Welcome to the second episode of The Digital Dish, where we dish on all things ad tech. This episode focuses on Incrementality, including an overview of what it is, what the industry challenges are, and what solutions advertisers and agencies can tap into when utilizing incrementality methodology.



Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

[00:00:10]  Gabby Turyan, Director of Product Marketing:

Incrementality addresses two major concerns, especially when you’re trying to assess a single, possible experimental media type. Native demand for products/site visits/leads etc., and all the other media, especially walled-garden media. With proper incrementality testing, we can factor both out entirely, getting right to the heart of the media type we’re analyzing to assess a true, bottom-line impact.

In its simplest form, incrementality is the percentage of total conversions that otherwise would not have happened. When we measure incremental lift: that involves what percent more likely someone who is exposed to a campaign is to convert than someone who is not exposed to a campaign.

We now live in a world where measurement is growing more and more important, and we start to bootstrap spending and really assess where and how marketing dollars are impacting our bottom line. And Incrementality answers questions like:

  • What happens if I increase or decrease budgets for channel X?
  • Is Z just cannibalizing my organic audience?
  • Is campaign A a key contributor to my desired outcome?
  • How much more revenue am I generating with this marketing strategy?

In this video, we’ll look at:

  • What we’ve seen in the industry
  • What the industry challenge is
  • Some of the solutions a brand/agency can consider when it comes to getting the most from activating incrementality in their strategies

[00:01:50]  Stephanie Juhas, Manager, Sales:

What we’ve seen in the industry is that traditional marketing performance metrics have been around for many years and marketers still rely on them. Traditional marketing metrics such as CPA, CTR, and VCR, while important, can leave room for additional questions requiring custom analytics to answer. With limited media budgets and advertisers now experimenting with different channels and formats, understanding the true impact of your marketing is crucial in making budgeting decisions and being able to justify scale. Most marketers would (understandably) only want to spend money on channels that drive those bottom-line results and ensure a positive brand experience.

Marketers are facing a looming cookieless future, evolving privacy regulations, fragmented customer data, and the accelerating complexities of identity management. They’re seeking an alternative approach to evaluating the effectiveness of their campaigns. In response to new privacy rules requiring mobile apps to get things like explicit user consent and access to an IDFA device. eMarketer states that 64% of marketing executives plan to invest more in other measurement solutions like incrementality and media mix modeling. When implemented correctly, incrementality can boost a brand’s revenue and help marketers prove their value.

An increasing share of the industry is looking to move away from last-touch attribution. The majority of marketers really do still depend on it because of its ease of use. While last-touch is a simple way to assign credit, it’s not the most accurate. Incrementality is really there to identify the causal event of a conversion, and it’s allowing businesses to properly allocate their budget and reduce wasted ad spend.

Based on the conversations I’ve had, it’s pretty critical for advertisers to understand how their digital marketing efforts are impacting their sales. Incrementality offers deeper insights and more accuracy when measuring metrics like attribution, lift, and return on investment. Incrementality done correctly, and in comparison to the other methodologies, it’s reinforcing the need for marketers to have the right tools in place to drive a brand’s growth and their marketing efforts forward.

[00:04:20]  Alexa Hebert, Team Lead, Client Services:

The industry challenge for many different advertisers is to make the most out of their dollars. And that means maximizing their media budgets. Advertisers are always experimenting with different channels and formats, and they want to understand the true impact of their efforts. This is really crucial in making budgeting decisions, as well as justifying scale.

In today’s ad landscape, brands run across many different media channels—this can be from paid search to CTV, display, and direct mail, and customers are often exposed to several different media types—as well as several different ads within each media type—before making a purchase or whatever their conversion point might be. And so, therein lies the challenge: How do marketers know which specific ads, or which specific campaigns actually drove the conversion, when so many other campaigns and ads are running concurrently? And how do they separate an individual channel from the rest, or from their own organic or native demand? This is where incrementality comes into play.

One of the examples that I’m about to share will allow you to understand that incremental lift can be measured across numerous variables:

Our team was working with a very well-known QSR advertiser. One of the ways that we wanted to involve incrementality was through the measurement of their creative and publisher lists. We wanted to look at these two pieces and provide them with insights they would not have been able to derive on their own. When we launched incrementality with this QSR advertiser, we could get really granular and look at these different variables. We were able to see which publishers were showing the highest incremental lift as well as which creatives were driving the highest incremental lift, and then also which ones weren’t.

From there, looking at this data, we were able to make optimizations toward these findings. And not only that, but we were able to provide the client with more insights to enable them to make informed decisions around their creative strategy, and this client actually ran a handful of different creative messaging throughout the campaign. Incrementality allowed us to show them which creative messaging drove the highest incremental lift in 2022. And from those results, they’re actually currently shooting to provide us with additional videos that align with this same messaging so that we can have more variety within this creative batch, and then additionally, on the publisher side, we really saw that sports inventory was a top performer for them, so we’re keeping that in mind as we go into 2023 and really maximizing the inventory that is sports related for their 2023 campaign. That’s just one real-life example of how incrementality is allowing us to see the lift across these different variables and find those points of success and then make pushes in those specific areas for continued improvement.

[00:07:18]  Ben Brenner, VP, Head of Solutions Engineering:

When discussing incrementality, we’re talking about measuring conversions that otherwise would not have happened. The reason why this is important is because we wanna make sure that any conversions that we’re driving with our OTT or our CTV spend are actually driving conversions that are not duplicative with the marketer’s other channels.

Marketers are running search and social and maybe affiliate marketing, and those are doing a great job driving conversions. And there’s a middle of that diagram with the conversions that we will also drive. The way that we do this is we set up a test and what we want to do is we want to analyze the difference in behaviors between two groups.

The first group is an exposed group, that’s people who have seen the campaign that we’re running for a client. The second group is a control group, and these are people who are actively prohibited from seeing an advertisement from this campaign.

And what we’re doing is we’re measuring the lift of that exposed group over that control group, or we’re seeing how those ads impact the behaviors of the people who actually saw them. We do this by looking at conversion rates between the two groups. And the reason we look at conversion rates and not just the number of conversions is that the group size is different.

And the way that we actually create that holdout group is through a process called ghost bidding. What Ghost bidding is, is if you imagine we’re set to serve five ads to individuals, all the targeting that’s applied, goes, behaviors, devices, all of that targeting is applied.

And then, instead of serving one of those five ads, we actually end up holding that person who is eligible for that ad out of the campaign. In other words, four ads get served, one ad gets held out. And then we’re creating a holdout group that mimics the exposed group exactly from a behavioral-, from a targeting-, from a demographic perspective.

All of the targeting that is applied to the exposed group is also applied to the control group because those individuals are actually eligible for bits. There’s no skew this way. So we avoid any skew that would’ve happened with a random sample. And instead, we’re making sure the two groups look exactly alike.

And then the second benefit is, because we’re not actually serving the ad, we don’t have to pay for the impression. So we can run this analysis free of charge. After we, have created that holdout group, what we’re able to do is measure the conversion rate lift of the exposed group over that holdout group.

And not only can we do this at the overall level, we can do this below the aggregate, which means that we can measure which publishers, which creatives, which times of day, which audiences are over-indexing or or have a higher incremental lift, than other times of day or other audiences or, other creatives or publishers, whatever that variable set might be.

Because we’re able to get below the aggregate, we can actually apply this analysis into the way that we optimize. So as opposed to just optimizing toward a standard ROAS goal or a standard CPA goal, we’re able to actually optimize toward an incremental CPA or an incremental ROAS. Adding another touchpoint and making sure that the creatives and the publishers and the day parts and the audiences that we’re targeting and ultimately moving money toward are actually driving bottom-line results, not just an in-platform low CPA reporting result.

This is all part of an effort to unsilo OTT. We wanna make sure that whatever we’re doing for our clients is actually in the best benefit from a bottom-line perspective, not just that we’re looking good from a reporting perspective in-platform.


Interested in learning more? Check out our Intro to Incrementality series or our Trends & Insights report—or speak to a team member! Be sure to follow Digital Remedy on LinkedInTwitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.

Mike Seiman

Mike Seiman, CEO & Chairman, is the founder of Digital Remedy, a digital media solutions company leading the tech enabled marketing space he co-founded while still a college student at Hofstra University in the early 2000s. The company has grown quickly and is now a major player within the crowded digital advertising landscape. The rapid growth of Digital Remedy, formerly CPXi led to its inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing privately held advertising/marketing companies in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Mike was selected as a semi-finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year initiative in 2010 and 2013 and as a finalist in 2009 and 2014. In his free time, Mike serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Hofstra University. He also focuses on numerous philanthropic initiatives including sitting on the boards of the H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society non-profit community center) and Children International, where he spearheaded the development of community centers in both Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2010 and Barranquilla, Colombia in 2014.

David Zapletal

Before graduating in 2005 with degrees in Retail and Consumer Science (with an emphasis in eCommerce) and a Minor in Public Business Administration at the University of Arizona, David Zapletal had already successfully grown a start up ad network from serving an initial 1 million impressions per day to over 10 million impressions per day. It was his deep understanding of internet advertising during the industry’s beginning stages that led him to another start up at the time, CPXi. More than 8 years that have passed and Zapletal currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Digital Remedy. In that role he continues to help grow and implement optimization tactics across various ad serving platforms, oversee daily operations of the account management and trafficking groups and maximizes ROI for Direct Response advertisers as well as for Publishers. Outside of Digital Remedy, Zapletal commits his efforts to an organization called Camp Dream Street, a camping program for children with disabilities, where he serves on the Board of Directors.

Jeff Reitzen

Jeff has worked in multiple facets of the online industry, from sales to operations as well as consumer engagement, content analytics and most recently in data optimization. His career began as a wedding, bar mitzvah, and Sweet 16 DJ where he learned the delicate balance of crowd energy management. Quickly, this skill made him incredibly successful in managing online sales for Geico. He joined CPXi at its startup stage as employee number 4 and has been a key driver of continued growth. His unique knowledge of what converts in the digital ad space, the application of data, and how to optimize platforms for efficiency continues to be invaluable to Digital Remedy clients. Today, Jeff is responsible for innovating and optimizing all Digital Remedy offerings including platforms, systems, tools, and internal processes—ensuring the organization remains on the precipice of the marketplace.

Mike Juhas

Mike Juhas, has over 13+ years of experience in ad tech client services, working with brands, agencies, and publishers ranging from top 10 advertisers to small regional organizations, to rep firms, holding companies and independent shops. An integral member of the Digital Remedy team, Juhas leads all client relationships, including facilitating onboarding and integration, establishing relationship protocols, overseeing Quarterly Business Reviews and status meetings, navigating financial coordination, and overseeing 24/7 team support. His specialties include consultative services, planning strategy, and account management disciplines. Juhas lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife and two daughters, and their dog, Perry–the unofficial company mascot.

TJ Sullivan

TJ Sullivan has over 20 years of media sales and leadership experience. His knowledge of the digital media landscape, ability to develop strategic solutions that solve brand challenges, and talent for motivating sales teams, have made him a vital member of several media and ad tech organizations. Before joining Digital Remedy, Sullivan was VP, Connections at iHeart Media, a cross-divisional group that enabled national advertisers to seamlessly work with multiple iHeart business units; CRO of Reelcontent, a video distribution company for brands; SVP of sales at AdoTube, a video ad network; and was Co-Founder and SVP of video measurement company, OpenSlate—for which he is still an advisor.

Sullivan had served as the President of 212, New York’s Interactive Advertising Club, and currently advises many early stage start-ups in the programmatic and video space. Notably, RUN (sold to Publicis in 2014), Futures Media, Transmit.Live, and Kubient.

Outside of his work in the media industry, Sullivan sits on the Board of St. Elizabeth School in Wyckoff, New Jersey and the Advancement Committee of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey. He resides in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

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Buying Power and Quality

Let’s be honest. Your ad ops are limited by your access to only a handful of channels and DSPs. You want more reach and better prices, but don’t want to sacrifice quality in order to achieve those goals. Digital Remedy has access to a vast multitude of channels based on relationships we’ve cultivated over nearly 20 years in business. That means we get the best prices, have personal relationships, and don’t get sent to voicemail when we call.

It also means that we can execute omni-channel ad ops for better prices than an internal team, while ensuring the quality is up to industry standards. On top of access to all sorts of specific audiences we’re able to to leverage first- and third-party data across all your campaigns and pivot across platforms based on results. Any campaign, any budget, any platform, any audience. Digital Remedy backed by AdReady is restriction free ad ops….and what could be better than that?

Resources, Time, and Overhead

When was the last time you enjoyed balancing budgets, reading resumes, dealing with aggressive sales teams, or wasting years of time for small gains in performance. By partnering with Digital Remedy you get the full support of $30m in OPEX including marketing teams, sales teams, and a dedicated 24/7 ad operations team. No hiring new employees for media optimization, business development, or account management. No months of training and on-boarding. No long meetings crafting sales materials. Just your team focused on making deals, and our teams and tech focused on supporting and executing those deals in a tech-enabled, digital ecosystem designed to get the most out of any KPI.

Reporting and Support

How nice would it be to have all of your data and insights in one location. We don’t mean an excel sheet sent out once a week with complicated charts, or an XML file with pages and pages and pages of tables (what is this, 2003?). We mean a fully customizable dashboard reporting in real time, or as real time as possible. You get to decide the how, what, and when of the reporting you’re seeing. And that’s ALL of the how, what, and when’s. If you want to see breakouts of all of the individual campaigns in your system, done. If you want broad scope comparisons of all of the campaigns in the last year, done. If you want to see CTR’s for specific audiences and compare them to CPM for your best performing advertiser but limit the scope to campaigns greater than 30k, done. All of this is at your fingertips with the AdReady Dashboard, all in one place.

Jessica Cortapasso

With more than a decade of experience in human capital management, Jessica Cortapasso serves as SVP, People at Digital Remedy. After graduating from Muhlenberg College, she quickly recognized her passion for people and entered the workforce in Human Resources where she gained expertise in employee relations, designing strategic benefit plans, and the development, implementation, and curation of corporate engagement initiatives for big-name brands and small companies alike. Becoming a member of the Digital Remedy family in 2013 while simultaneously acquiring her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Development from New York University, Jessica has steered company culture through significant events ranging from acquisitions and a rebranding, to the development and application of our Core Values that shape our daily business practices. Cortapasso resides in Brooklyn, plays competitive volleyball, and loves spending time with her nieces.

Erez Feld

Responsible for the financial and legal practices of Digital Remedy, Erez brings 22 years of experience in precision financial analysis, growth management practices, strategic acquisition, and investment leadership. A graduate of Hofstra University, Erez began his career modeling for corporate finance, and expanded his accounting prowess in the real estate sector. Erez joined Digital Remedy in 2008 as a senior accountant, and helped to create and build an accounting department that could support the rapid growth of the company and aligned with those needs. Over the past 12 years he has evolved through various positions at the company within the finance discipline, supervising and mentoring additional finance personnel, while growing under the tutelage of Michael Fleischman, former CFO of Digital Remedy. Today, he leads the Finance Department by supporting high-level projects such as acquisitions and restructuring, and is responsible for overseeing all financial assets, establishing financial procedures, controls, and reporting systems.

Michael Fleischman

After a successful career as an accomplished Fortune 500 financial professional leading Corporate Finance and Strategic Planning at Cablevision Systems Corporation and its programming subsidiary Rainbow Media Holdings, Michael currently plays a role in the overall management of Digital Remedy including direct responsibility for all financial-related activities including accounting, financial planning, M&A, legal, insurance, real estate and banking relationships. Michael brings more than 25 years of media experience at Cablevision and Rainbow Media and during his career was instrumental in the launching and managing of a number of cable television networks including 10 Regional Sports Networks across the US, American Movie Classics, Bravo, and the Independent film channel as well as the structuring of corporate partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp and MGM. Additionally, he was the finance lead on a number of professional sports team acquisitions including Madison Square Garden, the successful IPO of Cablevision and a tracking stock at Rainbow Media.Michael was involved in the creation and launch of Rainbow Advertising Sales which was one of the Cable Industry’s first Local Advertising Sales Divisions.

Tony Pascal

With over two decades of experience in the design, product, and technology space, Tony joined Digital Remedy as a graphic designer in 2007. His responsibilities quickly expanded, landing him in leadership roles across multiple disciplines including creative direction, analytics, monetization optimization, and management of platform development. He continued to grow with the organization over the last fourteen years, overseeing all design, development, and execution of Digital Remedy products and platforms. In his current role as SVP, Product & Technology, Tony leads product and technology development for the company and acts as the go-to liaison across teams, ensuring alignment on all aspects of internal and client-facing technology initiatives.

Prior to Digital Remedy, Tony built and ran his own direct response company from 2002-2007 after graduating from New York Institute of Technology, where he learned the fundamentals of digital advertising and optimization strategies that still remain relevant today.

In a previous life, Tony was a ski instructor and still remains an avid skier today. When he is not leading product development, he can be found working on old cars, rock climbing and hitting the slopes.

Gayle Meyers

Gayle Meyers is an entrepreneur, venture partner, investor, and operating resource in the digital media and marketing industry, with over two decades of executive leadership experience. After launching a management consulting firm, Growthing which is focused on optimizing growth strategies for executive leaders and their organizations, Meyers has frequently been tapped for high-profile consulting and advisory positions to help marketing technology companies enhance their in-market presence.

“Gayle is widely recognized as a leading strategist with years of expertise in the ad tech space,” said Mike Seiman, Chairman and CEO of Digital Remedy. “Her career in discovering and integrating game-changing technologies in the marketing industry will serve as an invaluable resource as we continue to enhance our product suite in the months ahead.”

With expertise spanning multiple disciplines, Meyers frequently serves as a keynote speaker at industry conferences for companies such as Google, Verizon, Omnicom, LiveRamp, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Oracle. A list of her notable past clients who have benefitted from her unique insights to increase shareholder value includes Tinuiti (acquired by New Mountain Capital), Adometry (acquired by Google), MediaForge (acquired by Rakuten), Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), and Tapad (acquired by Telenor).

Matt Sotebeer

With 14+ years of experience in ad tech and emerging technologies, Matt Sotebeer brings an uniquely innovative approach in his role as Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Remedy. As CSO, Matt focuses on the intersection between the product, product marketing, tech, data, and sales teams, while fostering productive cross-functional company-wide relationships to inform and influence sales, educate clients, and optimize company performance.

Matt has an extensive knowledge in the integration of data science, creative, and media solutions to drive sustainable growth for companies, with a focus on designing customized, scalable solutions leveraging machine learning alongside human intelligence. Throughout the tenure of his career, he has successfully managed global teams aligned to common goals, encouraged collaborative problem solving, and supported talent growth for entrepreneurial companies including MiQ, Rocket Fuel, and Audience Science.

Jeremy Haft

A proven strategic, revenue, and team leader with over 20 years of experience managing and scaling revenue in the competitive ad tech landscape, Jeremy serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Digital Remedy.

Before joining the team in October 2022, he served as CRO at Channel Factory, where he reorganized the revenue team for sustainable growth and increased the sales team by 3x to drive predictable and more accountable revenue. Prior to that, he served in a decade of leadership positions. Most notably, as SVP of Sales at Amobee and as VP of North America Sales at Viant/Adelphic. At both organizations, Jeremy successfully built and scaled platform and business solutions from their infancy to achieve the desired corporate goals.

Jeremy graduated from The University of Vermont and currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to tropical locations, dining out, cooking feasts with friends, and any new fitness trend he can get his hands on.