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Net Gains: Why Every DRTV Marketer Must Have a Great Paid Search Program

1 Jun, 2012 By: Irv Brechner Response

Why Every DRTV Marketer Must Have a Great Paid Search Program

If you run DRTV without a supportive paid search program, it is extremely likely that you’re leaving money on the table, losing customers to competitors and tarnishing your brand with a poor customer experience. That’s the bad news.

The good news: it’s easy (but complex) to fix this common issue.

Consumers respond to DRTV short-form spots and infomercials in three ways:

  • They call the 800 number.
  • They go to the website URL listed on the screen.
  • They type in company name, product name and buzzwords from the commercial into Google, Bing and other search engines.

The third case, which we call “DRTV-driven search,” is becoming more common and is at the root of the need for a superior paid search program — one that is designed to support and enhance the DRTV campaign.

Here’s what’s likely to happen if you don’t have a robust paid search (SEM) campaign to support your DRTV effort:

  • Some consumers order by phone — no problem.
  • Some go to the URL on the screen — you’re OK.
  • Some/many/most type search terms into Google, etc. — big problem.

The problem is this: if you don’t have a search program or you’re not bidding on every conceivable keyword related to your DRTV program, consumers will see competitors who are and often click to their sites, not yours.

Without customers coming from the DRTV-driven search channel, your media people will likely be wondering why the program isn’t performing well, and probably start cancelling media placements that appear to be losers. In fact, many of these “losers” are actually winners — if DRTV-driven search sales are taken into account!

That’s right. You could be cancelling profitable media simply because SEM is not in place. There is a fix to this problem: get a really great SEM program in place. But, as you might suspect, it’s not simple to execute.

Here are six key tactics that go into a great SEM program:

  • Communications: Get your search people and media people talking. They need to share information, schedules, etc., as the goal is to get the most accurate snapshot of how the DRTV is working — a combination of phone, Web and DRTV-driven search orders.
  • Copy Consistency: By reflecting an offer and verbiage used in a DRTV spot on your website and search copy, you provide a consistency that resonates with the consumer. Once they recognize your copy, they are more likely to click through to your DRTV site.
  • Copy Testing: DRTV spots generally leverage multiple unique selling propositions (USPs) for a product. Testing each USP against the others in A/B split tests informs the advertiser of what the consumer’s perceived value is regarding the product.
  • Offline/Online Budget Parallels: By ensuring that your digital budget is elevated to meet the offline schedule, you make sure that you maximize the amount of relevant traffic coming through to your DRTV site.
  • Landing Page Testing: If more than one commercial is being run with multiple offers, make sure to create landing pages for each offer. Testing the pages in an even serving rotation will let you know what converts more effectively on the back end.
  • Keyword Development: Make sure a thorough list of buzzwords exhibited in the DRTV spots are included in your bidding strategy (aside from the product or infomercial names themselves), as consumers may be prompted to search a phrase or word they remembered from the spot. Have your search team review the actual script and finished commercial to create this list.

Finally, you must develop a tracking and reporting system that combines phone orders, Web sales and sales coming through search. Once again, it’s easy to say but complex to implement — but you need to do it. That’s the game plan.


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