Why direct response TV marketing is still effective

By Bill Cogar

Original Publication: SmartBrief

Date of Publication: October 23, 2018

Any advertisement that engages consumers and asks them to respond directly to a brand in the form of a click, call or purchase, including but not limited to mailers, billboards, social and display advertisements, emails, texts or calls is known as responsive or accountable advertising. When TV is the medium, it is known as Direct Response TV Advertising, or DRTV.With DRTV ads, brands aim to educate their consumers on the features and benefits of their product, and then have that consumer take one of the aforementioned actions. As a little background — DRTV was born out of infomercial-era ads where products often became household names overnight (literally and figuratively). Famed examples include the George Foreman Grill, ShamWow or the cultural phenomenon, the Snuggie; all these products became million-dollar brands after utilizing this long-form advertising.

Over the last 20 years, the industry has seen a variety of video lengths utilized on TV and the internet, including 30 minutes, 120 seconds, 60 seconds, 30 seconds and 15 seconds. Now six-second pre-rolls are a standard. As society’s attention span get shorter, the advertisements are getting shorter as well, and messaging is more succinct. Industry insiders often claim that TV as an advertising medium is a dying art form, but with a projected $80B to be spent in 2019 (up 9% from 2018), and still 100 million individuals across the US that don’t have broadband internet, TV remains the most potent mass medium of our time.

Turn on the TV, and you will catch plenty of DRTV ads from emerging brands such as Away, Peloton, Hims and UNTUCKit. The reason these companies choose to utilize DRTV is because it is particularly effective for launching and building brands that are looking beyond digital and social channels. With that said, it’s important to note that it’s not just startups using this medium. Well-known brands such as P&G, AT&T, GEICO and L’Oreal all utilize some form of direct response creative or media in their TV advertising. Dollar Shave Club, Chewy, Jet.com, Nest Labs and zulily: each of these direct to consumer brands went from startup to multi-billion-dollar buyout before their 10th birthdays. That’s not all they’ve had in common — they’ve also used mass-reach TV to fuel their explosive growth. To clarify, DRTV isn’t the only marketing mechanisms these brands utilized, but it was a key contributor to their meteoric rise.

The beauty of DRTV, and the appeal for brands, is that it is more affordable to purchase, easier to test into and optimize and more measurable when compared to brand advertising. It is more efficient when it comes to total audience measurement, there are DRTV avails on all major cable and broadcast networks and the ads motivate customers to engage on one channel as well as across multiple channels. Typically, DRTV creative costs are significantly lower than brand advertising. All these benefits add up to faster measurement of campaign ROI.

DRTV is measurable, can be customized, targeted and segmented across all channels and makes good use of data. It also integrates with other media channels, including digital, offline, mail, email, radio, print, etc. Further, its reach and frequency can be maximized across all potential consumer touchpoints.

DRTV has a multitude of advantages, and for more and more companies, it is increasingly becoming the next tactic for startups after they have maximized their efforts on social media and other digital outlets. With creative messaging, frequency and the right channels, DRTV campaigns have the potential to reach and engage potential and existing customers in a relevant, customized manner. DRTV has been used by brands since the 1980s, but we’ve come a long way from the late-night infomercials that hawked wares while most people slept. Today, infomercials as long-form DRTV ads, and now the shorter DRTV spot ads, can be viewed at all hours. They still air because companies see a direct correlation of investment in media spend correlating with company revenue and sales growth. A brand’s DRTV marketing, if done right, pays for itself and generates a positive ROI on the investment. Now, more and more we’re seeing startups and well-known brands employ DRTV — and they too are reaping the benefits.

Bill CogarBill Cogar is the Director of Marketing at Hawthorne, focusing on new client acquisition and marketing strategy. His clients span a wide range of industries, from consumer technology and CPG to consumer services and e-learning. Prior to joining Hawthorne, Bill worked for the full-service digital agency, Uptown Treehouse, where he was responsible for business development and strategy. His new business acquisitions include UNIQLO, Vans, Holland America Line, SAP Concur, Lenovo and PAX Labs. He attended the University of Virginia where he majored in history with a concentration in globalism and the development of the modern world.

Ep. 110 – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro – CEO OF Hawthorne Advertising

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Author: n/a – interview with JHC, Matt Gottesman and Case Kenny

Title of piece: Episode 110: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro – CEO of Hawthorne Direct

Original Publication: HDF Magazine

Date Published: June 26, 2017

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro CEO of Hawthorne Direct

“I came out to LA, then I broke into the entertainment industry all on my own. I had a bit of a chip on the shoulder for no real reason except for that I never wanted to owe anyone anything, and so I got into the entertainment industry with no connections whatsoever, just my resume and portfolio.”

Jessica Hawthrone-Castro – CEO of Hawthorne Direct; What makes a great CEO; Building work culture; Work / Life balance; On being a mom.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Jessica Hawthorne-Castro and her journey as an entrepreneur and CEO; Breaking into the entertainment industry; transitioning to work with family.

Jessica’s finer points:

“This agency was founded over 30 years ago by my father, Tim Hawthorne, who was a documentary filmmaker. I grew up in the Midwest, and for those of you in the Midwest, you grow up with a good, strong work ethic.”

I came out to LA, then I broke into the entertainment industry all on my own. I had a bit of a chip on the shoulder for no real reason except for that I never wanted to owe anyone anything, and so I got into the entertainment industry with no connections whatsoever, just my resume and portfolio.”

“I was actually nearly laughed out of the room because I was so professional in how I came in, and they were used to mainly friends and family contacts. I rose really quickly in the agency world because I was dead set on becoming a talent agent at that time. I was one of the youngest female agents in this pretty much all-male agency. I loved my clients.”

“I was a television literary agent, writers, directors, producers for TV. I, at that time, represented writers on the show called Entourage. I don’t know if you guys remember it from back in the day.”

“There was a transition period of this agency that my father had. I mentioned he was a director. We never thought we would work together. If anything, he thought that I would probably represent him as a big Hollywood director.”

“Dad said he would go back to his roots. Other folks within the ad agency were looking to transition it to the next iteration of what it was going to be, because 30 years is a long time for any company, and especially an agency when things are moving so quickly.”

I took the opportunity. I came in on the client side, noting again that I would never have thought I’d work with my father. I’m an only child because it was never in the cards, and I never also wanted to owe anyone anything.”

“I came in and we actually never had any of the dynamics that people typically have with a child or someone coming in with the family, that they seem to be … have more of an advantage over others, because if anything, I came in and had a stronger work ethic, just that was in my DNA than really anyone in the company.”

“I set the standard, by example, of how I expected people to work, communicate and the speed of which I started out on the client side, then, at one point, went back to get my MBA part time while I was working full time. I managed literally every single client in the company. I just took them on.”

Having too much work is never in my vocabulary, because I do love work and what I do, so people are always shocked by that, but you can never give me too much. I always just take more and more.”

“I transitioned then parallel between the client side, the operations side, and then decided to focus my … I was basically representing all the clients, but I decided to represent the agency and all the employees instead. By that point, then I moved over to the operations side and then transitioned to CEO and then took over ownership a couple of years back.”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Jessica Hawthorne-Castro; What makes a great CEO; Understanding operations is key.

Jessica’s finer points:

“When I started out, and this is probably true for most CEOs unless they have a very traditional educational background where they’re Harvard MBAs or Stanford MBAs, you don’t necessarily aspire to be a CEO; it just ends up the natural progression of what happens.”

What I feel is a strength as a strong background and can actually translate through any industry is becoming very, very good at operations.”

“That was really the key thing. I had actually an art background. I literally majored in fine arts at UCLA. I was also a realist, so I was this interesting combination because that’s not always true about artists. I was an artist, so I would painting and photography, but as a realist, I could say very clearly, “I’m good but I’m not great,” right? At art specifically. What I found is that I could represent artists and know their work very well and also help them when their careers. That’s actually why I became an agent.”

“Also, now in advertising, most people at this point even forget — or they don’t even know, some of them — that I even have this visual background. They just think I’m pure business and straight to the point because that’s how they know me, for the most part, now. I’d come in and redo an entire campaign very quickly, comment on the visuals. Obviously in advertising, it’s very important. I started on the client side.”

“When I transitioned to the operations side through getting my MBA, that gave me some of my core business skills. I already had them, but it was just a good, solid background and foundation to have.”

Being in the day-to-day and the nitty gritty I think is so critical. I know a lot of people in finance or high-level strategy, and if you don’t necessarily have that attention to detail, it’s hard to really run a business or know all details.”

“I still to this day know absolutely what every single employee does, what all their roles are, who’s working efficiently, who’s not, where every dollar is flowing through the company.”

“These are things at some point, when you get to a certain size, that you do want to have … I don’t want to say give up, but relinquish control. Especially in the very beginning, you can’t be hands-off. You have to want and be able to do the hard work.”

“For me, it’s very easy for me and I actually enjoy that work, but I have a … Sometimes it’s hard to do both sides, both the overall corporate strategy and the vision and be able to get down in the minutiae and the day-to-day, but I am able to do that.”

“Still to this day I will get in there, and if we have to prep for a conference room and other people are ready, I have no problem with just getting in there and doing what needs to be done to get the work done. That’s what I project through the whole company, that no one should ever feel above their pay grade or their job responsibilities and everyone should wear multiple hats and get in there.”

You need to be an expert, but when there’s a need, you need to get into every detail. Knowing how things work and being a core operator is the foundation, I think, to then becoming a very successful CEO.”

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Building work culture; Managing Millennials versus older generations; Getting ahead on the trends; Work / Life balance.

Jessica’s finer points:

“Back to the MBA thing for a second. I agree it does teach you the numbers, but as you probably know, what an MBA does not teach you, you might’ve taken one class in the initial overview, is overall culture and people management. Once you get out into the real world, that’s basically 99.9% of your job. You get some hard skills, but the rest you’re really learning as you go because as we know, life is all people, right?”

Companies are really all people, even if you’re a technology company. You still have people at this point still, programming that technology. Those are skills for me, that I reach out to other CEO networks and support groups to continue to learn those skills and perfect those as you go, because that’s the big missing piece of all of that.”

“For me, personally, how do I not feel like I ever have too much work or accomplish so much in a day? For me, personally, it is probably because I have … It’s not diagnosed, okay, but I have OCD tendencies. I have extreme organization and discipline.”

“I get probably get more things coming across my desk, emails, information than … not only in the company but anything, any words I’m on externally, anything that’s going on, or even I’m dealing with my son, flowing through me every day. No matter what, every day, even if I’m in the office or in all-day strategy meetings or out at a conference or what it is, I have extreme discipline to organize and go through everything that comes across my plate every day.”

“Also, because I’m so organized in how I approach things, I can very, very quickly filter through information and data. Or if someone’s asking for something, I know exactly where it is and how to find it in one of my thousand folders. That’s, for me, how I think that I’m able to accomplish so much and not feel overwhelmed, is because I tackle everything every day.”

Again, that’s extreme discipline. That’s not necessarily something that is, I think, taught; I think it’s just potentially who you are. That’s actually just how I have to be, because if I have a day where I’ve not done that, I feel behind or like I’m not able to think as clearly and to get to things as clearly.”

“I do not like that feeling. Instead, I just continue every day to make sure that I have dealt with absolutely everything and so that I can start fresh. I respond to every email, even if it’s someone reaching out or potential spam. That’s the respect that I like. I treat people like I want to be treated, so for clients or whatever it is, or even just people are out that you know that even it’s a sales position, they’re putting themselves out there, so I do cordially respond to everyone because I just think it’s respectful.”

“Work hard . . . For me, work is fun. It’s not actually worth it if you’re not having fun while you’re doing it. Even I love your opening beats, right?”

“I think that relationships can have some impact, but for me, I actually went the opposite route, like I mentioned, and maybe too much so. For me, I always let my work prove what it was.”

“I never had relationships be the thing that promoted me, because then, for me, I felt that it was not genuine. It always was just a parent that I was working in a more … and more efficiently, smarter.”

I would say hard work, but caveat in that work can and should be fun, and you should let your merits really speak for themselves. Then, also, be in that works with other people of similar minds. Always know what’s going on in the world and the community.”

“Outside of just your initial company, go to conferences, join organizations, and also be aware of what’s going on in the global scale. That’s what’s really helped me. I have a lot of support … I’m part of things called TED Talks and other things like that.”

“Where you go and we’re meeting with global leaders and people who are doing amazing things for the world. You’re looking at world trends, and you have to get out of our, just our US environment, because sometimes we forget that even the people who feel like they’re the downest out, even in just the US … Everyone in the US: we’re still the top 1% of the world. You have to get out of that … I don’t want to say self-centered nature, but that’s a natural human tendency. So knowing what world trends are.”

“If you’re looking at technology and you’re looking to make an innovation, that you’re looking beyond just your initial scope but what is that, the current needs, what’s going to be there in five years, 10 years? That’s what I’m always looking at, is that not what we’re doing today, because what we’re doing today is just a result of our past actions. What we’re experiencing today, whether it’s good or bad, is a result of what we did yesterday or six months ago or a year ago.”

Things are progressing so, so quickly, and that speed of disruption and that speed of needing to be competitive in just a very short amount of time, it’s absolutely critical to not only succeed but really even to just sustain in this day and age. It’s that world view. It’s obviously a national view. It’s knowing general trends in the marketplace. Just being aware, keeping your mind open. Always be seeking to learn and to go beyond. I think a constant quest for learning is really, really critical, because the moment you think you have it all, you don’t.”

“I think it’s actually fairly easy to instill in the younger workforce, because they just do that naturally. Sometimes where actually it can be more challenging is a older workforce. That is a place where I do work hard on pushing information out to them in terms of what is going on in current trends and things are going on. I think younger people: they’re just naturally aware. They’re grabbing on to that. The older ones: things did not move as fast, looking at trends and what’s happening.”

“We can’t sit on the sidelines, anyone or any company, and just say that things are going to be moving, and if they don’t get on the train … and this isn’t just my company … they will be left behind.”

“Trying to instill that but without projecting too much fear is definitely a delicate balance and what I work hard on every day to try to encourage that but not demand it too much, because you’re not going to get good work from those folks if you’re pushing them, instilling, because they’re just going to push back against you.”

what I try to encourage is there’s always going to be problems, but let’s put the problems aside but come with a solution, because I’m always looking to do things better.

“Nothing is ever … can be good enough. We can always try to do it better, more efficiently, and I’m always looking for people’s suggestions on how to do that quicker and easier and, again, have more fun while we’re doing it.”

I think that really comes from the top if that is how you are as a person. I do have to also ask my executive team members to work in that same way and instill that same level. As a CEO, you project it, but you do have to work hard with your executive team to be on the same level, and then that flows to the whole company.”

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro Selected as a Finalist For L.A. Biz’s Women of Influence 2017

Hawthorne is proud to announce that the Los Angeles Business Journal has selected owner/CEO Jessica Hawthorne-Castro as a finalist for the L.A. Biz Women of Influence awards for the second year in a row. This program honors women business leaders who innovate, succeed and pay it forward. The winners will be announced at the Women’s Summit on Friday, June 23 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live.

In Women of Influence, L.A. Biz recognizes leaders with a clear track record of success who stand out for their achievements in the marketplace, as well as their commitment to community. Being selected as a finalist is a testament to Hawthorne-Castro’s vision and track record as CEO of Hawthorne, as well as her extensive involvement with mentoring and philanthropic causes.

Hawthorne is a recognized champion of accountable advertising, garnering billions in sales and 450+ creative awards for Fortune 500 clients. As chief executive, Hawthorne-Castro has strategically transitioned Hawthorne’s legacy of performance-driven advertising to brand response, creating their trademark: The Art of Brand, The Science of Response®.  She encourages women in leadership roles, and has an executive team headed by many women in director and vice president roles who follow her example of a strong and confident female leader.

Beyond her leadership at Hawthorne, Hawthorne-Castro is actively involved in the community through philanthropic efforts and participates with global leadership organizations, like the Young Presidents Organization, Vistage, and TED. She is a contributor to various industry publications, including AdAge, AdWeek and The Wall Street Journal, and routinely participates on industry discussion panels. For all her efforts, she has won numerous awards, including “Women’s Summit Awards Nomination” and “Woman of Influence” in 2016;  “40 Under 40” by DMN; “Female CEO of the Year in Advertising & Marketing” by CEO World Awards.

Four International Trends to Watch in 2017

Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Original Link: ER Magazine

Date Published: May – June Issue 2017

Some 95 percent of the world’s consumers reside outside of the United States, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says, so the lure of the international marketplace is strong for marketers seeking new customers, business opportunities, and higher revenues. But while thinking beyond borders presents exciting opportunities for anyone wanting to take advantage of the world marketplace, it can also introduce new challenges that can only be addressed through proper planning, forecasting, and strategizing. By preparing for potential roadblocks in advance, marketers can reap the rewards.

Recent world events have forced some companies to rethink the way they do business internationally, however. Changing immigration laws, increasingly populist mindsets, and the scrutiny paid to international trade agreements such as NAFTA, for example, are having a collective impact on the way international business is conducted. And while selling overseas remains a viable and profitable opportunity, some of these recent events and decisions could present roadblocks this year and into the future.

Here are four trends all international marketers should keep an eye on this year:

There’s no magic bullet—domestic or international—for cross-channel attribution. Defined by Forrester Research as “the science of using advanced analytics to allocate proportional credit to each marketing touchpoint across all online and offline channels, leading to a desired customer action,” cross-channel attribution is a continuous challenge. That level of complexity doesn’t change when you start doing business overseas; in fact, it multiplies. And while there’s no magic bullet for cross-channel attribution, good analytics can level the playing field and ensure that marketers get the best possible content and information available.

We’re all in a race to develop engaging, trustworthy content. Beyond attribution, the biggest challenges for European marketers surround developing layers of content that are tied to varying cultures, and creating continuous engagement with consumers via social media, blogs, testimonial conversations, trustworthy content, and the capture of key moments in the conversion or conversation funnel.

In the online international marketing magazine The Drum, author Manita Dosanjh recently discussed the obstacles companies face when trying to predict the future in an unpredictable industry. With data privacy and ad blocking posing a threat to how marketers traditionally connect with target audiences, she said, brands will need a better understanding of how to deliver meaningful experiences in the modern customer journey. “This new year won’t be kind to brands who can’t sustain a solid one-to-moment communications approach,” Dosanjh said. “Customers will only stop and focus their attention on a brand if the interaction triggers a genuine emotional connection. And they expect this regardless of how many times they’ve interacted in the past, and irrespective of the channel.”

Global ad spending is rising, but international relations could stall growth. According to eMarketer, global ad spending grew 7.2 percent in 2016 to $550.5 billion, and it is projected to rise faster than previously expected through 2020. Growth will hover between 5 percent and 9 percent each year, the forecast says, with total spending climbing to $724.1 billion in 2020. Strong demand for digital advertising, and particularly mobile advertising, will be the main driver of spending increases.

Among advertising markets worldwide, the United States led with nearly $196 billion in total media ad spend in 2016—almost 36 percent of the global total. Digital ad spending including mobile increased 20.3 percent to reach $194.6 billion in 2016, making up 35.3 percent of total media ad spending. By 2020, digital spend will top $335 billion and represent over 46 percent of total media ad investment. But whether eMarketer’s growth projections come true will be at least in part reliant on trade agreements and international policies currently under discussion—points that all marketers should watch as the year progresses.

Organizations are taking on global challenges on a case-by-case basis. Earlier this year, Chinese online commerce giant Alibaba filed its first lawsuit over counterfeit goods sold on its site. According to ZDNet, the e-commerce giant sued two vendors for selling fake Swarovski watches on the Taobao marketplace, marking the first time it took legal action against counterfeit sales. And to combat the sale of counterfeit fashion items on its site, eBay recently announced its new “eBay Authenticate” service, which offers professional, independent verification that a product is legitimate in an industry in which Certilogo reports that one in 10 items purchased in the past 12 months was fake. Clearly, the age-old issue of counterfeiting hasn’t gotten any easier to combat in the internet age, but the good news is that some of the largest names in e-tailing are taking a stance against it.

As the global marketplace continues to expand and the internet’s role in that development continues to widen, we expect to see more companies leveraging the world marketplace. Along the way, these companies will face their share of challenges, but they’ll also open themselves to more opportunities and the chance to expand outside of their own borders. So whether they’re trying to wrap their arms around cross-channel attribution, utilize predictive analytics to their advantage, or combat counterfeiters, these companies know and understand that the internet has made our world a much smaller place.

Our agency is working on a cross-border attribution tool to deal with some of these challenges. Since media, data, and products don’t always recognize international borders, it’s up to us to figure out the best approaches for our clients, companies, and trade as a whole.

SVP George Leon Participating and Speaking at the Mobilenomics Roundtable in Park City, Utah

June 5, 2017

On Monday, June 5th, Hawthorne’s own George Leon will be participating and speaking in a Roundtable discussion at the Mobilenomics event in Park City, Utah. The conference, which began on June 4th and continues through June 6th, will be held at the Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley Resort. Mobilenomics is an invitation-only summit that aims to help brands enhance their mobile marketing campaigns and will address key areas of mobile media, such as mobile video, geo-targeting, wearables and more. The event is hosted by Charlie Fiordalis of Mediacom and Jason Dawayne Smith of Mindshare.

As Hawthorne’s Senior Vice President of Media and Account Management, George Leon is an expert in direct and brand response advertising and oversees strategy in this area for some of Hawthorne’s biggest clients, like Equifax, Hamilton Beach and HomeAdvisor.com. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Leon also uses his expertise in financial analysis and forecasting to lead Hawthorne’s Data Science and Technology initiatives.

Leon will be co-leading a panel this afternoon at 2:10pm Mountain Time entitled, “Getting Technology (and People) to Play Nice: Creating a True Single Customer View.” The panel will discuss what components are necessary for a single customer view, how to handle common barriers, how to optimize the customer view and who will do this, and if a single customer view is the right solution for various brands. Accompanying Leon on the panel will be: Mike Margolin of RPA, Brian Chap of L’Oréal and Danny Sfeir of Catapult1.

For more information on Mobilenomincs 2017, visit the event website.

Opinion Improving marketing ROI with data analytics

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro
 Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO

Original Publication: Information Management

Organizations are increasingly adopting big data analytics to understand and then fix business problems. They’re learning how to extract value from multi-sourced information and then relate that information to an issue in their marketing, manufacturing, advertising, or shipping, etc.

For example, T-Mobile (and the other main carriers) consistently use big data analytics to spot the reasons for (and prevent) customer turnover. Customer attrition is a significant expense in this industry, so firms that can best use data to improve retention and improve satisfaction will have a leg up on the competition. Big data is not just a tool for the enterprise level firms. It’s appropriate for businesses of varying sizes that want to better understand customer behaviors and improve their marketing tactics.

Every organization wants to use data to find actionable insights. It’s “cause and effect” on a broader scale, where there could be multiple factors working in concert that are producing a certain result. The difficulty is in generating the right data, keeping it organized, and then having the right analytics tools and staff members who know how to extract correlations. Doing this right to optimize the customer experience and boost sales requires adherence to several best practices:

Use Statistical Modeling

Marketers working on TV campaigns now have at their disposal a number of modeling tools to help them gauge performance. They can use customer demographics, Nielsen-derived viewing data, airing size, and specific data on the actual stations utilized and the airing timeframes. Marketers can use this clean data to gauge current performance and then dynamically adjust future campaigns accordingly. There can be surprises uncovered in this process, as marketers might find for example a previously under-served demographic that is generating impressive sales in response to TV campaigns.

Clean up the Mess

The “mess” in this context refers to data that is not properly structured and is essentially useless when it comes to analysis. Even the best data scientist and marketing wizard can’t pull insights from broken data. Do some work on the front end to ensure all of the data streams coming into the analytics tool are organized and clean. Attempting to fix data after the campaign is launched is a time-intensive process that doesn’t give the marketers a chance to suggest campaign changes in real time.

Follow Customer Behavior and Actions

Companies have at their disposal a powerful but often underused source of rich data. It’s the touch point for most customers – the website. Whether it’s a landing page, mobile site, or the primary corporate website, all of these channels offer a wealth of information. Firms can track this information through pixels that can be placed throughout the sites to measure customer behaviors, from what they visit to how long they hover the cursor over the “add to cart” button.

Understanding customer behaviors provides unbelievable context and the opportunity for segmentation. Marketers should develop “playbooks” on consumers so they can then be grouped together in new and surprising ways. Tracking should also include device information, especially as consumers move to a mobile-centric way of communicating and ordering. Social media tracking provides another layer of data on how customer’s share information about a brand and gives marketers a way to reach social media influencers.

Measure the Retail Responses

Big data analytics is essentially a new way to look at “cause and effect.” Instead of reviewing a direct mail piece’s performance against actual sales, big data analytics can correlate seemingly unrelated company actions and customer actions.

Marketers should focus on the retail responses amongst the various channels to spot these surprising correlations. With many campaigns, there can be a brand boost in sales for a campaign that is meant to only promote a single product. For example, TV spots about the durability of a housewares maker’s blender could drive sales of the firm’s carbonated beverage machine. Marketers will need to use analytics to look deeper at the behaviors and actions behind such results, and then adjust accordingly to boost sales of both products.

The ROI of campaigns can now have multiple layers, so marketers should understand how to analyze campaign impacts on a deeper level. Marketers that take a measured (yet creative) approach to big data analytics will be the ones most likely to uncover surprises and be able to prove campaign ROI. Doing this right requires some patience and hard work on the front end to introduce clean data, build structured analysis models, and create analytics that are built for multi-channel environments.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro