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Direct Response Marketing

It's a Buyer's Market Out There

1 Oct, 2009 By: Nicole Urso Reed Response

DR Digs Deeper Into Mobile

Mobile phones, especially Web-enabled smart phones, are commonly referred to as the third screen. In order to reach consumers on all fronts, multi-channel campaigns should have a three-prong strategy in place for television, Web and mobile ads.

Marketing & Media Services, a Warwick, R.I.-based per-inquiry (PI) television advertising agency, started integrating mobile marketing into its media buying strategy. With PI advertising, clients only pay for leads generated, regardless of how many times a commercial airs, and the cost of leads can be capped off at a pre-negotiated fee. This same media placement and lead generation is applied to mobile.

"In line with what you're doing on TV with a toll-free number or Web site, we can drive to those same things with mobile," says Sally Dickson, president of Marketing & Media Services.

Banner ads are targeted and distributed to mobile WAP sites through networks such as AdMob or Mobile Posse; consumers click through to a DR advertiser's site where they can purchase a product directly, call to order or fill out a form requesting free information. Leads are then delivered to a call center, or if consumers request information, the data is stored and can be used at a later date for remarketing.

"[Clients] control when they serve these ads so it coincides with telemarketing hours," says Dickson. "That makes it very attractive. They can also control the amount of volume."

The next frontier in mobile is geo-targeting. Mobile marketers are exploring ways to target consumers locally and drive them into retail stores with electronic coupons and other offers delivered directly to their phones. This level of precision targeting and measurable response is something that could rival the most effective direct mail campaigns and also come at cheaper production and distribution costs.

Preparing for Web-to-TV Video

Apple TV and Yahoo's TV Widgets, which integrate Web surfing and TV viewing on a single screen, didn't take off as quickly as some people had predicted. However, viewing Web content on the living room TV set is becoming easier as new technologies continue to simplify the process of streaming online content to television for the less-than-tech-savvy consumers. At the same time, companies like Hulu are striking deals with national networks and cable companies including Fox, NBC and MTVN, as well as independent Web producers, to host a larger library of premium TV and movie content.

"If they ever figure out a way to make it seamless for the viewer, it could be very competitive against us," says Fays. "But currently, we haven't seen it as taking away from our viewership or advertising. Down the line, it could be a concern."

Hulu hosts MTVN shows, like "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report" and "Cribs." It's a free, added distribution channel that presumably feeds new viewers back into MTVN. Hulu offers free content with spot advertising that cannot be skipped. Consumers also have the option of paying a subscription fee for ad-free content.

Rather than ignoring or fighting against the trend, Fays believes that advertisers need to go where the consumers are going. Figuring out how to monetize DR dollars and build upon the already $600 million paid programming business at MTVN is part of the natural progression.

"It's scary but that's where it's going," he says. "You have to embrace it, not fear it."

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About the Author: Nicole Urso Reed

Nicole Urso Reed

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