Topics: Facebook, Attribution, Incrementality

What We Learned From 10K Facebook Incrementality Experiments

In Market Facebook Experiments

Time flies when you’re testing! We were recently notified that Measured has executed more than 10,000 in-market experiments on Facebook ad campaigns since we first started providing incrementality measurement to DTC brands in 2017. While it wasn’t a metric we were actively tracking (thank you for keeping count, Facebook!) becoming a member of the 10k club gave us reason to pause and appreciate what it means to us and our clients. 

More than just an impressive stat for Measured to celebrate, this milestone is a reminder that our clients have access to unlimited insights hidden in the data we’ve collected running thousands of experiments, for more than 120 DTC brands, spending nearly $400 Million on Facebook alone, over the span of five years. If (actionable) data is gold, our clients have access to infinite riches.

What Have We Learned?

So what can we learn from testing incrementality for tens of thousands of Facebook campaigns, tactics, and ad sets? 

Whether it’s changes in the macro-environment (think global pandemic, pending recession, or industry-wide data-privacy changes) or factors that are unique to each individual brand, there are myriad variables that can impact the outcome of media investments and the systems brands use to measure them. 

For example, when Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy restrictions went into effect, most brands witnessed a sudden drop in Facebook-reported last touch conversions. Later, brands that implemented conversion API (CAPI) tracking (as recommended by Facebook), began to experience an increase in last touch conversions. What was really happening?  By running geo experiments for incrementality, Measured clients were able to determine the true contribution of Facebook campaigns to their sales. Pooling these results with data from experiments run by peers can then reveal useful insights into media performance trends across the industry. 

Can marketers leverage these insights before they start running their own experiments? Absolutely! The data we have amassed and analyzed from across our portfolio of clients feeds into Measured’s Data Driven Incrementality (DDI) model, which enables marketers to leverage learnings and wisdom from hundreds of their peers. 

What is Data Driven Incrementality?

When Measured runs experiments for clients, the anonymized data is fed into our data pool (the world’s first incrementality data co-op). DDI indexes are built by grouping brands into cohorts based on vertical, average order value (AOV), tactics, channel, and conversion type (purchase, download, subscription, etc.). Incrementality of certain channels or tactics (think Facebook upper funnel, Facebook prospecting, Facebook retargeting) can then be calculated for a specific cohort – such as Fashion brands with AOV of $100-$149. As ongoing experiments feed additional data into the pool, the insights we can extract from it are continuously growing richer. 

How is DDI used by Measured clients?

Whenever a company invests in new marketing technology, time to value is always a critical consideration. Using DDI, brands just getting started with incrementality measurement can get cross-portfolio actionable insights within weeks, before running any in-market experiments. 

DDI generates incrementality values for each tactic based on conversion data provided by the brand (as reported by channel vendors) and the incrementality trends derived from cohort experiments in the data pool. As a result, brands learn the contribution of paid media to sales across their entire portfolio, top to bottom, before running a single test. 

After evaluating incrementality through DDI, brands can utilize Measured’s growth marketing tools to develop goals, optimize channel and campaign budgets, and define platform targets. These initial DDI reads also help marketers prioritize their testing or learning agenda as they prepare to run live experiments.

Brands that have embraced incrementality measurement and are already running in-market experiments can still leverage DDI for ongoing insights. Marketers can continuously optimize their portfolio based on the latest DDI index performance and they can use DDI to explore incrementality for new channels or tactics they’ve added to the portfolio. 

Screenshot of DDI Dashboard
Measured Data Driven Incrementality Dashboard

While in-market experiments provide the richest and most current insights into media contribution, not every brand is quite ready to launch ongoing testing across their entire portfolio – and it would be a shame if we didn’t share with our clients the tremendous value represented by years of aggregated experiment data. DDI enables marketers to immediately optimize their ad spend for better outcomes and set the stage for a successful experimentation strategy that prioritizes answering the most critical questions about media performance. 

To learn more about Data Driven Incrementality and other measurement solutions from Measured, contact us or request a demo today!

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About the author

James Gerber

VP, Product at Measured

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