Why is Bayesian Regression modeling approach superior to traditional methods?

Bayesian regression is a statistical modeling technique that combines traditional regression analysis with Bayesian probability theory. It allows you to estimate the parameters of a regression model while incorporating prior information and updating beliefs as new data becomes available. 

Here’s why it can be a valuable option for marketing measurement:

  1. Incorporates Prior Information: Bayesian regression allows you to incorporate prior knowledge or beliefs about the relationships between marketing variables. This is particularly useful in marketing, where historical data and expert insights can provide valuable context.
  2. Flexibility in Model Complexity: Bayesian regression can handle various types of data and accommodate complex models. This flexibility is important in marketing, where data can be noisy, and relationships between variables may not always be linear.
  3. Uncertainty Estimation: It provides a way to quantify uncertainty in model parameters, which is essential for making informed decisions in marketing. Marketers often deal with incomplete or noisy data, and Bayesian regression helps assess the reliability of model predictions.
  4. Continuous Learning: Bayesian regression is well-suited for continuous learning and updating models as new marketing data becomes available. It allows marketers to adapt their strategies over time based on evolving information.
  5. Robustness to Overfitting: Bayesian methods can help mitigate overfitting by incorporating regularization techniques, ensuring that models generalize well to new data.
  6. A/B Testing and Causal Inference: Bayesian regression can be applied to A/B testing and causal inference in marketing, helping to determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and understand their impact on key performance metrics.

For all of these reasons, the Bayesian regression approach solves for the limitations of traditional marketing mix modeling. By incorporating prior estimates of tactic elasticity, and updating those prior beliefs with new data, the model can adapt and learn over time. This is a more powerful and flexible approach, since it can handle a wider range of data types, incorporate prior knowledge, and provide a probabilistic framework for modeling marketing data.

Want to learn how Keen runs data through a Bayesian regression model to generate outputs?  Learn more here.


Creating a Championship-Caliber Sports Marketing Plan

While the baseball playoffs might be in full swing, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next marquee sporting event. The Super Bowl and March Madness will soon be here, and marketers don’t want to be left scrambling to create an advertising plan for opportunities of this size. 

Major sporting events have the potential to bring in a lot of new customers and increase brand equity, so brands are smart to invest in them. However, it’s important that they do not spend their entire budget there. When doing an ad buy for a major sporting event, marketers should not ignore the rest of the calendar year. Instead, they should ensure that there is some budget allocated throughout the year in order to retain market share and keep their brand in the conversation. Brands should never fully “go dark,” so it’s important that they balance out their budgets to retain some level of marketing after the big game. 

Further, marketers must be flexible when advertising around major sporting events. There’s a number of variables that change throughout a series of sporting events, like the baseball playoffs or March Madness. As such, marketers should scenario plan for all possible outcomes of the event. 

So, how can brands prepare themselves for all possible outcomes? 

The good news is that tools like Keen are available to marketers to simulate varying outcomes. This enables marketers to make better informed decisions with a full understanding of risk vs. reward. Keen also allows marketers to make these decisions faster and keep up with the speed of the market. By accounting for the interactive effects of all tactics regardless of event affiliation, marketers can understand the best path to profitability and growing the brand’s base. 

Major sporting events are a valuable opportunity to grow a brand and generate strong ROI, so it’s important that they utilize all the tools available to them to budget smartly and create a plan that works for them long after the final score. 

Ready to learn how Keen can help support your marketing decision making?  Contact us today!


How to Optimize Your Holiday Travel Spend to Avoid the Winter Blues

The summer travel season saw big gains from 2022, as total travel spending was up 4% year-to-date through July. Consumers were eager to return to vacations after the pandemic years, and travel brands saw major gains thanks to this increase in travel. Now, as the winter travel season ramps up and consumers look to schedule flights for the holidays or to escape to warm locales during the colder months, travel brands are looking for ways to maximize their marketing spend. 

More than half of Americans are expected to travel for Christmas and New Year’s, giving marketers a valuable opportunity to reach consumers looking for deals on flights, car rentals or hotels. To maximize the increase in consumer interest, marketers can run different scenarios to determine which channels will deliver the highest ROI. For example, if a travel brand is choosing between a social ad buy or a television ad buy, they can run a scenario for both channels to see which one delivers more ROI. Running this scenario determines that they’d be more successful advertising on Instagram instead of television, allowing them to make an informed decision that ensures that they’re making the best investment. 

Additionally, brands can use marketing mix tools like Keen to determine where to shift spending to so that they can capitalize on the increased interest in travel. Travel marketers can choose to shift more of their spending towards peak seasons, like winter and summer, from less-trafficked times like early fall. This ensures that marketers aren’t overspending during certain seasons where incremental dollars don’t generate incremental sales, and instead are making their ad dollars more productive. 

However, it’s important to note that advertisers should not go dark completely when switching their budgets around. By going totally dark, brands lose awareness and market share, while also putting the long-term growth of the company at risk. As such, it’s important that marketers maintain some level of spend during these off-peak times so they remain top-of-mind among consumers and don’t lose ground to their competitors. Keen can help marketers determine the right amount of spend they need to keep their campaigns running without losing ROI. 

This winter holiday season represents a valuable opportunity for marketers to reach travel-hungry consumers. Keen is here to help you make your spending take off and fly above your competition.

Contact us today!


The difference between mixed media modeling and multi-touch attribution

Marketing attribution is the process of assigning credit to different marketing channels and touchpoints for a conversion. This allows businesses to optimize their marketing efforts and allocate budgets more effectively. Mixed media modeling and multi-touch attribution are both useful marketing analytics techniques, but they serve different purposes. While multi-touch attribution is a valuable tool for understanding the customer journey and optimizing individual marketing channels, mixed media modeling provides a more comprehensive view of marketing performance and helps businesses make more informed and effective marketing decisions.

Here are some ways mixed media modeling differs from traditional multi-touch attribution methods:

Holistic view of marketing performance: Multi-touch attribution is limited in its ability to account for cross-channel interactions and the effect of offline touchpoints on online conversions where mixed media modeling considers these and provides a more comprehensive view of the customer journey. For example, it can show how television advertising affects website traffic, or how social media engagement affects search engine rankings. This allows businesses to identify new opportunities for growth and optimize their marketing strategies accordingly.

Use of first-party data: Mixed media modeling allows for the incorporation of first-party data, such as website and customer data, to provide a more detailed and accurate picture of the customer journey. In addition, it can enable more precise audience targeting and personalization of marketing campaigns, as well as provide insights into customer behavior and preferences that can inform product development and improve overall customer experience. By leveraging first-party data in mixed media modeling, businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers and gain a competitive edge in the market.

External factors: Mixed media modeling can provide brands with valuable insights into the impact of external factors on their marketing performance. For example, it can help brands identify how changes in the competitive landscape, such as the entrance of new players or changes in pricing strategies, are affecting their ability to attract and retain customers. It can also help brands understand how shifts in consumer behavior, such as changes in shopping preferences or the adoption of new technologies, are affecting the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Through these understandings, brands can adjust their marketing strategies accordingly to stay competitive and maintain a strong position in the market.

Use of advanced modeling techniques: Mixed media modeling utilizes advanced modeling techniques, such as machine learning and causal inference, to provide a more thorough understanding of the relationship between different touchpoints and conversions. This results in deeper insights into customer behavior, enabling businesses to make more informed and effective marketing decisions. Additionally, the use of these techniques allows businesses to simulate and test various marketing strategies and scenarios in a virtual environment, allowing for evaluation of potential impact before real-world implementation, thus minimizing the risk of costly mistakes.

Maximize marketing performance

Ultimately, while multi-touch attribution is useful in understanding the customer journey and optimizing individual marketing channels, mixed media modeling offers several advantages that make it a more comprehensive approach to marketing attribution. By providing a more accurate view of marketing performance, mixed media modeling enables businesses to identify new opportunities for growth and optimize their marketing strategies accordingly. 

Additionally, the use of first-party data and advanced modeling techniques like machine learning and causal inference provides deeper insights into customer behavior, allowing businesses to make more informed decisions. Overall, by incorporating mixed media modeling in their marketing attribution strategies, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts, build stronger customer relationships, and gain a competitive edge in the market. 

Want to know more how Keen leverages the power of AI to help marketers stay agile and responsive in this fast-changing digital world?  Go here to learn more.

230913_Keen_BP_Brand equity

Perfecting the Brand Equity Equation

There are few things more important to a brand than the equity they’ve built with consumers. A well-established presence in the marketplace gives brands some leeway when it comes to pricing or product tweaks, and it helps them protect against emerging competitors looking to steal market share. 

Further, building equity helps brands establish a solid customer base, which has proved important during a turbulent few years as inflation has risen and shopping behaviors have shifted. 

As challenger brands look to establish themselves against long-term brands or traditional brands look to maintain their existing equity, it’s important that they invest in a sound marketing plan so that their brand stays top of mind among consumers. This includes using a consistent brand message across channels, delivering high-quality products and services and creating marketing messages that facilitates a positive brand reputation and highlights the uniqueness of a brand’s offerings. 

These tactics help a brand stand out from its competitors and allow it to be seen as a singular product in the market. For instance, Band-Aid has long been seen as the singular product among bandages thanks to its product look and ubiquity in stores across the country. 

Another way for brands to establish equity is to utilize marketing mix modeling tools to help optimize their marketing plans. Tools like Keen use AI and machine learning to include timing in the planning process, making it easier for marketers to decide the best time to invest in marketing to boost brand equity. For instance, if a company has to raise prices on a product due to market trends or to offset the cost of parts needed to build a product, they can increase their marketing budget to ease customer’s minds and keep them within their ecosystem. Similarly, if their product is more of a seasonal item, they can slightly pull back on spending during other months of the year so that they can maximize their spend when that product is back in season. 

Equity is an essential long-term investment for any brand, so it’s important that they utilize the tactics that will help them build that in the most effective manner possible. Keen is here to help! 

Contact us today!


Determining the Best Third-Party Cookie Alternative

As the phasing out of cookies grows closer, marketers are looking at all avenues to prepare themselves for the loss of data signals. One such avenue they are exploring is the use of deterministic identity solutions, which is information provided by the user, to identify and track users.

Deterministic identity solutions are more accurate than other cookie alternatives like device fingerprints data or probabilistic identity resolution because it comes directly from the user, so there’s little chance for false or misleading data. Additionally, first-party-data is more privacy-compliant than other third-party alternatives because it comes from the consumer and requires them to opt-in to providing the information.

For marketers considering implementing deterministic identity solutions, they should start by creating call-to-actions on their website and social channels to provide their information in exchange for a more personalized experience or exclusive deals. While this provides marketers with a direct line into valuable customer data, it also helps build a relationship with that user. Customers feel like they are getting an experience tailored to their specific interests, and the continued sharing of data ensures that they will receive the best experience possible. On the other hand, brands are learning what their customers like and can build brand loyalty with them while also uncovering findings that can help their overall advertising efforts.

However, it’s important for marketers to keep in mind that they should ensure that all data privacy practices are compliant with today’s standards. While first-party data is naturally safer than third-party alternatives, companies of all shapes and sizes are not immune to data breaches. As such, brands need to take all the necessary precautions to protect their customer data and do as much as they can to prevent potential breaches. A data breach can have serious consequences on trust, and if a company is impacted by a breach, customers are going to be hesitant to share their information in the future. To prepare for a 2024 launch of a first-party data program, now is the time to put those safeguards into place.

Third-party cookies have proven to be a valuable resource for marketers to learn about their customers. With those no longer an option, deterministic identity solutions are the next best thing.

Keen to learn more?  Contact us today.


Building a winning 2024 marketing plan

As marketers start planning for 2024, data-driven analytics platforms like Keen can help them determine the best performing channels to focus their efforts on. 

The Keen Platform combines historical data and predictive, prescriptive planning, enabling marketers to more easily forecast high-impact channels and identify changes in consumer behavior in real-time. The ability to see these real-time changes allows marketers to quickly pivot to another channel and prevent potential roadblocks, leading to less wasted ad spend and a better chance of delivering on a campaign. While many marketers continue to stick to static budgets, a data-driven approach allows for a more fluid approach to 2024 planning. 

Analytics tools like Keen can also build brand equity in 2024. Brand equity is critical for any organization as it helps keep their brand top of mind among consumers and can help weather any potential changes in consumer behavior. If consumers have a positive opinion of a brand, they’re more willing to stick with it and instead choose to switch away from other brands they have less affinity for. For example, social media engagement data can help understand whether customers are on the fence about switching, so marketers can offer a coupon or a free trial in order to keep that customer in their ecosystem. It can also enable marketers to see whether their competitor’s customers are considering switching, giving them access to a persuadable customer base. By building on existing brand equity and winning over new customers, marketers can build a solid long-term customer base. 

A data-driven approach allows marketers to stay at the top of their game in 2024, avoiding any potential challenges in the market and identifying new customers to build upon their existing brand equity.  With so much still unknown about the state of the economy and the outlook for 2024, this ensures that no dollar goes to waste and enables marketers to build a successful plan for today’s uncertain environment. 

Want to speak to someone at Keen to learn how we can help you create a winning 2024 marketing plan?  Contact us today.



How does marketing’s long term decay rates impact strategy?

A dollar today is always worth more than a dollar tomorrow.  This statement is not just true as it pertains to everyday spending, but to marketing investments as well.

Marketing’s long-term decay rates refers to the gradual decline in the effectiveness or impact of a marketing campaign or strategy over an extended period. Marketing effectiveness can experience diminishing returns over time due to factors such as increased competition, changes in consumer preferences, and new technologies — just to name a few. These types of changes might lead to a situation where a brand’s marketing plan or campaign that was initially successful gradually becomes less effective over time.

To address potential long-term decay in marketing effectiveness, marketers often employ strategies such as:

  • Monitoring performance:  By regularly tracking the marketing performance and analyzing data, marketers can identify trends that could indicate diminishing returns.
  • Adapting: Adjusting marketing strategies and tactics to stay aligned with changing market dynamics such as consumer behaviors, competitive landscapes and other external factors like supply chain issues.
  • Innovating: Introducing new elements including updated messaging or creative approaches to keep the marketing content engaging and relevant to the target audience.
  • Multi-channel approach: To maintain visibility, diversifying marketing efforts across various channels to reach customers through different touchpoints.

For a majority of brands, Keen would recommend a continuous marketing strategy.  In a recent Keen study that compared ROI on linear TV, we found that an “always on” strategy saw an ROI of $2.89 compared to a 4-week flight schedule which saw an ROI of $2.67 or a 2-week flight schedule which saw an ROI of $2.64. 

Additionally, digital shelf spend tends to require continuous spend, not being in a consistent placement can dramatically impact sale opportunities due to the volume of traffic on online marketplaces.  The long-term impact of marketing allows brands to build equity and create more value with consistent activity.

Overall, it is important for marketers to be fluid and create a plan that is adaptive to changes and have a tool that can show the long term and marketing decay effects of their decisions and when they reach the point of diminishing returns on their marketing investments.

With Keen, marketing, finance, sales and agency partners now can share one clear view of the marketing plan, anticipated revenues, long term profitability and a clear understanding of long term decay rates for all marketing activity.  Keen’s scenario planning feature creates transparency on progress week-to-week as the plan unfolds and can adapt to changes in the market as conditions shift to stay on track—or even exceed expectations. The result of this is increased cross functional collaboration, coordination, and confidence.

Keen to learn how we can help make marketing decisions to best support your company’s goals?  Contact us today.


How to Deal with Rising Ad Prices Ahead of 2024 Election Season

While we’re still over a year away from the 2024 presidential elections, brands and advertisers are already starting to consider their plans for the primary season and the general election campaign. The influx of significant political advertising dollars across the marketing mix changes the economics of the marketing during this time, with dollars flowing into the market in a significant way for a short time window. As a result, advertisers must shift their budgets and reconsider their marketing mix so that they can still maximize their ad spending despite rising prices. Marketers must be willing to pivot, potentially using very different channels to achieve the same impact with static budgets. 

So, how can they determine the most effective marketing mix

They should optimize their mix to account for all marketing tactics, and environmental factors, like the election, in a model. For instance, the Keen model can optimize each dollar based on where the marketer will get the best return (i.e., the highest marginal ROI) based on the response curve. With prices for ad buys expected to rise during the election session, this will be a key component of the recommendation. 

While pricing might go up during election season, it’s important that marketers maintain some form of advertising. Pulling back on marketing completely for any length of time is a mistake because of marketing’s long-term effects. Marketing builds value over time, so if you are not adding new investment, your past marketing efforts will decay over time at different rates. It is okay to pull back when there are adverse marketing conditions or business challenges. As an example, if a brand would lose a lot of distribution at shelf, a marketer would likely want to pull back some. Otherwise, they would be driving consumers inefficiently to empty shelves. 

Pulling back because of a slight price increase is not a good enough reason to stop advertising completely. Rather, it’s about allocating resources to different channels. The most profitable way to reach consumers will be different during campaign seasons, so it’s important that brands use models that help them identify the right media mix to keep things on track. 

Want to learn more about how Keen can help you achieve your optimum marketing mix?  Contact us today.


What is the digital shelf?

Whether or not we realize it, we all interact with digital shelves on a daily basis. The digital shelf is where products are displayed and purchased online. They can be on websites like Amazon, Walmart or Target, as well as apps like Instacart and DoorDash.

It helps consumers find and learn about new products as well as compare it to other similar products. It has become a mainstay in American life and a crucial concept to understand if you are marketing in the consumer packaged goods space. 

The rise of the digital shelf has led to many companies forgoing the typical brick and mortar strategy to sell their products directly to consumers. Famous examples include Dollar Shave Club, Bombas, and Warby Parker. 

Components of the digital shelf

Unlike your typical brick and mortar store, organizations have much more control over how their products are positioned on the digital shelf. Every website has different requirements, but typical product placements include:

  • Product name
  • Descriptions
  • Graphic elements – pictures and videos
  • Colors/variants
  • Prices
  • Sales
  • Ratings or reviews

The digital shelf aims to give potential customers as much information as possible so they can make the best buying decision. The best websites try to present as much research as possible to streamline the process. 

For marketers, our role has shifted to finding the right space on the digital shelf where our target demographics are shopping and putting our best foot forward to help make the sale. Optimization of your space on the shelf can make the difference between hitting your sales goals and missing out on giant opportunities. 

Advertising on the digital shelf

As consumer behavior changed and embraced the convenience of online shopping, advertisers weren’t far behind on embracing the trend. Websites realized the value of their digital real estate and now advertisers spread their dollars around hundreds of different digital shelves. 

Digital budgets have ballooned and now marketers bid against each other for prime real estate. The goal is to display your product close to the point of sale when a customer is actively searching or shopping, creating a customized target approach.

Shoppers make quick decisions when spending on the digital marketplace. If your product isn’t appearing near the top of their search results, then you likely aren’t being considered by new potential customers.

The challenge facing advertisers is the sheer number of options available for their budget. Most large retailers like Target, Walmart, and Costco all have their own digital shelves they have created for their customers to peruse. WIth hundreds or even thousands of options available, it takes a discerning marketer to figure out which of these channels to invest their dollars in. 

Having a variety of digital shelf channels are necessary to create a cohesive and effective omnichannel strategy, but picking which ones will have the biggest impact on your sales is key to any strategic planning done by marketing departments now.

Optimizing your digital shelf strategy with Keen

With this space growing as quickly as it is, brands must pay attention and think about how their presence on the digital shelf impacts other tactics. It is nearly impossible for a single marketer to keep up with the intricacies of the hundreds of different digital channels that have appeared over the past few decades.

The role of the marketer has changed and you need a tool that can help evaluate your spend across so many options and invest your dollars with confidence. 

For more than a decade, Keen has worked with hundreds of companies to provide insights and help them figure out which channels they should invest in. We take your marketing and sales data to build a predictive model that shows you future revenue and optimizes your marketing spend.

If you are interested in learning more or looking to optimize your space on the digital shelf, reach out today and set up a conversation with our team. 


Google’s generative search experience changes AI forever

When thinking about the impact of Google’s new search generative experience, it is important to consider the demand and supply relationship between three key players: consumers, search services and advertisers. Understanding how generative AI will impact search depends on how it will impact these relationships. 

Consumers want access to vast and complex information, but also want transparency. The ideal is to have transparent information delivered in a way that cuts through the complexity. But those are conflicting ideals. To have complete transparency means to have all the sources documented and accessible for separate reading and analysis, which is complex. Traditional search services provide lists of links to publishers’ sites and the complexity is reduced by ranking and pagination. 

A summary of the information from the search result, as if a person clicked through each link and wrote a paragraph, would certainly reduce complexity, but it would also lose or hide information, losing transparency. Generative AI technologies do just that. AIs will write prose, but with no or few links to the underlying sources. Traditional search and generative AI sit on a continuum of preference between consumers’ willingness to desire transparency at the cost of complexity versus reducing complexity at the cost of lost transparency. 

The first impact may be that consumers proliferate into different segments, each with different preferences for transparency versus summarization.  And different search providers will differentiate themselves, along these dimensions where each segment uses different search services or uses search services in different ways. We already see these differences arising between Bing and Google, where Bing will return a summarized result to anyone, while Google only returns traditional search to all but selected test users.

For advertisers, this means that impressions may be delivered through different search services, each with its own audience, fractured according to the search service they prefer. And services will differ in how they serve advertisers’ interests. Depending on how well a search service serves its consumers’ preferences, it is possible that some services could even provide ad-free services through a subscription model instead.

Targeted audiences have long been both the strength and weakness of the paid search medium. It’s a benefit because advertisers can ensure they are reaching consumers explicitly seeking information in a targeted area of interest. However, because it’s targeted, it’s difficult to reach consumers who might otherwise have the interests, but are unwilling to search or unaware. And so, it’s difficult to scale paid search without sophisticated ad execution tactics. 

To reach a wider audience, paid search advertisers pursue different consumer groups based on different keywords. Upper-funnel keywords are general, conceptual and reach consumers who have less specific interest in an advertiser’s offering, where lower-funnel keywords are more specific to the audience.  Branded keywords are the advertiser’s own brand name, and conquest keywords are the brand names of competitors. Using the right mix and number of keywords increases the total reach of a paid search campaign. 

With generative AI in the mix, advertisers may be able to target wider audiences more explicitly by using AI to create the right basket of keywords that more closely aligns to the overall communication objective. This will also make it easier and less costly for advertisers to manage their media buy.  All the process management associated with managing a portfolio of keyword buys may well be managed with AI, and likely by the search service itself. 

In summary, there will likely be both positives and negatives for advertisers resulting from generative AI.  On the positive side, advertisers should be able to access wider audiences by more productively expanding their reach across a broader range of keywords, essentially buying a generated AI concept rather than a basket of keywords. On the negative side, search services may get more fragmented and new entrants may emerge, which would fragment audiences, making it more difficult and costly to reach consumers.

Keen to know more? Contact us to see real-life examples of prescriptive and predictive assistance derived from the AI and machine learning power of our unique decision optimization engine.


Getting ahead of annual planning

It’s annual planning time. The time of year when brand marketers put on their armor and prepare for battle, presenting past results to leadership and negotiating budget for the next year. 

2023 was supposed to be a year of great profits, but with the war in Ukraine continuing, a recession, and in some instances, continued supply chain issues, these have brought on unforeseen challenges for many organizations. With outside pressures building on the business many executive teams turn to marketing as the first department to cut costs. 

How can brand marketers advocate for their budget and communicate the effectiveness of marketing strategy amidst these headwinds? The answer: Keen. 

Position Marketing as an Investment Center

Too many finance and executive teams see marketing as a cost center because they struggle to attribute marketing activity to revenue.  Keen measures the Net Present Value of marketing. This allows executives and finance to put a monetary value on long term brand initiatives.

Uncover Optimal Channel Investment Levels

Marketers are empowered to budget accurately by knowing the point of diminishing returns for each channel. Understanding when marketing dollars lose value in specific channels increases efficiency.

These media investment metrics inform the budget and strategy of next year. By communicating the value of each channel, marketers are directly attributing revenue to marketing activity. 

Have a Plan to Cut Budget

Should your marketing team see budgets cut during 2022’s annual planning – yet still be held to the same goals and targets, there’s hope.

Keen’s decision optimization engine reveals how to spend what remaining budget you have while hitting your same goals. Keen’s predictive analytics, scenario modeling and decision forecasting allows marketers to:

  • War – game scenarios, to find the best plan before any money is spent
  • Uncover the best time to invest by channel to maximize impact
  • Connect marketing efforts to revenue

Want to see a 25% improvement in marketing performance even with a smaller budget? We want that for you. Let us prove it. Get custom insights today.