What is incrementality?

Incrementality in digital marketing and ad tech refers to the measurement of the additional value or impact generated by a specific advertising campaign or marketing initiative. It aims to determine whether an ad campaign led to a meaningful increase in desired user actions, such as conversions, purchases, or other key performance indicators (KPIs), compared to what would have occurred naturally or without the campaign.

The main goal of measuring incrementality is to assess the true effectiveness of an advertising effort by isolating and quantifying the “incremental” or additional impact it had on user behavior. This is typically done by comparing the behavior of two groups via A/B testing:

  1. Treatment group: This group is exposed to the advertising campaign or marketing initiative.
  2. Control group: This group is not exposed to the campaign and represents the baseline or what would have happened organically.

Why is incrementality important?

By comparing the outcomes, such as engagement level, conversions, or sales, between the treatment and control groups, advertisers can determine whether the campaign had a measurable impact beyond what would have naturally occurred. If the treatment group shows a statistically significant increase in desired actions compared to the control group, it suggests that the advertising campaign had an incremental effect.

Incrementality analysis is crucial for effective digital marketing, because it helps advertisers allocate their advertising budgets more effectively, optimize their campaigns, and understand the true return on investment (ROI) of their marketing efforts. It allows them to make data-driven decisions about which advertising channels, strategies, or creative approaches are driving genuine business growth rather than just coinciding with existing customer behavior.

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