No Silver Bullet: Cross-Media Complementarity
37 Pages Posted: 4 May 2021
Date Written: May 29, 2021
While previous research on advertising media mixes has focused on pairwise cross-media elasticities or budget optimization within single campaigns, we instead focus on the complementarity of media selection and campaign construction. We do so via analysis of clusters of channels of all sizes. Clusters have three useful properties: they account for the non-random selection process of channels into campaigns, they capture pairwise and higher-order interactions between channels, and they allow meaningful interpretation. In this paper we empirically describe the most common media channel clusters and then estimate their effectiveness on a battery of brand metrics using a dataset with over a thousand advertising campaigns. We find that no campaign structure leads to dominant performance across brand outcomes, and that media channels themselves are not fungible, requiring more careful construction of goal-specific media plans. The analysis calls into question the division between traditional and digital channels, highlighting their combinatorial advantages, and further describes the contribution of undervalued media channels.
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