I’ve spent my advertising career in the most immediately measurable of TV disciplines…direct response television. Through that career I’ve seen the tremendous economic power that DRTV offers. Used in the right situation, DRTV delivers far more economic impact (including brand value) than traditional TV.
At the same time…in contradictions we find truth. And here’s the response contradiction.
Response measurements are exceptionally powerful at helping make campaigns more effective.
But if response becomes your ONLY focus, campaigns become less effective.
How’s that happen? We must remember that even the best metrics (response, audiences, targeting, etc.) can never measure the total impact of a TV campaign. They are helpful guides but don’t tell the entire story.
So it’s important to respect the numbers for the extraordinary help they offer as we make media dollars go further (up to 4x further). And it’s important to respect that response numbers are only one window in to the impact of our work.
This reality doesn’t only apply to DRTV. It applies to online ads (especially), direct mail, catalogs, search, and many more areas where we are able to measure response.
Here’s a recent article I called “Seeing the Forest Despite the Trees” (link here) that appeared Response Magazine’s December 2013 edition. It digs deeper into how to work with response measured media in the highly (and extraordinarily profitable) market you enter when your product is sold through the omni-channel world of phone, web, and retail store.
It’s no surprise to find DR marketers obsessed with response to the exclusion of all other reality. But it has been a surprise to find that experienced audience measured advertisers also too quickly lose sight of the fact that response measurements are indicators – but not the whole story.
It’s surprising because many of these are advertisers who have lived in a world their entire careers where they had NO measurement of response and where impact is projected by guys in the back room with pointy hats and crystal balls reading Nielsen reports. (For clarity: I do love audience numbers. But while there’s tremendous learning to be found in audience measurement, projecting sales impact based on audience remains an area for alchemists.)
So embrace response measurement for what it is: An extraordinary measurement that can help us spend client media money far more efficiently. And then lets use that measurement to drive campaigns where the total impact surprises us all.
Copyright 2014 – Doug Garnett – All Rights Reserved.