On the Near Impossibility of Measuring the Returns to Advertising by Randall A Lewis, Justin M. Rao :: SSRN

Co-written by a Google and Microsoft researcher:

¬†Evidence from the randomized trials is very weak because individual-level sales are incredibly volatile relative to the per capita cost of a campaign — a “small” impact on a noisy dependent variable can generate positive returns. A calibrated statistical argument shows that the required sample size for an experiment to generate informative confidence intervals is typically in excess of ten million person-weeks.

via On the Near Impossibility of Measuring the Returns to Advertising by Randall A Lewis, Justin M. Rao :: SSRN.

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