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Direct Response Marketing

The Perfect Mix: Print, Web and DRTV

1 Jun, 2008 By: Doug McPherson Response

Sprinkle in some print, toss in a dash of Web, stir vigorously with DRTV and you've got a media mix that's a clear recipe for sweet DR success.

Four years ago when ALCiS Health Inc. developed an over-the-counter pain-relief cream that reportedly eases pain in five minutes, the goal was to get it to retail as quickly as possible.

"When we started, we looked for the most efficient, quickest way to get to the consumer," says Brian Berchtold, CEO and president of ALCiS in San Jose, Calif. "But we also knew going direct to retail would be tough and time consuming."

So, to create product awareness, ALCiS opted for 30-minute infomercials, a Web site and its staff attended many medical shows, ultimately contacting about 5,000 physicians.

After that, ALCiS hit print, mostly dailies. "We tested to see what worked and then moved to magazines — a lot of magazines, like U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Prevention, you name it," Berchtold says. "We tested everything, and it turned out that we've been very successful at adapting to different media."

Today the cream, called ALCiS Daily Relief, has reached national retail including Walgreens, Rite Aid (this summer) and 85 percent of all regional drug stores.

Berchtold says one lesson to emerge was, "The more mediums you can get going, the better off you are. Consumers needed to realize the legitimacy of our product."

The underlying principle of ALCiS' success is clear to Nancy Lazkani, president and CEO of Icon Media Direct, a DR marketing agency in Van Nuys, Calif.: people want to know more about the products they buy.

Lazkani says this need to know is a trend she's watch develop in recent years. "With the advancements of technology, people are no longer relying on just one source for information," Lazkani says. "People want to know more, want to know it in their own time and on their own terms."

Some analysts say consumers are taking more initiative than they ever have before to educate themselves and compare products or services, rather than simply accept marketing messages.

Get It in Print

DR marketers are learning that adding print to DRTV campaigns is one way to give consumers the information they want and need to make a buying decision.

John Bosacker, senior director of business development at Novus Print Media Network, a print media buying agency in Plymouth, Minn., that focuses on publication media, says integrating print is a way to "undergird" DRTV, generate a new sales channel (which he says is the No. 1 goal) and make the most of underused DRTV dollars.

 ALCiS is marketed through both electronic and print channels. CEO and President Brian Berchtold says that marketing in multiple mediums helps consumers realize the legitimacy of a product.
ALCiS is marketed through both electronic and print channels. CEO and President Brian Berchtold says that marketing in multiple mediums helps consumers realize the legitimacy of a product.

Bosacker says when Novus adds print in a local publication to a DRTV ad, sales usually jump by 10 to 20 percent. "Those are real numbers we've gotten from clients," Bosacker contends.

And he says print adds both credibility and believability to TV offers. "Consumers see the print and they say, 'Oh, I get it now — they must be legitimate,'" he adds.

Lazkani agrees. "Print is still ubiquitous and it symbolizes quality and stability in ways that electronic media cannot," she says. She cites a 2006 CrossMedia study to further her point: "It found that print outstripped online advertising by six to seven points in creating brand awareness."

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