Advertising Direct Response – Brave New World for Agencies and Advertisers Alike
Moving products and services using advertising direct response methods can deliver ROI that will allow for a sustainable revenue flow if what we spend on advertising is less than the revenue we generate from the direct advertising spend.
Having spent the first 15 years of my career working with some of the top direct response advertising agencies in New York City most of our direct response advertising was only direct mail. During this time the DRTV Infomercials were taking off and direct response direct mail agencies were taking off. In my experience it seemed that the direct mail and direct response TV agencies were completely separate disciplines and cultures and a typical direct mail agency tended not to be in DRTV production and vice versa.
The DRTV direct response agencies seemed not to delve into the direct mail world. I think that this was a cultural issue more than anything else. For example, the direct response advertising agencies that specialized in direct mail had suppliers who were mid-sized and large direct mail printers and list companies. So too for the direct response agencies that specialized in television, infomercial and video production along with media buying these outside suppliers were of a completely different culture than the direct mail print people. It was like oil and water they did not mix well.
Depending on the genesis of the direct response advertising agency founders background the agency seemed to lead towards DRTV or direct mail but not both. Also during the 1980’s and 1990’s and even today there was and is mass consolidation in the advertising world. There are a handful of holding companies that control most of the large advertising agencies. When a client required advertising direct response media the holding companies could easily acquire a smaller boutique shop that specialized in direct mail or infomercial production and keeping them operating as a separate business so not to create disharmony in the culture.
Fast forward into 2012 and direct advertising response methods have had some tectonic shifts. The television and newspaper industry have taken the biggest hit in their advertising revenue. Why, because it is clearly much harder to measure their advertising effectiveness and their impressions and circulation have declined. We can measure the response rates in terms of phone calls and website visits and different offers in different markets in television and newspaper advertising. However, from a testing standpoint it can become expensive to test so direct response advertisers have moved primarily towards the Internet just because it is so easy and cost effective to test on a smaller scale.
Companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Bing have become the biggest direct response ad agency facilitators helping them advertise using direct response. Google is so tuned into direct response advertising that they are not only running auctions on PPC advertising they have expanded into other media including television. Where Google is seeing huge success is in speed to market, scale, ease of use and tracking efficiency for the advertisers.
Google in effect has become the biggest advertising direct response agency or facilitator in the world but Facebook is nipping at their heels. It will be interesting to see where this all evolves because it appears that Facebook defiantly has the upper hand in consumer engagement, eyeballs and time on site however they really aren’t there in buying mode as if the consumer is on a search engine looking for a pair of blue suede shoes.
The direct response advertising business is a moving target experienced professionals can help set expectations and guide you through the process. If you want some ideas or want to learn more about what is direct response marketing call Jim Peake at SpeechRep Media, Inc. at 781-990-8844 or click on the button below.