The Art of the Possible: Incrementality Reporting for DMOs

Effective marketers continually ask, “What impact is this having?” Weighing and comparing potential advertising strategies – and their outcomes – is vital to lasting success. Yet, historically, even seasoned experts were left questioning which advertising dollars truly had the most impact.

Considered by some to be a pioneer in marketing, successful nineteenth century merchant John Wanamaker, said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Mr. Wanamaker had identified the problem long before the technology to provide a solution was available. Fast-forward to 2019, and incrementality reporting has distilled the measurement of advertising impact to a science.

How incrementality reporting works at Expedia Group Media Solutions

Incrementality is designed to answer the question, “How much of my return on investment is truly attributable to my marketing efforts rather than being business I would have received without this campaign?” It proves the direct impact your advertising has by measuring conversion lift and demonstrating the power of your campaign. By comparing both a control and exposed group of potential customers, our incrementality reporting isolates, in a data-driven way, the return on investment while simultaneously providing marketing partners with insights into current and future advertising campaigns.

Incrementality reporting is especially beneficial for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) because it provides the ability to measure the impact of advertising funds. Incrementality provides DMOs the ability to say, “We’re able to drive X number of incremental bookings” and truly quantify the economic impact, thereby securing future advertising dollars.

Informing future campaigns with incrementality

On the most basic level, incrementality can validate a marketing team’s decisions with concrete insights – down to the dollar – on a campaign’s level of effectiveness. Because Media Solutions’ incrementality reporting draws information from across the entire network of Expedia Group’s ecommerce brands, the integrity of the data is unsurpassed.

The report itself may be all numbers, but by providing concrete insights into which advertising techniques work and which don’t, incrementality helps open the door to greater creativity and potential in future campaigns.

For example, an Incrementality Report would help a DMO look beyond metrics like cost-per-click (CPC) and into channel evaluation and optimization. Incrementality offers the ability to measure the effectiveness of channels in general. In turn, DMO marketers can increase the value of future campaigns by targeting better-performing channels. When campaigns are successful, it earns DMOs the trust of in-market partners, thereby allowing them to experiment while continuing to be good stewards.

Aruba Tourism Authority 

One real-life incrementality reporting success story belongs to the Aruba Tourism Authority. While they saw an opportunity to attract more U.S. visitors, they also wondered if visitors would come whether they advertised or not.

By leveraging incrementality reporting, the Aruba Tourism Authority was able to understand the true value of their marketing efforts. Some of their visitors would have visited Aruba regardless of marketing. But as it turned out, their display marketing on Expedia Group websites drove an 7X incremental return. This means that, without those ads, they would have received significantly fewer visitors. 

Thanks to their Incrementality Report, the Aruba Tourism Authority was able to clearly demonstrate the value of their marketing spend to their own, in-market stakeholders. 

“This relationship [with Expedia Group Media Solutions] has afforded us the opportunity to drive very positive results each year with a consistent, high ROAS creating increased demand, brand awareness and – most importantly – growth in destination revenues. Regular information and data sharing from and with Expedia allows for greater optimization to our key targeted market segments and an overall increased media effectiveness.” – Edward Malone, Area Director – North America, Aruba Tourism Authority 

Learn more about how Incrementality can provide insight into the effectiveness of your advertising by reading the Science of Incrementality Whitepaper, produced in partnership with Phocuswire. 

Jennifer Andre

Vice President, Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions

As the global vice president of business development at Expedia Group Media Solutions, Jennifer oversees the global partner-facing team that connects advertisers with the hundreds of millions of travelers across Expedia Group's websites and apps. With more than 20 years of experience working in the online travel industry, Jennifer previously worked at Orbitz and Travelocity. Jennifer frequently travels around the world, but calls Connecticut home.

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