Market View

How new technology impacts direct response TV advertising

With the rise of the smartphone and the tablet, fewer and fewer people pick up the phone to call and order what they just saw on television. This change in viewer behavior has a profound impact on how to measure DRTV campaign success.

The traditional direct response television marketing

Traditionally, DRTV campaigns could be easily distinguished from regular TV ads by urging viewers to call certain phone numbers. Often, DRTV media buyers focused on long form infomercials late at night or early in the morning as these slots were cheap and allowed for a detailed explanation of the product. While the long form infomercial still exists, the rise of better yield management tools such as Programmatic TV for broadcasters will make it harder and harder for DRTV media buyers to negotiate good rates.

Direct response TV advertising in the era of the smartphone

DRTV marketing has always relied on viewers immediately engaging with the TV ad. Using special phone numbers with inbound call tracking allowed DRTV marketers to immediately track the success of an ad. In fact, many online advertisers have started displaying phone numbers and tracking this way of contact as well (here’s a list of inbound call trackers). But with the rise of the smartphone, viewer behavior has changed dramatically. Almost every viewer now is using a second screen device such as the smartphone or tablet in parallel to watching TV. And many of them use this device to engage with the ad by searching for more information or visiting an advertiser’s website. While displaying a special phone number or coupon code in the DRTV ad made tracking easy, viewer engagement via search or direct hits on the website is technologically more challenging. However, the possibility for the viewer to immediately engage has become easier than ever. These micro moments are basically just a tap away.

The new way of direct response TV advertising

DRTV marketers should take full advantage of the changing viewer behavior by embracing new technologies out there.
1. Set up TV Analytics for the advertiser to track the impact of each ad on website traffic, conversions, and app downloads.
2. Make sure the website prominently displays the product/service offered in the TV ad. Optimizing the conversion funnel this way leads to 3-4x more conversions. Your DRTV marketing campaign can either achieve this through a special URL in the ad, directly leading to the right landing page, or through TV Sync technology, synchronizing website and TV ad.
3. Revise your DRTV media buying strategy. The rise of Programmatic TV advertising will result in more granular automated buys based on data. What used to be a manual task (comparing call logs and TV slot rates/prices) will become more and more automated. The intelligence and value add for the advertising client will lie in setting the right goal, capturing the right data and actively managing the Programmatic TV buying for your DRTV campaign.


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