Tracking the media ratio and return on investment (ROI) of a DRTV or radio campaign has always been a key aspect of the media buying process. Through all stages of a campaign, from initial focus group testing to network testing, tweaking and rollout, direct response marketers know the value of good data, analysis and careful media buying. The best marketers are those who literally “measure twice and cut once,” working closely with their media buying partner to evaluate each market and each test before signing off on a campaign.

With this kind of rigor, it is often surprising how few direct response companies analyze all of their marketing channels for overall performance. Very few execute integrated, multi-channel campaigns where the media plan includes TV, radio, online, on-demand, print and other channels in one comprehensive package.

Online and on-demand TV are often the poorest planned and least understood of the above channels, especially by traditional marketers who view new media as more of a sideshow. With the dramatic rise of Internet advertising and the disruptive promise of video-on-demand (VOD) and digital video recorders (DVRs), this mindset will have to change.

What is needed is a new approach to direct response media buying and planning that not only treats online and on-demand TV advertising as serious channels, but also provides for integrated, multi-channel planning and reporting. This solution would include media ratio and cost per action (CPA) calculations at the media category level as well as an overall performance calculation.