MMM 101: How to pitch your finance and executive team on Media Mix Modeling and Incrementality (Template)

If you want your company to start using MMM, you’ll have to get buy-in from your finance and your executive team, but it’s always hard to change the status quo within an organization. 

This can be a real problem – especially if your executive and finance team is currently only looking at the last-touch attribution report in Google Analytics (or a similar tool). It’s critical to help them understand marketing measurement beyond just what’s trackable. 

We’ve talked to a lot of marketers who want to introduce measurement methods that actually capture incrementality – especially experiments and MMM, but they don’t know where to start pitching it to their teams. 

We’ve put together a template deck on how to “sell” MMM to these stakeholders within your organization. The rest of this article will give more context on how to overcome this hurdle and on how to use the template but, if you just want to grab it, it’s embedded below – just make a copy and tailor it to your company. 

To use this template, click here to open it on Google Slides. Then, click “file” -> “make a copy” -> “entire presentation”. Then you can change formatting and add or remove any slides you don’t need.

Understanding Incrementality: A Finance Team’s Perspective

Finance teams tend to intuitively understand the idea behind incrementality. The relationship between dollars invested in an activity and the revenue / business benefit that we get on the other side is something they’re primed to understand.

But we’ve seen that’s not always the case: if, over the last few years, they’ve built a lot of forecasting and planning models based on last-touch attribution, then it might be hard for them to introduce other measurement methods that don’t update daily or that aren’t necessarily as easy to drop into a spreadsheet.

They might be philosophically inclined to incrementality and MMM, but they might not understand its mechanics that well.

Leadership and Incrementality: Aligning on Measurement Concepts

Similarly, if the rest of your leadership team doesn’t understand what incrementality is, or why last-touch attribution isn’t actually measuring incrementality, it can be very complicated to introduce other ways of doing measurement – let alone pitch them on the idea of using MMM. 

If you’re a marketer in this situation, I’d suggest doing your best to educate those key stakeholders on how marketing measurement actually works and why incrementality is so important. 

How to Present MMM to Stakeholders

Our recommendation is to have these conversations in a phased manner:

Step 1: The first thing you want to establish is that the main thing the marketing team should care about is incrementally. 

You want to find the causal relationship between your marketing activity on one side and the key business outcomes on the other side. If you can get everyone aligned around this concept and why it matters, you’ve built the foundation for better measurement moving forward. 

Step 2: Talk about how different measurement methods may or may not capture true incrementality. 

You don’t have to completely get rid of multi-touch attribution: it is still useful to get granular, campaign-level data. But, in general, it’s not going to show you the true incrementality of your marketing spend.

We’ve found that a good way to start explaining these concepts is by walking them through the idea of branded search not being fully incremental. If someone is searching for your brand already, it’s less likely that clicking on a branded search ad was what actually caused them to convert. In 2013, for example, eBay found that branded search had no incremental impact on their users’ likelihood to make a purchase.

And then you can introduce this same idea across other channels: just because someone clicked on an ad before they bought from you doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have purchased it anyway. How do we know what channels are actually incremental for our brand? That’s the question you want them to start asking themselves.

Step 3: Layer the idea of introducing new measurement methods.

Once you and your team start having those conversations, you can present them with other measurement methodologies that will give a clearer picture of what is actually incremental or not. 

Experimentation and Media Mix Modeling are options that the team should potentially consider. You just need to have laid the foundation around why incrementality is important and why your last-touch attribution might not be fully capturing that. 

How to Use this MMM 101 Template:

This template is yours to use and customize to your organization. It covers everything from basic MMM and incrementality concepts, to how to incorporate them into your decision-making. 

All you have to do is make a copy, and it works whether you use Recast or not – just use the slides that make sense for your situation and cut the rest. If you are interested in how we could work together, let’s chat.

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