With Home Shoppers In Hand, HSN Looks To Expand Its Network

hsnimgHSN, the broadcast network dedicated to home shoppers, is finding new digital revenue streams to support its core TV business.

“We’re a marketing platform for brands we sell,” said Annemarie Frank, HSN’s VP of omnichannel marketing. “A lot of the brands we work with internally and have done well with us are looking for ways to drive exposure and reach.”

One way HSN has driven brand exposure – and thus paid media – is through a partnership with the ecommerce ad tech firm HookLogic (recently acquired by Criteo).

While some products sold by HSN are exclusive to the network, most come from independent brands and manufacturers. Yet, HSN didn’t have the tech stack or agency inroads to monetize those brand relationships via digital media.

HookLogic came to HSN with a roster of agencies that work with HSN manufacturers and pitched itself as an easy-on incremental revenue stream.

Developing digital agency contacts and building out a tech stack to handle search, targeting and ad serving would be ideal … but also a massive expenditure of time and resources. “The big benefit to me here is the single point of contact that can meet our specific needs in an automated way,” Frank said.

Even within the confines of HSN’s advertising policy, which forbids ad placements for products not sold by HSN, a valuable market can be tapped, according to HookLogic CEO Jonathan Opdyke.

“In many ways HSN is the forebear to deal-of-the-day ecommerce,” Opdyke said. “Say HSN is promoting a Wolfgang Puck blender on TV as a special deal: They’re also driving a lot of interest and traffic to their site, where they might have blenders from Blendtec, Black & Decker and Cuisinart.”

HookLogic doesn’t need relationships with all, or even most, of the products being pitched by HSN TV channels. “What TV will do is draw someone in to buy something,” but once he or she is on the site a HookLogic client will pony up to reach that known shopper, Opdyke said.

The product hasn’t reached the point where HSN is doing co-marketing deals with brands that leverage both its TV sales pitch and HookLogic-driven online ads, but “we’re very cognizant that TV is [an ecommerce] demand generator,” Frank said. “Together we’ve identified some low-hanging fruit that was there within the platform.”

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