Evoking grim reminders of 2005, second-quarter 2009 long-form DRTV media billings fell 16 percent — a $49.3 million slide to $260,805,000. This result is just $10 million above 2Q 2005's $250.8 million total. In step with 1Q 2009, this quarter also notched two more important records — the total number of timeslots purchased reached an all-time record high of 635,337, and the average cost of a half-hour block fell to a new record low of $410.50.
Funds, Crafts and Appliances
Seven of the 15 categories posted second-quarter gains. The "Fundraising" category was the top percentage gainer with a 33-fold increase of $3.8 million. The "Crafts, Collectibles and Hobbies" category earned top dollar-gainer status with a $7.9 million advance (80.8 percent). The "Housewares and Appliances" category was second in dollar-to-dollar gain, with a $4.3 million jump.
The sharpest dollar decline during the second quarter was suffered by the "Cosmetics, Hair and Personal Care" category, with a $28.4 million hit (34.7 percent). The top percentage loser was the "Home and Garden" category, which lost 48.9 percent ($16.9 million). Another notable loser was the "Music and Video" category, with a $3.4 million decline of 42.2 percent.
Only one of the three forms of media distribution reported a gain this quarter. National cable shrank 19.6 percent, with a $30.2 million loss — a double reverse from the $14.9 million gain of 2Q 2008. However, broadcast more than regained its 2Q 2008 loss of $4.26 million with an 11.2-percent gain ($15.3 million). Satellite continued to spin out of orbit, with 19-percent loss of $3.8 million.
Building upon the 27-percent increase of the total number of timeslots purchased in the first quarter, the second quarter also grew 27 percent with a massive 135,028 extra timeslots purchased to total a record-setting 635,337. This quarter broke first quarter's recently set record by more than 40,000 timeslots.
National cable enjoyed a solid 35-percent increase, with an additional 43,233 timeslots, expanding its market share by 1.5 percentage points. Broadcast made serious waves with an additional 70,722 timeslots for a 20.6-percent gain. However, its market share still lost 3.4 points. Satellite took off with a 63-percent gain thanks to an additional 21,073 timeslots and saw its market share grow by 1.9 percentage points.
Nearly 800 Go Over the Moon at DRMA Marketer of the Year Event
LAS VEGAS — A full house of 550 people saw Allstar Marketing Group LLC, led by President Scott Boilen, win the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Marketer of the Year Award. Over the course of the three-hour event, held Sept. 14 at Las Vegas' Moon nightclub (located in the Palms Resort & Casino), nearly 800 direct response industry insiders joined the party, making it the largest Response/DRMA networking cocktail event to date.
"The excitement at the inaugural DRMA Marketer of the Year event was palpable from the moment we opened the doors," says John Yarrington, publisher of Response and co-founder of the DRMA. "It was a thrill to present the award to such a great company as Allstar, and also to honor the other great finalists — Product Partners and TELEBrands. All 10 nominees deserved the recognition they earned at this event."
Attendees enjoyed the evening's events, including the announcement of the Marketer of the Year winner, which was accompanied by a laser-light show and the opening of the 53rd -floor club's retractable roof. "What a great party," says Doug Garnett, CEO of Portland, Ore.-based Atomic Direct. "I loved the stadium-style roof rollback — only in Vegas!"
Sandra J. Cercone, president of JBT Media Management in Phoenix, also reveled in the event, which included a networking cocktail hour prior to the award announcement and an after-hours dance club following. "I am constantly finding myself entertained to see the creativity achieved by the Response team," she says. "I am even more curious to see what they will do next."
The reception was sponsored by REVShare, Litle & Co., IFS and Dial 800, and honored 10 nominees for the award, including the three finalists. Online voting garnered nearly 1,000 votes in the competition. The innovative nominees, in addition to the top three, included BJ Global, Cash4Gold, HAAN USA, J.G. Wentworth, Ontel Products Corp., Thane Direct and Tristar Products.
When Doug Garnett, CEO of Atomic Direct in Portland, Ore., began working on a campaign for a hardware company called Kreg, the timing was perfect.
Kreg (kregtool.com) sells products to both professionals and do-it-yourselfers (DIY), but it hadn't been selling its wares online when it hired Atomic Direct for some DR work. Kreg built a micro-site (a specialty page to capture buyers from TV) dubbed http://www.kregjig.com/ and posted it on an infomercial.
"We were able to get a clean look at the impact of DRTV, and it worked quite well," says Garnett, a member of the Response Editorial Advisory Board.
This is a fine example of how marketers are converting TV viewers into online buyers. But as advertisers continue their march into the great digital domain, they sometimes find themselves tugging to make offline and online campaigns meet in the money-making middle.
Measuring Response in Online Campaigns
Clearly one hurdle marketers are facing is how to measure the online impact from a DRTV campaign. In fact, Garnett himself calls it one of "the hardest problem" areas. Specifically, he says it gets tough in the crossover from DRTV driving Web traffic.
"We all use micro-sites, but many consumers don't use the micro-sites. Instead, they type in the product name or company name in Google or Bing and follow the links," he says. "So they end up at the corporate Web site. When consumers don't use the micro-site, the best you can do — and not many people are doing this — is to use regression analysis over a longer period, say three weeks to three months, to estimate the portion of general Web site traffic that's driven by your media."
So how many TV viewers actually use micro-sites? "It depends on the quality of the micro-site name," Garnett says. "With a good name, we've seen as much as 40 percent to 60 percent of the DRTV-driven response that can be tracked. With poor names, it can be 5 percent to 10 percent, or lower."
"Good names," according to Garnett, are: » Short — 15 characters or less » Memorable — And like the company or product name, but without risk of error typing it in » Unique — "Dupont15" isn't unique, and just adding "TV" to the end hasn't proven very effective
Another measurement tool is the offer code, a word or number that consumers enter to get a special deal. "This raises as much discussion in the industry as vanity 800 numbers," Garnett says. "This approach asks the consumer to do our marketing for us. And that never pays out. Our job is to figure out how to measure. Their job is to buy the product."
Some marketers add personalized URLs to direct mail so every recipient has his or her own URL for response. "It's interesting, and there are probably some useful times to implement this," Garnett says.
Some companies are emerging to help with tracking, one of which is RingRevenue, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based firm that offers pay-per-call tracking. Company founders realized that many Web sites don't list phone numbers because there's no good way to track which site a call came from. So RingRevenue tracks calls all the way to purchase, so the site that drove the sale can get credit, according to Rob Duva, RingRevenue's CMO. He adds that it also allows sites to offer more complex products that consumers may research online, but are more comfortable buying over the phone.