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DRMA Spotlight: Putting DR to the Test

1 Apr, 2011 By: Jackie Jones Response

Understanding the hows and whys of all relationships within the direct response space keeps Broadcast Communications Media at the top of its game.

Turning a $5,000 media test into an $18 million campaign isn’t something that happens overnight — but at Broadcast Communications Media Inc., it did happen in just a year-and-a-half for one client. The company credits such wins to its all-encompassing understanding of the DR world, as well as its tendency to test, test and test again to ensure maximum campaign success.

Broadcast Communications Media (BC Media), a direct response marketing company headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., was founded in 2002 with an original focus on television and radio media buying. Since then, founder Doug Frankel has utilized his 20-plus years of direct response experience to take the company beyond media buying and transform it into a true creative marketing partner for existing and prospective clients.

“What separates us is that over the last several years, we’ve come to understand all the relationships that go into the direct response paradigm: media options and the media test, inbound and outbound telemarketing, scripting the offer and the continuity, and how all components work individually and together to support a product’s growth,” says Frankel, the company’s president and CEO. “Not only do we understand media — whether something has the potential to work best in short-form TV, long-form TV, radio, print or online — but we understand the relationships involved in growing that media and growing it effectively.”

Broadcast Communications Media is primarily a media buyer — “what I find is we’re very, very good at effective, grind-it-out media buying; it’s what we do, it’s primarily how we get paid,” Frankel says — but has evolved into much more as the company has earned the trust of clients looking for recommendations on quality industry vendors, including fulfillment houses, telemarketers, merchant processing companies and other key companies involved in all facets of the production and creative process.

“Over the last six or seven years, I think the services we provide encompass all of that,” Frankel says. “We can take a product, take that little glimmer in someone’s eye, and we’re able to look at the efficacy of the product and see what it could potentially deliver.”

Broadcast Communications Media aims to offer its clients a low barrier of entry, and does so by thoroughly analyzing and testing out all campaigns with lower dollar media before risking its customers’ budgets.

“If the barrier of entry is smaller, it’s easier for clients to take a shot,” Frankel says. “As much as people always say, ‘I’ve got tons of money, I’m backed by millions of dollars,’ the fact is no one wants to lose money. What Broadcast Communications Media tries to do is minimize any potential loss while looking at all facets and upside to the campaign. I think that’s a service we provide that is really, really a competitive advantage.”

Broadcast Communications Media’s client roster includes a wide range of product categories, from those in skincare and nutraceuticals to lead-generation programs in insurance, health care and financial, and also includes some branding clients looking to support their retail distribution by finding a good “DR-like sales hook,” according to Frankel.

“No matter the product, good media is good media,” he says. “What BC Media is good at is identifying the product and its potential, and understanding what each client is trying to accomplish — it’s creating the best possible relationships for maximizing the potential success, making sure the commercial has the right offer and call-to-action. Once you do that, performance is really key.”

Broadcast Communications Media has recently started to look to participate with a product or category on its own — or joint venture, using its diverse relationships to help get potential opportunities started, something that Frankel says is a tremendous advantage in the company’s client relationships.

“We become the incubator, we get the bruises and we can say we’ve done it before,” he says. “We essentially become the client, and by doing that we understand their pain, their growth, all the processes and elements to the equation. As we get better at this, we learn something new every day and this translates to our successful buying, and our successful performance.”

At the forefront of Broadcast Communications Media’s future plans is growth — both for the company itself and its clients. “We’ll focus on our growth in radio and television media buying, and in building our relationships with various vendors in all aspects of the DR industry,” says Frankel, who adds that many companies can talk about how and why they will improve, but Broadcast Communications Media is one who will actually test out new opportunities to ensure maximum performance.

“We’re humble guys here, and we want to gain our clients’ trust and take a portion of budget that will not disrupt the campaign to test all areas for efficiency and results, so we can then grow those areas as much as possible,” Frankel says. “We’re very conservative to start, but once we realize there’s something there, we’ll step on the gas and we’ll step on it as well as anybody.”

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