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Direct Response Marketing

Net Gains: Are DRTV Advertisers Paying for Consumers Who Go to Their Competitors’ Web Sites?

1 Dec, 2010 By: Irv Brechner Response


What if I told you that up to 70 percent of DRTV dollars are resulting in consumers going to competing Web sites? Would you believe it? Probably not, but that’s exactly what’s happening, and the solution is very simple and cost effective — yet complex to execute correctly.

I reviewed 27 DRTV commercials on Fox News Channel in October, and found that 19 had zero or very low visibility in Google on keywords that consumers who watched the commercials would enter into a search engine. This means that companies who do little or no search but who run DRTV campaigns are losing potential consumers to their competitors.

For example, a notable DRTV advertiser pushing reverse mortgages is absent from this Google search on “reverse mortgage”:

This means that every consumer who sees this company’s spot and goes to Google instead of typing in the URL will be tempted to click on a competitor's link. In this category, the number of Google searches per month indicates the critical nature of this phenomenon:

In another category, investing, another prominent DRTV advertiser is losing potential clients by not being present on Google for the keyword “investing”:

And the potential losses here are even higher:

Keyword Monthly Google Searches

The same thing is going on across a wide range of verticals. While the solution “just do search” seems simple enough, it’s just not that simple.

In the same way that you probably spent a lot of time developing a strategy, creative treatment, offer and messaging for your commercial, you need to do the same for your integrated search — which needs to include both SEM and SEO. You need a search strategy that ties in the content of your commercial with the keywords and content of your search ads. The goal is to have high visibility for both organic searches and your paid ads on Google and Yahoo/Bing.

If you are doing search, that’s good, but your strategy needs to reflect what you’re saying in your TV spots. In my analysis, I saw several big DRTV advertisers who are also doing a fair amount of paid search (that’s good), but their messaging was not in sync with their TV spots (not good). Think total integration between your DRTV and search efforts. ■


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