In search of digital ROI: Best practices for including digital data in marketing mix modeling

Eric Schmidt
The Coca-Cola Company


Marketers have high expectations for digital marketing. The promise of paid online display, search, mobile, and social word-of-mouth has been to completely revolutionize marketing and how we communicate with consumers. Digital also promises to add complexity to marketing by fragmenting communications across a myriad of channels, reaching increasingly granular consumer segments at even more specific times and locations. We examine the challenges of including digital data in marketing mix models and some best practices for determining its sales impact and ROI. Results are developed in a consistent framework with 'traditional' media to allow resource allocation decisions across the entire mix.


The objective of marketing is to connect consumers with a product or service. In consumer packaged goods, this connection is between an individual and a brand. Over the past decade, the number of pathways to make these connections has been significantly increasing, in part due to the proliferation of digital media. Yet, relatively little is known about digital effectiveness, or at least little agreement on digital media value exists across the industry.