Would You Walk Out of Your House Without Underwear or Shoes? Then Why Walk Into DRTV As Your Only Media Tactic?

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Back in the early days of the Wild West of DRTV, when ERA was NIMA, when Guthy-Renker was not the biggest name around, when marketers took booths at our trade shows armed with celebrities, young girls bouncing up and down on exercise gadgets and colorful booths the size of a football field, there was a much better chance of using TV as your exclusive medium to launch new product, drive profitable sales or leads and keep doing it again and again.

Cut to 2006: Fragmentation abounds. Media efficiency ratios are drooping. Customers are harder than ever to reach. So, I ask you, how can DRTV be the only medium you use to reach customers in 2006? That strategy is like leaving the house without shoes on and expecting that you won't stub your toe on the way out.

Do not be afraid to embrace and explore new and traditional media to enhance the TV that you are spending so much money on. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Even tiny entrepreneurial marketers can play like the big boys and do complimentary marketing to their DRTV efforts as an integrated campaign. Don't forget, the Internet is the big equalizer. Why not use some of your DRTV elements right in your Web site? Create a special landing page with elements from your spot, perhaps welcoming the consumer with an interactive host or hostess. Use pieces of the creative or offer or art direction on your web site so that it is not a completely separate environment.

Watch how the big retailers do it: tag lines, logos, design, elements, tone are similar across all media platforms. Print efforts, online banners, inserts, mobile content messages, radio should all have a similar tone and messaging.

The cost to integrate your look and marketing efforts should not be monumental. There are small shops out there that understand this new world of direct response and are focused on optimizing your dollars and lowering your customer acquisition costs regardless of the media.

It is the message, not the medium that should drive your strategy. There are now one-stop media shops that can buy long and short form TV, print, Internet and radio. There are also a few creative shops out there that can execute creative in all media. We should be forging these trails, not the big branding agencies that do not understand direct response.

Do your homework: Find the shops that can deliver strong messages with clear benefits, unique selling propositions and exciting offers through all media platforms. Of course, TV is sexy. TV is showy. But TV is also scary. Especially if you are betting the farm on it. Don't get me wrong. TV is more persuasive than any other medium, but the success of it can be dramatically expanded when complimentary programs enforce it.

So the next time you are planning that big TV production to launch your next product, test your creative and media shops in how your message would play in other media for an integrated approach. Only then can you confidently walk out the front door of your marketing house fully dressed and ready for the challenges and opportunities that arise as soon as you step outside.

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