Business Challenge

An online travel marketplace wanted to compare the effectiveness of two different ad platforms in driving downloads of its app.

Analytic Edge was asked to:

  • Develop a test design
  • Measure the incrementality of each ad platform (net lift in downloads)
  • Make a spending recommendation between the two platforms


AE used synthetic control based geo-testing to measure each platform’s impact.

  • AE identified test cities, where the client ran test campaigns on each platform, as well as a combined campaign
  • AE then built synthetic controls for all 3 test conditions using 12 available control cities and a 21 day pre-test calibration period
  • One campaign launched later than expected. But AE was able to adjust the measurement period, without changing the design or the controls it built.


The test showed stronger lift for Facebook than search alone, with the best lift coming from a combined FB + search approach

In fact, search-only approach delivered no additional lift. Results actually showed a drop in app downloads for search only.