When Measuring DRTV Success, Don’t Forget Intangibles

DRTV and sports have more in common than you think. For example, you’ve undoubtedly heard coaches or TV sports analysts refer to a player’s “intangibles”. The veteran third baseman who’s a true “character guy”.    The hockey defenseman with a great “sense for the game”. Their contributions are invaluable, but they don’t always show up in the score sheet.

DRTV works the same way. Just as focusing solely on home runs or goals can be a misleading metric for evaluating a player, looking only at sourced cost per sale could cause a marketer to cut a program that may otherwise drive success for the brand.

To put this idea into perspective, let’s talk about the objectives of a fictitious company:  Acme Home Service. While the marketing head needs to keep an eye on their brand profile, what keeps Acme in the black are the leads and sales coming in the door.  

Acme is in a competitive category, and needs to answer to shareholders each quarter.  A majority of their marketing budget goes towards brand TV and sponsorships. Acme’s CMO, Willie Widget, takes comfort in knowing that consumers and shareholders alike see their TV commercials during prime time shows or sporting events.  But in his effort to test new channels and get new prospects to request information on services and pricing, he decides to give DRTV a try.  

Mr. Widget has the agency edit his existing 60-second spot to include a strong call to action.  Everyone feels great about the test, and Mr. Widget looks forward to sharing the results with his board.

Unfortunately, leads and sales to the dedicated 800-number and landing page were lower than many hoped, delivering a sourced cost-per sale at twice the allowable. What appeared to be a slam-dunk turned into a swing and a miss. But Mr. Widget is a smart man and knew that this DRTV program would do more than drive sourced sales.  

On the surface, the ROI tied to the DRTV program appeared to be just below break-even, but he knew that consumers respond in different ways. A mass medium like DRTV would impact many of these response channels – phone calls, branded and non-branded search, visits to the main web site, even walk-ins to the local office.  

Fortunately for Acme Home Services, Mr. Widget and his marketing team were savvy enough to look at the intangibles and designed this controlled test to measure overall lift of the DRTV campaign.  When they combined directly attributed sales with lift across all response channels, Mr. Widget discovered that DRTV was a very efficient sales driver. 

Team captain Jonathan Toews recently led the Chicago Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup in four years. Some say he suffered a slump in the playoffs with several scoreless games, but his greatest contributions weren’t seen in the box score.  His leadership, work ethic, and smart play lifted the team, driving them to achieve their ultimate goal.  DRTV can do the same for you.