Clever Doesn't Always Work

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Television lets advertisers create an emotional response from viewers that other media cannot replicate. That is not to say no other medium does a better job at qualifying and involving customers into making an actual purchase.

"Realistically, you need to utilize all market channels to sustain a business over the long haul," said Thomas Connerty, vice president of marketing at Nautilus Group, Vancouver, WA.

Connerty advises marketers either involved in DRTV or seeking entry to have good margins built into their business model. Do not rely on creative to yield unrealistic lifts in response.

Moreover, back-end performance is critical to the success of any product sold on TV. And how marketers measure the lifetime value of a customer will determine their staying power in DRTV.

As for ad agencies, they should remember that DMers are trained to expect results. Consequently, they do not show much emotional attachment to an ad campaign - unless, of course, it works.

"Clever and funny ads may create emotion, but they don't create immediate response," Connerty said. "What we're looking for from agencies is added brain power, new ways to evaluate or execute our efforts that will generate dollars, not awards. Also, the quickest way for an agency to lose my respect is to refer to direct response television advertising as historically cheesy or schlocky. That demonstrates an absence of sophistication and knowledge about how people respond to commercials in this medium."

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