With the growth of TV Everywhere, and new ad supported video mediums, it’s an exciting time with huge opportunities for industry growth.
It’s time to open a dialog with media providers, retail industry leaders, and the DRTV industry about the benefits of collaboration and transparency to the betterment of all parties.
The term “transparency” can mean a lot of things. As proponents of transparency, we find ourselves educating the DRTV, Media, and Retail industries about the benefits of third party commercial monitoring and airings verification. At DRMetrix, we are passionate about this subject and this is where we have spent our time and investment in recent years. We have a vision which is growth oriented and aligns with the best interests of our industry. We believe the DRTV industry’s brightest days are ahead and we are investing in that future today.
FOSTERING GROWTH WITH EXISTING AND NEW DRTV MEDIUMS
One of the byproducts of commercial monitoring is competitive media research. In business, you often attract new clients based on the success of existing clients. Like no other, DRTV uniquely measures and focuses on media that performs and this is why competitive media research is a significant driver of qualified DRTV business to participating media companies.
In addition to unrated cable networks, our industry is embracing networks on the digital broadcast tier, video over the top, mobile video, etc. Greater transparency in some of these mediums would help accelerate adoption. Many of these new mediums are literally “off the radar” of our industry but may nevertheless be fertile ground. Ultimately, media companies will have to make a decision of whether or not to collaborate with third party monitoring companies who can provide the industry with the type of independent business intelligence that drives growth for all stakeholders.
THE RETAIL INDUSTRY
The product/retail side of the DRTV industry may have taken a back seat in recent years but it’s a cyclical cycle tied to changes in media, industry innovation and disruption. When cable television was first introduced, DRTV product advertisers were the early adopters long before the larger cable networks became rated. The retail industry desires measurement and accountability and ultimately the marketers want credit for media dollars spent regardless of whether they are buying inventory in rated/unrated media, buying online or offline video ad placements.
The industry would benefit if research companies were willing to step up and help quantify the value of all this media. Bringing things into a unified view that would make it easy for DRTV product marketers to convey the level of their ad expenditures to the retail industry. Airings verification is the key to providing credible retail rankings for all parties concerned and have become a very influential metric for U.S. Retailers. Media that embraces transparency and collaborates with monitoring company’s, such as DRMetrix, will find themselves able to contribute to a marketer’s “spend metrics/rankings”. In such a competitive landscape, marketers have a real incentive to shift ad dollars to monitored media so this is another tangible benefit to media companies who embrace transparency.
AIRINGS VERIFICATION AND WORKFLOW AUTOMATION
DRTV agencies appreciate the work flow automation benefits provided by airings verification. However, on the national cable network tier, these benefits have been limited to a universe of 120 rated networks by traditional monitoring companies. Can we count on these same companies to monitor online/offline networks that are unrated and purchased more exclusively by DRTV advertisers? What about transparency in media billing? Mistakes are made in both post logs and affidavits which result in advertisers sometimes paying for ads that didn’t run. DRMetrix is developing the technology to solve this problem. We are able to import agency post logs and immediately identify airings that did not really clear. If such airings appear on media affidavits, we can provide streaming video of the network ad breaks as proof that the ads in question did not run. This is yet another example of the benefits of transparency and why we believe the DRTV industry will ultimately favor doing business with monitored networks.
The argument against transparency loses in the face of the numerous benefits to the larger industry. It exists in mature industries and time and time again it has proven itself a catalyst to growth. Third party monitoring companies can help media companies to gain greater visibility to both the DRTV and Retail industries. Workflow automation, auditing of airing/billing, and competitive media research all help to drive market adoption and are tangible benefits. What a wonderful vision for the future of our industry if media companies will agree to participate and embrace transparency.