Telemarketing Resurgence? No. OTT TV? Yes.

smiling parents and daughter watching tv with popcorn

PRE-coronavirus, some of the greatest successes for the NuVoodoo marketing team came from calling businesses about workday-related cash contests. Past NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Studies have shown that huge amounts of AQH come from listening at places of business during the workday. Reaching one or two heavy listeners at work with a meter or diary had the power to massively impact the ratings: we just had to call enough of them to ensure success. As a tactic, it was our gold standard.

POST-coronavirus, as much as half the listen-at-work audience is working from home and not reachable at a place of business. So, we pulled the plug on workplace telemarketing as a solution for our clients (because we won’t sell programs that are unlikely to work). We had clients ready to spend on workplace telemarketing, but we couldn’t justify taking the money.

The chart below compares data from B2B calling programs before the pandemic with programs run by our preferred provider for calling programs since August of this year. Before the pandemic, we showed a live-connect rate of nearly 60% in B2B calling programs. Since the pandemic, our preferred provider shows a live-connect rate of only 12% for B2B calling programs of the type they’d been doing for us. It’s a top-notch phone team that does great work – and we look forward to working with them in the future.  But right now, they’re not able to reach enough people; not enough businesses are answering the phone to hit the critical threshold to impact ratings.

Neither our own research data, nor the data here from recent calling programs point to a resurgence for telemarketing. Instead, we are bullish on a new tactic that’s helping our clients play the Nielsen game successfully – one that leans into the tectonic shift in lives during the pandemic. With people spending more time at home, they’re watching more TV and many of those hours are spent with OTT (over the top) streaming content from sources like Hulu, YouTube, Sling TV and others. Since the lockdown in March, our team has seen TV screens becoming a significant placement for YouTube ads. The metrics show strong conversions for video views lasting 30 seconds or longer (and in the world of digital video, 30 seconds is a lifetime).

Our November 2020 study of over 3,400 18-54’s shows strong adoption and usage of OTT TV – especially among the heaviest format and prime daypart listeners AND among likely ratings respondents. The NuVoodoo marketing team is using third-party targeting from the Nielsen marketing cloud to reach the most likely ratings respondents for these programs, giving them the ability to deliver OTT video impressions based on heavy format and daypart listening. More details of both the research and how we use OTT for marketing are available in a short video at