In medicine and pharmaceutical research, randomized trials — where placebos are given to otherwise identical patients — are widely considered the gold standard for measuring whether a given pharmaceutical or treatment works. These experiments, however, are costly — leading many practitioners to rely on flawed observational studies.
For a decade, marketers measuring ROI in digital advertising have faced a similar dilemma. Whether it’s dealing with in-market bias or last-click methodologies that likely overvalue cheaper media, many marketers know their attribution model is broken but lacked alternatives.
Today, TubeMogul helped change that with the launch of TubeMogul Ad Swap. “Ad Swap gets us back to leveraging the scientific method for ROI measurement without the operational burden or cost normally associated with creating real experiments,” notes TubeMogul’s CEO and co-founder Brett Wilson.
The product’s methodology is simple: for campaigns enrolled in Ad Swap, TubeMogul software automatically serves “placebo” ads to a randomized population, with all other aspects like audience targeting and site placement identical. Once ads are swapped, results are measured for both the control and exposed groups. By isolating causality, advertisers can determine which sales were the direct result of their advertising and which were going to occur naturally.
Lindsay Pullins, Director of Programmatic Media at Empower MediaMarketing, helped to test an early version of of Ad Swap. We recently caught up with her at TubeMogul University to talk about the product and Empower’s strategy generally.
AdExchanger broke the news on Ad Swap this morning.