DRTV: The next generation

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DRTV: The next generation
DRTV: The next generation
“Thirty minutes might have cost $4,000 on a major cable network on a Saturday morning in 1982,” Solt­off says. “That same half-hour today costs $45,000.”

Soltoff cites one client, vacuum manufacturer Shark Euro-Pro, that focused more on its Internet presence after seeing the shift in infomercial costs, and in just a few years went from receiving 95% of its sales via TV and 5% via post office box, to receiving nearly 50% of its orders through the Internet. But, he con­tinues, the shift is being driven by more than rising media costs.

“In the past five years, thanks to the Internet, consumers have decided they're going to learn about and buy products when and how they want,” he explains.

Studies also now show that con­sumers are increasingly browsing the Internet while they watch TV, which means a DRTV ad is almost guaranteed to have greater impact if it gives viewers the option of using that channel.

“A couple of years ago, maybe only 10% of people would go to the Web if you put your URL in a DRTV commercial,” says Peter Koeppel, founder and president of direct marketing shop Koeppel Direct. “We're now averaging 30%, with some campaigns up to 70% to 90%, of consumers going to the Web site.”

Also driving some marketers away from DRTV this year is the spike in political activity. Because political campaigns tend to buy up the same time slots as DRTV marketers, the prices are even higher.

Koeppel, however, points out that abandoning TV in search of costum­ers isn't a winning strategy for all demographics. “The senior segment is still very strong for DRTV,” he says. “They don't have as many media options, and for the most part they are home during the day.”

That said, the days of DRTV-only sales may permanently be a thing of the past, at least for Duitch. In fact, Vertical Branding is moving thoroughly into Web 2.0, including launching a social network later in 2008 that allows people to offer opin­ions on current products as well as those in development.

“I think this is the way it's going to be,” she says. “I think that peo­ple are going to have to get smart. They're going to have to diversify and become multichannel distribu­tors of product. I don't see it as grim — I see it as being smart.”

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