Presentations

Experimentation and Causality in Modern Digital Advertising

Harikesh Nair, Stanford University

Worldwide digital ad spending in 2018 is around $300B, accounting for about 50% of total media advertising. A significant driver of this growth is the better measurability of digital ads compared to traditional formats. Digital ads leverage sophisticated tracking to understand outcomes and exposure, and utilize experimentation to determine causality and attribution. In this talk, Harikesh Nair describes how modern ad-systems do this at scale, using examples from the ad-experimentation platform of JD.com in China. He will describe how experimentation is now delivered “as a service” via self-serve products deployed on platforms; how advertisers and brands can leverage those products to improve their marketing activities; and how modern marketplaces are moving towards continuous experimentation that seamlessly merges experimentation with optimization of marketing instruments.

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