Many clients ask the importance of including web response data in media analysis, and some even wonder if including a URL on your DRTV campaign might cannibalize phone response. According to a December 2009 Nielsen survey, 59% of people report using the internet and watching TV simultaneously. 59%! This figure is significant to say the least, and is in-line with DRTV industry reports that the web response component of some campaigns are now reaching as high as 60%. What does this mean for the DRTV advertisers and media ministries? Wake up and smell the mouse clicks. If the web response component is not being factored into your bottom-line media analysis, you are missing a big part of the picture.
The conundrum continues to be, what is the best method for tracking URL response to individual media airings? Many advertisers have implemented unique URL’s in order to gain more control over attribution. The key drawbacks to that strategy are that it degrades brand awareness, and many times users just go directly to the main page anyway. Today’s best practices utilize software that incorporates activity spike analysis to tie web response to specific airings. In the past there was room for a cost-benefit analysis debate on instituting the resources necessary to glean this data, but it is clear that day has passed and it is now critical to include web response in your data analysis.
The most effective practice is to take a holistic approach to your media. The media team, and the web/search engine marketing team should work closely together to maximize your efforts. Any good media analyst will be ready and willing to discuss the best way for you to evaluate your URL response, so talk with your advisor about how this could impact your analytics.
Clients often ask why it is necessary to add the paid programming disclaimers to their programs. This has been of particular concern for some ministry clients who prefer not to have “paid for by” disclaimers leading into their program, some have chosen to use a short disclaimer to make note of the “partners who are supporting the program.”
The standard answer is “FCC Regulations”, but I wanted to dig a little deeper and shed more light on this often-asked question.
The objective of the rule is to ensure that viewers know who is paying for the messages that they are seeing. By setting the rule, and its accompanying fines to stations that do not comply, the FCC brings a higher standard to advertising transparency. For example, in 2007 a television station in Pittsburgh was fined for airing programming for which it was paid $100 per episode to air but did not identify that the programming was paid for and by whom. They should have aired a “disclaimer” that the program was sponsored by the individual who paid them to air the program. They did not and ended up paying $32,000 in fines.
Situations where there is a ‘barter’ type arrangement are exempt from the requirement to give sponsorship identifications. Barter situations occur where the program supplier provides the station its program which the station purchases by allowing the program provider to use some or all of the advertising during the program. The broadcaster purchases the programming in exchange for advertising. This scenario does not trigger the sponsorship rules.
Where the station accepts money for playing a program, regardless of the content of the program, then it must identify who gave it the money to play the program. Accepting the money is not the issue – its making sure that the public knows who paid the money.
Many stations have chosen to take the “better safe than sorry” route, and require the sponsorship identifications on all the programs, even if they may not strictly be required.
Aubry Winfrey has purchased and planned media for a wide variety of accounts including Universal Studios, Atlas Van Lines, TriVita, and Disney. Aubry has an MBA and has written for DRTV Industry newsletters. She brings a strong analytical skill set to the Newton Media team and handles the media buying out of our Texas office.