What Is Incrementality and Why Is It Critical for Proving ROI?


In today's competitive digital landscape, marketers are constantly striving to maximize their return on investment (ROI) and make data-driven decisions to optimize their advertising campaigns. One crucial concept that plays a vital role in this process is "incrementality." By understanding and measuring incrementality, marketers can gain valuable insights into the true impact of their advertising efforts and make more informed decisions to drive better results. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of incrementality and explore why it is critical for proving ROI.

Understanding Incrementality

Incrementality refers to the additional value or lift generated by an advertising campaign, beyond what would have occurred organically or through other marketing channels. It helps marketers assess the true impact of their campaigns by comparing the performance of an exposed group (test group) to a non-exposed group (control group).

Determining the Incremental Lift

To accurately measure the incremental lift of a campaign, marketers need to follow a rigorous and scientific approach. The test vs. control method is widely regarded as the best practice for this purpose. It involves dividing the target audience into two groups: one group that receives the advertising (test group) and another that does not (control group).By comparing the performance metrics of these two groups, marketers can isolate the impact of the advertising campaign and quantify the incremental lift. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, revenue, and customer acquisition cost can be analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the campaign in driving incremental results.

Benefits of Measuring Incrementality

1. Accurate Performance Evaluation

Measuring incrementality allows marketers to accurately evaluate the performance of their advertising campaigns. By isolating the incremental lift, they can identify the true impact of their efforts and distinguish it from other external factors that may influence the results. This enables data-driven decision-making and optimization strategies based on reliable insights.

2. Optimization Opportunities

Understanding incrementality helps marketers identify optimization opportunities. By analyzing the performance differences between the test and control groups, they can pinpoint the strategies or tactics that contribute to the incremental lift. This knowledge empowers marketers to refine their campaigns, allocate budgets effectively, and focus on the most impactful channels, ultimately maximizing their ROI.

3. Efficient Resource Allocation

By measuring incrementality, marketers can optimize their resource allocation. Instead of indiscriminately investing in all marketing channels, they can identify the channels that generate the highest incremental lift. This enables them to allocate their resources more efficiently, focusing on the most effective channels and campaigns that drive tangible results.

Collaborating with Media Partners

Marketers should establish strong collaborations with their media partners to effectively measure and identify incremental return on ad spend (ROAS). Here are some key questions to ask media partners to help identify incrementality:

1. Can You Share the Methodology for Measuring Incrementality?

Understanding the methodology employed by media partners to measure incrementality is crucial. This includes the sample selection process, duration of the test and control groups, and the statistical techniques used. Transparency in methodology ensures reliable and comparable results.

2. What Metrics Do You Use to Measure Incrementality?

Different media partners may use different metrics to measure incrementality. It is essential to align the metrics used by the media partners with the campaign objectives and desired outcomes. This ensures a consistent evaluation of the incremental lift across different partners and campaigns.

3. How Can We Collaborate to Optimize Incrementality?

Collaboration is key to optimizing incrementality. Marketers should discuss strategies with their media partners to maximize the incremental lift. This can include exploring targeting options, creative optimization, or testing different ad formats to uncover the most effective approaches for driving incremental results.


In the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, understanding and measuring incrementality is critical for marketers to prove the ROI of their campaigns. By recognizing the incremental lift and leveraging the test vs. control method, marketers gain valuable insights into the true impact of their efforts. These insights enable data-driven decision-making, optimization of campaigns, and efficient resource allocation. By collaborating with media partners and asking the right questions, marketers can identify incremental return on ad spend and unlock opportunities for driving better results. Embracing incrementality as a core element of advertising strategy sets marketers on a path to leave other websites behind and achieve sustainable success in the competitive digital landscape.Remember, understanding incrementality is not only about measuring the impact of advertising campaigns but also about making smarter decisions based on reliable insights. So, embrace the power of incrementality and propel your advertising efforts to new heights!

Ready to think differently about user acquisition?

Our team of experts is standing by to give you a personalized consultation.