case study

Paid Search Effectiveness: asking the right questions to measure and enhance true impact

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For one of Analytic Partners’ long-term clients with multiple brands it had become a challenge to accurately measure the impact of search. However, companies within fast-moving industries must be relatively agile and adapt to new situations or challenges as quickly as possible to stay on top.

The client’s insights team had made it one of their key goals to tackle the issue and find the underlying drivers. Together with Analytic Partners, they set up a geo-level AB test and were able to uncover correlations as well as improve search ROI by 23% while decreasing overall investment.


When there is little variation in search queries over time, companies can struggle to determine if search still has an impact or not, and it’s even harder to make improvements on a tactic like that. It is often not only about analyzing data and the everyday struggle to justify marketing spend, but about defining the underlying problem and working together with the client and all other stakeholders to solve it and ultimately improve media performance.


In close collaboration with the client and their third-party suppliers/ vendors, Analytic Partners designed an AB test for one of the client’s brands to measure search’s causal impact on sales. Variability into search spend across regions was introduced and the experiments were based on randomly assigning paid search impressions to groups of respondents within specific regions. Data included e.g. mobile search volume and queries within shopping centers that stocked the product.


Prior to the project, search ROI was believed to be relatively low. But analysis uncovered that search had in fact a very strong impact on the
overall performance. Following our recommendations after that test, the search ROI improved by 23% vs the previous year for one brand. Following the strong performance of paid search in the first year for that brand, they also invested in search in a consecutive year for another brand. Through further recommendations towards a more optimal mix, that brand generated an additional £2.5m with a £500k reduction in investment. Search was a large contributor to that.

  • +23%Search ROI
  • +£2.5mIncremental Sales

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