Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) is the new battlefield for big tech

MMM is a statistical analysis technique that helps companies measure the holistic impact of cross-channel marketing on key outcomes like sales.

MMM is a hot growing topic as marketers are looking for better measurement to address the end of 3rd party cookies.

Interest. in Marketing Mix Modeling

MMM have been a critical solution for data agencies in the past years, as it is a single source of truth for clients and it provides agencies a high retention rate (who wants to change agency that manages the data and the models that define your ROI?)

Though, today we see that with stronger walled gardens, big tech are entering this market via technology and want to provide clients with their own single source of truth on media performance.

After Meta, and probably before Amazon, Google is launching Meridian.

1. What is Meridian?

Meridian is an open-source Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) solution developed by Google. 

Meridian is designed to provide a comprehensive and privacy-durable measurement solution for marketers, as they navigate the increasing complexity of measuring cross-channel media strategies due to fragmented media consumption and ongoing privacy changes.

Marketing Mix Modeling Meridian

2. Why is it specific, what are the benefits?

a. Innovation: Meridian includes methodology innovations to make MMMs more accurate, actionable, and analytically rigorous. These innovations include calibration with incrementality experiments, reach and frequency incorporation to link outcomes with planning, and guidance on measuring search.

b. Transparency: Being an open-source solution, Meridian offers complete transparency, allowing users to evaluate the underlying code and methodology innovations. Users can modify the code and model parameters to meet their unique business needs.

c. Actionability: Meridian helps marketers make more informed decisions by providing richer data inputs, offering modeling guidance aligned with the innovations, and enabling cross-channel budget optimization. It provides YouTube reach and frequency data, as well as indexed Google query-volume data for model building.

3. What are the limitations and warnings to use it?

a. Skilled modelers needed: While Meridian offers innovations and rich data inputs, MMM still requires skilled and experienced modelers to judge which combination of variables to include in the model to accurately reflect the business and its marketing dynamics. Meridian doesn’t replace data agencies, it empowers them with a google solution (and with more granular Google data).

b. Google’s vested interest: As a media owner, Google has a vested interest in the outcomes of the MMM evaluation. Meridian emphasizes Google’s products, such as providing detailed reach and frequency data for YouTube but not necessarily for other online video platforms.

In summary, while Meridian offers innovative features, rich data inputs, and transparency, marketers should approach it with caution, considering the need for skilled modelers, Google’s vested interests, and other potential limitations.

It is simply the Google answer to Meta’s own MMM, Robyn, and probably before the launch of a similar solution by Amazon.