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Media Zone: DR Marketers Adopt Digital Advertising, One Byte at a Time

1 Jun, 2013 By: Nancy Arnold, Diray TV Response

Agencies are shifting their media buying strategies, with digital advertising moving toward the forefront. Reallocating a portion of TV ad dollars to digital advertising can drastically expand reach while lowering costs for direct response marketers. Figuring out how to master this balancing act of traditional and digital media can be rewarding and generate the greatest returns.

Marketers have found that a clear benefit of digital advertising is that it is far more engaging than traditional TV ads. Consumers, for instance, have shown that they are willing to take the time to share a humorous or entertaining digital ad across multiple platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Digital and social media can complement the power of television ads, forming a dynamic partnership to reach a wider range of consumers. Particularly with the rapid development of smartphones and tablets, advertisers now have more access to consumers and their preferences than ever before.

Facebook has rolled out a revamped newsfeed, striking a balance between user experience and advertiser needs. This new feature allows advertisers and agencies to match their own data to Facebook inventory, creating behaviorally targeted ads, which are based on a user’s Web history and selected interests. Similarly, if you have shopped at one of your favorite sites, you can expect to see ads for that site for days in an attempt to keep it top-of-mind. Ultimately, this will lead to a more qualified audience, turning Facebook advertising efforts into more of a DR vehicle.

Facebook’s ability to “like” or “share” an ad extends the brand or product message to a larger audience. In many ways, these are straight DR ads, with a call-to-action for a “like” or “share” as opposed to a sale. DR and social media are not all that different: both solicit an immediate response. Social media has become a central outlet to accelerating the momentum of an advertising campaign; it is doubly important to advertisers, acting both as a way to reach prospective consumers, as well as to hear valued customer feedback. By combining DR and social media, these powerful sales channels have the ability to transform a campaign into a truly integrated experience. 

As options continue to expand, the ways in which viewers consume media are also transforming. With television being reshaped by the Internet, the trend of “zero TV households” is beginning to take hold. This group of people has shifted from sitting in front of their TV sets to streaming video online via computers, smartphones and tablets. According to Nielsen, there are 114.7 million American households with a television, but more than 5 million have cut the cord this year, up from 3 million in 2007. But don’t throw away the remote control yet: Nielsen reports that more than 75 percent of this relatively small group still has at least one TV set in the home.

As the percentage of time spent in front of an Internet-based device climbs, we’re likely to see continued growth in online ad dollars. In spite of the inroads that Internet-based viewing has made, it won’t replace traditional television anytime soon. In fact, the growth of on-demand viewing can actually be an opportunity for media buyers to expand the way they buy time for clients. With ads being viewed on both on-demand streaming and traditional TV, brands have the opportunity to expand their exposure.

TV is not fading away, but merely changing —which is not entirely bad. The thrill of live sporting events and daily news broadcasts show the distinct advantage of cable television. There is no doubt that TV will remain the anchor of any campaign in driving sales.

These trends illustrate DR marketers’ desire to maximize ad dollar spends across multiple mediums. The vast array of advertising options available to raise brand awareness greatly increases exposure and reach. By combining traditional and digital platforms, the whole creates a more impactful outcome than either could on its own. ■

Nancy Arnold is executive vice president and director of media at Diray TV, a full-service media buying agency based in Wilton, Conn. She can be reached at (203) 761-1400 or via E-mail at

About the Author: Nancy Arnold

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