Answers to Clients Most Asked Questions
If you are new to DRTV, or, if you are looking for answers to specific direct response marketing related questions, read on. Below we have compiled many of the most asked questions we receive as they relate to utilizing DRTV to market a product, and in general, how DRTV actually works.
What exactly is DRTV, or direct response television?Direct response television, or DRTV as it is known, is a marketing tactic aimed at reaching consumers directly via television, versus a traditional approach of selling in a retail store. Pre-produced DRTV commercials, typically :60 and :120 in length, usually include a response mechanism such as a toll free number or web URL, so that consumers can respond immediately to an offer.
What are the differences between DRTV and brand advertising?
Brand advertising, including TV, seeks to implant a memorable or favorable image of the product or service in the consumer’s mind, so that recall is easier later on once the consumer is ready to transact (usually in a store). DRTV seeks to elicit an immediate response or transaction and is much less concerned with long term brand recall.
What is an infomercial vs. DRTV short form vs. long form?
In the direct response industry, infomercial refers to a pre-produced television program which is 28 minutes, 30 seconds in length. Infomercials are also known as paid programming or long form DRTV. Shorter length DRTV commercials are commonly known as spots, or short form DRTV.
Where will my DRTV commercials run or be seen?
Depending on the DRTV campaign/media strategy, many times DRTV spots will be run on a national cable basis. This means media time will be purchased directly from national cable TV networks, allowing commercials to be seen in upwards of 90 million homes. In some cases, media will be purchased on local market TV stations. Infomercial media, for example, can perform well on a local market basis.
Is it true only 1 in 20 DRTV campaigns works?
This question is one of those broad stroke statements that just has too many variables to be considered accurate. It’s complicated too. This idea of a high failure rate is based in some truth, though. A component of the direct response industry is product marketers who rapidly test many, many low budget, DRTV campaigns to find the one product which hits the marketer’s tight performance requirements. Many times these products are tested for one week on TV. These campaigns comprise the As Seen On TV market, particularly in retail. So if you measure by this dynamic, yes, many campaigns go by the wayside. But the majority of companies we work with have legitimate products and brands, with specific goals on sales revenues, customer acquisition, etc. So in this case, success is measured and determined by each company’s goals. So the 1 in 20 question becomes irrelevant at this point.
Do DRTV and live home shopping work together to drive incremental sales?
Rarely, and being able to measure the incremental lift across both channels would be a challenge. It’s best to consider DRTV and home shopping as two separate tactics and manage them separately. Live shopping networks operate more like a retailer than direct response media. There are, however, some production efficiencies that can be realized, ie broll from the commercials can in many cases be used for live home shopping.
Do I need a call center with live operators?
If your budget allows it, yes. Historically, live operators will convert sales, leads and appointments at a much higher rate than an IVR (interactive voice response) or outbound calling. There are of course, pros and cons with live operators and IVR. Live operator environments typically have trouble staffing properly for overnight media. And some consumers are predisposed to talking to a live person before ordering, versus entering secure information into an IVR. But when you go just off pure numbers, live operators will outperform automated systems in most every case.
Should I disclose price or not in the commercial?
Price disclosure is a testable proposition. A good rule of thumb, though, is if your price is $29.99 or less, then disclosing it in the spot rarely impedes response. And in the case of $29.99, you could go with 2 payments of $14.99. At prices above $29.99, and certainly at $49.99 and above, testing a soft offer vs. disclosure begins to make sense. In the case of non-disclosure, you will rely more heavily on your phone and web mechanisms to close the transaction. What’s great about testing price disclosure is that you may be surprised to find that response and/or conversion can be the same or more by disclosing price. There are known categories in which the consumer converts at a higher rate if they know price going into the transaction.
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