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Best practices for getting the most out of your media mix model

As a marketer, you’re always trying to figure out how your different marketing investments are helping drive business outcomes. You need to understand at a granular level which tactics and channels are having the greatest impact to inform future strategies and investment decisions. To that end, many advertisers use media mix models (MMM) to evaluate the performance of their entire marketing budget.

We know the campaigns you activate on The Trade Desk are just one piece of your brand’s marketing pie. If you are using MMM to measure that entire pie, we have some best practices to help you get the most out of your media spend and make smarter investment decisions going forward.


1) Treat programmatic as a buying methodology rather than a distinct channel

Whether you use multiple demand-side platforms (DSPs) or our platform alone, you probably buy across multiple channels, from display to audio to Connected TV (CTV). More granular data inputs into your MMM can often increase the accuracy of results.

  • Break out your programmatic partners as separate line items.
  • Within those partners, break out the individual media channels that you are running with each partner, so you have separate line items for CTV, display, etc.  
  • Differentiate video platforms and formats — so you don’t group CTV and online video together, for example.
  • View programmatic and direct buys separately within those channels and, if your budget supports it, consider breaking out to the publisher level for even more granular results.

2) Collect more data with flexible reporting solutions

Our platform offers flexible, open, and more transparent reporting solutions to support granular data collection for your MMM.

  • My Reports covers the standard metrics required for most MMM analyses. Reports can be configured, saved, and scheduled to automatically push data.
  • Share your data-capture template and any taxonomies or hierarchies with your account team at The Trade Desk. They can advise on the ideal approach for data collection.

3) Lean on your team at The Trade Desk for support

Understanding your measurement strategy will enable your team at The Trade Desk to customize their recommendations and help you get the most accurate results from your MMM.

  • Brief your team at The Trade Desk on your MMM strategy, including vendors, methodologies, data cuts, data inputs, how you use various metrics, changes you expect in the near term, etc.
  • Share results with as much granularity as possible. Index findings if you do not want to share raw efficiency, effectiveness, and marginal-return figures.
  • Consult with your team at The Trade Desk about performance insights, including format, geo, flighting, and other tactical planning levers that can be adjusted during your setup, bidding, and optimizations.
  • When using MMM for planning, share your hypotheses and testing plan for context.

4) Prepare for changes ahead

With advancements in machine learning and changes to the privacy landscape further fragmenting traditional one-to-one and multi-touch attribution (MTA), the industry is working toward data-driven models that yield better optimizations. The Trade Desk can help you prepare for this future.

  • Automate data feeds to prepare for more frequent modeling.
  • Select reports with more granular data as models enable greater analysis of tactical planning levers, e.g., reach, frequency, audience designated market area (DMA).
  • Think about taxonomy as you test into new channels; this can help avoid re-categorization down the line.

We hope these recommendations can empower you to get more accurate, reliable, and actionable insights from your MMM. As always, please reach out to your account team at The Trade Desk to learn more.

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