Bayesian Methods for Media Mix Modeling with Carryover and Shape Effects

Jim Koehler, Google Inc., 76 Ninth Avenue Google New York NY 10011(2017)


Media mix models are used by advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their advertising and provide insight in making future budget allocation decisions. Advertising usually has lag effects and diminishing returns, which are hard to capture using linear regression. In this paper, we propose a media mix model with flexible functional forms to model the carryover and shape effects of advertising. The model is estimated using a Bayesian approach in order to make use of prior knowledge accumulated in previous or related media mix models. We illustrate how to calculate attribution metrics such as ROAS and mROAS from posterior samples on simulated data sets. Simulation studies show that the model can be estimated very well for large size data sets, but prior distributions have a big impact on the posteriors when the sample size is small and may lead to biased estimates. We apply the model to data from a shampoo advertiser, and use Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) to choose the appropriate specification of the functional forms for the carryover and shape effects. We further illustrate that the optimal media mix based on the model has a large variance due to the variance of the parameter estimates.