Essential Questions to Ask Your Marketing Mix Modeling Partner

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The old approach to Marketing Mix Modeling involved a lot of assumption and guesswork that ultimately yielded only high-level insights into historical campaign effectiveness. At best, it was possible to make directional decisions based on past performance. But the rise of the digital era meant marketing mix models needed to adapt in order to be relevant and effective. The consultative approach of the past was no longer sufficient or sophisticated enough to account for new complexities in the marketplace, so it became increasingly necessary to introduce a new component to the mix—technology.

That’s where Keen comes in. The Keen platform is agile and functions from a data-first approach, which allows brands to quickly adapt, evolve, and adjust to a constantly changing environment. Enabled by the dexterity, flexibility, and speed of machine learning, we provide detailed guidance that delivers ROI and lift opportunities. In addition, we give marketing measurements that are accessible in real time and updated at the speed of data availability to support future planning.

Keen offers the only next-generation marketing mix platform, which provides historical performance measurement, as well as predictive and prescriptive plans to optimize ongoing marketing-spend decisions—across all channels and connecting those decisions to financial outcomes. So when you are tasked with creating a marketing strategy for your brand, it’s important to know exactly what your MMM partner can provide for you—today, and into tomorrow. Here are some essential questions to ask so you can make the best decision for your brand and your job.

How is your data collected and what modeling approach do you employ?

Uncertainty plays a huge role in investment decisions. So despite the growth in machine learning capabilities and tools, the market is still very much rooted in using historical data to drive spend decisions and strategies since it is perceived to involve the least risk. One of the main problems is that marketing’s impact—particularly when looking at long-term revenue—is unobservable so value needs to be inferred. To infer marketing impact, Keen uses multiple sources of information that are then combined using a Bayesian approach. This approach uses external sources—including meta-analysis of marketing elasticities, other MMM and MTA studies, and the client knowledge estate—and also learns as new information becomes available. 

More dynamic than employing a normative, static database, Keen brings value with our patent-pending Marketing Elasticity Engine which is informed by 40 years of academic studies, 10 years of client metadata and recent marketplace dynamics, and thousands of economic elasticity models and priors. The Keen platform utilizes data connections and can connect to APIs to gather data easily while our engine provides performance estimates when data is missing or unavailable. Furthermore, we don’t require DMA or store-level data like a traditional MMM does.

Keen measures past performance while emphasizing predictive, future planning and continuous improvement. We model on a weekly time-series for any and all tactics, including social, influencer, PR, sponsorship, OOH, and more. Effectively, our Bayesian Regression approach gives you a starting point upon which you can build with your own historical data. By beginning with prior information and combining marketing activity and sales data, we can build a framework that can iteratively learn over time. We still do a deep, analytical, consultative analysis of what you’ve done in the past and tell you exactly when and where to spend every dollar at whatever level of granularity you’d like, but, ultimately, want you to receive the benefits of a pivot to future optimizations and planning.

What is your delivery time and how is your service delivered?

Keen understands that as marketing executives, brand managers, or business owners, you are constantly being bombarded with new information about what’s happening in the marketplace as well as details about what your team and company needs to accomplish. And with that, you’re asked to make the next best decision for where and when to make marketing investments. 

With Keen, your data lives in the cloud so you can access it any time to run wargames or what-if scenarios to better understand the potential outcome of various future strategies. Our insights are delivered by an always-on solution that uses dashboards as opposed to the static reports—such as PowerPoints—typically used by a consultant product. We can build a model within 3–6 weeks of having collected your data. And, once this information is imputed and the model is built, a model refresh generally only takes 3–5 days, giving you faster response times that allow you to quickly pivot based on your goals and value outcomes.

Our fluidity and ability to project potential uncertainty is invaluable and will fundamentally change planning conversations. The end-to-end process is supported by our software allowing the marketing decision maker to interact with the program through various components, including the decision frame, model, and value outcomes. Our expert team supports you throughout your journey from data collection to reporting and interpretation, which means you are never alone with Keen. 

Do you support a holistic view of my business? 

Marketers need to be able to look at their plan from a holistic perspective to understand the impacts of certain media spend on the business. Without the right tools and software, it can be difficult to visualize the interaction effects between channels. These are key in showing how all the dollars work together—halo effects and interactions—in order to support your business growth goals, accurately plan your marketing budget, and see an increased ROI.

Every dollar you spend in one channel has an impact on every dollar you spend in another. As you evaluate channel and timing options, a system that can quickly account for how your marketing decisions contribute to or distract from your targeted financial outcomes is essential. From there, it’s possible to decide if it’s better to take dollars away from a traditional media campaign and put them into retail media or not—and have the data to justify the decision to the C-suite and leadership from a financial point of view.

For many brand managers, the focus always comes back to what you are trying to achieve as a business and how to best leverage the dollars available to you to reach your goals. Unlike many other marketing mix solutions, Keen offers an omni-channel experience, allowing for visibility into the interaction effects across all channels. Keen makes it possible to see how online and offline dollars impact each other. Adopting an omni-channel approach in your marketing and sales strategies has several advantages, including greater reach, increased profits, and boosted customer satisfaction. 

It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday

Some of the significant shortcomings of traditional MMM include its cost, lack of speed, flexibility, and providing outdated reports. Marketers get results too late and they’re too summarized to be actionable. It shows decisions through a rearview mirror rather than a forward looking view. Alternatively, Keen’s approach is largely framed around the brand’s current (and potential future) objectives, decisions, and environments.

At Keen, we put a lot of time, effort, and focus into quality control to make sure our models incorporate your current knowledge estate. Only then, when we’re aligned as a team, do we talk about your planning periods and the scenarios you might be optimizing. We strive to meet every one of our partners wherever they are as they move up the tech adoption curve. Our platform’s ease of use and speed to insight capabilities mean that we are the best vendor to take your company and marketing strategy into the future.

So when you’re thinking about who to partner with for your MMM needs, make sure to ask if they will be able to scale, expand, and accommodate new tactics and channels, market influences, and strategies. And if you’re trying to pinpoint the optimal future investment for each channel on a weekly basis, update your plan at any time to encourage in-flight optimization, and support highly optimized marketing and sales investment decisions, look no further. Because Keen is here to help you do all of this and more.

Take a tour of the Keen Platform to learn more.

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