DTC Marketers: Find New Customers, Build for the Long Term

As I talk to DTC marketers, I hear a lot about diversifying spend beyond social media to get to performance marketing. In this context, TV streaming is often viewed as a new medium for brands to invest in. Its ability to find new customers and drive incrementality is an ideal addition to a marketing mix. And while discovery commerce is vital and will continue to be, there are three things that marketers should do to succeed in 2022:

  • Lean into platforms that have a direct relationship with the consumer and can enable performance across channels
  • Lead with your marketer data to reach key audiences across streaming TV, web and mobile
  • Focus on efficiency and scale to grow in the near and long term

Consumer-Focused Identity

TV streaming provides DTC marketers the ability to make the most of direct relationships with consumers to create more relevant ad experiences. It also allows marketers to better understand who users are, not only on the device they’re streaming on but also who they are across other devices. The ability to more accurately target ads enables winning strategies such as retargeting users on desktop and mobile devices, after they’ve seen an ad or visited a website, driving higher purchase intent and awareness as well as site traffic and conversions.

Great identity also enables great measurement, such as incrementality. Incrementality is the best route for marketers because it provides the ability to calculate the success of each action taken on a more granular level, creating an opportunity to more acutely measure what’s working and perhaps what isn’t. It also allows marketers to more directly be able to understand the business impact of their investments.

One approach to measure incrementality is the “ghost ad” method. With certain ad buying platforms, there is the option to not bid on certain eligible ad opportunities, even if they meet the targeting and performance goals of a campaign. By doing this, you’re able to develop a hold-out control group that looks like the treatment – without expensive alternatives like paying for PSAs. With the ghost ad approach, you will determine the campaign’s incrementality by comparing the difference in treatment and control conversion rates. 

Driving Results Across Channels 

When deciding how much of a marketing budget to spend on media buys and where, look for a partner that not only has first-party data but also visibility across channels to ensure you’re driving results. As advertisers look to build media strategies that incorporate a mix of social, linear TV, streaming and more, siloed channel reporting does not yield the true performance picture. Platform visibility gives brands the ability to reach and measure consumer behaviors across channels. Holistic campaign management also gives brands a view into household frequency, which they can use to reduce costs and ensure audiences aren’t over exposed.

Another benefit of platforms is visibility across billions of data points that enable sophisticated algorithmic machine learning capabilities, which help ensure campaign performance gets better as time goes on. Ad buying platforms available to brands now have the capabilities to continually optimize ad placements and budgets in real time, finding the best formulas to ensure low cost-per-action and high return on ad spend. 

Driving Performance at Scale 

There are advertising channels and platforms that are good for experimentation but lack the scale necessary for long-term growth. As growing companies look to acquire new customers in the long term, they need to invest in partners and performance that won’t erode over time.

DTC marketers have long been challenged with reaching new consumers, and they will fail if they don’t measure ROI. In order to decrease risk and diversify, seek partners that have direct consumer relationships necessary to drive incrementality while planning strategically for the future. Consider diversifying through streaming TV, and incorporate these three principles to guide your strategy this year.

Brad Murphy is Director and Head of Performance Advertising at Roku