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Designing Experiments to Measure Incrementality on Facebook


C. H. Bryan Liu, Elaine M. Bettaney and Benjamin Paul Chamberlain.


The importance of Facebook advertising has risen dramatically in recent years, with the platform accounting for almost 20% of the global online ad spend in 2017. An important consideration in advertising is incrementality: how much of the change in an experimental metric is an advertising campaign responsible for. To measure incrementality, Facebook provide lift studies. As Facebook lift studies differ from standard A/B tests, the online experimentation literature does not describe how to calculate parameters such as power and minimum sample size. Facebook also offer multi-cell lift tests, which can be used to compare campaigns that don’t have statistically identical audiences. In this case, there is no literature describing how to measure the significance of the difference in incrementality between cells, or how to estimate the power or minimum sample size. We fill these gaps in the literature by providing the statistical power and required sample size calculation for Facebook lift studies. We then generalise the statistical significance, power, and required sample size calculation to multi-cell lift studies. We represent our results theoretically in terms of the distributions of test metrics and in practical terms relating to the metrics used by practitioners, making all of our code publicly available.

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