Three-Step Guide To Measuring TV's Cross-Channel Direct Response

The world of direct response on TV used to be a simple place -- there were dedicated phone numbers and plans based around the opening hours of call centres in place ready for the onslaught of callers that saw the ad slot during that evening’s episode of "Emmerdale." Now there is such a wide variety of devices, from desktop to mobile and tablet, that viewers can respond to ads as and when they want via multiple devices.

While we know response is triggered by above-the-line media -- TV, radio, OOH, print etc.. -- The full extent of customer engagement is realised through a wider variety of online activity, such as search, display and even direct-to-site activity. All of this is growing the DR market and making a client’s digital footprint incredibly important.

Therefore, within the world of response, media planning is becoming increasingly complex because of a greater opportunity to engage consumers in a variety of ways. This has ensured that agencies face the challenge of not only understanding the interwoven interaction between the different media -- but also having the means to effectively measure the short- and long-term responses on each. But it’s an understanding that is integral for brands and advertisers to optimise their investment, and as such, an opportunity for agencies that get it right.

There are three key stages when it comes to building a brand across channels that help maximise growth and minimise spend with one singular outcome:

  • Stage one: the low-level digital footprint. Given the prominence of online activity in realising customer engagement, a brand channel strategy has to evolve rapidly in order to achieve growth that matches the business’ trajectory. A lean digital footprint is the foundation from which this combination of direct response and high-level brand growth is achieved. It should start with testing generic search, display and affiliates where possible to get the most cost-efficient traffic to the site and make sure everything is being tested. At this stage, spend should be capped against the brand's bullseye target audience.  Brand search and retargeting should as always be un-capped even in this early stage -- however, volume will be limited until we move into the second and third stage of growth.
  • Stage two: deploy DR media. Direct-response channels will be driven by the brand and its target audience, but is likely to include a mix of TV, print, radio, out-of-home and online media. Testing should commence with time left to analyse results, and spend to be scaled quickly if performance allows.
  • Stage three: brand-building: At this stage, direct-response media begins to build frequency rather than add new customers to the funnel, as it reaches the point of diminishing returns largely driven by its inability to drive 1+ reach. Brand activity across channels like TV that create the demand for a product should be supported by radio and OOH to pull this demand through the funnel converting into customers.
  • The outcome of the model is to maintain efficiency. In almost every instance, CPA will increase as you take a brand on this journey. Minimizing this increase is the challenge with delivering scale. End-to-end performance specialists need to embrace not only media deployment, but conversion-rate optimisation and user experience in order to manage the brands efficiency as you build scale.

Ecommerce clients are the main driver of this approach, as activity must be planned and bought differently to traditional methods to deliver against it. Scale must be delivered quickly with targeted high reach of your audience being critical -- something that DRTV alone isn’t able to achieve. While it used to be the case that TV reached the majority -- if not all -- of a brand’s audience, with multiple device options, second screening and the surge in on-demand subscription services like Netflix, Now TV and Amazon, a brand using DRTV can only ever reach a percentage of its potential audience.

In order to ensure that the media plan will reach the correct audience, that brand’s audience first needs to be accurately determined to successfully engage the target consumer and to drive the necessary brand awareness. If a brand like boohoo only advertised on TV, they would be missing the millions of potential new customers glued to smartphones surfing Facebook and Instagram. Instead, media planning incorporates TV, digital and OOH – and finds multiple ways to draw new customers into the brand.

So while it used to be a case of basing a brand’s media planning strategy around TV, agencies now have to understand how the different platforms affect one another, and how this alters as a brand scales. This is not to say that TV isn’t incredibly powerful. In a study by Thinkbox and GroupM, TV was found to be the most effective media for advertising, with its reach and scale continually generating a cost-efficient level of response at higher levels of spend than any other media. TV is still an extremely prevalent platform for advertising, it just isn’t the sole focus for media planners and buyers. The challenge now is judging spend across the different media, understanding the effect that ATL has on a brand's digital footprint to delivering growth and ROI holistically, across all channels.

Next story loading loading..