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    Zebra's approach - combining accuracy and precision

    Kush Shah

    2 May 2024

    You’ll remember that we talked in the first article in this series about the marketers dilemma, and the search for tools to make informed decisions. We zeroed in on two key tools: Media Mix Modelling (MMM) and Incrementality testing. MMM allows marketers to gain a holistic understanding of performance, and can be great for long term planning. But it’s less useful for identifying specific real-time insights and opportunities – for this we favour incrementality testing.

    Incrementality testing however has its own downsides. It often takes place in highly controlled environments that don’t replicate real-world conditions. This means that extrapolating and scaling tests can as a result be resource intensive.

    So to arrive at a plan driven by both forward-looking data that can simultaneously be driven by real-time adjustments we favour combining MMM and incrementality testing.

    Zebra’s 3-step process to combining MMM and incrementality testing

    Use MMM for strategic allocation

    Start with MMM to understand how to distribute your budget across various channels on a macro level.

    Refine and validate with incrementality testing

    Implement incrementality testing for specific campaigns or channels to fine-tune the strategy based on real-time data.

    Create a feedback loop

    Use the insights from incrementality tests to continually refine and update the MMM, creating a dynamic, data-driven approach to budget allocation.

    Benefits of this approach

    Strategic & tactical insights

    MMM provides the strategic framework, offering insights on how different marketing channels contribute to overall goals. Incrementality testing adds the tactical layer, pinpointing the exact value of specific campaigns or initiatives.

    Comprehensive coverage

    While MMM covers broad trends and external impacts, incrementality testing drills down to the effectiveness of individual actions, offering a holistic view of marketing performance.

    Adaptability & precision

    This blend makes space for adaptable strategies that can pivot based on precise, actionable insights, ensuring marketing budgets are invested where they yield the highest returns.

    Our methodology is designed to navigate the complexities of modern marketing, providing clarity and confidence in budget allocation decisions. By utilising the right approach, the easier it becomes to realise the true commercial potential of your marketing budget.

    Specific marketing opportunities this approach unlocks

    Where we’ve introduced this approach we’ve seen marketing teams start to deliver significant efficiencies - some examples:

    Better allocation of investment across channels:

    • Optimise sub-channel allocations, for example ‘Prospecting’, ‘Retargeting’ within Social.
    • Understand diminishing returns and thus more accurately invest up to the returns threshold

    Better understanding of the incremental impact of in-channel optimisations such as:

    • Audience targeting i.e. bid-adjustments
    • Different copy/creative
    • Keyword value

    In the next article, we'll showcase this approach in action through one of our case studies.

    Ready to realise the true commercial potential of digital for your business?

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