Having started with Facebook as its primary advertising platform, online retailer Touch of Modern tried television a couple of years ago. “And it quickly became actually the majority of our marketing spend,” says Co-Founder & CEO Jerry Hum.
Touch of Modern, whose app and website cater to millennial males, started business in 2012 as the result of a conversation among its four would-be founders about the best audio speakers, Hum explains in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent VAB Direct To Success event in Manhattan.
“The CTO at the time was a real audiophile and he had all this knowledge about speakers and technical specs. And so he won that argument. And then we found that each one of us had a hobby or an interest that we were obsessed about,” Hum says.
Thus was born Touch of Modern to go direct-to-consumers with products “that were really valued by enthusiasts not so much things you find in mass market.” As a category, the 125 DTC companies tracked by the VAB added $1.4 billion to the TV marketplace last year, as Broadcasting & Cable reports.
Like many modern-day startups, the company relied largely on Facebook to reach its target audience. It had few competitors at the time.
“We were able to get great rates and find our core male demographic,” Hum says. “Over time, more players moved in and we branched out to other platforms,” including Google search.
About two years ago, Touch of Modern started to experiment with TV with a small test.
“What we found was that when we started spending on television, the metrics on the digital side started to improve a lot as well.” He attributes the results partly to the company having achieved a certain scale and that measurement of TV ad campaigns had become more comparable to digital media. Touch of Modern uses TVSquared to measure campaign performance.
One unexpected outcome from TV “was a halo effect on the digital side. Google started performing a lot better, Facebook to an extent also started performing better and then just general brand recognition really increased.”
Relying primarily on its mobile app for most of its traffic and revenue, Touch of Modern sees “a lot more mobile traffic” generated by TV advertising, “which is really great for us because the mobile user also tends to be a more valuable one as well.”