Don’t get caught up in the big data hype. It could be costly.

Don’t get caught up in the big data hype. It could be costly.

Since 1994 I have been reviewing the performance of client advertising campaigns – mostly direct response.  In 1994 campaigns utilizing direct response principles were typically direct mail, television (with a TFN only), print and radio. In those days, tracking performance was relatively easy, and WOM (word of mouth) attribution was simply part of the formula. Analyzing business growth, and the contributions to that growth, over distinct periods of time was simply part of the formula. Today, with web, text, social, search, phone, WOM to name a handful, it has made tracking the effectiveness of distinct media channels even more cumbersome.  What I always come back to, however, is the foundation of my direct response upbringing. The foundation is developing a method, agreeing on it with your client, and then executing a model built on baselines and collaboration. This is all regardless of the response mechanisms in which you are tracking. This is all just about the math.

There are many companies that are charging clients hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide insights into the impact television has on their business, but it just isn’t necessary. The findings that direct response professionals have been providing for decades continues to hold true, and the good television experts don’t charge extra for it.

I often reference an experience I had reading a case study that was done by Google on a well know brand. The brand utilized the Google 360 platform to test the creative performance of a campaign. The case study video testimonial delivered a compelling message to viewers as to the test environment and the methodical nature in which Google set up its test. This was not something that was revolutionary for me, this was basic stuff. In fact, we have been doing this for our clients since I have been in the business – since the 90s. We have never charged our clients to simply do our job – which is run the most optimal media, at the best times with the best creative. We constantly challenge the controls and change strategies and measurement based on the trajectory of the business and what the data is telling us.

I know different people can interpret the same data in different ways. But, if everyone is aligned on the method, and all parties are interested in the truth, then the end analysis should always be the same.

At the end of it all, don’t get caught up in the hype. You don’t have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to find the truth in the data. The truth is already there – you simply need a partner, who is also interested in the truth, and has the expertise to help you find it.

We Believe in a Balanced Scorecard.

We believe in a balanced scorecard. Why? Because it is what is best for our client’s.

 As direct response television experts we are constantly challenged with “why television”, “why not put it all in digital”. We also hear a lot about how no one is watching television anymore. Well, if that was true Facebook would not have just launched a TV PR ad campaign to try to fix their privacy/consumer trust problem. Television continues to have the highest reach of any other media. Period. Are the patterns of how people consume video changing, absolutely! That is why the way we purchase television aka video has changed and must continue to change. We buy more VOD than ever before. We take advantage of DSPs more than ever before. We buy more Hulu and Roku than ever before.

Despite all of that, this article is to provide some up to date trends from IAB, VAB and other sources on how TV and digital media work together to make a positive impact on an advertiser’s business. We also provide some stats on media usage/time spent. And last, we provide some debunking of cord cutting.


1. TV and Digital Executed Simultaneously Drove the Most Impact for Awareness, Familiarity, Opinion and Intent

2. Television continues to have the highest daily media consumption.*&q_10=listing&q1=Report&x1=contenttypetag&pageFacets=Report&defaultSearchText=&x3=categorytag&q3=Media

3. What are Adults doing any given minute? 

4. Cord Cutting – Don’t believe the hype.


Pay TV subscribers will drop cable services for more affordable Over-the Top (OTT) options like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.


83% of TV households watch cable – steady over the past 15 years

71% of US TV Viewers are “cord stackers” – subscribing to Pay TV and streaming services. Streaming-only customers account for only 11% of viewers.  One of the reasons cord-cutters were liberating themselves from the shackles of cable was the cost of cable. In order to fulfill the viewing needs many are now having to subscribe to multiple paid streaming services – inching closer to the cost of cable.




Top 3 TV Strategies any Healthcare Organization can use to Build Loyalty, Awareness, Engagement and Ultimately Bring in New Patients.

Top 3 TV Strategies any Healthcare Organization can use to Build Loyalty, Awareness, Engagement and Ultimately Bring in New Patients.

All three of the below strategies are the foundation of a strong television campaign. The execution of a direct response television campaign is built to cost effectively build your brand, awareness, loyalty, engagement and deliver more patients to your institution. For over 30 years healthcare brands have been profitably utilizing direct response television (DRTV) to advertise their hospitals, clinics, healthcare institution, medical equipment, health insurance plans and/or surgery centers.

1. Formula Based Creative

a. Creative developed around the brand promise providing a compelling/arresting opening
b. Capitalize on the healthcare organization’s reason to believe. This can be most effective with testimonials and/or expert endorsers. Cultivate a creative strategy that demonstrates and rejoices the challenges the consumer may face every day and then why your brand is the solution.
c. Develop creative that builds on the brand to maximize loyalty and buying behavior resulting in competitive differentiation and market share growth
d. High-impact visuals to cement the campaign with physicians and potential patients
e. Provide a call to action and offer that is meaningful to the consumer. For example, a free MRI review, no obligation consultation, free treatment, call or go online to find out more; or many other options that would be relevant to the specific brand.
f. Encouraging consumers to visit your website is critical to growing your brand engagement. Ensuring the consumer experience is seamless, easy, informative and best represents your brand promise is imperative.
g. Companies such as AARP, Shriners Hospital for Children, Moffitt Cancer Center and Laser Spine Institute are just a few healthcare brands that deliver on this creative foundation.

2. Cost Saving, Targeted Media

a. Develop a media mix with television (video) as the champion because TV delivers the highest reach. Surround television with a suite of other media that best fit the goals, budget and target sets of the organization.
b. Purchase programming that profiles the target demo and programming/ pricing that is supported by extensive research.
c. With local market goals, focus on key locations, including near facility and competitors in order to have a high-impact to continually emphasize the campaign.
d. If the company has the ability to run national television (video) develop a national campaign with goals developed specific to the targets and individual executions specific to those targets. National cable delivers CPMs (cost per thousand) substantially lower than local TV media therefore if the advertiser has the ability to air media nationally they should air nationally. The goal should be to deliver a CPM under $5.00 with a national cable television plan.

3. Implement Tracking Mechanisms and Baselines prior to any media launch.

a. With the call to action and offer clearly defined in the creative, the foundation of the analytics should take shape. Whether the institution is tracking a lift in responses to their website, growth to walk-in traffic, growth in new appointments or overall growth in new patients, the metrics should be set up and tested prior to campaign launch.
b. Real-time access to the performance of your campaign is going to be critical as you monitor your media spend. Media optimizations based on the analytics should be occurring daily to ensure you reach the goals you established pre-launch. Ensure you have access to your data and performance in a format that is usable to you.
c. A baseline of your business before campaign launch commands attention, and thoughtful time. This baseline is going to provide the starting point to prove all the hard work has paid off. Constant monitoring and evaluation of real-time performance against your baseline will provide leadership the evidence that the campaign you have invested funds and resources has more than paid for itself.
Direct Response Television (DRTV) has been accountable, predictable and actionable since the 1980s and continues to deliver on that promise. For brands that are especially scrutinized to be fiscally responsible there is no other television execution for them other than direct response television (DRTV).

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