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DRMetrix—The Ultimate Media Transparency Tool

As part of a Throwback Thursday series of articles, DirectAvenue will be publishing articles from the archive of the agency’s CMO and SVP Client Services that still have relevance today. The following originally appeared as a “Friday Forecast” on the Electronic Retailing Association blog in May of 2018.

DRMetrix has created the most advanced relational database for tracking and analyzing performance-based television advertisements the industry has ever seen and, in the process, is ushering in a new age of media transparency. A demo of the platform impressed your Friday Forecaster to such a degree, that the best way to compare it to previous attempts to track infomercial and DR spot frequency and ad spend is to say that it is like comparing an abacus to a super-computer. The brainchild of direct marketing innovator Joseph Gray, DRMetrix has several features and tools that can help marketers, agencies, retailers, and supply-chain vendors from a myriad of perspectives. Some of its more powerful attributes, and the reasons why they matter, include:

  • Attribute: The ability to quantify the degree of frequency for a given advertiser, by product or service category, with total airing counts broken down by unique creative iterations, including DR attributes such as individual toll-free numbers, URLs, and promotional codes. Why it matters: Performance-based marketers rely on performance and results. Therefore, if an advertiser is ranking high then it is safe to assume that a) they are achieving success, and b) the specific creative that is being aired with the most frequency is performing the best.

  • Attribute: The ability to then view each of those creatives with the click of a mouse. Why it matters: Users can then go a layer deeper to view and analyze the creative and identify what is working and not working in any given ranked ad. So, for example, characteristics such as messaging, problem/solution, host, offer, length and others can be scrutinized to ascertain what is working in the marketplace. Conversely, ads that fail to rollout can offer equally valuable lessons on what to avoid.


  • Attribute: Estimated advertising spend that is based upon frequency multiplied by real-world advertising rates that are benchmarked by network, station and dayparts. Why it matters: DRMetrix offers a much more precise and reliable way of determining what a campaign is spending. Previously, industry research relied on the agencies and marketers to provide such information on a voluntary and Scout’s-honor basis. It is a common industry belief that such estimates were often inflated in order to game the rankings so that a given marketer could attract mass retail distribution, say, for a given product. This platform ends the charade and creates complete transparency.


  • Attribute: Media planners and marketers can now see which stations, networks, and programs competitors are airing in. Why it matters: Such competitive intelligence can be extremely helpful in the media planning process, from the testing to the rollout phase. It allows a marketer to determine what media is working in the category, but also where they will find the most competitive noise.

  • Attribute: Determine which types of national cable inventory campaigns are airing in. Why it matters: DR advertisers purchase media in both national as well as so-called “local” ad breaks on national cable which are subject to cover up by local MVPDs such as cable systems, direct to consumer satellite, etc. (Ever watched a commercial for your local car dealership and then seen a one-second blip of another commercial at the end? — that was a local commercial laid over the national “local break” spot.)  It is important to understand how these local break spots perform in contrast to the more expensive national ad breaks.  With DRMetrix, advertisers and their agencies can determine definitively the percentage of clearance of campaigns in both types of network inventory as well as determine how both break types are performing.


Of course, any analytical tool set is only as good as the end user’s commitment to it. But in an era of big data, where marketers are often left scratching their heads as to what is most meaningful, DRMetrix has created a transparency engine that provides insight that is both powerful and actionable. Direct marketing professionals: meet your new best friend.

Rick Petry
Rick Petry

Author: Rick Petry is the CMO/EVP Client Services of DirectAvenue and a seasoned direct marketing professional and thought leader with experience spanning three decades. He has had a hand in campaigns generating over $1 billion in sales and is conversant in all facets of performance-based marketing including off-line and on-line media planning and buying, research, analytics, creative, production, and back-end management, Rick is the author of over 200 articles on direct marketing best practices, and is a past Chairman of the Board of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and a recipient of ERA’s Volunteer of the Year award, as well as the Direct Response Marketing Alliance’ Member of the Year award as voted by his peers.