The Illusion of Open-Source Marketing Mix: Why you Need a Trusted Partner

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As the wave of open-source marketing mix platforms from tech giants like Google’s Meridian and Facebook’s Robyn floods the market, it’s easy to get swept up in the hype. On the surface, these solutions seem like a dream come true – the democratization of sophisticated marketing analytics, available to all for free. But before you dive headfirst into the open source pool, there are crucial factors to consider.

Exploring the Hype Around Open-Source Marketing Mix Models

Open-source MMM undoubtedly brings exciting opportunities. There is transparency and collaboration inherent in open source that can lead to more robust, trustworthy solutions over time. The accessibility of these tools empowers data-savvy teams to adapt models to their specific needs.

The Hidden Costs of Free Open-Source Solutions

Open source doesn’t always mean completely open or transparent. Even if the code is accessible, finding what you need and understanding how it all works often requires significant time and resources. More importantly, when you adopt technology from companies whose core business is advertising, you must scrutinize their incentives.

Google and Facebook are unlikely to release anything that could potentially cannibalize their cash cow – ad revenue. Just as their attribution models have historically favored their own advertising products. Trusting the fox to guard the henhouse is a risky proposition.

The Paradox of Enterprise Readiness in Marketing Analytics

Over the years, we’ve seen companies of all sizes attempt to bring marketing analytics platforms in-house, and the open-source wave is no different. While open source can give you a head start, shaving off development time, it still comes with the same fundamental challenges.

Implementing  enterprise-grade solutions requires far more than just the core modeling code. At Keen, our latest version of our platform we spent nearly two years building without touching the core modeling code. Even with the core modeling code, you’ll need to invest heavily in a team of engineers and data scientists to build out the necessary infrastructure, user-friendly interfaces, and reporting capabilities. This undertaking can easily cost millions and take years, always exceeding the price of licensing an established vendor solution like Keen.

Moreover, the larger your organization, the more stakeholders and red tape you’ll have to navigate. Overcoming internal inertia and resistance to change can be an uphill battle, especially when jobs and budgets are on the line. Without deep expertise in change management and the political capital to drive adoption, even the most technically impressive homegrown MMM solution may never see the light of day.

The Power of Collective Experience with Trusted Partners

When you build MMM in-house, either from scratch or on top of an open-source foundation, you’re essentially operating in a silo. Your learnings are limited to your own organization’s data and experience. Contrast that with working with an external partner like Keen, who can draw upon over a decade of experience across brands and industries.

This collective experience is invaluable in navigating the challenges and pitfalls of MMM implementation. From data wrangling to model validation to stakeholder communication, there’s no substitute for the battle-tested best practices developed over thousands of engagements. Keen’s software is purpose-built to address the most common pain points, allowing you to leapfrog the learning curve.

Overcoming the Speed Barriers in Marketing Innovations

Marketing is evolving at breakneck speed, and measurement capabilities must keep pace. Building an in-house MMM solution from the ground up is a multi-year endeavor. Even if you have the rare combination of brilliant data scientists, engineers, and product managers to pull it off, you’re looking at years before you have a fully functional platform.

In a day, you can be up and running with Keen’s solution and already optimizing your marketing mix.

Empowering the Decision-Maker

A decision maker needs more than analytics, they need a plan of action. We’ve seen countless tools and companies become fixated on the model results (their ROIs from last year); however, your ROI from last year does not reveal your future opportunities. Your ROI only reveals what the return would be if you did exactly the same thing, it does not show you the optimal or how returns scale across all opportunities. This is the insight needed to make decisions. 

Given my past, what’s the optimal investment in the future?

This is where Keen’s platform truly shines. It empowers marketers to proactively design and pressure test investment strategies at any level of granularity, from individual tactics to brand portfolio budge allocation.

  • Want to optimize your digital campaign spend week-by-week while accounting for seasonality and diminishing returns? Keen can do that
  • Need to evaluate different budget allocation scenarios across your brand portfolio and sales channels? Keen has you covered
  • Curious to see how your plan would need to adapt to changes in pricing, distribution, or market conditions? Keen enables you to effortlessly model multiple what-if scenarios.

While open-source solutions like Robyn and Meridian provide a solid foundation for building marketing mix models, they fall short when it comes to enabling dynamic, granular planning and marketing strategy optimization.

Moreover, Keen puts the power directly in the hands of the decision-maker. With open-source solutions, there is often a disconnect between the data scientists building the models and the marketers and executives who need to act on the insights. This can lead to delays, misinterpretations, and lost opportunities.

In contrast, Keen’s intuitive interface and actionable recommendations enable marketers to get the answers they need in minutes, not days or weeks. There’s no need to rely on a data science team to translate the results – the insights are served up in a clear, business-friendly format. This empowers marketers to make confident, data-driven decisions in real time, adapting to the ever-changing landscape.

The Advantages of Keen’s Marketing Mix Solutions Over Open-Source

For organizations spending upwards of $20-30 million annually on marketing, investing a few million to build an in-house MMM capability on top of open-source software may pencil out. But for the vast majority of marketers, partnering with Keen is the most effective way to get the insights you need to drive growth.

Our platform combines the best of cutting-edge data science with an intuitive user experience and hands-on strategic guidance to help you make smarter decisions faster.. So before you embark on an open-source MMM adventure, consider the opportunity cost. With Keen, you can be realizing value in a matter of days, not years.

The choice is yours, but choose wisely. In the race to optimize marketing performance, time is not on your side.

Want to see the advantages for yourself?  Take a tour of the Keen Platform.

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