IN THE NEWS: Consumer Research & Advertising

Overall Advertising and Media Economy

Digital Ads to Overtake Traditional Ads in U.S. Local Markets by 2018 (Advertising Age; Oct 26, 2016)

The media research and analysis firm BIA/Kelsey forecasts that total local advertising revenue (local audiences for national, regional marketers) is expected to grow from $145.2 billion in 2016 to $148.8 billion in 2017. Digital advertising, for the first time, will equal TV ad sales for the first time this year (both generating about $68 billion) – increasing by 15% in 2016 and by 12% next year. Traditional media sales will decrease by about -1.5% in 2016, and by -2.2% in 2017. Although digital media as a share of advertising is expanding rapidly, traditional platforms (especially TV) will remain crucial components of the media mix for their broad reach and targeting capabilities.

TV Ad Spending Slips in September; Overall Media Spend Higher (Television News Daily; Oct 21, 2016)

The U.S. ad market expanded only slightly in September, although that nonetheless represented significant growth coming out of August – a month that included notched-up spending by brands advertising in the 2016 Summer Olympics. (Spending figures come from Standard Media Index, which compiles media dollar outlays from about 80% of all U.S. agencies.) Among the most noteworthy gains for September, were digital media: social media and online video were up dramatically over August, by 72% and 32% respectively. Linear TV was down slightly overall (-1%), as was national broadcast overall (-6%), following Rio Games’ coverage. National Spot and Syndication were flat. Conversely however, Local Spot and Cable were up 24% due to heavy political spending. Outdoor advertising also ticked up 10%. The biggest losers, as is generally the trend, were magazines (down 13%) and Newspapers (down 28%).

Consumer Demographics and Psychographics

Generation Z: Understanding the Youngest Demographic (Independent Retailer; Oct 18, 2016)

Generation Z (those born in 1996 or later) will soon be becoming part of the adult economy – and currently comprise 25% of the U.S. population (75.4 million in number), larger than both the Millennial and Baby Boomer generations (66 million and 74.9 million by comparison respectively. Although few earn their own money, their spending clout has already reached $4 billion dollars. One of the most interesting arenas in which this group is typified, is mobile-social. The “iGen” spends much more time on smartphones than any other device, and social media is more important for this generation than any other. They favor companies who communicate with them authentically, build them up emotionally, and speak with them rather than at them. Interestingly, Gen Z’ers are aware of their personal brand, having seen Gen Y’ers suffer the consequences of overly open social posting. Although they, unlike Millennials and Gen-X’ers, are cautious about posting photos, making comments, and sharing links, they are most effectively engaged with visual messages. However, they prefer more curated and/or more anonymous arenas like Snapchat (their favorite platform), Whisper and others. 93% visit YouTube at least daily. Like the Silent Generation, Generation Z was also born in trying economic times and fluid social situations. The iGen is characteristically hard- working and risk-averse, and seem on track to become the next wealthy generation.

What Advertisers Need to Know About Millennials in 2016 (American Marketing Association; Oct, 2016)

Millennials, who as a group are coming into increasingly sharper focus on social media, continue to exhibit characteristics of interest to marketers. One of the most pronounced is their declining commitment to brands. According to Mindshare North America’s latest annual Culture Vulture Trends survey of 2,000 millennial consumers, 58% (up 13% from the prior year) prefer products that are unique (rather than mass- produced), that are sharable and that exhibit elements of social consciousness. Gone are the days, at least with millennials, when one identified long-term with a single brand. 67% of commitment-phobic millennials feel being “trapped” and “annoyed” by ongoing service contracts.” In general, millennial consumers seem to care less about “stuff.” When asked “what best represents who you are?” Answers included: “What I post on social media” (47%), “my fashion style” (30%), etc. Far fewer identifies “the car I drive (11%), “the smartphone I use (8%), “the brand of sneaker I wear” (3%), or “the brand of alcohol I drink” (3%), etc. Mindshare asserts that there is a substantial opportunity for brands to show how the brand can help millennial consumers tell (and share socially) stories about themselves.

Leveraging TV to Lift Brands

Leveraging TV to Lift Brands

Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO

Original Link: MarTech

Date Published: April 13, 2017

Pulling in new customers while improving the overall brand image is a persistent challenge for marketers. Leveraging TV to Lift BrandsWith a fragmented media landscape and the distractions of multi-screening, it’s difficult to adjust to the desires of consumers with targeted messaging. Marketers confronted with this challenge often turn to the “throw it at the wall to see if it sticks” approach, instead of a more thoughtfully planned strategy.

Part of this strategy should still include TV advertising campaigns, which continues to justify itself as a medium that can both sell product and give brand reputations a boost. TV remains relevant even in these fragmented times, and smart marketers are strategically turning to TV to achieve multiple goals and metrics.

Defining “Brand Lift”

For the context of this topic, “brand lift” is a positive increase in how audiences view a company and how often they think about it – a measure of “stickiness.” The need for this lift is important for many brands, especially housewares makers and other companies that produce broad lines of interconnected products. Marketers at these firms need assurances that campaigns are not only boosting sales of “Product XYZ” but also giving the audiences positive feelings about the brand itself and its other products. As marketers expand their focus and metrics behind increasing sales for just one product, they can better gauge the true ROI and impacts of a campaign. And armed with this information they can then dynamically adjust future campaign creatives and placements in order to better increase brand lift metrics.

Increased Usage of the Brand Lift Metric

While traditionally used within TV, “brand lift” is now making inroads into the digital video environment. Nielsen recently launched a Digital Brand Effect that measures “brand lift by placement metrics” that according to the company offers granular reporting on ad placement as it relates to site performance. Aleck Schleider wrote in Getting Back to Basics: Why Brand Lift Measurement Will Never Go Out of Fashion that:

In today’s market, getting a consumer to buy something is not easy, but in most cases it will always start with raising awareness for a product, which — eventually through frequency and messaging — drives intent.

He’s raising the point that brand awareness should be a primary goal is it becomes the later driver for purchasing.

Marketers should adjust their TV creative to include overall branding content, where the messaging discusses the merits/benefits/exclusivity/integrity of the brand as well as product benefits. Especially for marketers selling a broad range of products, they should not focus solely on one line without also discussing the core brand proposition.

Introducing TV

The challenge is the metric is tied to the audience’s feelings and perceptions. It also measures intentions and sentiments, for example how likely would the customer be to recommend the product to others, and how does that affect the broader brand and direct sales. TV comes into play here because it’s the ideal medium for moving past single-product marketing and generating an overall brand lift. Marketers are always tasked with impacting sales via all channels, and TV provides a way to improve across these channels through targeted content and creative branding.

TV-centric campaigns with strong and impactful creative and the right media mix can have a long reach. They can not only impact advertised products but also generate interest in products that are currently not showcased in any creative or media campaigns and rely solely on brand-focused efforts.

In essence, consumers are responding to a creative for a single product being tagged to specific retailers. But, they are engaging with a marketer across all products at all tagged retailers.George Leon, Senior Vice President of Media and Account Management at Hawthorne Direct

This phenomenon underscores the need for great creative and messaging that always presents the brand in a dynamic and trustworthy fashion. Marketers should explore A/B testing with product-centric creative compared with a broader branding push and then compare results accordingly.

Real-World Brand Lift Example

Consider a hardware product line launched at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Menards. For the measurement of the campaign on retail sales, let’s assume it had an equivalent 8:1 media efficiency ratio (MER) and the products in the campaign had more than 350 units per Target Ratings Point. Also, the brand sales lift for the products not featured in the creative went up by an extra 200+ units per TRP. For context, the TRP is defined as 1 percent of the targeted audience (not the total audience) that is reached by an advertisement, and is a metric that helps us to understand the true impact of TV advertising. In the example, there’s a boost in non-advertised products that is typical of well-executed TV campaigns.

As marketers continue to plan out their 2017 media strategies, they should not overlook TV campaigns. While digital video channels are of course important for the mobile-based consumer, strategic TV ads with the right media mix and frequency can drive in sales and give the brand itself a beneficial lift.

Hawthorne is named as a Great Place to Work® and Earns Multiple Awards for its Innovative Workplaces

Great Places to Work

Original Publication: PR Newswire

Date Published: April 10, 2017

Receives a “Business Improvement Award” for Modern and Collaborative Office That Offers Inside/Outside Spaces and a Seamless Work/Life Balance

LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Hawthorne, the
Great Places to Workleader in accountable and analytics driven advertising, announced today it earned two award wins including a Great Place to Work® award and a Business Improvement Award from the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

Hawthorne received the certification from the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® based on the extensive ratings from anonymous employee surveys. Highlights of the survey include 98% of respondents noting Hawthorne fosters a “Great Atmosphere” and 95% stating they feel “Great Pride” in working with the company, and other accolades such as “Great Bosses,” “Great Rewards,” “Great Communication” and rewarding work with “Great Challenges.”

“Employees produce outstanding results for clients when you provide them with the right environment and structure to succeed,” said Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Owner/CEO of Hawthorne. “It’s very satisfying to see the high marks the company received from employees, especially in terms of the atmosphere and challenges we create for them. We provide staff with a wide range of perks and support that help them to grow professionally while we provide accountable results for our clients.”

Hawthorne has a vast array of employee benefit programs that capture what’s unique about its workplace including the Community Causes Donation Teams where committees gather in each of the company’s office locations to determine the specific causes that will receive Hawthorne employees’ time or company funds.

In addition, Hawthorne offers several other perks for staff members to help achieve a productive work/life balance. These perks include 15 unique areas for private and collaborative work along with flexible work hours. The health of employees is supported through free nutritious snacks and meals, an onsite massage service, and a fitness center that includes modern machines, weights, and an outdoor trail walk. Hawthorne also offers “Lunch and Learn” programs featuring a complimentary lunch and a relevant topic discussion to aid the employees’ personal and professional lives. Mental wellness is supported through a meditation and reimbursement program to encourage staff to learn Transcendental Meditation ( The company also supports the staff through an Employee Appreciation Day that involves team-building or charitable work in addition to the generous company holiday and vacation package.

“We applaud Hawthorne for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Kim Peters, Executive Vice President of Great Place to Work’s Certification Program. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with Hawthorne should take into account as an indicator of high performance.”

Great Places to WorkThe Business Improvement Award from the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce recognizes the considerable improvements Hawthorne made to its Midwest office location in Fairfield, IA. The office features a modern design and furnishings that highlight the natural elements of the building, including a variety of open, collaborative, and private office spaces, adding elements such as foosball, ping pong tables and a private gym. Multiple decks and a gazebo that overlooks a pastoral setting provide employees with a quiet place to work and enjoy nature.

“Our employees do their best creative work when they’re given the tools to succeed and can enjoy a collaborative and engaging workspace,” said Hawthorne-Castro. “As a proud native of Fairfield, I am very pleased to receive this award recognition that reflects our modern office that combines indoor and outdoor spaces. It offers easy access to trails, an in-house workout facility, and other unique features that create our signature work/life balance.”

About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work® produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list and a series of Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces lists including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industry lists.

About Hawthorne:
Hawthorne, a creative, analytics and technology-driven advertising agency, specializes in strategic planning, creative development, production, media planning, buying and analytics, and campaign management for integrated marketing campaigns. With nearly 30 years of proven excellence, the agency combines persuasive brand messaging with best-in-class analytic systems to create accountable, high performance advertising campaigns. Hawthorne helps brands efficiently target their consumers, improve cost per acquisition, optimize the lifetime value of a brand’s customers, and even drive consumer response to key retail outlets or corporate locations.

As a leading analytic and data driven, accountable brand advertising agency, Hawthorne specializes in integrated campaign solutions. The company offers a full suite of integrated solutions with creative, media, digital and mobile services. Hawthorne maintains brand integrity and metrics to efficiently and effectively optimize the results of its clients’ integrated media budgets via leading edge and proven data analytics. Hawthorne has developed successful award-winning campaigns for countless Fortune 500 brands. Please visit and for more information.

Fairfield business scores double honors

Fairfield Headquarters

Fairfield Headquarters

FAIRFIELD — The company may have won two awards, but both seem to offer one key message: Hawthorne is a nice place to work.

The “Great Places to Work” award is a national recognition, though the company sent out notice of that certification side-by-side with word of another honor, one presented by the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

The “Business Improvement Award” was scheduled to be presented at the Fairfield chamber’s annual banquet Thursday night.

The chamber’s executive director, Detra Dettmann, said the companies that won the recognition did so for reasons that differ from place to place. If there is one overall theme, though, it’s that a business can be constructed in such a way as to fit the environment, the employees and a professional atmosphere.

“It’s a physical improvement award. They have really gone to the next level,” said Dettmann. “The design is intentional [in its goal] to influence how workers are feeling on a particular day.”

An email from Hawthorne about the awards listed some of the morale-boosting, production-fueling updates at their facility: Flexible work stations including 15 unique areas for private or collaborative work, as well as collaborative work hours for time zone differences and to work/life balance.

Free healthy snacks and food to energize the office employees; onsite massage services to relieve tension; an onsite fitness center which includes modern machines, weights, and an outdoor trail walk. There’s also a “Lunch and Learn” programs featuring a complimentary lunch and a relevant topic discussion to aid the employees’ personal and professional lives; meditation programs to encourage staff to learn Transcendental Meditation and take time out of the work day to meditate; the celebration of lesser-known but fun holidays like National Margarita Day.

“If you ever get a chance, you should take the tour there,” said the chamber director. “It’s really fantastic, what they’ve done.”

“Hawthorne cares about our local employees and enriching their lives,” said Hawthorne CEO Jessica Hawthorne-Castro. “That’s why we’ve strived to create a healthy and balanced work environment within a thriving company right here in Fairfield.”

The company has branched out, and has an operation located in Los Angeles, California. But Hawthorne-Castro said her hometown is in southeast Iowa.

“I’m a native of Fairfield and since the time my father built this company, it has always been important to us to keep much of our business within this community, regardless of the work we also do on the West Coast,” she said.

A positive attitude about employees can create a better work environment, said a press statement from Great Places to Work. But it added that having happy employees can be a big draw for getting the best clients, too.

The assessment group Great Place to Work may sound familiar. Every year, they produce one of Fortune magazine’s “top” lists, in this case, of course, “Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for”.

In order to qualify for the certification, a business must allow Great Places to Work to issue and review anonymous ratings from employees. One of the highlights for Hawthorne management is that 95 percent of respondents said they feel “Great Pride” in working with the company.

Reporter Mark Newman can be contacted at and followed on Twitter @couriermark.


Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Author: The Living Room, quote by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Title of piece: 5 Marketing Experts Predict the Future of TV Advertising

Original Publication: The Living Room

Date Published: March 27, 2017

The future of television advertising is always a controversial subject.

But should that be the case?

Since the rise of online advertising, many have questioned the continued effectiveness of TV advertising. While some big businesses have shifted budgets previously earmarked for TV and print to satisfy the urge for online ads, the majority of experts remain more nuanced in their views, arguing that TV advertising is not only still relevant, but remains one of the most effective forms of communication available.

We’ve long propagated a balanced strategy, TV and online can work together magnificently to drive exceptional results.

Just look at our articles around John Lewis’ omni-channel approach and Twitter and TV advertising’s close relationship!

It’s been a sobering couple of weeks for those who doubt TV advertising with the UK Government and giant retailer M&S have pulled online adverts from Google over fears their content was being placed next to extremist content on YouTube.

Compare that to research pertaining to TV advertising’s efficacy:

-Every £1 spent on TV advertising derives an average profit of £1.79

Online businesses invested £639 million in TV during 2016, an 8% increase year on year

-94.2% of the UK population is reached by TV every week

And you begin to understand why TV remains the darling of marketers.

Still, it’s important to remain ahead of the game going forward so we decided to ask five top marketing experts for their thoughts on TV advertising and what they believe the future holds for the platform.

Let us know your own opinion on the future of TV advertising in the comments below the article!

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of Hawthorne

Jessica Hawthorne-CastroRegardless of the significant shifts in advertising over the past couple decades, television advertising has continued to prove itself as a medium that can not only sell individual products, but also create “brand lift” across all products. TV ads have been proven to provide an impact and memorable boost in customer perception that digital campaigns cannot rival.

For companies hoping to see positive results for their entire brand, and not just a single product at a time, they should remember TV advertising casts a strong and reliable shadow that an investment in digital alone may not achieve.

Eric Lanel, Creative Director of GWP Inc

Eric LanelTelevision advertising continues to be an incredibly valuable tool for our agency to use for our clients. In this day and age of CPP and ROI-based thinking were we measure value based on return on investment, television plays off a different set of letters: ROO (return on objective). Driving brand, creating top of mind awareness or simply presenting a product or service to a target audience who we feel will be motivated by a message is all possible through television advertising.

The one thing we can count on is change. Television advertisers, like with all vehicles, have learned to adapt to the new technology, which is presented on what seems to be a daily basis. We are not far away from the cross platform of television ads and online search. Just imagine two people who live on the same block are watching the same show, and Person A, who has been online searching for a BMW, sees a BMW advertisement on television while Person B, who has been looking at a Honda, is presented with a Honda ad. As advertisers continue to look for more exact ways to target audience and identify buying cycle, television is searching for ways to meet these demands. Our television future will certainly change…how will be fun to see.

Scott R. Hamula, Associate Professor and Chair Department of Strategic Communication, Ithaca College

Scott HamulaI tell my Advertising students that there is still nothing else like television. There is no other medium on which you can place a brand message and have tens of millions of people all at once see your advertisement.The Grammys, 25 million, Oscars, almost 33 million, or create a road-blocking schedule (buying simultaneous airtime on multiple networks/stations) to achieve those or higher numbers.

Even an ad on The Big Bang Theory (CBS) can score you 17 million viewers. Moreover, compared to other media with the exception of the Internet, it is the best for creating an emotional bond with the consumer, and that’s the real goal for sustained sales and growth.

However, media usage is changing and advertisers need to explore a new approach. The coveted Millennials are watching less TV per day, over half prefer cable, are above average viewers online of Netflix and Hulu, and are more likely to share an advertisement on social media. These trends will continue so I think we’ll see even more dollars shifting from traditional TV to online advertising.

Lucy Stevens, Marketing at Datify

Lucy StevensHow many of you look forward to the Christmas adverts each year? Yes, John Lewis I’m talking about you. As soon as the festive season approaches, we all wait with baited breath to see what wonder the advertisement creatives have conjured up. These advertisements often have little relation to the product line, but they do add value to the brand image, and allow us as consumers to buy-in to their vision. Proving that TV advertisement is still a very important, and powerful, narrative to include in a campaign.TV advertisements help to cement a campaigns values when it is reflected across all platforms – print, digital, TV and social. For example, if we view a campaign across all these mediums it’s likely to stick in our brain and become something we subconsciously think about.

While you can of course argue that on-demand TV and catch-up services have laid to rest TV advertising, as people simply skip through the adverts, when we do view them they are a powerful resource which can leave an audience talking about it for days to come.

David Weaver, Marketing at Vintage Cash Cow

David WeaverWe find TV advertising is still useful for our purposes because depending on the time you air the advert you can easily target different demographics. For instance our customers tend to be over 50 so we find that we can target this demographic by advertising at certain times. Not only this but a lot of our customers are not confident in using the internet so it allows us to reach those who don’t use Social Media.

If you require TV advertising services and advice feel free to get in touch with The Living Room for friendly and expert advice.

Pulling Real ROI from a Sea of Big Data Analytics

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Original Link: Inside Big Data

Date Published: March 28, 2017

In this special guest feature, Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of Hawthorne Direct, provides some strategic best practices for marketers that want to extract ROI from big data in order to improve the customer experience and generate sales. Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is the CEO of Hawthorne, an award winning technology-based advertising agency specializing in analytics and accountable brand campaigns for over 30-years.  Hawthorne has a legacy of ad industry leadership by being a visionary in combining the art of right-brain creativity with the science of left-brain data analytics and neuroscience. Jessica’s role principally involves fostering long-standing client relationships with the company’s expansive base of Fortune 500 brands to develop highly strategic and measurable advertising campaigns, designed to ignite immediate consumer response.  From strategy, creative and production to media and analytics, Jessica is committed to premium quality and innovation throughout all agency disciplines.

Enterprise firms are embracing data analytics to improve both internal processes and the customer’s total experience. Global retailer Walmart is building the world’s biggest private cloud which will crunch more than 2.5 petabytes of information an hour, including massive amounts of transactions at both retail stores and through the website. For example, if an item at the store is underperforming, the data analysts can judge if the error is due to a pricing mistake, customer sentiments, seasonal buying patterns, or a host of other issues.  The key element is finding correlations between a problem or a positive improvement and the actual data.

Developing actionable insights from the data is every marketers dream. The hard part is to understand how to generate and store enough of the right data so intelligent insights are produced, and then marketing decisions can be adjusted on the fly. Here are some strategic best practices for marketers that want to extract ROI from big data in order to improve the customer experience and generate sales:

Introduce Statistical Modeling

For marketers that are developing TV campaigns, there are now myriad data points that allow them to construct statistical modeling of campaign performance. For example, there is data on airing size, demographics, Nielsen data, and information on the actual stations and the timeframes for airings. To build accurate modeling, you need clean data from all of the available channels.

Clean the Data

The “garbage in and garbage out” adage applies to many aspects of business, and big data analytics is no exception. In order to find correlations and insights, marketers must be certain the underlying data is clean and relevant. Organization of the data on the front end will pay dividends later. Make sure data is scrubbed before it’s entered in the analytics engine and data warehouse, and that all possible channels of information are included. Data should be in place to inform marketing decisions before they’re made, instead of only relying on post-campaign reviews.

Track Behavior and Actions

The mobile site, main site, landing page, and social media pages can all be used to attract and convert customers, but they’re also overlooked as rich data sources. Marketers and IT should ensure each of their digital channels uses tracking pixels to follow each visitor’s actions. The sum of this data can then be analyzed to develop a “playbook” for every consumer, who can then be grouped together and approached in unique ways. Tracking should also include device information, so marketers can understand the habits of their mobile versus web customers and how to adjust the campaign content accordingly.

Look Closely at Retail Responses

Finding correlations between actions and campaigns is at the heart of big data analytics. Marketers should focus on retail responses among the various channels in order to develop correlations and then make the necessary refinements. An example could be digital video spots for a certain product are growing the sales of a related product that isn’t mentioned in the video. Marketers could use the analytics to find the reasons for such behavior, and then adjust content and channel mix to drive sales of both products. This directly impacts ROI, as analysis goes beyond simple campaign metrics, and instead has many layers.

Marketers should take a measured approach to big data analytics in order to produce measurable returns. The work on the front end to setup the right data is essential, as is the addition of new data streams that accompany each new campaign.

Why TV Can be a Secret Weapon in Driving Sales and Lifting Brand Awareness

Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO

Original Link: 60 Second Marketer

Date Published: March 21, 2017

Jessica-Hawthorne-CastroMarketers are tasked with simple-sounding goals. For example, they need to increase sales while also improving the brand’s image. Faced with media fragmentation, it’s difficult to achieve many marketing goals that appeal to constantly shifting demographics. Marketers often resort to a trial-and-error approach of using various channels and types of content to try to find an optimal mix.

An overlooked advertising channel that still produces results is TV. It continues to be a medium that can sell products directly to targeted consumers while lifting the perceptions about the overall brand.

It’s relevant even in light of the fragmentation, and marketers should include strategic TV placements as part of their overall campaign.

For the context of this topic, “brand lift” is a positive increase in how audiences view a company and how often they think about it – a measure of “stickiness.”

The need for this lift is important for many brands, especially housewares makers and other companies that produce broad lines of interconnected products. Marketers at these firms need assurances that campaigns are not only boosting sales of “Product XYZ” but also giving the audiences positive feelings about the brand itself and its other products.

As marketers expand their focus and metrics behind increasing sales for just one product, they can better gauge the true ROI and impacts of a campaign. And armed with this information they can then dynamically adjust future campaign creatives and placements in order to better increase brand lift metrics.

Measuring the Brand Lift

How an audience thinks about a company, and how often those thoughts occur are the critical components of brand sentiment. Generating a “brand lift” means increasing the positivity and frequency of audience thoughts.

Marketers that are promoting specific products must also provide content and experiences that boost the brand as a whole. This is especially important for brands such as housewares makers that offer a wide range of products and present brand attributes of reliability, quality, or reasonable pricing.

Creating a brand lift is important, but measuring it can be a challenge.

Big players such as Nielsen are taking note of the need for metrics, as the company recently launched its Digital Brand Effect that measures “brand lift by placement metrics.” The metric offers detailed reporting that correlates ad placements and site performance.

According to Aleck Schleider, author of Getting Back to Basics: Why Brand Lift Measurement Will Never Go Out of Fashion “In today’s market, getting a consumer to buy something is not easy, but in most cases it will always start with raising awareness for a product, which — eventually through frequency and messaging — drives intent.”

The quote sums up the need for advertising through channels that can achieve both the branding and sales-oriented goals.

Engaging with TV Campaigns

Measuring brand lift entails gauging audience sentiment and intentions. How likely are they to recommend the product to friends? Are they satisfied with their interactions with the brand? It’s tricky to measure this engagement and then relate it to increases in sales.

TV is an ideal channel that marketers can use to measurably improve overall branding scores while also driving sales of specific products. Television allows for creative branding opportunities and targeted content, and campaigns with the strongest creative will be able to influence sales across the company’s product line.

George Leon, senior vice president of media and account management at Los Angeles-based Hawthorne Direct describes the benefits of well executed creative, saying “In essence, consumers are responding to a creative for a single product being tagged to specific retailers. But, they are engaging with a marketer across all products at all tagged retailers.”

His point means brands must include messaging and content that talks about their broader brand and measure the impact that campaigns focused on “Product X” can have on all of the other products in the catalog.

TV campaigns should remain in marketer’s toolkits for 2017 and the coming years, even with all of the available digital video outlets and the rise of mobile. Targeted TV ads presented with the right media mix and frequency provide marketers with a rare one-two punch of both raising product and brand awareness.

About the Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is the CEO of Hawthorne, an award-winning technology-based advertising agency specializing in analytics and accountable brand campaigns for over 30-years. 

But Wait — There’s More: The Evolution of Direct Response Commerce

Author: John Francis, Director of Digital Strategy

Original Publication: 60 Second Marketer

For many veteran marketers and brand managers, the shift to data-centric digital marketing has required significant adjustments. It’s not just the automated tools and information streaming in from multiple sources that challenge them; it’s the increasing levels of personalization and micro-targeting that require a group more accustomed to “spray and pray” broad-based appeals to rethink overarching strategies.

But one group of marketers and brand advocates were data-driven before it became a thing: direct response (DR) marketers.

Accountability is all the rage today — clients expect campaigns to deliver solid metrics. But that wasn’t always the case in the traditional advertising world. It was in the DR environment, which is why DR has a lot to teach today’s marketing professionals.

Direct Response TV’s Trailblazers

Direct response TV (DRTV) advertising is a precursor to the data-driven, digital media campaigns of today. In simple terms, DR is marketing that is designed to elicit an immediate response from the consumer and leave a clear trail between the advertising campaign and the sale.

Infomercials are the most recognizable form — long-form TV ads that urge viewers to call a number or visit a website to order a product.

The accountability inherent in the DRTV model is the most obvious link to the new digital models, which can attribute sales to campaigns with precision. But many other marketing techniques pioneered by DRTV are also in evidence. For example, infomercials famously feature actors demonstrating directly how the featured product can add value to the consumer’s life, which personalizes the appeal.

Echoes of DRTV influence are also evident in the way modern digital campaigns move consumers through the sales funnel, removing distractions and providing resources to maximize sales in a linear way.

In a DRTV spot, marketers famously sweeten the deal with “but wait, there’s more!” — throwing in a second widget at no additional charge, offering free shipping, etc., without deviating from the sales funnel.

Direct Response for the Digital Age

Now that accountable advertising has gone mainstream thanks to the proliferation of big data and digital platforms, it’s possible to trace the trails blazed by DRTV pioneers to modern digital advertising practices. DRTV is still going strong, of course. But now direct consumer appeals are taking place on a variety of platforms, including online and mobile, retaining many of the elements that made DRTV a success.

For example, digital DR frequently includes video elements to build value perception. Marketing engagement guru Neil Patel notes that a short, to-the-point video included on a microsite associated with a campaign can improve conversions by an astonishing 86%.

Like their DRTV infomercial forebears, video delivered via digital channels can highlight value, create an emotional connection and serve as a resource for prospects who need more information before converting into buyers.

DR in the digital age enables ever greater personalization, targeting potential customers across platforms and continuously optimizing outreach. Today’s technology allows micro-targeting DRTV pioneers could only dream of, collecting information as customers interact on different device types (e.g., online vs. mobile, iOS vs. Android, etc.) and using responsive design to optimize interactions across screen sizes.

Custom campaign microsites and vanity URLs now augment TV platforms, keeping customers moving through the sales funnel with tailored offers and producing a continuous data loop to optimize results.

Next Generation Direct Response

DR continues to revolutionize the way businesses reach out to customers to sell products and services. Modern personalization tactics enable companies to emulate the traditional pitch process even more closely, communicating benefits on a granular level and providing resources to support sales. In that way, today’s interactions echo the type of personalized service typical of in-store customer interactions, where experienced service personnel could size customers up by sight and anticipate their needs.

With a linear shopping cart process that keeps customers moving through the sales funnel and digital strategies that put a brand’s products front and center without distractions — much as a supermarket endcap display prevents customers from considering other brands’ products — accountable digital campaigns are bringing personalization to the next level.

Adaptable content that is created for each specific consumer is on the horizon, and it will represent the ultimate in shopper personalization for the next generation. “But wait — there’s more” applies to the evolution of direct response commerce as well as the product pitch.

John Francis is the Director of Digital Strategy at Hawthorne Direct, a company that combines persuasive brand messaging with proprietary analytic systems to create and deliver highly accountable and hugely successful integrated advertising campaigns.

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