Deals abound for DRTV
Thanks to negotiable rates and desirable time slots, some products see rising DRTV success
Experts also say certain product categories tend to do better during a recession. Tim Pearson, VP and general manager of direct response for Gaiam, an online retailer of healthy lifestyle products, says the fitness vertical tends to do well because people tend to cancel their gym memberships and personal training sessions in a downturn. Gaiam currently has long-form spots running for the Wave Speed Slimming System and the GT Xpress 101.
“This is when you really see the economy come into play,” Medved says. “A product [like the GT Xpress] solves the meal-on-the-go problem, which is a longstanding one in the housewares vertical. That kind of sell [will] thrive in this environment.”
Cardinal says even higher-priced items can do well if they still seem to give value to the consumer. “We've seen a lot of flexible payment plans,” she says of orders for the NordicTrack. “Anything that's value-driven is definitely going to work.”
Pearson has become more cautious with his company's buying. “We're trying to buy smarter and leaner and really manage the minutia of the buys closer, because there's less room for waste than there was before,” he says.
However, at the end of the day, the experts say the product is still king. “We're still looking to provide a solution to a unique problem with a unique product that has mass market appeal at a great value,” Medved says.
Though it's still unclear where the market is headed, Cardinal believes that DRTV media buying rates will go up a bit going into the second quarter. “The business [will stay] strong, because marketers want to see ROI right now,” she says.