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Direct Response Marketing

Response Magazine's 13th Annual State of the Industry Report

1 Sep, 2008 By: Thomas Haire Response

Medico: As an agency, our ability to adapt to a client and his or her individual need is key. Having skilled workers to execute a plan in as nimble a way as possible is also crucial. There is enormous pressure on traditional marketers to succeed in developing a market for their products, and they see DR as a means to this end. It's a golden opportunity for the DR industry.

Orsmond: In the U.K., it comes down to changing the OFCOM Broadcast Rules to allow a wider range of advertisers and products to be sold on TV channels. For example, currently we cannot use DRTV to advertise vitamin supplements or alternative health products. OFCOM also must allow infomercials to generate leads rather than just selling products within the so-called home shopping windows that are available on a growing number of U.K. cable and satellite TV channels.

Sarnow: Health and growth in the DR industry depends on consumers that believe the products that are offered on TV are reputable, well priced and deliver on the promises made. When marketers take shortcuts, looking for ways to make a quick buck instead of taking a long-term consumer-centric perspective, our entire industry suffers. If consumer confidence falls, then buying products on TV will take a backseat to the Internet and other alternative outlets. Talking about changes that cannot be enacted or waving a magic wand is unrealistic. Taking care of our customers is in our own hands. Self-regulation is only as strong as the "self" doing the regulation. Every vendor, every marketer has the responsibility to go beyond the mentality of, "If I don't do it, someone else will," and refuse to take on projects that are less than ethical. After all, 98 percent of the people on this planet do believe that what goes around, comes around. If we collectively walk the walk, the health and growth of our industry will be fantastic.

Savage: Growth and prosperity will come with increased media availability across all channels and sellers willing to price their media affordably, based on its real value to the marketers who need it to reach their consumers. It's up to the marketers and agencies to create compelling products and advertising to keep the consumers interested.

Stacey: We need additional media access in continually important across all platforms like TV, the Internet and mobile. Governmental rulings concerning airtime for shopping channels, net neutrality and mobile regulations are important for industry associations like ERA to constantly monitor. ERA is active in this area. Without increased media or increased access to media, there will be a limit to the growth of the DR industry.

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