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Direct Response Marketing

Guest Opinion: New Rules for Retail Support

1 Nov, 2012 By: Dick Wechsler Response

During the past two decades, retail has moved from being the end game for DRTV marketers to the game. In the 1990s, DRTV products were brought to retail at the end of their TV lives. It was believed that the availability of products in stores hurt the response and profitability of the TV campaign. So, the savvy marketer planned the retail launch just as the final profits were being squeezed from the DRTV campaign.

Today, the As Seen On TV category has become a major presence at virtually every mass retailer. The revenue potential now far outstrips that of DRTV as a direct-to-consumer channel. Andy Khubani, founder of IdeaVillage, a leading DRTV marketing company, explains that Wal-Mart alone allocates 12 feet of shelf space in every store for As Seen On TV products and that, in total, “The category generates over $2 billion annually in retail revenue.”

As a result, the DRTV marketer now begins planning retail strategy at the same time it begins testing a campaign on TV. This shift of sales, revenues and profits from TV to retail demands a change in media planning, buying and tracking as well. Here are six new rules for retail support:

1. Expand your media vocabulary. Cost-per-order (CPO), cost-per-lead (CPL) and media efficiency ratio (MER) work well when measuring a directly attributed DRTV campaign. However, cost-per-thousand (CPM), cost-per-point (CPP), gross rating point (GRP), targeted rating point (TRP), impressions (IMPS), reach-and-frequency (R/F), and cost-per-retail-unit (CPR) become extremely important when planning,analyzing, measuring and optimizing media for retail support.

2. Narrow the rotation. Target your media to better fit with retail buying habits. Most retail sales occur on the weekend. Run your campaigns from Wednesday through Sunday, rather than over seven days. Focus the buy on the high-reach rotations of early fringe (Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m.), prime access (Monday through Friday, 7-8 p.m.) prime (Monday through Friday, 8-11 p.m.) and weekend days and evenings. Limit daytime cable to less than 25 percent of the total buy.

3. Run shorter length commercial units. A 120-second, 60-second and 30-second spot all reach the same number of viewers when they run. However, a 30 costs one-fourth the price of a 120. So you can reach four times as many people with a 30 as you can with a 120 for the same price. When it comes to supporting retail, the number of people you reach is critical to lifting sales.

4. Add print to the mix. Free-standing inserts and store circulars really lift retail sales. By targeting those buys to the markets with the most significant penetration of stores where your product is available, you’ll eliminate as much as 20 percent waste from your buys and make the campaign that much more efficient.

5. Pricing is everything. As with DRTV, the price of media is critical to success. While you’ll now be measuring the success of your campaign against CPR rather than CPO or CPL, the less you pay for the media, the more likely it is to succeed. You don’t want to pay more than a $2 CPM for a 30-second spot.

6. Success is almost immediate. If the plan is right, you’ll see a significant lift in sales within one week. ■

About the Author: Dick Wechsler

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