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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports

1 Jul, 2005 By: Response Contributor Response

Online University Mixes Brand and Direct Advertising

The Webmercial utilized brand-building elements to get a clear message across, and it capitalized on the momentum of that message by incorporating direct response techniques. How has the campaign performed? Early returns indicate it is performing extremely well. The ad unit was run on a cost-per-lead basis, and, so far, it has generated more than 5,000 leads in less than three months.

Most importantly, the leads have been of extremely high quality, converting to all their most significant benchmarks at a higher rate than any of the other leads generated. Perhaps the ultimate judge of a lead's quality is the eventual cost-per-enrollment that the university pays on a batch of leads, and in this regard the numbers look very positive for the brand-direct campaign — it is saving the university nearly $1,000 per enrollment over other forms of Web-based lead generation campaigns.

Accounting for Brand Advertising

Brand-direct marketing requires a careful collaboration between these two formerly isolated practices. No longer does a marketing decision have to be an "either/or" choice. Direct marketing essentially puts the customer in control of the relationship, and in so doing, it allows the marketer to substantiate the brand image.

Traditional marketers won't hesitate to place a measurable ROI on direct marketing campaigns, but they would never dream of placing such "restrictions" on brand advertising campaigns. Yet the concept of brand-direct marketing is plainly measurable not only in the number of new customers it brings in, but in the retention and advocacy of loyal customers as well. Simply, Web advertising, with its ability to combine brand and direct into the same message, makes brand advertising more accountable.

Paul Epstein is the CEO of an online marketing solutions company specializing in lead generation and customer acquisition services. Epstein can be reached at (415) 339-8800.

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