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Direct Response Marketing

Media Zone: DRTV Drives Online Growth

1 Jun, 2014 By: Peter Koeppel Response

Online marketers are discovering that Web-based media saturation alone cannot be relied upon to fuel growth. Even in a fragmented media landscape, TV is still about as mass as mass media gets, and it can be leveraged to create awareness among viewers.

As reports from Nielsen and other sources attest, the use of second screens while watching TV is a behavior that consumers are increasingly adopting. As the following case studies will attest, shrewd cable and broadcast DRTV media buying can help capture new audiences and generate double-digit growth that online advertising alone cannot achieve.

To illustrate the point, let’s examine the case of a financial services lead generator, which devoted 100 percent of its budget to online advertising. Company management believed that by exclusively committing ad dollars online, it was primarily reaching customers who were actively seeking products in its category. While the company enjoyed some success, it has virtually no brand recognition. Furthermore, it operated in a fairly ubiquitous category that just about every adult in America would employ at one time or another.

Using DRTV creative that combined brand building and a specific call-to-action that drove consumers to the Web, the company’s advertising was placed in a combination of national cable networks and smaller regional networks to produce a more efficient ROI. The company’s average cost-per-acquisition dropped by 75 percent. Since its core business was selling leads in a specific category where the bounty advertisers are willing to pay on a per-lead basis is highly competitive, this reduction in cost had a profound impact on profitability. As an ancillary benefit, more service providers in the marketer’s category — who were in search of leads and may not have been aware of the company — reached out, enlarging its network base.

For online marketers who may be skeptical, understand that conducting an A/B split in markets with similar characteristics can easily test the efficacy of direct response advertising’s efficiency. One market receives DRTV air cover while the other doesn’t, and the results of such a test can easily be measured. Using the proper attribution models, spikes in consumer response and associated conversion can be measured and assigned to specific DRTV media to pinpoint that efficiency. In the simplest terms, online advertisers can test for themselves whether the additional investment in DRTV media fuels sufficient growth to warrant the investment.

Even mature online businesses can benefit from the addition of DRTV because the combination of longer lengths and cheaper airtime allow them to tell a story and create product or service differentiation. For example, one online marketer that was already experiencing heavy traffic wanted to further increase traffic to its site and build a database of both existing and new consumers. The enticement was to get prospects to fill out a survey germane to the advertiser’s particular category that would give custom, vital information back to each registrant.

Using demographic and psychographic research to target both existing and new site users, an intense DRTV media campaign was employed, anchored by highly targeted national cable networks along with select, high-profile local broadcast markets with high concentrations of the target audience. An additional overlay of syndication helped to deliver enormous CPM efficiencies. A bookend media placement approach was employed to ensure that prospects received multiple impressions of the message. As a result of the media push, the cost-per-completed-survey came in 8-percent lower than the target goal.

DRTV can also be a powerful tool for converting sales. According to a recent report from NPD Group, 87 percent of second-screen owners are using them while watching TV, and 20 percent of those users buy advertised products according to Nielsen. So it stands to reason that marketers can use DRTV to entice and convert consumers while they are “in the moment.” An example of this is a campaign for a weight-loss program, a particularly competitive category. A set of Web-based analytics identified spikes in traffic and sales that were directly attributable to the DRTV campaign — and determined that the company exceeded its customer acquisition goals by 19 percent in just six months. Now convinced of the power of DRTV, the company has increased its TV budget by more than 200 percent year-over-year.

With the increased awareness that it can foster, along with its inherent media efficiencies, and the ability to attribute results, DRTV is a tool that every online marketer should consider as part of their marketing arsenal. ■

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