How to determine which half of your advertising budget is most effective


Deepak Chandran (Head of YouTube Ads Research, Google APAC) and Zarak Khan (Regional Product Lead – Brand Measurement, Google APAC), share their insights on how to measure sales impact. They also explain how using a combination of measurement strategies can […]

Deepak Chandran (Head of YouTube Ads Research, Google APAC) and Zarak Khan (Regional Product Lead – Brand Measurement, Google APAC), share their insights on how to measure sales impact. They also explain how using a combination of measurement strategies can help advertisers monitor campaign effectiveness, make the most out of media spend, and ensure that they are measuring the right metrics.

Marketers have all heard the saying, “Half of my advertising money is wasted.” However, many marketers don’t know the answer.

Here’s something we know for certain: Brand marketers must evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns in terms of generating incremental sales. They must then assess whether the campaigns are effective. They must also determine if the campaigns generate enough sales to pay for the campaign’s costs so that they can decide whether they should continue or alter their course.

It is becoming more difficult to accurately measure the impact of a marketing campaign and then identify ways to increase the return on investment as brands compete for customers’ attention in a crowded landscape of scattered media channels and brand messages. What does a marketer do?

A measurement strategy that combines credible, comprehensive and actionable solutions with brand strategies will more often than not lead to further growth opportunities.

A well-planned strategy is a great place to start. Two common approaches are used to measure the impact of media platforms on sales. Sales lift studies measure the impact on a single platform. Marketing Mix Model (MMM) measures the impact on multiple platforms simultaneously.

We partnered with Nielsen recently to help marketers navigate their measurement issues. This included identifying YouTube’s sales impact across APAC. It also revealed some helpful ways that marketers can use sales lift studies and MMM in order to measure the impact of their brand campaigns.

Determine the “working half” of your ad spend

To understand YouTube’s success, we conducted 57 saleslift studies in APAC over the past three years. These were spread across 16 categories and 46 brands.

We used a Nielsen Matched Panel Analysis study to measure the impact of one YouTube campaign, while controlling for variables like price, distribution, promotions and other activities. We were able to determine the true impact of YouTube using this causal impact design. This allowed us compare the sales in the markets where the campaign was run and the control markets that did not.

Jayati Basu (Director – Marketing Effectiveness, Nielsen) stated that the studies allowed them to measure YouTube’s impact in different conditions and also allow us to evaluate the effects of different YouTube formats on sales.

These studies revealed three key features of our platform 1:

Google is your friend!

Source: Commissioned Nielsen Matched Panel Analysis of Google, AU. IN. ID. MY. TH. 2017-2020.

“Partnering closely with Mindshare and Google allowed us to execute Lays Smile Initiative extremely well. A complete project that included insights, media, measurement, and creatives culminated in a saleslift study where YouTube delivered a 12.5% 2 sales lift with quality return on advertising spending (ROAS).” Shailaja Joshi is Associate Director, Marketing, PepsiCo.

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Tips to advertisers: Be open to experimentation. A sales lift study will help you determine which creative, audience targeting, and ad formats are most effective in achieving your goals. will continue to experiment with new approaches to determine which ones work and which don’t. This will ensure that future campaign decisions are based on solid results.


Get granular and monitor what is working across channels.

To maximize your sales impact, it is important to understand which channels are performing best in your media mix. MMMs can be used to evaluate the contribution of each channel where your brand invested over time.

Advertisers can understand digital media in smaller units that allow them to gain a better understanding of what works and what needs to be improved.

We wanted to compare YouTube’s performance to other platforms and channels in our YouTube effectiveness journey. Another meta-analysis was done on MMMs Nielsen had developed over the past few years in APAC. We compared YouTube with TV and other digital channels.

We analyzed over 100 MMMs in India from 2016 to 2018, and found the following 3.

Tips to advertisers: Run MMMs in order to see how your channel mix is driving incremental sales for you brand. When allocating media budgets, you should be focusing on effectiveness (or incremental sales per impression), and efficiency (or incremental sales per dollar). Consider working with a Google Measurement Partners to obtain granular campaign-level YouTube/Search/Display information that can be used to assess the return on investment and help you improve what’s working.