Convertro Tracks the Impact Of TV Ads

When people talk about the difference between online and offline advertising, one of the big themes is accountability — you just can’t get the kinds of data about, say, a TV campaign, that you can about an online banner. (Though the online world isn’t entirely transparent, either.) A startup called Convertro is trying to change that.

Until now, Convertro has analyzed the effectiveness of online marketing. Today, it’s launching a product that offers similar data for TV campaigns. Instead of relying on surveys, it promises to actually track the link between TV ads and traffic to your website.

There’s a lot of technology involved (or at least a lot of jargon). It took several tries for CEO Jeff Zwelling and COO Armen Avedissian to explain it to me. On the simplest level, Avedissian says Convertro can track TV effectiveness based on time — if, after an ad airs in a certain area, and there’s a surge of web traffic from that area, you can probably assume the ad was pretty effective.

Not that Convertro’s data is that basic. Zwelling says the TV product includes modules for measuring direct response (traffic that the ad drove directly to a website), the halo effect (an ad causes increased awareness, leading to more traffic), and the impact of different creative mixes in a campaign.

Avedissian says this data can be useful even if your main goal isn’t selling products off a website. For example, a big box retailer could use TV ads to drive traffic to their website, and then give that traffic a special discount offer that customers bring in to the store.