Can You Answer All Your Media Mix Questions: Fill the Gap in Your Media Performance Measurement

October 30, 2020

Is your media mix working as well as it could be?

Many marketers can’t answer this because they’re up against limitations in both modeling options and understanding. They need three things:

  1. More modeling options
  2. The questions they are trying to answer
  3. Understanding to match model to questions

Why existing effectiveness models aren’t enough

More than 80% of surveyed marketers were dissatisfied with their ability to measure their ROI according to one CMO Council survey cited in the Harvard Business Review. Analytics modeling can help teams overcome this by giving them options for what, how, and when to analyze campaign performance.

However, creating a successful modeling strategy means more than simply choosing between Media Mix Modeling (MMM) or Digital Attribution. Both these solve for specific questions but cannot be your only options. Even when used together, there are still critical information gaps. Marketers need more techniques to measure performance and should be aware that a single monolithic solution is unlikely to answer all of your questions. A collection of hierarchical or nested models is necessary to get a complete picture of how effective spend, channels, and tactics are.

Start with questions, then select the model

Wouldn’t you like to know:

  • Which TV Stations are over/under invested?
  • Which digital buys lead to the largest incremental sales increases?
  • What geographies respond best to OOH investments?
  • Which messages lead to in-store vs. online sales?

The market is flush with vendors offering solutions. MMM and/or Digital Attribution are widely popular, but there is a third and necessary option to answer some important questions. Quad’s Tactical Media Mix Modeling (TMM) fills a gap in unanswerable questions with only the original two modeling techniques.

Finally a model for the unanswerable questions.

Media Mix Model

Answers strategic offline & online directional questions:

  • Annual/semi-annual
  • All Channels planning
  • 2-3 years data
  • Trends, high-level insights

Tactical Mix Model

  • Bi-weekly reporting
  • Responsive to fluid market conditions
  • Online & Offline data
  • Tactical information

Digital Attribution Model

Answers timely online engagement questions:

  • Near real-time data
  • Consumer-level data from digital platforms
  • No offline media/sales
  • No external influences

Using the hierarchy of models:

  • Media Mix Modeling
  • Tactical Mix Modeling
  • Digital Attribution

Media Mix Modeling: For strategic direction

MMM yields high-level insights for strategic and directional guidance. It collects 2-3 years of data from offline and online mediums. This could be data from direct mail, traditional television, radio, mobile, email, and social channels. The model also factors in outside influences including events or seasonality.

With MMM your organization can answer questions such as:

  • How did our increased spend on magazine ads/television ads/radio/digital display affect sales over the last 2 to 3 years?
  • Is it more effective to place TV ads in 10 markets over 10 weeks? Or is it better to concentrate more ads during a concentrated three-week period?
  • Which channel(s) lead to more conversions in the Southeast region vs. the Northeast region?
  • Which media mix is most effective at driving holiday sales?

Tactical Mix Modeling: To fill the gap

MMM and Digital Attribution give marketers valuable information, but even combined they don’t represent a complete picture. Quad’s Tactical Mix Modeling (TMM) solves for these deficits and is the missing option.

TMM can answer questions such as:

  • Which TV stations are over/under invested?
  • Which digital buys lead to the largest incremental sales increases?
  • What geographies respond best to OOH investments?
  • Which messages lead to in-store vs. online sales?

Using a TMM model gives answers relative to near-time conditions and doesn’t require user data. The model can be executed quickly and for tactical decision-making in offline channels and rounds out a comprehensive modeling strategy.

Digital Attribution: For response

Digital Attribution modeling follows online activity including purchases, clicks, and general time spent. Attribution models generate user-level results quickly (usually 7 to 9 days) and allow marketers to adjust digital tactics in time to increase engagement while campaigns play out.

A digital attribution model should allow the team to answer:

  • Which display ad generated the most clicks?
  • Of the consumers who clicked, how many made purchases?
  • How many left items in their carts?
  • Was a digital display ad or a native ad better at generating response?

Know your options: Three, not two

These modeling options can seem complex but marketing teams that start with questions, and then apply the right model can build media plans with confidence rather than speculation and will be able to make quick adjustments to increase overall effectiveness of spend, channels, and tactics.