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Smart DRTV set to rise – but viewers still wary over privacy, finds new research from WPN

by on May 23, 2012 in Nuggets, Research, Retail News, TV

Growing penetration of internet-enabled TVs in 2012 is set to fuel the next generation of direct response television – Smart DRTV – but issues over privacy and security will continue to stymie response, according to new research from response specialist Watson Phillips Norman.

The agency, which carried out qualitative research across key age demographics, found viewers were put off by having to make instant decisions and that many were still sceptical of the claims and quality of the deals offered through DRTV. They continued to be wary of revealing personal and financial details through internet-enabled televisions for a variety of reasons, including fear of ‘a barrage of follow-up communications once they have your details’.

According to Alison Meredith, executive planning director at WPN: ‘There’s no question the growing penetration of internet-enabled TVs is about to give rise to smart DRTV. For marketers, the medium presents a potentially potent combination of the large reach offered by television and the data base power of the internet. However, our research shows there are a number of barriers that still stand in the way of response from calls to action via smart DRTV.

While viewers were initially reluctant to interact with programming via their internet televisions, once they were shown its possibilities, they warmed considerably to its benefits. ‘We found viewers wanted to take advantage of the practical elements, such as downloadable recipes and reminders to engage with brands through their smart TVs. But the key insight is that TV is often consumed in a more social arena with friends and family. This public arena can be a barrier to response as many are reluctant to share private details, such as credit card information, in front of others,’ said Meredith.

She added: ‘Our research found the more demanding the call to action is – in time, money, decision making, risk, or the provision of personal information – the lower the potential response will be. Viewers, who are already nervous of privacy and security when it comes to responding via text or mail, feel at risk even more acutely in the suddenly public arena of their living room.’

The research indicated it is essential for marketers to know characteristics of the demographic they are trying to reach. According to the research, the three main areas of concern for consumers are:

  • Making it easy – one click is fine, two OK, three and you are asking too much
  • Do not make me give too much away – hold off asking consumers to fill in forms – reminding later is fine
  • Respect privacy – consumers do not want to reveal their credit card number in front of friends and family

WPN’s Meredith concludes: “Our research tells us simplicity and intuitiveness are vital to getting consumers to interact with smart DRTV. Making sense of the different ways people watch TV, the channels they use to get in touch with a brand whose content they have just seen, and whether their level of engagement with a particular show or advert might preclude them from doing anything about it right away, are core in creating effective DRTV campaigns.

‘Key to success is the understanding the nature of the deal: there is a value exchange between the amount of personal details surrendered and the perceived benefit; a cooking show that offers a clickable link to ‘download this recipe now’ is a lot less intrusive, and thus probably far more appealing to consumers, to pop-ups that take you to third-party retail sites or links that enable you to order your pizza provided you’ve inputted your card details.’

Watson Phillips Norman

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