Tracking DRTV Effectiveness Across Multiple Platforms

By Rhonda Schweber in Media Strategy on September 25th, 2015

Advertisers can no longer gauge the impact of their advertising independently by medium. Successful marketers must know how to track every click, call, engagement or conversion across multiple devices. Today, different mediums must increasingly collaborate with each other to create a lasting effect and lead to conversions.

tracking drtv effectiveness multi device


Let’s take a look at Calvin on his journey through this response process. Calvin sees a DRTV advertising campaign for insurance coverage while getting ready for work on his home television. The commercial has a URL that he jots down.  Calvin, then, goes to the URL address on his mobile phone to do more research while riding the train into work.  He is sent to a lander. During lunch, he reads blogs, watches more product videos, and scans reviews through the insurance company’s social media channels on his laptop. Calvin types in other insurance-related keywords to get a better understanding of coverage options.  He, then, adds his email to receive more information on coverage plans on the brand’s main site. An email catered to his needs with special offers and pricing is sent immediately, and Calvin decides to call a customer representative. He is happy with the coverage plan and makes the purchase. Conversion complete!

This is nothing new to BKV’s DRTV advertising team. We’ve been monitoring multi-media and cross-device tracking  conversions for years.

How Engaged Are You While Watching Your TV?

A CEA study reveals that the way content is being viewed has drastically changed, especially among millennials.   Only 55% of millennials use their television set as their primary viewing platform.  Streaming devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are their viewing preference.

And, of those viewers that are watching on a TV set, almost 80% use another device at the same time, in a typical day. Regardless of how engaging the content, the television set no longer commands a viewer’s full, undivided attention. Gone are the days of the large TV console in the corner of the living room where the family sits on the sofa together and fights over the remote. Today’s viewers have a more individualized experience. Viewers are often in front of their TV with another screen - or two - on their lap.


This is not necessarily negative. In fact, much to the contrary, it can be quite positive. This viewing behavior provides multiple opportunities for your direct response TV advertising to convert customers. Today’s viewers are using search engines, going to websites and sharing on social media, all while watching your commercial. These interactions provide an opportune time to inspire a response to your message. Therefore, it is imperative that your DRTV spot include a URL, regardless of how skilled your call center is.

We are living in a world of instantaneous information. When a consumer sees a commercial that is of interest to them, it often drives them online to learn more – right then. Monitoring your search traffic helps gauge your DRTV campaign success. Since search is immediate, it provides a quick and early barometer of the interest achieved from the DRTV commercials.


A B2C study showed that TV ads can drive an 80% rise in branded search. Additionally, we have consistently tracked significant spikes in search traffic when our DRTV marketing campaigns are live, first hand.

DRTV Search Traffic

This direct response TV example illustrates the impact on direct traffic and search traffic during our DRTV flights. Direct traffic is considered a URL type-in. So, direct traffic accounts for people watching a commercial and typing in the URL featured in the spot. During all flights, direct traffic is about 25%-30% of search traffic. Our client’s spikes in search coincide with DRTV flights even more clearly than direct traffic. With today’s devices, it’s quicker and easier to search a brand name or partial URL typed in, than opening a browser and entering a full URL.

To account for this, you must include search traffic to gauge DRTV’s impact on brand awareness.  In our experience, awareness from a campaign can continue to see results for one month, sometimes two.  By refreshing creative and running a new flight after two weeks, the impact builds upon the previous flight. In our DRTV example, we ran flights continuously for 3 months leading up to a PR article effort.  

As you can see, it took about a month for traffic to die down.  When search and direct traffic leveled out, direct traffic sustained levels equal to that during the first DRTV flight, with search about double direct.  But again, at this point, search traffic is nowhere near the levels it was during the DRTV advertising.  In fact, you can see search traffic, while organically sustained after all DRTV was dark, is pretty close to where it was between DRTV flights. TV produced significant lift in search results during, and even after, the campaign. This resulted in a lower average cost per response across all channels.


The response from DRTV that drives viewers online instantly means that your search engine optimization is more critical than ever. You certainly don’t want to lose a prospect in the search for more information about your service or product! While it may seem elementary, advertisers must be sure all of the broad matching keywords that are in the commercial are optimized. Also, consider phrases taken directly from the commercial such as a tagline, product name or description. The cleaner the search, the better gauge into DRTV performance it will provide.


Just as search is optimized, your DRTV schedule must be optimized as well. Monitoring search results along with other metrics, such as website traffic and call center volume, can offer insights into which networks, day parts or even creative is eliciting a response and providing the best ROI. Keeping your campaign nimble and optimizing based on these metrics, helps increase the success of your DRTV campaign.

As viewing behavior evolves, DRTV advertising campaigns and how they are measured must evolve too. By taking some of these tips and implementing them in your DRTV campaigns, you may find that your DRTV strategy is sparking higher search results as well.

Ready to discuss your DRTV initiatives with our experts?

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