Direct response boom brings new programmatic age – be ready

David Gaskill, Managing Director
6th October 2021

Digital transformation and acceleration has changed the game for brands buying media programmatically. There are further major shifts coming down the track from Google and Apple, but these represent significant opportunity for agile marketers with the right connections.

Direct response boom

The last 18 months has brought seismic shifts in the way brands build and connect with their customers. According to Australia Post, direct-to-consumer models and e-commerce have become the new normal, with 5.6 million households buying something online in July, breaking the previous high notched in November 2020. As a result, brands are relying on direct response marketing channels like never before. 

Beyond performance, we see digital media continue to evolve and mature as the need for agility becomes paramount for brands and marketers. The race for marketing agility is driving a surge in investment, with the IAB reporting 24.2 per cent growth, the strongest since 2016, reaching $11.4bn online advertising expenditure in FY 2021, driving a parallel surge in sophistication as programmatic buying platforms are embraced.

As brands continue to build resilience through ongoing market volatility, the data generated through digital media is becoming ever more valuable to feed machines and algorithms to predict “what next.” More than ever, brands need partners that can deliver flexibility and harness these opportunities at a moment’s notice.

Countless brands and industries have had to adapt to this new style of operation, tapping into hyperlocal, local, state, national and global moments that matter for their customers to grow their businesses and find new revenue opportunities.

The game’s changed

At Foxcatcher, we have seen the shift in media investment to channels such as video on demand (BVOD), programmatic audio, and programmatic digital out-of-home (prDOOH) accelerate – and it’s a trend we expect to continue. The European Cup, Tokyo Olympics, AFL and NRL Grand Finals were a step-change in the way brands engage with live traditional “appointment to view” events on the big screen. Gone are the days where clients need to plan their campaigns with long twelve-week or more lead times to get on air; programmatic BVOD can have clients “on-air” in 48 hours, giving them the ability to make snap decisions in line with market conditions and large audiences. 

The ease by which brands can tap into these opportunities to reach their customers using existing (or new) creative assets means they now have time to explore the additional opportunities available to them, such as data-driven programmatic media buying and messaging strategies.

Worldview, Foxcatcher’s proprietary data-driven programmatic media buying platform, uses an audience-first focus and allows brands to deliver more meaningful connections with their customers throughout the marketing journey. Worldview captures the sentiment around social discussion and trends to align brands with contextually relevant moments, to deliver greater customer attention and brand relevance.

Direct connections win

Unlike other social and sentiment monitoring platforms in the market, Foxcatcher’s Worldview platform is connected directly to media buying platforms such as The Trade Desk and Google stack to automate and provide a genuinely real-time data-driven buying strategy.

Sequential and dynamic creative messaging across programmatic channels becomes accessible without disjointing a portion of the marketing experience, or campaigns clients deliver to their customers. 

Operating in real-time at scale helps boost this strategy even further.  Now I can hear you say, that’s great, but what happens when cookies disappear in 2023? But 35 per cent of devices have been cookie-less for years, blocked by Safari and Firefox, so we are already operating in this new world to some extent. 

There is no doubt enhanced consumer privacy will deliver better customer experiences for everyone. Ironically, the industry that is impacted by this most is also best placed with its technology capability to deliver results in this new world more than any other marketing channel. 

Foxcatcher continues to work with numerous clients and their brands on developing measurement frameworks that tie into the very fabric of their business’s day-to-day operation and success. Lifetime value, customer recency, frequency, and monetary modelling enable us to truly understand businesses’ market or sector and the success drivers that give them a competitive advantage, much like a hedge fund would. 

We continue to consult and work with several brands to build large first-party data assets that they can own and leverage through Foxcatcher’s Worldview platform, ensuring transparency and interoperability for clients as publishers evolve their logged-in audiences. 

The new cookie-less world means marketers and agencies need to continue to derive value from their owned assets and use it to their own advantage. These advantages, for marketers agile enough to harness them, will deliver big results.



  1. Australia Post’s 2021 Inside Australian Online Shopping report
  2. IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER)

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