2023 Attribution & Analytics Accelerator

The Attribution & Analytics Accelerator returned for its eighth year as the only event focused exclusively on attribution, marketing mix models, in-market testing and the science of marketing performance measurement. The boldest and brightest minds took the stage to share their latest innovations and case studies. Modelers, marketers, researchers and data scientists gathered in NYC to quicken the pace of innovation, fortify the science and galvanize the industry toward best practices and improved solutions. Content is available to event attendees and ARF members.

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Advertising Effectiveness: Performance Measurement in the New World of Privacy and Tools

  • Insights Studio

On July 26, measurement practitioners discussed how to adapt to this new era of privacy with tools for measuring ad performance effectiveness. Panelists explored new considerations for existing methods, such as marketing mix modeling (MMMs) and multi-touch attribution (MTAs), and discussed the pros and cons of various privacy enhancing technologies (PETs), including multi-party computation, clean rooms, and more.

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Measurement with Large-Scale Experiments: Lessons Learned

In this session, Ross Link (Marketing Attribution) and Jeff Doud (Ocean Spray Cranberries) examined a large-scale experiment conducted with Ocean Spray. They applied randomized controlled trials (RCT) to approximately 10 million households (30 – 40 million people) in which ads were consumed by their participants via a variety of devices. Jeff explained that the experiment was done to measure the impact of when certain ads were suppressed for some of their participants. Additionally, they examined an MTA (multi-touch attribution) logit model that was subsequently applied, which yielded KPIs such as ROI. Information from this MTA-RCT experiment supplied refreshed results monthly. Daily ROI results from the campaign were collected from the MTA-applied modeling. Outcomes from this experiment revolved around retargeting and recent and lagged buyers. In addition, the study also explored creative treatments and platform effectiveness.

Standardizing and Scaling Cross-Platform Measurement

Lindsey Woodland, Ph.D.Group VP of Data Science, 605

Jes SantoroEVP, Advanced TV & Video, Cadent

Lindsey Woodland (605) and Jes Santoro (Cadent) presented a case study of a big box retailer to demonstrate their standardized, scalable process for cross-platform measurement and reporting. The retailer’s 2020 holiday campaign benefitted from the identification, scaling and targeting of a selected custom-curated audience. Activation within premium inventory involved broadcast, cable and CTV ads served to targeted households. Including CTV in the media plan added many medium and light linear viewers. Measurement and analysis of the campaign indicated that the retailer achieved their campaign objectives, which included acquiring new customers and competitive shoppers, while defending their base of loyal customers. The campaign’s incremental ROAS was $5. Additionally, peak performance for total visits and unique visitors occurred at four exposures. The highest volume of unique visitors occurred within a week after first campaign exposure.

Key Takeaways

  • It is essential for advertisers to measure the reach and effectiveness across multiple avenues of ad exposure rather than consider exposures in platform silos. The importance of this approach will increase as media consumption continues to evolve and cross-platform consumption grows.
  • Understanding which targets can not only be reached but also activated by various platforms results in more effective campaign planning.
  • Based on this knowledge clients can shift dollars between channels to better optimize their campaigns in real time and prior results can be used to inform future work.
  • Marketers can sub-target their campaigns by creating multiple targets, based not only on media consumption, but also media responsiveness to improve each targets’ projected ad effectiveness.
  • An effective causal multi-touch attribution (MTA) approach should provide stable, reliable results that have been researched and tested across hundreds of real campaigns and simulated data to ensure that the approach is yielding accurate results.

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Going Steady: How Long Will (My Cross-Media Campaign) Last?

Brian PughChief Information Officer, Comscore

Tania YukiCMO & EVP, Digital, Comscore

In this session, Tania Yuki and Brian Pugh of Comscore explored the impact of frequency and latency in cross-platform advertising effectiveness. In her opening, Tania demonstrated consumer trends and touchpoints to better understand cross-media, in terms of reach and optimizing platforms for specific outcomes. In her discussion, Tania acknowledged the challenges of measurement due to the constant introduction of new innovations and the adoption of new behaviors to track. She also recognized the considerable increase in connected devices per household since the pandemic. Tania pointed out complexities in the current media ecosystem from the increase in which media has merged despite being separate platforms (e.g., linear TV, social media, online video, etc.). In addition to all the changing behavior in media consumption, the speaker noted the emergence of Generation Z is beginning to change the rules for establishing brand love and loyalty. In his discussion, Brian examined findings from the measurement of 400 cross-platform campaigns to understand trends in terms of platform mixes. Brian noted the continued growth of social media and CTV along with the decline in linear TV, though he acknowledged linear still remained "king." Furthermore, he found that multi-screen campaigns performed better than single-platform campaigns.

Key Takeaways

  • The number of connected devices per household has increased from 9 to 12 since the pandemic, creating a more complex path in which to reach consumers.
  • Despite being separate platforms (e.g., linear TV, social media, online video, etc.) media is “inextricably commingled together,” leading to "context switching and about getting the right content to the right consumer."
  • In terms of long-form video, "Linear television is still the juggernaut in the room at 205 billion [viewing] hours." Total video across linear, CTV and digital grew 5% year-over-year in the U.S. CTV viewing increased by 14% of the total hours watched.
  • Short-form video continues to rise in popularity through Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube Shorts. This trend in short-form video consumption is growing in double-digit percentages and redefining video consumption across mobile and connected TV screens.
  • The emergence of Generation Z is changing the marketer approach to brand love and establishing loyalty and building long-term value as their consumer behavior is in contrast to previous cohorts. This is specific to their lack of brand loyalty.
    • In terms of media consumption, Generation Z are heavy movie watchers (37%), preferring dramas (29%) and cooking shows (23%). Additionally, they expressed interest in local news and documentaries.
  • Social media is still growing (11%) but there are fewer linear TV households (-9%) as people are consuming media elsewhere and CTV has increased substantially (32%).
    • Though there was a clear decline in linear TV viewership, linear TV remains supreme regarding total viewership for one channel.
  • In terms of incremental reach over the length of a campaign, linear TV reached a lot of viewers in the early part of a campaign, but over time the study indicated "reaching incremental people on CTV and digital more often." This finding acknowledged the advantages of a cross-screen campaign in terms of optimizing reach.
  • Adding screens in a campaign improved brand lift but the variability of results also increased. Additionally, results for ad recall and other variables followed a similar pattern. It was noted that the optimal platform mix depended on the target audience.

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Charting the Course for Third Party, Cross-Media Audience Measurement

Tina DanielsManaging Director, Agency & Brand Measurement Analytics, Google

Nicole GileadiGlobal Product Lead, Google

In this session, Tina Daniels and Nicole Gileadi examined Google's principles for charting the course for third-party cross-media audience measurement. Tina acknowledged more third-party measurement companies were expressing interest in working more closely with Google, given their stature as the world's largest video provider. In her discussion, she acknowledged that this interest generated the need for Google to create a set of principles to offer to both measurement companies and key clients to guide the process. After reviewing these principles Tina and Nicole held an open discussion regarding these principles. Topics of the discussion included premium and high-quality content, long-form versus short-form video and the measurement of this content. In addition, Nicole touched on the importance of content and the context surrounding an ad. Other areas included the idea of exposure metrics (e.g., Where is my audience? Did I reach them?) in addition to providing signals to conduct an impact analysis.

The following are the five principles Google shared with the industry, to act as guidance for third-party measurement companies interested in working with Google:

  1. Google expects measurement companies to be comprehensive, meaning a holistic view of audiences across all platforms.
  2. Measurement should be fair and comparable.
  3. Privacy-centricity is extremely important. Only privacy-centric solutions can meet consumer expectations and be durable for marketers in the long term.
  4. Independent & Trustworthy, meaning both objective and transparent, ideally with third-party endorsement like the MRC.
  5. Measurement solutions must be actionable for advertisers.

Key Takeaways

  • The struggle that the advertising and marketing industry is currently having is that "there is no universal definition of content quality that is easily measurable in cross-media systems."
  • "Content quality is being used as this proxy for content impact." For example, "What is the impact of the content on my brand equity, my campaign objective, by marketing or business objectives?" All of these factors are specific to the marketer, the brand and the campaign.
  • When it comes to exposure metrics, advertisers and marketers should be consistently counting impressions across all channels, "because you need to count things to value them."

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