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PhotoSì develops seasonality business with the help of incrementality

About our client

PhotoSì is the number one app in Italy for printing photos and creating photo books, calendars, paintings, and prints. The company first achieved success in the 1970s by offering printing services to select clients in Italy’s booming film photography industry. In 2006, PhotoSì transformed its business model for the digital age and began selling its products to consumers through a desktop website. The company became a mobile-only service in 2017, marking the launch of Europe’s maiden photo printing app, with millions of users every day.

« [Incrementality testing] gives you another perspective of your User Acquisition activity, which you don’t have with a deterministic approach. It’s another way to watch the performance of your campaigns. »

Manuel Mainetti, PhotoSì

Remerge runs incrementality tests with PhotoSì for no-ID traffic

Apple’s tighter user privacy framework has made evaluating the performance of mobile campaigns on iOS a complicated task. Unless a user explicitly provides their IDFA, advertisers cannot associate them with specific marketing activities and assess if campaigns are truly having a positive impact on the Return on Investment (ROI).

App marketers are now turning to incrementality for more precise insights on the effects of their campaigns and to help them make better decisions about where and when to spend on programmatic advertising.

This was the case with PhotoSì, whose app receives the highest amount of traffic during popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day. The company was in search of new ways to monitor campaigns during peak and low seasons for no-ID users. In early 2021, the photo printing app partnered with us to run incrementality tests for User Acquisition (UA).

Manuel Mainetti, Head of User Acquisition at PhotoSì, told us that “in Italy, we are the market leader and we know we have a lot of organic traffic coming in — it’s important to differentiate. How are you doing incrementally? Are you paying for conversions you would already get?”

Remerge enters the market with one of the first incrementality solutions for no-ID traffic

Our Incremental Impact product for no-ID users is among the first to hit the market. It employs causal impact analysis, a framework developed by Google, to show the incremental cost per install (iCPI), incremental cost per action (iCPA), and the incremental uplift of an ad campaign, while distinguishing them between paid and organic marketing activities.

Similar to what is done for the measurement of television advertisements, the principle is based on running campaigns on identifiable sub-markets (treatment), while leaving other sub-markets unexposed (control).

Our causal analysis approach is fully independent of IDs. It works with device models to build similar and stable groups which are less likely to change over time.

Optimizing app campaigns for peak seasons

We worked with PhotoSì on a series of incrementality tests to identify the optimal campaign setup for no-ID audiences and to pinpoint where to allocate programmatic advertising budget for strong results.

We conducted multiple experiments over a 4-week period, which included testing campaigns on ID traffic and replicating these for no-ID traffic, along with testing different supply partners, creatives, and times of day. The findings showed that weekends and evenings are the ideal times for PhotoSì to run campaigns, with video and interstitials being their best performing creatives. On top of that, our predictive model highlighted the importance of seasonality trends for PhotoSì.

When talking about the results with Manuel, he stated that “with incrementality tests, we saw that in peak season, people clicked on more ads, downloaded the app, and purchased the product — during low season that doesn’t happen. This allowed [PhotoSì] to save money during the low season and invest more money during peak season, generating a much better ROI.”

“What we saw is that when we follow the needs of users, we get results. When we do advertising for a product they are not interested in during that moment, basically we do not have incrementality. That was a really good takeaway because after that, we decided to balance our budget and spend more during peak seasons, and save more money during low season, resulting in a better budget efficiency.”

« I really appreciated, in particular, the transparency of the data [Remerge] gave to us. It was really clear from every meeting we did what the impact of the activities were and how they were measured. It was something we have never seen in the past. »


Future collaboration to optimize UA campaigns

Following the project, we will continue collaborating with PhotoSì on incrementality tests to gain new insights for no-ID users and to optimize UA campaigns during peak seasons.

“The test gave me a great spotlight on the actual incrementality of the marketing activities we do in low and peak seasons. I saw the difference that I didn't see with the MMP.”