Make Smarter Marketing Decisions with Media Mix Modeling

/ Thoughtspace - Blogs, Marketing Data and Analytics, Marketing Measurement

Every brand wants to pre-optimize their campaigns for success right out of the gate, with parameters in place to quickly attribute success to specific channels, audiences, and creatives. However, as we look toward a future without the simple attribution offered by cookies, we need to get back to our statistical roots of traditional media strategies, those without the easy button involved. That’s why marketers should lean further into the value that’s offered with media mix modeling.

What Is Media Mix Modeling?

At a high level, media mix modeling is a way to define optimal budget allocation for media channels by looking at previous campaign performance. It requires analyzing sales-related data and media metrics (Coegi’s data and technology team recommends 2-3 years worth) to make predictions and strategy optimizations that will, in theory, improve future campaign performance

Why Is Media Mix Modeling Superior To Attribution Models? Or Do They Need To Work Together?

In short, these models should be considered and analyzed alongside each other, as they both offer valuable insights from unique perspectives. Attribution can give you quick, real-time information about how specific media parameters are impacting your business goals, information that is useful when making mid-flight optimizations and short-term reporting. Media mix modeling, on the other hand, zooms out to give a bird’s-eye view of how all the pieces are working together to affect long-term strategy and performance. Each model informs the other, but tells different stories. 

How Can Marketers Build Strategies From Modeling Learnings?

It is crucial to fully understand the data you’re analyzing, not just the standard media metrics from campaign reports. What are all of the factors that may have contributed to performance fluctuations? Creative? Messaging? Audience strategy? Seasonality? Knowing the context surrounding the numbers will give you a strong foundation from which you can build future strategies.

Using that context as the framework, determine what story the data points are telling you. The numbers don’t lie, but the numbers alone don’t always tell you the whole story. By asking the right questions, and maintaining a test and learn mentality, you will ensure strategic decisions are based on multiple factors rather than just one KPI.

How Do You Know Your Media Mix Is Working?

A media mix model makes predictions, but it is not a crystal ball – just because Facebook performed well in campaigns historically does not mean that it will continue to do so into the future. That said, it is important to develop a continuous learning agenda to design your models. Test your assumptions based on historical performance. For example, what will happen if you increase the budget for programmatic channels? Do overall business results change? The only way to know for sure is to strategically make the budget adjustment and measure incremental results. From there, you can make more informed decisions about your channel strategy and budget allocation. 

Priming Your MMM For Success:

  • Keep business goals at the center of your strategy and analysis 
  • Gather quality, historical data to be able to measure actionable results. 
  • Establish context with your data early on to understand all factors impacting your results and gain more accurate, actionable insights.
  • Consider your sales cycle when designing your tests – a longer cycle needs more time between strategic adjustments. This ensures you see the full impact of those changes without being misled by seasonal ups and downs. 
  • Share the details and context of your strategies across teams. Seemingly trivial aspects to the marketing team may impact how a model is built, so consulting with every team involved with executing and measuring campaigns will be crucial to building an effective strategy. 
  • Data can be easily (and accidentally) manipulated to tell an inaccurate story. Think critically and apply business acumen to make sure you have sound methodology. 

Further Reading:

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