Wednesday, April 25, 2007


DRTV advertising is a metrics-driven business, and media buying is all about efficiency. How many dollars do you get from an advertisement or a particular media channel in return for the dollars you spend? Upon entering the online world, agencies agree, advertisers thinking strictly in those terms will tend to put all of their money into paid-search ads on engines, such as Google and Yahoo. Paid search usually has the highest efficiency, by far, of all forms of online advertising, so that strategy seems obvious.

But it quickly leads to problems, says Jeremi Karnell, president and co-founder of One to One Interactive, a Charlestown, Mass., marketing agency specializing in digital media. "It's a mistake to throw all of your money into paid search," Karnell says. "It's like a drug: Companies see how efficient it is at the beginning, and they can't get enough. They pay no attention to testing other channels, and then they're left hanging when the inventory runs out and the efficiency is gone."

Paid search often is the best place to start with online advertising, Karnell says; it just isn't the place to stop. "Any single channel [for DR products] has a short lifespan," he says. "That's true everywhere, but especially online."

It's easy to track and measure the number of clicks on a paid-search ad that translated directly into sales on your website. What isn't so easy to figure out is what motivated those ready buyers to click through to you in the first place. Did they recognize your name when it popped up among the paid listings on Google, because they had seen some of your seemingly inefficient banner ads previously? Or, maybe visitors clicked on one to check you out before they were ready to buy. Karnell points to recent research by the Atlas Institute showing a 20-percent increase in sales when DRTV campaigns mix paid-search ads with display (banner) advertising, rather than relying solely on one or the other.

Monday, April 16, 2007

DRTV Hybrid Media Plans

Direct Response TV Vendors

In order to maximize your chances of having a successful direct response television marketing campaign, it's important to align yourself with experienced vendors in all aspects of your DRTV program, including direct response TV media buying, telemarketing, DRTV production, fulfillment and card processing. Make sure you do your homework and work with seasoned DRTV vendors. They understand how to construct a successful direct response TV campaign and have worked with other successfully direct response television marketers, so they know the formula for success. They also can help evaluate your product to determine if it's appropriate for DRTV.

DRTV Hybrid Media Plans

Many savvy marketers are now utilizing a hybrid DRTV approach. This allows the marketer to take advantage of lower DRTV media rates, while also incorporating traditional advertising metrics such as CPM's, impressions and rating points into their DRTV media plan. Frequently, the buyers at the leading retail chains are looking to stock successful direct response TV products at their stores. However, they are accustomed to reviewing media plans with traditional advertising metrics. That's why this type of hybrid DRTV media buying approach is particularly valuable for direct response television marketers looking to impress retail buyers. In addition, this type of hybrid DRTV media plan can deliver a larger audience than a traditional media plan, at a lower cost. A comprehensive hybrid direct response TV media program can help differentiate your product from other's in the marketplace and result in stronger sales DRTV and retail sales.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Is the Decline of Cable an Opportunity for DRTV Marketers?

This is the time of year that all the drtv media experts attempt to predict advertising spending for the coming year and analyze trends for the past year. In reviewing various reports and articles, one trend that stood out was the growing weakness in national cable TV sales. The growth in total cable ad spending was expected to slow to 6% in 2006 from 11% in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. This represents a significant drop in ad spending. Cable ad sales were described as "very, very weak" across the board, according to an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. (Wall Street Journal 11/25/06)

Cable TV has enjoyed consistent growth over the last 25 years as the service expanded across the country and drtv advertisers shifted their budgets to this medium. Now those days are over according to the WSJ. Money is shifting to the Internet and Internet ad spending is experiencing double-digit growth in the range of 15%-30% annually.