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Direct Response Marketing

Shrinking the Continental Divide

1 Jun, 2009 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response

DR marketers are creating international television and digital campaigns that make selling U.S. products in Europe easier than ever before.

Digital Solutions

In conjunction with home shopping on television, mobile and Internet media are important components to DR campaigns running in Europe. According to ABI Research, mobile subscriptions around the world are expected to reach 4.3 billion this year and to grow to 5.4 billion by 2013. In 2008, U.K. mobile users sent 25 million text messages daily, and SMS messaging across the EU is growing at a 3.3-percent annual rate, according to Airwide Solutions.

According to the European Interactive Advertisers Association (EIAA), 70 percent of advertisers will increase online spending this year. Of these advertisers, 47 percent regard online solutions as essential, up from 38 percent last year.

Who spends the most on Internet marketing? The U.K is expecting growth of 199 percent in online sales between 2008 and 2012. However, the European Commission announced in 2008 that 40 percent of the EU never uses the Internet; countries including Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are lagging behind.

Although TV is still the largest part of most direct response marketing budgets in Europe, the Internet is fast becoming a contender for greatest share. "Any campaign failing to utilize every route to deliver targeted ROI is failing to understand how consumer demand for content has changed dramatically in the past couple years," says Peter Muffett, managing director and co-founder of DTV Group. "No longer are we creating just a TV ad — we must ensure that content can be used across media routes."

Creating an online global campaign can have its challenges, according to Victoria Nairn, new business and marketing manager of, a London-based full-service digital specialist, which focuses on digital media, direct disciplines and brand and consumer behavior. A European campaign often requires multiple time zones, localization of languages and product/offer variants.

For example, recently delivered a campaign for Nike EMEA that used global direct response templates. The creative originated in the U.S., but required localization and integration with the EMEA search to ensure the campaign was as integrated as possible in Europe.

Total DRTV media in Europe
Total DRTV media in Europe

"While we are able to take advantage of the brand communication developed in the U.S., careful consideration has to be taken to how the brand and product categories are used in each territory," says Nairn. "The media planning and search planning decisions have to be carefully considered to ensure the brand position is reinforced in each market, while looking to maximize reach and ROI."

ARM Direct, a British agency specializing in DRTV, tries to encourage its clients to use digital components in a multi-platform campaign. ARM clients add SMS texting to their DRTV spots and infomercials because it significantly improves response rates. "DRTV continues to attract more marketing spend each year. However, the Internet has to be integral to any of these campaigns to maximize ROI," says Digby Orsmond, CEO, creative director and co-founder of ARM Direct and a member of the Response Editorial Advisory Board.

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