Editor’s Note: The DR-to-Retail Model Reaches New Heights1 Oct, 2013 By: Thomas Haire Response
Though most headlines in the TV advertising space in recent months seem focused on a flailing market hampered by “cord cutting,” ubiquitous online video and other issues that — without question — need to be addressed, another expanding theme in the direct response space was reconfirmed on September 25 in Las Vegas. When Response and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) honored Euro-Pro LLC as the winner of the Fifth Annual DRMA Marketer of the Year Award (see page 22) — and announced that Hampton Direct and Tristar Products had finished second and third respectively — the power of the DR-to-retail marketing model reached new heights.
When I became the editor of Response in 2001, retailers’ aversion to products that used direct response marketing was rivaled only by those marketers who thought putting their products into retail would cannibalize sales. Simply, there was no bridge to be built between DR marketers and major retailers.
Today, DR and retail go together so well that there appear to be countless bridges — all filled with rush-hour traffic — between the two. And whether it’s legacy As Seen On TV product marketers pushing their products to retail with short-form spots, or retailers asking big branders like Hoover or SC Johnson to drive interest in their products by airing DR campaigns, all marketers and retailers are embracing the power of direct response.
Intriguingly, the three finalists in the DRMA Marketer of the Year competition each come at the DR-to-retail plan from different angles.
Euro-Pro has spent years building its housewares brands using a mix of long-form and short-form DR that sells direct but is mainly focused on building a major retail brand. To say that has worked well would be an understatement — Euro-Pro has earned a Walmart Supplier of the Year award four years running.
Meanwhile, Hampton Direct has perfected the short-form-to-retail formula driving so many of the products you see on the As Seen On TV shelves at your local shops. With products that run the gamut of markets, from clothing to beauty to housewares, Hampton’s successes have been recognized by DRMA voters during each of the past three years — as well as by the expanding roster of retailers clamoring for their products.
Tristar Products has been doing a little of both for the past two decades, using long-form DR to push higher-priced products to consumers and into retail, while also building powerful short-form brands that transition well from the As Seen On TV shelf to in-line shelves, thanks to targeted media spending that keeps products alive.
While TV advertising is faced with technological changes that will force marketers to stay on their toes, those technologies — used properly — can be a boon to the ever-expanding tandem of direct-to-consumer marketing and retail shopping.
— Thomas Haire, Editor-in-Chief