20 Dec 2022
Marketing | 2 min read

The Pros and Cons of Incrementality Testing

Written by Maggie Tharp
on December 20, 2022

Incrementality testing is a valuable tool for marketers that allows them to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and determine the specific impact of individual marketing efforts on business outcomes. This type of testing can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of different marketing channels and tactics, and help marketers allocate their resources more effectively.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of incrementality testing so you can decide when and how to use it in your marketing.

Incrementality Testing: Benefits

One of the key benefits of incrementality testing is that it allows marketers to isolate the effects of individual marketing efforts on business outcomes, such as revenue or customer acquisition.

Incrementality testing compares a group of exposed vs. unexposed or “holdout” users to answer the question: “Would this user have converted if they were not exposed to this specific marketing touchpoint?” This helps quantify the number of conversions or amount of revenue that the channel is directly responsible for.

Once the direct business impact of a channel has been quantified, marketers are better equipped to determine if a specific channel or tactic is worth continuing to invest in.

Example: Imagine you spend $10k/month on retargeting. It has a strong CPA because users are converting, but would they have converted even if they did not see your retargeting ad?

Incrementality Testing: Downsides

Despite the insights it can provide, incrementality testing is not without its drawbacks. One of the main challenges with this type of testing is that it can be difficult to accurately isolate the effects of individual marketing efforts on business outcomes. This is because there are often many other factors that can influence business results, such as changes in the economy, competition, or consumer behavior. As a result, incrementality testing can sometimes produce results that are not entirely accurate or reliable.

Another potential drawback of incrementality testing is that it can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. This is because it typically involves running multiple campaigns, with and without the marketing efforts being tested, and then comparing the results of those campaigns. This can be a complex and challenging process that requires careful planning and execution.

Use Incrementality Testing as Part of a Larger Strategy

Despite these challenges, incrementality testing can be a valuable tool for marketers who are looking to improve the effectiveness of their campaigns and allocate their resources more effectively.

In addition to incrementality testing, there are other measurement methods that can be useful for evaluating the effectiveness of marketing efforts. For example, marketers can use marketing attribution to set performance targets and optimize within a channel, while using incrementality testing to understand if one specific channel is worth continuing to invest in at all, or scale spend into.

By using a combination of incrementality testing and other measurement methods, marketers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and make more informed decisions about how to allocate their resources. This can help them improve the ROI of their marketing campaigns and drive better business results.

How Rockerbox Helps You Determine Incremental Impact

Incrementality testing is a powerful way to gauge the impact of your marketing tactics on conversions, as long as it's leveraged alongside other analytical methods. Rockerbox helps you maintain a well-rounded measurement practice by getting you access to the data you need to understand the incremental impact of channels being tested.

No measurement method is perfect. 

That’s why Rockerbox uses multiple.