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2015 DRTV: A Year in Review

Posted by Paul Jackson on 12/28/15 10:54 AM

Traditional & Digital TV Combine

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Here’s the test: If you can truthfully acknowledge that your direct response TV ads can be consumed on all platforms AND you understand the value of measuring the relative performance of your overall marketing campaign, then you’re ready to confidently move forward into 2016.

As 2015 showed us, the melding of linear and digital video channels is picking up pace. In Digital Convergence is Coming: Are You Prepared?, we took a look at how marketers and business owners can prepare as more and more consumers move from cable TV to over-the-top (OTT) options.

U.S. consumers have approximately tripled the amount of time spent away from the TV watching digital video (with more than a quarter of viewers watching Youtube) since 2011, according to The State of Digital Video by Luma Partners. And digital video spend is predicted to rise to $9.5 billion by 2016, more than a $4 billion increase since 2014.

Here’s how to be ready: Ensure your creative marketing strategies include both linear and digital ads consisting of quality content, improve your mobile buying experience and make sure you have a stable understanding of your target audiences, which bring us to our next point.

Millennials are Harder to Target via Traditional TV

In our blog post, Millennials: Marketers’ Lost Generation? we discussed how it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to target audiences ages 18-34 years old using traditional media channels, especially TV. The decreasing TV viewership (which has dropped an average of 4 percent since 2012 among millennial-aged viewers, according to Nielsen) has pointed to the ever-growing shift in the way that younger generations are consuming media—a way that is much harder to measure at this point in time.

NBC Universal’s audience research chief Alan Wurtzel told the New York Post that ““The change in behavior is stunning. The use of streaming and smartphones just year-on-year is double-digit increases. I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”

While currently Nielsen’s traditional ratings don’t keep track of streaming viewer numbers, the company is looking to overhaul the TV industry metrics it’s been using for decades by next year’s upfronts. This is good news for TV networks and advertisers because that means they’ll have a better chance at capturing viewership information about younger audiences.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait around for those new Nielsen metrics if you’re trying to target millennials. Radio has remained one of the most engaging channels for millennials, with 91.3 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 tuning in weekly (according to Nielsen’s latest Audience Report).

Focus on Measuring DRTV Campaign’s Relative Performance

Speaking of measuring metrics, 2015 marked a shift in the way Marketing Architects is beginning to measure response, as covered on our blog post, Why You’re Measuring DRTV Campaigns Wrong. Why?

One in three Americans older than 18 owns either a smart TV or a device that streams video to their TVs, with 38 percent (two in five) of those individuals spending at least 50 percent of their TV viewing time streaming video to their television, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau’s in-depth study.

Ultimately, you need to understand that response is still there, it just depends on how you measure its worth. Instead of focusing on the absolute measure of cost per orders (CPOs), it’s time to take a holistic approach. Look at the relative performance of all media channels, creatives and conversion funnels and learn how each channel affects the other.

Want more information about these topics? Review our top 2015 DRTV marketing full-page blog posts here:

Topics: Direct Response TV

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