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Direct Response Marketing

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

1 Sep, 2008 By: Thomas Haire Response

Eden: Constantly changing technology is now a fact of life. This has caused us to expand our IT staff to enable us customize telemarketing and reporting.

Fays: Viacom has built a proprietary DR/paid programming tracking system that allows us to view consumer spending habits, thus giving my account executives insight into which shows clients will perform best based on appropriate demographics.

Hawthorne: HD's impending conversion has more and more clients looking to shoot on HD — a major shift in just the past year.

Knight: We're continuing to develop more opportunities to provide advertisers the ability to identify, target and reach consumers through non-traditional platforms, including online, VOD, mobile and wireless.

Lee: We are changing our marketing pie and moving more to subscription-based modeling for all products. The Internet is more of a major vertical, and DRTV is playing a role in pushing the consumer to have a better customer experience. Mobile will become far more evident in the next 12-24 months.

Medico: As an agency, we are totally reliant on technology to manage and report our media activity daily. From tracking spot airings electronically and downloading of telemarketing information, as well as daily analysis and reports, we see technology as the catalyst. The pressure during the next 12 months will be to get as close to real-time information in the media systems for instant tracking, review and analysis.

Orsmond: I cannot speak for all 25 European countries, but here in the U.K. we recognized several years ago that the best way to help our DRTV clients keep ahead of their competitors was for ARM Direct to invest more than $500,000 in creating Armada, a bespoke analytical software which allows all our DR clients remote, password-protected access to their daily sales data online. Several of our DRTV clients are multi-national companies, and they can log on and view their sales data — everything from daily response per-TV-channel, per-telephone-number to airtime and budget reconciliation per DRTV creative from wherever they are. The world is a global village and as one of the U.K.'s busiest DRTV agencies, we needed to offer campaign tracking and analysis in easy-to-understand daily reports. The U.K. introduced 16:9 widescreen and interactive TV digital technology before any other European country, and this means British consumers are ahead in the television technology race. For example, Britain leads Europe in the sales volume of HD flat-screen televisions, confirming the view that the British like to embrace new technologies and pay top dollar to be first. The 2012 Olympics in London is also predicted to generate even more sales as viewers rush to upgrade their cable and digital TV packages before the start of the games.

Sarnow: We are relying more on the Internet than ever before in building our business. We are also finding that reaching the Hispanic market is a major priority for our clients. More than ever, we hear dissatisfaction from marketers trying to achieve excellent sales results in the telemarketing space. Technology is finding solutions to all of these areas.

Savage: Our ability to re-target and understand consumers' interests by tracking behavior online, and to contextually target with relevant online content, is dramatically impacting media plans and product sales. Social media will become even more influential in customer education and behavior in the year ahead.

Stacey: In the past 12 months, not much has significantly changed at our company technology-wise, except everyone — including the janitor — now has a Blackberry and most people are available on it 24/7. This has definitely increased the mobility of our staff, increased their productivity and increased our speed-to-market core competences.

Is it becoming more important to produce DR campaigns in HD? If so, what are the cost differences from producing your campaign in standard mode?

Garnett: Fundamentally, it costs little more to shoot and edit HD. The problems come with integrating HD with older film/footage. In many cases, clients have to re-shoot entire libraries of existing footage in order to upgrade new productions to HD. That's where the major cost comes from.

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