The blurry line between Brand/Direct and Brand

DRTV has changed dramatically over the years and its time for DRTV research to also change.  At DRMetrix, our goal is to monitor and track all short and long form DRTV creative across the networks we monitor 24/7.   This commitment has required significant investment in technology in order to automatically recognize and track all creative that includes any combination of phone number, URL, or SMS response code.  This technology has allowed DRMetrix to build the industry’s most comprehensive and complete database for DRTV media research.  It has also challenged us to study the blurry line between brand/direct and brand.

Most likely, we will never have universal agreement on how to categorize campaigns between DR, brand/direct, and brand. At DRMetrix, we believe that true DR campaigns leverage a clear call to action where consumer response measurement, and cost per call, order, or MER, drives media execution.  DRMetrix’s technology is the first of its kind to be able to recognize when campaigns use unique phone numbers, promotion and/or URL codes, across different networks.  We assign these types of DR campaigns to either our product, lead generation, or long form categories.  DRMetrix also recognizes DR campaigns that have a  call to action but use the same phone or URL across all networks.  We currently categorize these types of vanity campaigns as brand/direct.  However, things become a bit more blurry when we consider campaigns with a phone and/or URL but without any real call to action.  Is putting a small phone number in your ad really enough of a qualifier to be considered brand/direct?  DRMetrix is in the process of refining our approach to consider factors such whether or not a clear and obvious call to action exists.  In the absence of a clear call to action, we plan to categorize such campaigns as “brand” instead of “brand/direct”.  At this time, DRMetrix only plans on including offers in its brand category that display some way for consumers to respond such as a phone, URL, or SMS code.  Even in the absence of any kind of call to action, it is DRMetrix’s commitment to track all campaigns that include a prominently displayed phone, URL, or SMS code regardless of whether they are considered DR, brand/direct, or brand.

As a way to further categorize campaigns, DRMetrix is working to analyze campaign airings to determine the percentage of units attributed to ROS flights vs. targeted program buys. We believe the industry will value being able to quickly tell which brands and campaigns are focused on ROS buys vs. general execution.  In time, DRMetrix hopes to make the blurry line between Brand/Direct and Brand a little more clear.