Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Billboards draw DRTV customers

According to the Direct Marketing Association, using photos in outdoor advertising creates a 300-percent greater recall than ads without photos. Also, a colored background organizes the information and enables the viewer to read it 26-percent faster, according to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

"Billboard advertising works and it works very well, if it is used properly," said Cleveland. "High-quality graphics are critical. One of the great things for drtv advertisers is that the technology for printing outdoor graphics is photographic. It is like product packaging - you have to have an appetizing photograph."

Cleveland added that billboards can fail when an advertiser tries to do too much. "So many times billboards are ineffective because we try to use them to communicate more than they can communicate, or to communicate too complex an idea. It takes too long for a person viewing the billboard to understand the message."

An example is a sign plastered with a number of Web site addresses, phone numbers and logos. Too much of a good thing has the wrong effect when passers-by have seconds to read as they speed past.

For a billboard to maximize its per view direct response television potential, Cleveland suggests first determining what the ad needs to accomplish.

"There are certain products or services that may not benefit that well from outdoor advertising," said Cleveland. "A branding message that isn't complicated works the best."

Cleveland warns against a message that grows stale. Depending on the location of the billboard, most target consumers see a billboard's message continually - on their way to and from work, for instance. Constantly refreshing messages is the solution to keeping the billboard from being ignored.

Friday, February 23, 2007

DRTV Marketing Tactics

What are the challenges that entertainment executives are facing today and how can drtv marketers help them?

Consumers are downloading TV shows, videos and music on their iPods and other mobile devices. They are watching less TV and using DVRs [digital video recorders] to skip through commercials. They are going to fewer movies and renting fewer DVDs from traditional bricks-and-mortar stores like Blockbuster, instead accessing films through on-demand services or outfits like Netflix. Giving executives new strategies and options to not only deal with these changes but also to capitalize on them will differentiate savvy vendors from those who don't understand what's going on in the industry.

What are the best media vehicles for reaching these execs?

This audience can be reached through industry publications and Web sites from such trusted and longstanding b-to-b [publications] as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, as well as through certain consumer publications such as Vanity Fair .

What direct response marketing tactics are best to engage this audience?

DRTV marketing messages need to be highly creative in order to appeal to this audience creativity is their business, after all. The messages also have to be informed and accurate. Direct Response companies targeting this audience need to be well-versed in all the latest trends and technologies, and present themselves as solutions-driven experts in this field.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Common DRTV Mistakes


Make sure your product has a competitive price and that the offer will capture the target audience's attention. If your product is priced at $29.95 or under it can generally be sold through a short form commercial (:120, :60). Products priced over $29.95 are usually sold most effectively through an infomercial (28:30). Lead generation DRTV campaigns can be marketed through both short form and long form direct response TV campaigns. Develop and test several offers, in order to determine the offer that will generate the best results. The offer consists of the product, pricing, number of payments, etc. By offering the consumer an incentive to call now, through a discount or a free, related item can be an effective method of generating more calls and additional revenue.


Products that allow consumers to quickly solve a problem work best on TV. Television provides the marketer with an ideal environment to demonstrate how a product works and how it can benefit the consumer. Products that are highly demonstrable work particularly well in DRTV advertising, since the format provides the marketer with ample time to show the consumer why their product is worth purchasing.

We buy media and do the campaign management for the leading ladder infomercial product. The ladder turns into 25 different ladders. Their infomercial does a terrific job of demonstrating all the ways you can use it around the home and how it can make your life easier, so it's a perfect product for an infomercial format.


A direct response television media test is designed to provide the marketer with a read on the viability of successfully selling their product on TV. The media test usually runs over one to two weeks and $10-$20,000 is typically budgeted. A short form media test is often run on national cable and satellite networks, since they deliver the best CPM's (Cost Per Thousand Viewers reached). An infomercial media test typically consists of airings on smaller national cable and satellite networks and local broadcast stations. The larger national cable networks are usually too expensive for a media test. There are 1700 local broadcast stations, so there are some excellent infomercial media deals in local markets.

The media buying agency will provide you with daily and weekly reports that will show how each network/station performed during the test. By analyzing these results, the media buyer will be able to buy more of what's working and to drop the networks/ stations/dayparts that are not working, in order to optimize performance.

During the rollout phase of the campaign, the idea is to build up the media budgets, while maintaining a profitable ROI. For example, if you are spending $100,000/week in media and bringing in $200,000 in revenue, you are going to make more profit than buying $10,000/week in media and bringing in $20,000 in revenue.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Consider Your DRTV Options

Many types of online advertising and marketing services exist, such as pop-up or pop-under ads; banner ads; rich media ads, which include flash ads, interstitials (a page inserted in the normal flow of content between a user and the site), and superstitials (a page that loads behind an active web site, meaning the user doesn't see the ad until it's totally downloaded and ready to run); streaming audio video; skyscraper ads; rollover ads that expand as your mouse runs across them; e-mail sponsorship ads; newsletter and e-zine ad sponsorships; advertorial placements; search engine optimization; and affiliate programs where one web site promotes another web site's products in exchange for a commission and transactions are tracked through unique codes. Each of these options offers drtv advertisers unique advantages for reaching their target audience.

A huge demand for Internet advertising on the major net portals, such as CNN, Yahoo, MSN, etc., exists. This demand has actually caused a shortage of time slots. As a result, companies who are interested in running their ads or commercials online should consider doing so on their own web sites. Recent technology enables anyone who comes to your site to view your commercial regardless of what type of browser they have. So when a person goes to your site, the commercial automatically starts playing.

The complexity of all these online advertising options requires that you work with an ad agency that has a thorough knowledge of the medium. An experienced online direct response television media buying agency can help you decide what Internet options are most cost-effective and effective for your company.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Friday, February 16, 2007

Return on Your DRTV Advertising Investments

The largest single expenditure of many marketers is allocated toward media spending. But not all advertising investments are effective. Ad content aside, marketers may spend thousands on a direct response television campaign that reaches the wrong people. Or worse yet, they may pay a premium price for mediocre media exposure. Ultimately, to reach the right audience and get the most response, you need to invest your advertising dollars wisely.

Wise media investment means knowing what outlets are available, what spots on each one should cost, and how to plan the right mix of media outlets appropriate for the particular product or service. But when you're busy managing your business or running your department, you may not have the time or experience to make well-planned and researched advertising investments. For this reason, you shouldn't attempt media planning alone. The most successful marketers seek the advice of seasoned media buying experts to ensure the ongoing achievement of their advertising campaign. A multi-channel media buying agency has expertise in buying all forms of advertising.

A seasoned media buyer can maximize the return on your advertising investments. Consider the following four ways a media buyer can help increase the effectiveness of your advertising:

1. Maximize Advertising Profits

With all the media options available today, you need to work with a DRTV media agency who knows how to put together a plan that maximizes the results for your product. When you do it on your own, you won't be able to figure out what will work best for you, and you will probably end up paying too much. Good media buyers have access to information that allows them to secure the best rates and the optimal level of media clearance. Keep in mind; media buyers probably have a long list of clients, so they may also buy time for companies in the same industry in other markets. This is great news for you, because they can then apply what's working in other markets when buying in yours.

Because of their buying power and leverage, media buyers have access to cheaper advertising rates. For example, magazines always have a few pages left at the end of each month to get rid of, so they sell this space at a reduced, remnant rate. While you probably won't have access to this space on your own, your media agency will.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Branding for DRTV Success

1. Develop an Ongoing DRTV Advertising Campaign with a Consistent Message

Don't run a TV ad one day where you call your company the "low price leader," and then do a radio ad where you call your company the "solution for the discerning customer." Those are two completely different brands and images, and you'll only end up confusing your prospects. Realize that no brand is born overnight. It takes lots of repeated messages to get the brand into people's minds. So be consistent with your advertising messages. Additionally, advertise on a continuous basis. That's the only way people will become familiar with you, thus increasing your name and brand recognition.

5. Use Public Relations to Get Your Name Out There

Along with advertising, you need to do some public relations to make your name known. One great way is to write and publish articles about your business and industry. You can also be a featured guest on radio and TV programs. A good PR firm can help get you in the media's limelight. Without a doubt, public relations is a great and easy way to increase your name recognition.

6. View Branding as an Ongoing Business Strategy

Branding is not something you do for a few days and then forget about it. Branding must be a constant in your company's business strategy. Brand loyalty and brand recognition can decline unless you revitalize your brand on an ongoing basis. Many businesses reinvent or rebrand themselves every few years to achieve a higher level of consumer recognition or because of problems or negative stigma associated with their current brand. Regardless of your product or brand, or how long you've successfully had it, to remain competitive, you must adapt your brand based on changing trends in the marketplace.

Branding for Success

Remember that direct response television branding takes time. That's why you must integrate all these strategies over the long-term to build a brand. No matter when you start your branding efforts, branding your business is an important part of any successful marketing strategy. You want your customers to think of high value and quality when they think of your product or service. By branding your business, you make that happen. A strong brand also makes your company more valuable. When you successfully follow these strategies for branding your business, you can enjoy the name recognition and increased profits that come from having a great brand that everyone knows and loves.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Future Trends in DRTV Advertising

The future of advertising seems to be heading towards:

A convergence of TV watching and the web, where consumers will be able to order directly off their TV by clicking icons.

A blurring of the lines between direct response television advertising and programming.

Consumers having greater control over access to programming and commercials.

The current advertising model is not going to hold up forever based on ad viewership trends. Perhaps, in the future, consumers will be required to watch a certain number of ads in order to receive TV for free. PVR's can track this type of activity. This type of arrangement has been offered by some Internet service providers, who provide free service in return for the consumer being exposed to advertising.

Even though the number of viewers using PVR's now is relatively small, this is a good time to start formulating strategies to respond to the growing ad zapping trend. If the DRTV industry and people associated with the industry do not address the issue soon, we could end up in a position similar to what happened with the recording industry, which has seen their business decimated by downloading.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Optimize Your DRTV Media Campaign

Koeppel Direct is a world-class direct response media buying agency specializing in multi-channel direct response Television, online, radio and print campaign management. The firm is headed by Wharton MBA Peter Koeppel. The agency places an emphasis on direct marketing, because of Peter Koeppel's 25 years of direct response marketing and advertising experience.

What We Do

Koeppel Direct manages media campaigns for DRTV advertisers seeking measurable, consistent, positive results, immediately and long term. Our experts create targeted, effective, direct response media buys that optimize our clients return on their media investments.

How We Do It

We integrate all the key elements of a direct response media buy, to ensure the success of a client's direct response campaign. Prior to launching a campaign, we use competitive media research and analysis, which allows us to buy the most efficient media for each campaign. We then apply proven statistical techniques to successfully manage our direct response media buys. Our approach enables Koeppel Direct to deliver direct response media buys that generate profitable results.

A Staff of Seasoned Media Experts

Our staff consists of seasoned, top-level advertising professionals, who came from prominent direct response television media buying firms and ad agencies. Our staff works closely with our clients, guiding them through all the stages of the buying process, from media testing and analysis, through rollout. All of our media buyers have significant handson experience. Our expertise is second to none.

How We've Been Doing

We've built a powerful reputation for success. Our clients have the final say:

Koeppel Direct's media buying expertise has played an integral role in making my company successful. Koeppel generated so much business for our company, occasionally we had to limit their media buys, in order to handle all the new business.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct