D2C Marketers Will Accelerate Visibility Into TV's Kicker Effect

  • by , Featured Contributor, November 15, 2018
Since television and TV advertising burst onto the scene in the middle of the last century, folks have known that its effects are wide, deep, lasting and in many ways, very hard to accurately measure. Television has always had a “kicker effect” that was bigger than TV itself.

The impact was always there, whether it was cultural phenomena (could the hula-hoop craze have happened if much of it hadn’t been televised?) or massive political realignments (would Nixon have resigned when he did without the televised Watergate hearings?) or stimulus for what to talk about at work when you don’t want to talk about work: What would office water-cooler conversations be without television and its ads?

Everyone in advertising and marketing knows about TV’s kicker effect. Years ago, digital-first companies learned that when they ran TV ads and bought search ads on Google, Google ad conversions and yield went up. Facebook advertisers see conversion spikes when they have TV ads in flight.

Of course, in both of those scenarios, marketers were receiving robust analytics and attribution from Google and Facebook, each claiming all the credit for all conversions from all folks they touched within significant attribution windows, whether 24 hours or 28 days.

To be fair, that’s what every media company does. They are only following trails well-trod by early media pioneers like Meredith and its new Time, Inc. brethren.

However, television has not done so well here. Marketers might know on a directional basis that their TV campaigns are synergistic with their Google and Facebook campaigns, but they don’t know how to separate out the kicker effect and build it into their pricing and return-on-investment analysis.

Most TV companies don’t know how to quantify this effect. They don’t know how to prove it — or get paid for it. Most TV companies are just learning to provide person and impression closed-loop reporting to sales and conversions.

When will TV companies start getting at least partial credit for the kicker effect they provide to search and social ads?

This is coming soon, I believe, and TV companies will be able to thank the explosive emergence of D2C marketers like Dollar Shave Club, Casper and Harry’s for that change.

Those brands are expert at buying ads on Google, Facebook and Amazon. They are maniacal about full-funnel measurement, attribution and ROI. If they can’t see real signal and have a path to measure it on a de-averaged basis, most won’t spend their money.

D2Cs like TV. TV ad companies want D2C dollars. TV ad companies won’t get all of the D2C dollars that they want, unless they can isolate out the TV to Facebook and Google kicker effect and prove their own contribution. Doing so will bring more D2C dollars to TV. This is the nature of capitalism and a competitive marketplace.

What do you think?

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