Best Practices for DRTV Analytics


Authors: Heather Lang & Jeff Fine

Marketing pioneer and businessman John Wanamaker once famously said,

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

Today’s advertisers can find themselves faced with the exact same conundrum. That’s why one of the advantages of DRTV is, and always has been, clarity. We see exactly what’s working and what’s not. And while our world continues to change with more response data to analyze, our objectives have not wavered. We have many innovative tools and strategies to help marketers, like Mr. Wanamaker, maximize (not waste) their ad spend.

So, here are a few Best Practices for DRTV Analytics:

Know the Goals of the Campaign (or Key Performance Indicators, aka KPIs). What is the objective of the campaign? If the goal of the campaign is to drive sales, then the key success metrics would be sales volume. Clients usually have budget constraints, so it is important to track how much money was spent. The ratio of these two numbers, the cost per sale, is often the key performance indicator for the campaign.

Response Data. In analytics, the analysis is only as good as the data. If the goal of the campaign is to drive sales, then accurate, detailed sales data is paramount. What time did the sales come in? What stations and creatives drove those sales? Being able to track sales back to specific media placements is one of the pillars of DRTV analytics. By understanding where sales are coming from, clients can spend more money on the best performing placements and less money on the worst performing ones.

Web Data. DRTV is no longer just 800 numbers in commercials. Consumers now respond to commercials by going online. 4 out of every 5 TV viewers have a smart phone or tablet in their hands. Whether the commercial has a URL or not, consumers will respond by going to a client’s website. Therefore, having accurate and detailed web data is critical. What time did the web order come in? If it was minutes after a spot aired, there is a good chance the consumer may have seen the commercial. 

Reporting. DRTV reporting needs to first answer the big questions: How is the campaign doing? Is the campaign meeting its goals? Was last week a good week? However, reporting also needs to answer the little questions, the whys: Why was last week significantly better than the week before? Why is one station outperforming another? Why should a creative be turned off?

Attribution. This is the measurement of TV’s impact on other channels, usually digital media. What is television’s impact on branded search? Looking at television’s impact on phone sales is only part of the story of what television is doing. Analyzing web data through a variety of attribution tools can tell the full story.

Exogenous Factors and Competitive Analysis. DRTV analytics can include examining external factors that can influence the success of a campaign. Are there financial reasons that can influence whether consumers purchase a product? How much are a client’s competitors advertising? Are competitors changing their strategy? Are there markets where a competitor is outspending us? All of these factors can influence the success of a campaign.

With the right questions, data, tools and analysis, we are able to track and optimize our clients’ advertising campaigns and spend with tremendous efficiency. You could say that we are doing everything we possibly can to challenge Mr. Wanamaker’s famous quote.