Field Reports1 May, 2005 By: Thomas Haire, Nicole Urso Reed Response
HSN Viewers Shop With Their Remotes
Tim O'Leary: It's a funny issue, since nobody in this industry really reports any numbers. There are probably a half-dozen companies claiming to be the "biggest DR agency." Still, I think this deal is one of the bigger things to happen in the DR business in a long time — I don't know that you've had two of the larger entities in the business combine forces on an equal basis. If we can take the methodologies of true direct response — ATC is a leader there — and combine that with Respond2's expertise with DR for corporate clients, it makes us pretty formidable and appealing.
Michelle Cardinal: I think this is the first real move between two traditional DR service providers to independently come together and do something. Our team differentiates us — all four of us have extensive careers in the industry, and I don't think any agency has the talent we have.
Response: What will the new entity be able to do to reach out to larger companies interested in using DR marketing?
Marilyn Davis: With the expertise we have in dealing with setting up how the back-end services work in conjunction with a media buy, we can really reach out to larger companies who may not understand that end of DR. There are a lot of moving parts in the back end of a campaign. Most clients use more than one telemarketer — when you're doing $30,000 media buys, a lot of call centers can't handle the spikes. We have the kind of people who understand what a direct campaign really entails.
Cardinal: We really can offer a full slate of services — more than just media and production. We have a strong Web team that knows how to build and design for maximum ROI. We take care of the little things, like trafficking dubs, and have all the technologies needed to run a smooth campaign.
Response: How do you think these services help you stand apart within the agency realm?
Cardinal: Often, a major company comes to us, they think they know how to do DR, but they don't. They realize it when they see all the little nuances we just talked about.
O'Leary: We have clients who are sophisticated direct marketers and know exactly what we know. But what happens, even with these marketers, is that their original philosophies have been so successful, they haven't looked at other things — the Web, short-form vs. long-form, etc. With the new team, we've looked at hundreds of campaigns in hundreds of ways, and we can give them advice they normally wouldn't think of.
Savage: With soft offers becoming so big of late, our experience there helps also. With the advent of soft offers, the offer configuration has become so important. It completely impacts how the back end of a campaign is handled. To be able to have an understanding of how an entire campaign comes together based on product category and offer should set us apart with current and future clients.