The first step was to look at our attribution model. Like many businesses, we had been using an easy option: last-click attribution. It's well-known that last-click attribution doesn't tell the whole story, and after looking closely at our model, we realised that it wasn't able to answer most of our marketing questions. In particular, it couldn't really tell us how effective our ads were.
In 2018, we set out to build an attribution model that would allow us to see everything going on with our ads across every touch point and channel. I'm not going to say it was easy. We estimated that the project could take up to a year, and even then, it would be tricky to collect every single bit of information out there. But we kept going. Building slowly on top of a new model, we created an approach that allowed us to include more and more data progressively.
A couple of major things helped us along the way. The first was that we decided to start small, using data collection platform Snowplow to gather click and impression data on web and app platforms. The second was that we partnered with Facebook and Google so they could help us analyse our ads data on top of the Snowplow data we already had.
After about a year, our efforts began to pay off. Our current attribution model allows us to have a view of all the interactions that our customers have with our online presence until their purchase. It takes time, effort and resources to build a model like this, but for us it was worth it.
When the European beauty bookings service needed to find new customers, it decided to get rigorous about the impact of each pound spent on advertising.
How Treatwell uncovered the most effective way to spend its marketing budget
14 June 2019
"Incremental measurement is the
best way to find out the true effect
of a campaign, and the best way
to understand how to spend
your next pound"
Back in 2017, at some work drinks around the corner from Treatwell's London office, the CMO and performance marketing director turned to me with an unexpected question: “If I were to give you £10m for marketing, what would you do with it?”
It seems like a simple question — one that any marketer should be able to answer. But the truth was, I didn't know. I had nothing.
Despite the momentary lapse, that discussion was a turning point for our team. Treatwell is known for its stylish branding and ease of booking beauty appointments, but under the hood, we operate an ambitious model in a competitive market. To grow, we needed to spend on marketing, and spend well.
So, following that afternoon at the pub, my team and I set out to find out how.
Having a shiny new attribution model was great. But, for us, it wasn't enough. Revenue wasn't growing as fast as we wanted, and no amount of click data was going to solve that. Lorenzo Marasca, Treatwell's head of marketing analytics, realised that attribution models can help you make tactical and operational decisions, but they can't help with strategic decisions, like how much money you should spend on each channel. To do that, we needed something else.
The answer we found was incrementality measurement. The idea came from a workshop we had with Facebook's marketing science team, who presented it as a way of really drilling down into how much extra revenue each marketing pound is generating.
In partnership with Facebook
Tips, tools and inspiration for effective campaigns
By Albert Abello Lozano, head of automation, Treatwell
Getting the full picture
Gaining an edge
The concept is rooted in basic science: you take a group of similar people and show an ad to half of them, then look at the purchases made by the group. If the people who saw the ad bought more, then those are incremental sales — sales that wouldn't have happened had the campaign not run.
Incremental measurement is the best way to find out the true effect of a campaign, and the best place to spend your next pound. We quickly realised incrementality measurement was the best way to grow our business moving forward.
Nowadays at Treatwell, all our investment decisions are based on incrementality testing. We do that using great tools that partners like Facebook, Google and other publishers provide us allowing us to build our internal source of truth. We measure everything from TV to out-of-home advertising to email marketing using this method.
It answers so many of our questions. What's the right mix between prospecting and remarketing? What audience should we target for display channels? Should we invest in branding keywords for search advertising? All these can be answered with incrementality measurement.
It might sound daunting, but you can start by testing things like how much incremental revenue does your Facebook prospecting campaign generate. For email campaigns, you can figure out whether they generate any incremental sales. You can then build an entire program around what to test, when and on what channel, and what decision can be made as a result.
The combination of a sophisticated attribution model and incremental measurement has given us the growth we were looking for. Now, the next time someone asks me how I'd spend £10m on marketing, I know I'll have a great answer. ■
Insight is part of Inspire, an ongoing partnership between Marketing Week, Facebook and Instagram to showcase outstanding work across both platforms. Facebook and Instagram’s Creative Hub was launched to help the creative communities understand mobile marketing. The online tool allows creatives to experiment with content formats – from Instagram video to Facebook Canvas – and produce mock-ups to share with clients and stakeholders. It also showcases successful campaigns created for mobile. Try out the mock up tool at facebook.com/ads/creativehub and see the inspiration gallery at facebook.com/ads/creativehub/gallery
In partnership with Messenger Business by Facebook
Tips, tools and inspiration for effective campaigns
Treatwell's Albert Abello Lozano will be speaking at the Festival of Marketing in October. For more information, visit festivalofmarketing.com.
Treatwell's Albert Abello Lozano will be speaking at the Festival of Marketing in October. For more information, visit festivalofmarketing.com