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Direct Response Marketing

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

1 Sep, 2008 By: Thomas Haire Response

Hawthorne: The sweet spot for DRTV marketers has always been an older (45-55) audience. We need another 10-15 years before we see Gen-X's full impact on DRTV, and by then, "push" marketing may be executed in an entirely different model. These generations are not "push" adverse; they're "stupid" adverse. So great advertising will still attract their attention.

Knight: In terms of consuming entertainment, the important Gen-X and Gen-Y demos live in an entirely different world than other demos. While they may watch television, they prefer to get their entertainment, news and information from other sources. Notably, the fact Barack Obama announced his vice presidential running mate via text messaging to his base of mobile subscribers is quite telling. This trend has been building momentum for the past several years, and DR has a wonderful opportunity to take a leading position in this business. Bottom line, marketers have to go where the consumers are, which is the foundation on which DR was built.

Medico: Get them where they are — online, mobile and out-of-home. At events, in transit, at home, wherever they are, they can respond and DR marketing needs to recognize this factor and to have the presence.

Orsmond: Our experience is the opposite, in that we find both Generation X and Y like marketing provided that the sales messages are relevant. For example, our longest and most successful DRTV advertiser has been active in the over-50 market for many years, and it is now finding its music continuity campaigns are doing even better. By this I mean many older buyers can't be bothered downloading stuff online. By comparison, their over-35 buyers, while being cash-rich but time-poor, are also choosing to buy music compilations that are delivered monthly direct to their door rather than spending hours on the Web or visiting retail outlets.

Sarnow: This question goes way beyond just direct response but is at the core of all advertising. Old-fashioned "yell-and-sell" simply will not work anymore. Gen-Y is far more Internet-oriented than television, and DR marketers will have to add video clips to their Web sites with much more creativity than before, as well as adding video clips for upsells, testimonials and demonstrations. Viral marketing will have to be a bigger part of marketing on the Web, and the many new Web channels must be leveraged to reach consumers where they hang out.

Stacey: We have gone from B-to-B to B-to-C and, I think, the new paradigm is C-to-C. It is the consumers who are selling to each other. If you look on and see the customer reviews — people are reading these before they make a purchase decision. Smart marketers understand this and are using it effectively in their marketing. One reason the P90X infomercial has been so successful is that it just doesn't use testimonials, it has people filming themselves with their own camera in their own home and sharing their success story with other consumers. You are going to see a continued growth in this consumer-led marketing.

What effect is online video having on this business?

Eden: It's the fastest-growing viewing audience.

Fays: At MTVN, we have our own dedicated DR online team to handle this rapidly growing business. By 2010, MTVN will be in the tens of millions of dollars in DR online video.

Garnett: Everything we produce ends up in multiple media options. Produced for broadcast, we also cut-down for the Web, for YouTube, for E-mail distribution, for DVDs and for point-of-purchase. As a result, clients need savvy firms who know how to make one project cover all these bases.

Hawthorne: Primarily, online video is boosting Web site sell-through power. Marketers are wisely taking their TV assets and populating their product sites with compelling video messages, which have proven to boost conversion significantly. Additionally, video search engines are proliferating and becoming more sophisticated, which, along with Google beginning to use video in its search links, will give DRTV marketers a major online sales boost.

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