Case Information

Rocket Fuel: Measuring the Effectiveness of Online Advertising
Katona, Zsolt , and Brian Bell
Publication date: 7/1/2017, pages 1-6

The case describes an experiment designed to measure the effectiveness of an online display advertising campaign. After running the campaign for their client, Rocket Fuel’s analysts are tasked with proving that the campaign was effective and had a positive return on investment (ROI). The experiment involves randomly assigning Internet users to a test or a control group based on cookies that uniquely identify each user visiting a site where Rocket Fuel can place an ad. Users in the test group see an ad for a newly released handbag by TaskaBella, Rocket Fuel’s client. Users in the control group are shown a public service announcement (PSA) that is unrelated to the advertised product. Based on the unique IDs, Rocket Fuel is able to track which user eventually purchased a handbag from TaskaBella, allowing the analysts to discern the effectiveness of the campaign. A detailed data set (rocketfuel_data.csv) is provided with the case that allows students to conduct their own analysis.

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