Choosing how and when to focus advertising on different parts of the marketing funnel is a decision that all marketers face, but new data suggests a key KPI can be boosted by running ads with different objectives simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram.

Ads with different objectives – brand awareness, consideration, and performance – have a synergistic impact on one another and together can drive more sales more efficiently, according to a new report from Gain Theory, Meta, and Mindshare. Specifically, The Synergistic Impact of Multi-Objective Buying report found that:

  1. Overall, running ads with brand-based objectives alongside those with consideration-based objectives deliver a 22% increase in effectiveness when compared to a campaign without multiple objectives. Running ads with brand- and performance-based objectives together deliver an 18% increase.
  2. There are nuances depending on the sectors. For example, performance-based objectives tend to show the strongest synergies with other buying objectives in e-commerce. 
  3. There are also nuances depending on placement type. Static ads were found to be more effective across all objectives in the consumer-packaged goods sector, while video ads tend to be more effective for brand-based objectives in e-commerce and consideration-based objectives in tech. 

Download the report and read the results in full.

How we built on previous research into brand v performance

The debate about the best way to achieve long-term brand equity and short-term performance is ongoing, with this recent piece by Mark Ritson arguing that getting a single ad to do both is rare. 

Analysis undertaken in 2020 found that ads designed to drive awareness and those aimed at conversion can both drive incremental sales on Facebook and Instagram. Specifically, it found that while ads with performance-based objectives, such as direct response, drove more incremental sales overall, those with brand-based objectives, such as awareness and reach, are comparable after accounting for the cost of media.

But Gain Theory, Meta, and Mindshare wanted to understand if the combined impact of running ads with brand-, consideration-, and performance-based objectives could be greater than the impact of running the same ads individually. To find an answer, The Synergistic Impact of Multi-Objective Buying report used two different MMM methodologies across seven advertisers that spanned six verticals. Campaigns with both static and video assets were examined.

The clear result – that a multi-objective approach delivers greater value – is important at a time when marketers are under pressure to make every ad dollar work as hard as possible. 

How can brands grow sales with a synergistic approach? One way is to use a measurement tool that can identify synergies at a granular level. SensorTM, Gain Theory’s multichannel attribution solution, can provide smarter insights, faster results, and better ROI by optimizing tactics at the buying objective level on Meta platforms. 

Contact us to discuss how you can develop a synergistic model.

Photo by Sandip Kalal on Unsplash.



Managing Partner and Head of New Media Measurement at Gain Theory, Russell Nuzzo, has featured in the latest episode of @TheDrumNetwork's podcast to discuss the future of web3 in the new digital age, and how measurement plays a vital part in its success.


Find out how we can help, demo our products and get more information about our global cross-sector experience.


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Gain Theory, a global marketing effectiveness consultancy, is included in Forrester’s report “Three Requirements Every CPG Marketer Needs to Select a Marketing Measurement Vendorreleased May 6, 2020.

Forrester’s report details how CPG marketer’s measurement needs differ from those of marketers in industries with greater access to consumer data and outlines the CPG-specific capabilities needed from partners to optimize marketing budgets.

Gain Theory’s consulting-first approach provides its clients with marketing analytics, training, data strategies, and help building marketing strategy recommendations.”

The Forrester report states that B2C marketers in the CPG industry have minimal access to customer-level data. Due to using third-party distributors, like grocers, and indirect relationships with customers the availability of customer-level purchase data is severely limited.

Therefore, CPG marketers require unique marketing measurement approaches and rely upon robust assistance with data and analytics to understand the impact and results of their marketing campaigns.

Gain Theory is cited as a vendor that has the specialized capabilities and experience that CPG marketers need. Specifically, the report notes:

  • Gain Theory’s cloud-based decision-making platform Gain Theory Interactive “collates vast amounts of performance data across brands and geographies, enabling fast marketing optimizations”.
  • Various data assets Gain Theory can access, including, its own proprietary US tracker. “These data assets have information including but not limited to customer behavior, brand insights, and marketing investment data, which can be analyzed together to better understand marketing efficacy.”

Gain Theory has also been named a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions, Q1 2020 and is proud to be on Forrester’s shortlist for CPG marketers in this 2020 report.

The decline in creative effectiveness has been much discussed, with plenty of potential reasons cited. Marketers have been accused of a short-termist myopia, of being too rational, left-brained, and of focusing on awards and not business impacts. As well as this, it has been argued that measurement is to blame: by concentrating on data and not on gut, have marketers have lost the essence of what constitutes great advertising?

As part of Thinkbox’s Demand Generation event in November 2019 I put forward a case that measurement as a practice is not to blame, but that bad measurement practice is, in that it causes marketers to make misguided decisions.

To put measurement back on the right track requires a rule book that all of the industry can follow. This rule book needs to be simple, based on experience, and well-practiced. The 9 Golden Rules of Measurement is that rule book.

Read and download the 9 Golden Rules of Measurement.

I recommend that you read them carefully and encourage your teams to do the same. How many of us can realistically say we follow all of them, all the time? Only by following them all can we return to best-in-class marketing measurement.

Read an article that I wrote for WARC on the 9 Golden Rules of Measurement.

The 9 Golden Rules of Measurement is part of a wider piece of research – commissioned by Thinkbox and carried out by MediaCom, Wavemaker, and Gain Theory – that provides brands with a guide to achieving short- and long-term growth. It offers a comprehensive understanding of the planning and measurement decisions that need to be made, alongside the resulting trade-offs in terms of speed of return, base sales growth and risk.

Watch a series of videos that summarizes the research.

Contact Matt to discuss any of the issue raised in this research.

Businesses tend to perform better in times of stability and continuity. Today, however, we live in a world of perpetual uncertainty, which means the future is becoming more difficult to anticipate. How can businesses achieve sustainable, meaningful growth in this environment?

I set out to explore what businesses should be doing to ensure that uncertainty becomes a growth opportunity. The result is CTRL+ALT+CHANGE – a report that helps marketers to understand:

  • What growth means in context of the times we live in today.
  • The opportunities that exist in the same spaces as challenges.
  • How to plan for sustained growth using a ‘future > back’ approach.


There are five key takeaways from the report:

  1. Sustained earnings growth is the key challenge. Brand purpose should not distract, but be used to unlock profit.
  2. Marketing excellence is vital to implement strategy successfully and maximise growth.
  3. Brands are not self-sustaining assets. Efficiency is a lower priority than effectiveness.
  4. Plan using a future > back approach. Embrace risk and build in flexibility.
  5. Transform. What got us here will not get us to the future. What do we need to do to ensure that we remain relevant?


To be the engine of business growth, marketing requires a best-in-class effectiveness strategy.

However, many organizations struggle with marketing effectiveness. Indeed, many are still trying to figure out which adverts are working and how marketing, beyond advertising, is helping to generate business growth.

To help marketers and insight executives maximize the impact of their marketing, I have written a report, Measurement Strategy: Getting to Best-In-Class Effectiveness. It contains interviews with 40 senior marketing and insight executives, from a cross-section of leading brands representing UK advertising spend of more than £7bn.

Download Measurement Strategy: Getting to Best-in-Class Effectiveness.

I have also recorded a five-part video series, which you can watch below, that covers why having a best-in-class effectiveness strategy really matters in today’s marketing world.

Episode 1: Taking Effectiveness Strategy to the Next Level

Episode 2: How should a CMO think about Marketing Effectiveness?

Episode 3: How can we drive business growth through Marketing Effectiveness?

Episode 4: What is the Journey to best-in-class Marketing Effectiveness?

Episode 5: How to structure a Marketing Effectiveness programme

When it comes to gaming and gambling, user behaviours and player loyalty can be tricky to pin-down.

So in a business defined by keeping the players playing, it’s important to understand how advertising affects different users, new and returning, as well as what effect it has on the product mix in general.

Gain Theory brings its experience in working with a range of gambling and gaming brands to explore player behaviour and define what’s important when advertising to users.

In this report we answer:

  • What makes a customer continue or stop playing?
  • What increases loyalty and engagement?
  • How should you balance investment between new and existing customers?
  • How can we get existing customers to trial other products and games?

To download the article, click the Free Download button.

It has never been easier to see how well your marketing investment is performing in clicks, likes, sentiment, web visits, phone calls, applications, sales, and profit. But in too many cases, marketers focus on easily measurable metrics that give an alarmingly short-term view.

To counter this, we conducted a study which looked at the long-term impact of marketing across seven categories and 29 brands. The aim of this research was to show:

  • how marketing impacts business revenue and profit in the long term
  • how marketers can make the right decisions to drive long-term growth.

Our research found that digital attribution measured only 18% of the long-term impact of marketing on sales. Econometric techniques bridge the gap, but only get us 42% of the way there. It is only by looking at marketing through a more long-term lens that we can truly understand the full impact.

How to understand and measure long-term impact

We set out to measure and understand the long-term multiplier (LTM) to short-term impact. By way of example, let’s consider a brand that ran a £5m TV campaign. Econometric analysis could measure its short-term impact at £10m in value sales, giving us a short-term ROI of £2 (£10m value sales divided by £5m spend). In contrast, the LTM tells us how much this impact grows over the long term. If we measured a LTM of 3x, then this would be because the long-term impact of the campaign was £30m. It’s important to note that the £30m includes the initial £10m short-term impact. The overall long-term ROI is £6 (short-term ROI of £2 multiplied by 3).

The LTM is measured by analysing the base – the level of sales return in the long-term if a brand ran no marketing, which can be seen as a measure of a combination of mental and physical availability, or brand strength. Standard econometric practise is to use a flat base, which does not move over time. However, one of marketing’s functions is to change tastes and preferences in the long term. So, if we allow the base to change in the long term, we can reflect these long-term movements in tastes and preferences. And if we can understand how marketing impacts the base then we can show how many long-term sales were driven by marketing, giving us the LTM.

Let’s look at five key results from the study.

1. TV has the greatest LTM of all media channels

Across all categories, TV has an average LTM of 2.35. The only other channel with an LTM over 2 is Out of Home (OOH):

This persists across categories:

TV also has the highest efficacy, with its 25% point (the point at which 25% of LTMs are higher, and 75% are lower) being higher than all other media at 3.87.

2. Activation and direct response media can drive short-term ROI but lack long-term impact

The LTM for search, display, and radio are at the lower end of the spectrum, which is an important insight for both CMOs and CFOs. If certain media are driving high short-term returns but have a limited long-term impact, it’s likely that a brand is missing out on significant potential long-term revenue drivers, potentially causing harm to the business.

​3. Brand media investment drives LTM

The strongest drivers of LTM are levels of brand media investment and the number of bursts of activity. Where we have seen brands invest in media, such as TV, VOD, print, and OOH, at a level which is over and above their competitive set, we have seen higher LTMs than where investment has been under that seen in the competitive set.

Additionally, there are benefits to persisting with a campaign. The LTM from running three bursts is double that of a campaign which only has one burst of activity.

4. The factors that indicate long-term effect

The greatest indicator of long-term effect from media is the level of base sales. However, this can take time to observe as base shifts are measured in months and years, and often require advanced statistical techniques.

In lieu of a base modelling approach, long-term effect becomes apparent and can be observed in the impact on brand equity metrics, price elasticity, and activation metrics.

i) Brand metrics

Brand metrics often give a guide to long-term brand strength. While the choice of brand metrics can be overwhelming, with many advertisers running surveys with hundreds of questions, it is normally a small range of metrics which provide this guide. In 65% of cases, consideration forms the closest link to base sales, where growth in consideration causes growth in the base. The level of impact form consideration differs from industry to industry and brand to brand, but a guide is that a 1%pt increase in consideration can be expected to drive a 0.5 – 2% increase in base sales.

A slightly more advanced method is to observe a small basket of metrics, generally comprising awareness, consideration, and those brand metrics which have a close link to base sales. These will differ by brand and industry, but commonly include value for money, trust, and service. Tracking a basket can give a business a ‘campfire’ number – one that is easy to track and observe whilst indicating long-term success. For a number of large advertisers, while growth in brand metrics is always welcomed, a lot of advertising spend is aimed at maintaining the brand, the base sales, and ultimately the business.

ii) Price elasticity

Another way in which long-term health can be measured is by analysing price elasticity over time. The theory is that consumers will overlook price differences for a brand which they believe is higher quality, or a brand in which they have more trust.

For one of our FMCG clients, price elasticity went from -1 (a 10% rise in price causes a 10% drop in units sold) to -0.4 (a 10% rise in price causes a 4% drop in units sold). This happened over a three-year  period in which the brand went from minimal brand advertising to a relatively consistent presence on TV and VOD.

It takes a significant amount of spend to shift price sensitivity, and this level of spend will depend on the category, the brand, the competition levels, and the quality of product. As a rule of thumb, share of voice (SOV) is the best metric to consider – for every 10%pt of SOV increased, we can expect a between 5%pt -20%pt reduction in price elasticity. However, there are diminishing returns to scale – if SOV is already at 50% there is a minimal impact of increasing to 55%, for example.

5. If brand investment stops, things can go wrong very quickly

It is rare for brands to stop investing in brand media to save money, but there are lessons to be learned from those that do. Here are three examples:

i) The retail bank that stopped TV advertising

A retail bank had been advertising on TV and VOD consistently for two and a half years. However, they decided to stop and went dark for two years. There was an immediate short-term impact as sales caused by TV dropped. But the long-term base impact was stark. Over two years their base dropped from 20,000 quotes a month to 11,000. They were still able to generate quotes using other channels, but their efficiency reduced – a generic paid search cost per quote increased by 20%, for example.

ii) The financial services business that stopped and started TV advertising

Another financial services brand that had been advertising on TV and VOD consistently also decided to stop. They started advertising again after two years and the short-term results were good – they saw the same cost per application and the same % uplift from TV. However, their base had halved and it took three years to rebuild their base to pre-dark levels, using a continuous level of brand media to do so.

iii) The travel brand that went off-air to protect profit

A US-based travel brand took $3.4m out of its TV budget to save money. They lost 41,200 transactions in the short term, equivalent to $3m of profit, so the net impact was $0.4m profit added to the bottom line. However, the brand did not account for the long-term impact of its decision. Taking base deterioration into account, the total long-term transaction loss was 81,600, equating to a $4.5m loss in profit. The net loss from going off TV was -$1.1m.

Take the long-term view

Brand advertising can have a significant long-term impact, which is often missed when there’s a short-term approach to marketing measurement. There are ways to understand the long-term impact, either by modelling, or by analysing brand metrics, price sensitivity, or activation media.

Our analysis shows that the media channels which drive long-term impact are those which have the time and space to tell a story and to embed themselves in consumers’ minds. As a result, TV is likely to be the best channel to drive long-term impact and, alongside it, business success.

In a world of multiple metrics and vast amounts of data it can be easy to focus on the short term and easy-to-measure metrics. However, this does the whole industry a disservice. We encourage all advertisers to take a longer view to demonstrate the full impact of marketing.

As the media landscape continuously evolves, what was simple is now complex. Marketers are now faced with even more challenges, from allocating investments across multiple channels to gaining positive return on investment. So how can marketers bring on board the best-in-class partners for marketing analytics and consultancy, to help their organization meet those challenges? What questions should you provide, and what questions should you ask so potential partners can put forward the best solution?

To set sourcing and procurement professionals up for success, Gain Theory has compiled a Download document that includes:

  1. The 9 Do’s of managing the sourcing and procurement process for marketing analytics and consultancy. Some helpful tips to help you get best responses from vendors
  2. Best-in-class RFP questions that can be applied to multiple types of solutions including market mix modelling, multi-touch attribution and unified measurement

Gain Theory partnered with ProcureCon Marketing at the ProcureCon Marketing conference in New Orleans, where Jon Webb, Managing Partner at Gain Theory, spoke on stage about the latest tools available to help marketers understand marketing investment allocation across multiple channels, as well as how they impact ROI both tactically and strategically.

To get your ‘Guide to Procuring Marketing Analytics and Consultancy,’ download the PDF at the top right side.

Identifying which media drive KPIs and understanding their business impact over the short and long term are pain points for many marketers.

To help them overcome these challenges and find a better balance between business objectives and financial return, we conducted some research for ThinkBox as part of its Profit Ability report. The research, which addresses how to effectively measure the long-term impact of media investment, is the first of its kind.

Download the Profit Ability report.

While there is more data floating around than ever before, there tends to be a focus on short-term metrics.

If you publish a video, say, on a social media channel, you see that it gets a certain number of likes and shares within the first half hour. But how do you know that it is building long-term success? It is very easy for marketing departments to see what’s driving short-term success and focus their attention and investment on that. In doing so, though, they run the risk of losing sight of what is propping up the long-term business value.

Indeed, there is a long-term multiplier effect that many C-suite executives may not know about.

This research shows that there is often a multiplier to short-term impact. For example, if the multiplier is two and you generate a million sales within the first three months of a campaign, then you are likely to make two million in three years. Bearing that in mind, we looked at the whole plethora of marketing channels and found that TV tends to come out as the strongest medium.

The results of the research, which should provide confidence to CEOs and CFOs, show TV advertising works best in the long and short term.

Why “short-termism” is killing businesses:

The long-term impact of advertising:

Download the Profit Ability report.

Gain Theory has a global partnership in place with EffWorks an initiative led by the IPA that champions marketing effectiveness measurement, culture & best practice.

Client side brands involved include Diageo, Jaguar Land Rover, Telfonica, Mondelez, Lego, Kraft Heinz, Unilever, Samsung + many more; alongside industry associations such as 4A’s, IAB and CAA ; and media giants such as Google and facebook.

As an unbiased direct-to-client consultancy that champions marketing effectiveness, Gain Theory’s involvement with EffWorks is to drive high value content and conversations that shape thinking around client challenges, measurement strategies and actionable insights that have a positive impact on the bottom line.

In line with this, Gain Theory has led the creation of a green paper entitled Marketing Measurement in the Digital Era. The paper was created in collaboration with Facebook, Google, Thinkbox, Royal Mail, Mondelez and folded in interviews with Dixons, Samsung, Direct Line and many more client side brands.

The green paper intends to provoke debate and act as the foundation to further research and best practice in 2018.

Key themes:

  • Marketing – definitions
  • Effectiveness
  • Metrics that Matter
  • Measurement Strategies: what good looks like
  • The Future
  • 6 Step Marketing Effectiveness Plan

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