Direct response television (DRTV) marketing is an attractive prospect to many marketers, and for good reason. What is direct response TV, you may ask? Well, DRTV refers to any television commercial which prompts viewers to contact the company directly. Direct response TV marketing is highly effective. As with any effective marketing tool, however, there are pitfalls and challenges that can damage the success of direct television marketing. According to the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), 63% of Americans watch some form of direct response television marketing. 30% of them make purchases as a result of said direct marketing TV. That works out to roughly 30 million people that these DRTV marketers have affected in a positive way.
But before that number sends readers clamoring for the phone, here are a number of things that they should consider before going ahead with direct response television advertising. By understanding and avoiding these 5 DRTV faux pas, they have a better chance to make money with their marketing and make direct marketing television work for them. Without them, a direct response dream could turn into a marketing nightmare. So, keep these points in mind when developing DRTV best practices for your business.
1. In TV Direct Response, You Get What You Pay For
More specifically, paying for direct response experience is worth it. Why is that? Simply put, a direct response TV producer will already know when and where to procure optimum airtime for you. This boosts your exposure to your target audience and is reliable since they've already been through the learning process. Often, direct response television companies have the leverage to acquire low media rates with television stations, allowing you to test at lower cost. That saved money allows telemarketing to be linked to your project, which you can use to track direct response metrics and judge direct response television media performance.
Even if you're willing to work with new direct response TV companies, ask to see their commercial reel before you commit to a deal at all. The quality of the product is just as important as the leverage and experience they bring. If a firm doesn't make good commercials but has the experience, they probably don't have the leverage and the message won't be as well received. Treat direct response television media marketing services as though they're undergoing a rigorous QA process.
2. Price Point is Important
The big selling point of direct response television is often that the item in question is being promoted through a marketing sale, which presents the customer with potential savings and a sense of urgency as the sale will end soon. Offering a sale is important, but don't sell yourself short. The direct response television advertising rate you offer can make or break the success of your sale. According to several articles on DRTV, the ideal markup is a 5:1 ratio between product and goods. This isn't a hard line, and you can charge more or less. The point of that statement is to make it clear that a markup should be present to ensure that the infomercial or short form ad is effective and profitable.
3. Understand the Metrics
In direct response television marketing, there are two metrics that you want to understand before you begin. Research these terms and understand them before you begin. The media efficiency ratio, or MER, is in simple terms the amount you get back compared to the amount you spend. In a 10:1 ratio, you get ten dollars back for every 1 you spend. The cost per order, or CPO, is the amount spent on the advertising overall, divided by the number of orders that marketing generated. These will tell you your return on investment and if your marketing was worth it. Ideally, the agency you set up your direct response marketing with will supply you with worksheets to record and track these two metrics.
4. Don't Expect Direct Response Television to Make You a Superstar
A large mistake made in regard to DRTV is the idea that by putting out an infomercial you'll automatically generate interest and purchases. This isn't necessarily true. The most successful direct response television marketing is done with products that have mass appeal. For example, if you were selling a health food product, anyone with an interest in health might purchase it. If you were selling an item that exclusively targets a single segment and can't be used by anyone else, however, your run on DRTV may be less lucrative. Direct response television is primarily used to sell products that anyone in a large, sweeping group can use. Take SimplyCast 360, for example. Our platform can be used by sales, support, marketing and management in any business worldwide. We cater to a broad market. However, if we were to isolate to a single channel or a single industry, our customer pool would get much smaller and we would have less success marketing through direct response television.
5. Demonstrate Your Problem-Solver in Your Marketing
One of the biggest mistakes of direct response television marketing, particularly on television, is marketing a product without explaining its purpose. If a customer doesn't understand why they need something, they likely won't want to learn about it or spend any money on it. Clearly state the problem or problems that your product can resolve, and underline the versatility of the product in order to entice as many people as possible who could use the product. Keeping it relevant to any of the needs it can fulfill is important.
These are just a few tips on maintaining a healthy direct response television marketing experience, and will help you to decide if DRTV is for you. For more information on DRTV marketing, check out our specialized DRTV page.
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