.
  • Test any changes to your business, strategy, or environment.

But perhaps most importantly, plan to build towards an incrementality practice where any significant media tactic is being tested at least two times a year. 

Just remember - the overwhelming evidence shows that running more tests is better. In fact, even brands running 5, 10, or even 20 tests a year have yet to fully maximize the potential value of incrementality testing. At Measured, we work with brands running over 50 incrementality tests annually. 

Set the right goal for your brand for the next 6 months based on your business situation and experience. Make sure you walk before you run,  but keep in mind - more is more when it comes to building a sustainable competitive advantage through incrementality testing.    

Schedule a demo today to learn how you can get started with incrementality testing.

Interested in learning more? Check out the previous post of this series to understand how incrementality and attribution work together.