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DRTV - Does Peak TV Advertising Deliver Results for Your Brand?

Jonathan Rolley
Jonathan Rolley Posted on Mar 31, 2016, 11:20:19 AM

DRTV is the abbreviated name that marketing agencies use when they are talking about Direct Response TV. Through the use of data science, marketing agencies are able to directly measure the effectiveness of exactly how much lead generation or enquires that DR TV ads drive to a website or call centre. Data analytics can be used to work out the most effective marketing strategy to use in order to gain the best exposure and ROI for your brand.

a family sitting in their living room with the parents watching TV,  one son on his laptop, one son on his Ipad and the daughter on her mobile phone

TV advertising and network accountability have been able to hide behind TARPs and audiences for decades. We all know that TV advertising has been the driving force behind branding strategies, however DRTV gets to the heart of the exact data analytics behind which programs, networks and dayparts drive the greatest ROI so that marketing strategies can be tailored in the most effective way for each brand.

What programs drive results for your brand?

Programming, audience and daypart have the biggest impact on the cost of a TV spot. These placement decisions also have the largest impact on response rates. As a specialised DRTV Melbourne advertising agency, we analyse dozens of clients' data every month and we find very similar trends. These trends allow us to identify the programs, environments, day parts and days of week that deliver the greatest response and ROI for TV ads through web traffic, phone enquiries or sales. 

One of the key learnings which is most controversial to traditional TV media buyers is to avoid top rating and 'peak programs'. Our team consistently observes trends which clearly show that high involvement programs have the lowest response rates. These high involvement programs typically go to air between 1930 and 2130 every day. Peak ad placements can cost well over $10,000 for a 30 second spot in single metro markets like Sydney and Melbourne. Through our custom Multichannel Media Attribution & Analytics platform, we've also learnt that the more engaging the programming that is running, the lower the response rate and corresponding return on investment will be for the advertiser. Peak programming delivers mass reach and is undeniable, however if your company has less than a $5M TV advertising budget and requires a return on every dollar that is invested, then it may be worth reconsidering your marketing strategy, as we typically see these spots delivering little to no return on investment. 

Time shift viewing and catch up TV

As TV networks are a commercial entity, they want to capture the highest audience possible. In order to do this, they usually allocate their most engaging content to run during peak times every night, which is considered to be between 1800 and 2230. The TV networks refer to this day part, as prime time or peak, as this is when the bulk of TV viewers tune in each day. The programming at this time also attracts heavy premiums, as it runs in a key daypart with what many deem as the most compelling viewing.

The problem with these programs, from a direct response perspective, is twofold. The first is the high cost of each spot, which requires dozens or hundreds of people to take action after watching each of the TV ads. This is typically the exception to the rule, as most viewers are highly engaged and do not want to log on to a website, since watching TV content is their primary objective. The other challenge with this premium content is that many are watching after the event has occurred, however advertisers still have to pay for these viewers, who have the ability to fast-forward through TV ads whilst watching on their PVR. 

Before venturing into TV advertising, it is vital to clearly define what success looks like. It is either a ROI medium which is looking to drive lead generation in order to scale up the business, or it is a mass reach and brand awareness platform, where ROI can be afforded to be attained over the coming years. The associated marketing strategy is vastly different depending on the desired objectives. If your answer was a sustainable CPA (cost per acquisition) and ensuring that every spot delivers a return on investment, then it is best to work with a proven DRTV advertising agency. Many successful brands started small, ensuring that they got the creative and media strategy right, to then be able to afford to scale up to become the behemoths that we know today.

DR TV is a data science and, with current TV data analytics, it is quickly gaining traction against traditional advertising and digital marketing mediums, as advertisers value the ability to measure the effectiveness and return on investment of each of their TV ads, as they go live. 

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Image Credit: Aupair Link

Jonathan Rolley
This post was Written by Jonathan Rolley

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