Category: Blog

DRTV in the UK

“The more you tell the more your sell!”

    “ WHEN I SAW HOME SHOPPING WAS STARTING ON
    TV IN CHINA I KNEW IT WAS ALL OVER.

    THERE’S NO WAY COMMUNISM CAN COMPETE WITH
    THE POPEIL SALAD SHOOTER AT JUST $9.95”

    GENERAL COLIN POWELL

    DRTV HISTORY – USA
    • Started late 1940’s
    • ‘Live’ TV commercials selling products of limited value mainly for use in the home
    • Usually fronted by a fast talking salesmen
    • First specialist ‘DRTV’ ad agencies formed in late 60’s
    • DRTV successes in US allowed specialist ad agencies to expand into longform ie. 30minute Infomercials
    • Today 87% of all US TV ads after 10pm are transmitted with a response mechanism ie. 0800 + URL
    • Many major US “Brands” now use a mix of traditional 30sec TV ads + longer DRTV Spots & Infomercials

    These include:

    APPLE – AT&T – BRAUN – CLUB MED – COCA COLA – DISNEY – GM – HOOVER – KODAK – KRAFTS – MCDONALDS – NISSAN – PEPSI – PROCTER & GAMBLE – TIME-LIFE – TOYOTA

    And a growing list of others…

    Why Direct Response Television?

    Companies producing brand-building + awareness advertising campaigns have used TV as the major element in their marketing mix for decades.

    Quite simply television still works

    Traditional TV ads increase awareness & demand for a product or service – so much so that it’s changed consumer behaviour drastically over the last 60+ years.

    Many famous TV commercials – from “A Mars a Day” to “I bet he drinks Carling Black Label” – have become part of popular culture as much as pop songs or leading entertainers. Nationwide we still continue to recognise the same products & brand names.

    Television is generally seen as a mass medium, frequently attracting peak audiences of more than 10 million. It also reaches almost the entire UK population, including those who are not regular readers of newspapers or magazines or frequent users of social media.

    The growth in the number of TV channels and the spread of minority interest programmes, means that much smaller sectors of the community can now be targeted via television.

    The advent of DRTV (Direct Response Television) changes the relationship with the consumer. It also changes the nature of an advertising campaign, from one with long-term objectives which are notoriously difficult to measure – such as “building awareness” and “changing perceptions” – to one providing “measurable results”. Simultaneously DRTV can generate an accurate database, profiling consumers by their needs and responses, and by geographical locations.

    US TV Ads are more Direct Response focussed

    According to recent US media reseach, 68% of all TV ads in the States carry a URL or telephone number and this figure rises to around 87% after 10pm. Given the proven ‘Power of TV’ advertising it’s surprising that more UK consumer brands (and start-ups) are not testing a TV response mechanism as an integral part of their marketing mix.

    CH4 research discovered that only about 48% of UK TV commercials currently offer a response mechanism – compare that to the US!

    The cost of creating a conventional 30sec TV commercial, paying for peak air time and achieving an appropriate number or OTS (opportunities to see) will put a strain on most marketing budgets.

    The good news, however, is that creative production costs have been slashed in recent years and ARM Direct is now making highly successful DRTV + BRTV ads for budgets from £5k to £18k – many of these run for 18 months or more helping to amortise creative costs.

    Use cheaper daytime TV slots

    The UK TV media landscape offers a wide choice of affordable TV channels – and DRTV works best in off-peak ie. the cheaper daytime slots.

    For DRTV we make sure your product or sales message is seen more often on more TV channels at lowest media cost.  

    DRTV generates an immediate response – however, both response & brand strategies can be incorporated into the same DRTV ad.

    This strategy depends on the ability & experience of the creative team and the type of product or service on offer.

    Common sense in any case suggests the creative treatment of a DRTV ad should not contradict or undermine any ‘brand positioning’ carefully and expensively developed through previous awareness-building campaigns.

    Providing that all the parties involved in the development of a DRTV campaign are aware of this, there is no reason why it should be a problem.

    Even a casual perusal of off-peak TV will reveal that DRTV advertising is being used to an increasing extent in the UK by both product & service based companies – high street & online retail.

    As with all forms of advertising, some DRTV is performing remarkably well, and some is disappointing.

    Use a specialist Direct Response agency

    In our experience failed DRTV campaigns result from two important factors:

    1. Poor media planning & buying – meaning that failure would be likely however good the DRTV ad

    2. Or a misunderstanding of the sales & script writing techniques that should be used for making all successful DRTV ads

    Your next move to ensure success

    Clients thinking of embarking on a Direct Response campaign should always select a DRTV specialist agency – ideally one like ARM Direct with years of dedicated DRTV media planning & buying + DRTV creative production in-house.

    Using a Brand agency to undertake a DRTV campaign often leads to poor results or outright failure.

    In the USA it is the specialist Direct Response agencies that rule this sector for good reason – they are DRTV experts.

    Use BRTV to Maximise Online Sales

    CLAIREABELLA – CARRY YOURSELF WITH STYLE

    DRTV (Direct Response TV) is often seen as the poor relation of traditional high budget Brand advertising but in the past decade the increased use of online retail has narrowed the gap. This has led to the creation of a low cost TV advertising called BRTV (Brand Response TV).

    Increasingly we are making 30sec TV spots to encourage viewers to use their smartphones to visit a website and make a purchase. With BRTV the focus is less on brand name recall and more about driving online traffic.

    This style of TV ad qualifies as “direct response” and allows ARM Direct to plan & book TV airtime that costs nearly 50% less – these rate savings help make TV advertising affordable for start-ups to test TV.

    BRTV delivers a more effective viewer engagement via the advertisers website and the airtime rate discount minimizes risk and allows first time advertisers to safely test TV.

    Our experience is that BRTV can generate over 45% more online responses within 10 minutes of a well made BRTV 30sec spot being transmitted.

    Nielsen Research tells us that some 60% of TV viewers watch the box and surf the Internet simultaneously and we find that the multitasking 18-35yr age group react positively to BRTV ads – especially if these are highly creative and slightly quirky – similar to what they like to watch on YouTube.

    Younger viewers like to immediately visit a BRTV advertiser’s website and just as importantly share what they’ve found with their friends on Facebook & Twitter & Instagram & Snapchat. Results are even more powerful when the BRTV ad offers a free sample or special discount.

    We’re on a mission to make BRTV more affordable and one recent success has been to help a dynamic online company to significantly grow sales of their hero brand.

    Founder, Claire Barratt, took to social media to sell her unique customised ClaireaBella bags and Chloe Simms from the hit TV show – The Only Way is Essex – bought one and was “papped” with the photo appearing prominently in a national newspaper. Claire says of that time, “I was bowled over with the immediate response online! A few days later Chloe was also spotted in series 2 of the TV show with her bag and my Twitter timeline went crazy!”

    Later that year Claire got in touch with an online gift website called ToxicFox.co.uk and they were soon collaborating and extending the range further.

    Clinton Njie (CEO of ToxicFox) decided to explore whether television advertising was an affordable option and he appointed ARM Direct to make a low-cost stylish 30sec BRTV creative using the catch phrase “carry yourself with style”, featuring 3 young models and fun character animations by Nick Sneath.

    For a fixed media budget this was tested on selected UK TV channels and ToxicFox website sales increased significantly with ClaireaBella fast becoming a “must have” bag in the all-important pre-Christmas online sales period. This initial test proved so successful that ToxicFox made further BRTV ads to support their brand on a wider mix of TV channels.

    Research ‘TV and Online: better together’ conducted by Thinkbox & IAB, confirms that TV advertising can drive people online in a host of different ways, the benefit being that the smartphone consumer journey is now much shorter and viewers often respond to TV ads as and when they are seen in real time. From their analysis it became apparent that the role of TV in driving online response has been undervalued. Partially, this is due to the huge increase in smartphone ownership.

    BRTV campaigns are based on hard facts as the response + sales numbers don’t lie – meaning that results can always be improved month-on-month by cutting out the slow performing TV channels and testing new ones.

    Television’s impact on website response + sales all too often slips under the radar but the reality is this:

    Making a low-cost highly creative BRTV ad helps drive significant online traffic especially as all BRTV ads shown on TV + social media channels can now instantly be searched, shared and copied adding a whole new dimension to agency accountability.

    TV Drives Online Traffic

    TV Drives Online Traffic

    What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for the UK’s Direct Response industry?

    Unlike typical Brand advertising, DRTV will always deliver a measurable & accountable return on investment and the almost immediate results continue to provide marketers with real day-to-day numbers, feedback that helps determine whether their campaign is on track or if it needs adjustment.

    In the past DRTV was often seen as the poor relation of traditional high budget Brand advertising but in the past 5 years the increased use of the internet by consumers has narrowed the gap. This has recently led to the creation of a new low cost genre of TV advertising called BRTV (Brand Response TV).

    These are 30-second spots that promote a URL to drive viewers with Laptops, tablets or smartphones to visit a website and make an immediate purchase. With BRTV the focus is less on name recall and more about driving online traffic. This type of ad qualifies as “direct response” and allows the clients’ media agency to purchase airtime that can cost as much as 50% less than fixed-position brand inventory in which a guaranteed TV audience level is purchased.  With BRTV there is usually a more effective viewer engagement via the advertiser’s website and this more than makes up the difference in spend levels. Additionally, the airtime discount minimizes risk and allows first time advertisers to safely test TV.

    At ARM Direct our experience is that a hefty 20% of additional online response is generated within 10 minutes of a well-made BRTV spot being transmitted.  Nielsen research tells us that some 60% of television viewers watch the box and surf the internet simultaneously and we find that the multi-tasking 18-35yr age group react positively to BRTV ads – especially if these are highly creative and slightly edgy. Younger viewers especially are happy to immediately visit a BRTV advertiser’s website and just as importantly share what they’ve found with their friends on Facebook & Twitter. Results are even more powerful when the BRTV ad offers a free sample or special discount.

    We’re on a mission to make BRTV advertising more affordable and one of our recent successes has been to help a dynamic young online company to significantly grow sales of their hero brand.

    What do you believe the hottest topic will be in the coming 12 months?

    The hottest topic in the UK continues to be the way major fashion & cosmetic brands have finally woken up to the power of BRTV and how smaller companies are now adding TV to their marketing mix.  ARM Direct is focused on helping several young consumer brands test TV and one of the most successful continues to be Barry M (the UK’s most successful teenage cosmetic brand) who by switching to a BRTV style campaign has persuaded huge numbers of young British girls to tweet, go online and join their fun Facebook + Instagram pages or visit their local Boots or Superdrug stockists. The result has been a substantial uplift in retail sales and Barry M has succeeded in taking market share away from the much larger cosmetic brands who at very considerable cost have used fashionistas like Kate Moss and Georgia Jagger (the glamorous daughter of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger) in their TV ads. On the flip side we’ve made highly successful BRTV ads for under £8,500 and the results to the client’s ROI have been really dramatic, in one case increasing retail sales by over 800%.

    How can you better reach out to brands who are looking to integrate DR (Direct Response), digital and data-driven efforts within their overall marketing plans?

    In the UK we’ve succeeded in doing this by offering more clients the opportunity to test VoD (Video on Demand).  Whilst not exactly new, the first commercial service was launched in Hong Kong in the early 1990s, the great advantage of VoD is that substantial numbers of UK smartphone & tablet owners are now choosing to download their favourite TV programs and then view them later. Some years ago Channel 4 claimed a “world first” to make the bulk of its schedule available on demand and the majority of their 18-35yr old consumers are now choosing to watch time-shifted programs.  This gives brand advertisers a unique opportunity to test in the DR zone and be able to closely target their ads to viewers’ program choices.

    What are the three biggest no-no’s for a marketer using a measurable, multichannel strategy?

    We have seen several well-known DR clients switch to an online only strategy as the internet can deliver lower CpRs.  In some cases the making of the DRTV ads has also been given to the online agency as a way of further savings costs.  We believe this is a short sighted tactic as we have many years of experience using DRTV to generate new leads (or immediate sales).  Once the DRTV ad is switched off the advertiser loses the positive “halo” effect that a regular television presence produces.

    Our experience is that a migration to strictly online marketing will hurt a DR advertiser in the long term and we believe it is best to keep a wider consumer presence by using a combination of DRTV spots or VoD or Infomercials in addition to ongoing social media activities.

    In addition, other no-no’s for me are when I find a DR advertiser appointing a media buying agency that:

    • Is tied to TV station deals instead of buying avails on a client by client basis
    • Does not have a deep understanding of what makes a BRTV or DRTV ad work harder
    • Has no online PPC expertise in-house
    • Cannot offer bespoke campaign tracking & analysis reports on a weekly basis
    How is the UK economy treating marketers in the DR business and what effect is the current economy having on campaign success rates?

    British consumers are now devoting almost half (47%) of their waking hours watching TV and using their smartphones & tablets according to the UK broadcast communications regulator Ofcom. The accepted wisdom is whilst these same consumers may be spending less at retail the dedicated TV viewing remains a central part of their lives throughout the day.
     
    The divide between younger and older people’s use of technology, however, is starting to narrow as more in the 50+ sector are watching home shopping channels looking for a bargain purchase or going online and finding that this is so much easier than ordering from a traditional print catalogue or going down to the mall.

    How has technology changed the way your company does business in the past 12 months?

    We recognized several years ago that the best way to help our DR clients keep ahead of their competitors was for ARM Direct to invest in creating the “Armada” software program, a bespoke analytical tool which allows all our DR clients remote online access to their daily sales data (password protected) from wherever they are in the world.

    Several of our DR clients are multi-national companies and they can now log on and view their sales data – everything from daily response per TV channel per telephone number to airtime and budget reconciliation per DRTV or Infomercial creative.  The world is a global village and as one of the UK’s busiest ad agencies offering creative & media buying services we needed to offer our clients daily & weekly campaign tracking & analysis reports supported by easy-to-understand presentation graphics.

    Ofcom confirms that smartphones are increasingly being used for multi-media, but “live TV” still remains the main entertainment within the home.  Younger people have shown the biggest changes in how they use media – particularly using different kinds of media at the same time.  But the divide between younger and older people’s use of technology is starting to narrow as more middle aged people (40+) are getting online and finding this is so much easier than ordering from a traditional print catalogue.

    How are media rates affecting DR marketers?

    The UK economy is being affected by BREXIT, however, retail sales are showing steady growth. The TV advertiser is benefitting from this especially if they have a good direct to retail presence. Many TV channels are lowering their rates as they continue to be challenged by brand advertisers switching their spend to online only strategies.

    This means some savvy BRTV & DRTV advertisers are now paying less for 30sec & 60sec spots than 4 years ago and if they have the budgets will be able to substantially increase their OTS (opportunities to sell).

    The direct-to-retail game plan now seems to be a must for every DR campaign that is on TV. What are the three most important things a marketer must do to have the right retail plan in place?

    The three most important things a Direct Marketer should do is have a great customer relationship management system so that you know who they are, how often they shop online, what they like and when they last visited your website as the consumer wants to buy on-trend products at great values.

    Next make sure you capture relevant data about your customers when they visit your website by offering them a newsletter or coupon to encourage their next purchase online or to visit a particular retailer where your products are on sale. Make sure you are constantly looking at new ways to engage with your customers via social media. 

    What are the three biggest effects the growth of social media is having on the DR marketplace?

    Every DR business should include a social media strategy to attract potential buyers or increase product/service interest. Recent research by ARM Direct confirms that media savvy UK consumers (after seeing your BRTV or DRTV ad) will key in the URL and check out what you have to say on your website then next open your Facebook page to see what others are saying about you!
       
    We’ve been especially successful combining VoD + Twitter + Facebook + YouTube + Instagram on campaigns for the 18-35yr old demographic, however, for the 50+ sector a much more subtle approach is needed as print & posters are still very important.
     
    In the UK research suggests that the majority of DR companies are still not committing sufficient budget to social media which is like saying “it’s important but can we just leave that until after the product/service has started selling using our normal channels like DRTV and Infomercials?”  We believe strongly that mature DR marketers need to hire CRM professionals to take care of this side of their business and not just concentrate on short term sales.

    Has the influence of mobile marketing on the industry grown in the past 12 months and how will the expansion of mobile affect DR?

    The number of UK smartphone users continues to grow rapidly in the UK:

    • 47 per cent of adults and 78 per cent of teens are ‘highly addicted’ to them
    • Smartphones are definitely affecting consumer purchasing behaviour

    In the UK shopping on a tablet or smartphone is more popular than ever with 72% of owners admitting to making a purchase from their device. More interesting is that research has shown online shoppers purchase multiple products with a higher price tag.
     
    What does this mean to the Direct Response marketer? Despite increasing use of the internet and an explosion in the choice of mobile devices available to access media and communications, regular TV still remains the UK’s most watched media and viewing figures have increased with the average UK viewer now watching nearly 5 hours every day!

    Surfing the internet via mobile phones is the fastest growing UK media – Direct Response marketers who ignore this trend will be left behind as the UK rushes towards BREXIT.  

    Why TV Works Every Time Arm Direct

    Why TV Works Every Time

    Can I reach the Right TV Audience?

    Proven over many years TV offers advertisers the best methods for measuring audience demographics plus tracking the age, sex, status and the interests of viewers watching specific programmes on selected TV channels. This valuable data allows you to target specific audiences for your TV campaigns, whether it’s kids, teenagers, young housewives or active 60+ oldies. This allows you to develop a TV media buying strategy for reaching exactly the right target market at an agreed budget for the lowest cost possible. In addition to selecting the best audience for your product or service message, there is also geographical targeting to suit your geographical location if you are in retail or to substantially increase your online website traffic.

    How much does Making a TV Ad Cost?

    Generally speaking all TV advertising budgets are a split between the airtime cost and the cost of making the TV ad.  The good news for advertisers considering TV is that the cost of making a TV ad is now substantially less than it was 10 years ago. ARM Direct has made several very successful TV ads for as little as £5,000 for a USA financial services company that wanted to test the UK market but the final cost depends on what the client wants to achieve. On average many of the highly successful BRTV or DRTV ads we make cost between £15k up to a max of £40k and this includes all stages to project completion with the ad approved by Clearcast ready to be broadcast. We do not recommend using celebrity artists and voice overs as this adds massively to the costs and there are always plenty of talented artists who are more than happy to work hard for modest buy-out fees.

    Fundamentals of a Good TV Ad?

    ARM Direct has been responsible for several of the UK’s most successful BRTV & DRTV campaigns and over the years we’ve always stuck to the basic, core principles that we know help our clients to succeed first time, every time. The TV ad creative style must inform & persuade and have immediate appeal to the target audience. Because watching TV is a passive activity the ad must grab the viewer’s attention right at the start and sustain interest throughout the commercial and persuade people to either pick up the phone or take action on their smartphone or iPad and go online to your website.  Persuading a “passive viewer” to make an instantaneous switch to “active consumer” is what ARM Direct is very good at achieving.
     
    Dave Teece, ARM Direct’s Head of Creative comments, “Ideally you should know who you want to reach, and what you want them to do about it. Creating a need and doing this using simple visuals & language is often the key to a successful TV ad.  For example if a Debt DRTV ad persuades viewers that one phone call will solve all their problems, it’s halfway to getting a “good” response and converting the lead to actual business.  Make the product or service appeal to the individual by depicting situations to which the TV viewer can relate”.

    Is BRTV or DRTV More Accountable?

    BRTV or DRTV advertising is probably one of the most accountable of all creative options as every viewing must generate a lead or make a sale. The TV industry uses detailed audience research to measure minute-by-minute viewing figures and when you add into the mix a DRTV ad which features a freephone 0800 number + URL it becomes wholly accountable – something you can’t say about a general Brand ad.
     
    If you’re considering TV or currently running a campaign on a limited budget then let us fine-tune what you’re doing and we guarantee to generate better results for you. After nearly 30 years of DRTV airtime buying & creative experience our accumulated multi-level media knowledge could really make all the difference to your business and ROI. 

    What is the Best DRTV Ad Length?

    In the UK all airtime costs are based on a 30 second commercial length and this format is used by almost all Brand advertisers. Some might even use 10 or 20 second length ads but this is disproportionately more expensive in terms of airtime media buying cost and should be avoided by TV advertisers who need to always get the best ROI from their campaigns. In our experience using a 30 second length can work really well if you’re trying to increase website traffic by strongly featuring the URL in the ad.  If, however, you’re selling a more complex service (eg. Pension or Home Equity Release product) then you’ll definitely need a 60 second length to include all the product’s unique features & benefits.

    In the UK every TV ad must be submitted to Clearcast who check the content and make sure the message is “honest & truthful”.  ARM Direct has worked closely with Clearcast since 1990 and we can guide you on all the script & production stages to ensure your DRTV ad is approved for broadcast.

    BRTV Arm Direct

    BRTV Drives Website Traffic

    Ecommerce retailers often complain about being held to ransom by Google each
    month. We hear this a lot when they’re forced to increase their online ad spend
    to generate qualified leads or sales.

    Our mission is to help these clients understand that TV advertising is still the most
    powerful mass market media for creating mass awareness and driving significant
    numbers of consumers to their websites.

    Companies exclusively committed to running online campaigns are missing out on
    the bigger picture and often do not realise that TV advertising is now much more
    affordable than at any time in the recent past. At ARM Direct we’ve proven that
    in simplest terms, online advertisers can test TV for a relatively low outlay of circa
    £30k (this includes producing a high quality TV ad + 1 month of advertising across
    a wide mix of selected responsive TV channels).

    ‘Free App’ Download

    Using a smartphone or iPad while watching TV is something most consumers now
    admit doing and we find the biggest sales growth is when advertisers can offer a
    ‘free app’ download in their BRTV ad (Brand Response TV).

    If viewers watching the BRTV ad are interested in the service or product then a
    high percentage will immediately go online and download the ‘free app’ within
    minutes. We’ve run several ‘free app’ download campaigns for clients offering
    language learning; life insurance; kids games; crowd-funding – these campaigns
    have all substantially exceeded website response targets every time the BRTV
    ads were broadcast.

    Successful direct marketers realize they can take advantage of the lower BRTV
    media rates.  Using an eye catching creative which highlights brand benefits
    strongly with a marginal nod to traditional direct response. This TV advertising
    has helped clients to substantially increase website traffic, improve margins
    and push back against being held prisoner by Google.

    Brand Advertising

    Telephone numbers rarely appear on these ads and many don’t even ask for
    an order. Measuring success can be subjective or by impressions ie. how
    many people have seen the ad and not by immediate sales.
     
    These are used to drive image and the message is all about brand awareness
    & loyalty building.
     
    The creatives will have high production values and create a buzz about the
    brand that drives all other marketing efforts.

    Direct Response

    Dedicated to dealing with a consumer’s response – the call-to-action – that
    makes the phone ring or website register an immediate sale as soon as the
    ad is aired or appears in print or online or OOH. This is all about offering
    the buyer ‘added value’.
     
    The ads are often inexpensive and often have low production values as
    it’s all about generating an immediate sale using hooks like “two for the
    price of one” + “money off if you call today” + “and there’s more”.
     
    Frequently there’s no relationship to branding and the advertising is all
    about offering something that is not available in retail.

    Brand Response

    These are mostly benefits driven ie. “download the free app” or “go
    online now and you could make savings.”
     
    As respondents go online BRTV is very good for developing a qualified
    database plus being a sales & loyalty builder.
     
    These usually have medium-high production values and creatives that
    drive online traffic to the website and must be styled to drive additional
    results on all social media channels.

    Offering better value

    For BRTV to work effectively you will need to ensure that your website
    can handle the high volumes of extra traffic once the campaign starts.
     
    Whilst BRTV is more affordable you will need to invest most of your budget
    in the media using the BRTV creative as the primary driver. Print campaigns
    rarely generate anything near the levels of awareness you get from a well
    planned TV campaign.
     
    We find that BRTV generates very positive brand synergies between online +
    outdoor + print + radio + direct mail. Being on TV always adds considerable
    kudos to any brand and this should not be under estimated over the longer
    term as the BRTV campaign grows and the ad is seen on more channels in
    more TV ad breaks.

    Is BRTV right for you?

    Low-cost BRTV Ads get smartphone users online and research proves that
    the role of TV in driving response is often undervalued by marketers.
    BRTV campaigns are based on hard facts as the response numbers don’t lie
    – meaning that results can always be improved month-on-month by cutting
    out the slow performing TV channels and testing others.
     
    Television’s impact on website response all too often slips under the radar
    but the reality is this; making a low-cost highly creative BRTV ad can help
    drive significant online traffic especially as all BRTV ads shown on a mix
    of broadcast channels (TV + YouTube + facebook + Instagram) can now
    instantly be searched, shared and copied adding a whole new dimension
    to agency accountability.

     
    With the increased awareness this generates, along with substantially
    increasing website traffic plus the ability to accurately attribute results,
    BRTV is a marketing opportunity that every online marketer should
    consider as part of their sales arsenal.

    Armada Arm Direct

    ARMADA – Effective Campaign Analysis

    BRTV (Brand Response TV) advertising is proving very popular with advertisers needing accurate sales data.

    Traditional TV advertising is making way for BRTV, the offspring that has matured rapidly to take a grown-up share of the UK broadcast TV ad market.

    The key benefit driving BRTV’s popularity is its accountability, providing advertisers with detailed customer data that can be analysed to accurately measure the success of a TV campaign.

    The main performance indicator for any BRTV campaign is its overall cost-efficiency and return on investment. Having the data-mining tools in place to delve deep into the increasing amount of customer and viewing data is therefore essential to long-term success.

    So what are the key steps to analysing BRTV effectively?

    1) Estimate scheduled website visits or call volumes

    Always obtain scheduled TV spot times before a campaign airs whether on Terrestrial or Digital channels. Ensure the right TV ad copy is running, along with correct URL + telephone number (if needed), and that spots are broadcast as planned in the right programmes, correct time of day and selected TV channels throughout each TV campaign. This information, along with estimated website visits + call volumes, is vital to the advertiser for pre-campaign planning.

    2) Obtain detailed response data

    Know what response data is going to be available once the BRTV campaign is running and how often it will be supplied. Having an infrequent supply of data leaves little time to revise media plans while a campaign is on air. Be sure to receive accurate data to match this back to spot times at a later stage.

    Collecting details of when potential customers responded is more useful than simply noting gross volumes. While a BRTV campaign’s main objective is the ‘call to action’ to generate as many cost-effective leads/sales as possible, the quality of respondents is also important. This feedback is vital creative information, helping marketers understand the adverts appeal and whether it contains a clear message. It can also influence future media plans, for example a kid’s channel may be generating a large hoax response and may need to be removed from future plans.

    3) Attribute responses to spots

    Determine how quantifiable the data is. If TV channels have run separate telephone numbers the response data can be assigned with great accuracy. If the aim is to drive traffic to a website then we always recommend putting a pixel on the website to log the response at the times of day when the BRTV ad goes out. This spot-matching methodology is needed to attribute each response to an individual TV spot.

    The most efficient is a purpose-built software system programmed to do this automatically like the one ARM Direct uses for every BRTV campaign.

    4) Drill down in to the results

    Analyse the response data with BARB viewing figures to determine response rates and costs. The BRTV campaign’s overall response rate and cost-per-response provides a first indication of success. However, successful or not, it is essential to drill down further into the data to establish the accountability of all the TV airtime and plan how future BRTV campaigns can be improved.

    Each TV channel’s performance can be judged after responses are spot-matched, but it is also important to analyse other variables, such as days of the week, dayparts (such as peak time), position in breaks and individual TV programmes or programme genres.

    Even a cost-efficient and successful TV channel may have poorly performing days or dayparts, which, if removed from future plans, could lead to a lower cost-per-response. Conversely, a TV channel that has not been effective may have certain times which were cost-efficient and the airtime could be restricted to these times in future. All these affect the overall BRTV campaign results.

    This is why BRTV campaigns should be constantly tested, analysed and refined.

    5) Ensure transparent costs

    An ongoing (and campaign-end) reconciliation of delivered viewing figures versus budgets will give a transparent picture of final TV airtime costs. Reconciled airtime figures will show an over or under-delivery for each TV station, which will help plan spend levels for future BRTV campaigns.

    6) Use return on investment to judge campaign success

    When planning subsequent BRTV campaigns, use recent response rates to judge each channel’s expected performance. However, it is also important to balance the plan with cost-efficient channels and high volume generators. Response rates are guides, but cost-per-response and ROI are the key performance indicators.

    7) Variable airtime costs may reduce future efficiencies

    When analysing campaign results and planning future budgets, the changeable TV landscape should be considered. A TV channel may not perform successfully month on month due to external factors, such as new competing satellite channels launching, programming changes and particularly price changes.

    The majority of TV airtime is purchased through CpTs (cost-per-thousand viewers). Each TV station’s price can fluctuate by month. Therefore, TV airtime purchased in one campaign may be more expensive by the next. This can have an impact on future results and must be taken into consideration when planning future BRTV activity based upon previous results.

    ATLAS INTERNATIONAL – a DRTV Success Story

    Atlas International, a highly successful international property developer, appointed ARM Direct to re-make their DRTV ads and also to re-plan their TV airtime buying & social media strategy.

    This included planning for new DRTV campaigns in the UK, Spain, Ireland, Sweden and Norway. An essential requirement of these BRTV campaigns was to generate thousands of new leads from potential property buyers for their substantial property portfolio in Spain, Cyprus and the Greek Islands.

    Accountability and the ability to track and analyse every TV channel’s performance on a daily basis was also top of their ‘must have’ list.

    Atlas International decided to use ARMADA – ARM Direct’s bespoke online software system – to help select the best performing TV channels and times of day to advertise. By using ARMADA to analyse responses alongside viewing figures, Atlas International was able to view spot-matched results and cost-per-response figures by variables such as dayparts and programme genres. In this way, this ambitious overseas property company was able to constantly refine its DRTV media plans to produce more cost-efficient results.

    At around this time ARM Direct also managed to secure a sponsorship deal for Atlas International on repeats of ‘A Place in the Sun’ TV programme – by using ARMADA the company was able to track responses back to this marketing activity. As a consequence Atlas International benefited from increased brand awareness by being associated with this ever popular TV programme.

    Crucially, ARMADA has been able to provide Atlas International with fast, accountable and actionable DRTV results, enabling ARM Direct to substantially improve media planning & buying efficiency and crucially lower their DRTV cost-per-response year on year.

    Are Direct New Infomercial

    How to make Successful Infomercials

    The most important factor for the success of any infomercial is the time that you take to talk about the product. The more time viewers spend with the commercial message, the more likely they are to buy. The more you tell, the more you sell. The longer they watch, the longer you’re in a relationship, and the greater the chances of closing the sale. While time is the greatest asset you have working for you—right out of the gate—with infomercials, it is the complex set of creative elements that fill that time that makes or breaks your program. Your creative determines how much time your viewer gives to your message.

    Infomercial Creative “To Do” List:
    1. Create a sense of urgency to buy.

    Although you have a decent period of viewing time, you must remember that you have only seconds to attract viewers at any point during the infomercial. Tried and trusted “Order-Now Motivators” are old tricks of the trade, though certainly not effective for all products. Some classics in infomercials include, “If you call now you’ll receive a special bonus!” or “Two for one! or “Special bonus!” They might not work for your product, but they’re a good place to start. And, remember, whatever you offer, you must deliver on any promises. If that’s not possible leave it out.

    2. Establish presentation and product credibility.

    Whatever the product, it’s important to remember that an infomercial’s success is based on credibility. It is a purchasing decision that is emotionally sparked but rationally concluded. Infomercial creatives need to attract viewer attention through entertaining and well-paced story lines or information. Once attracted, prospective buyers must trust in the quality and promise of the product being sold.

    3. Use a true believer as the commercial spokesperson.

    After the quality and benefits of each specific product, the presenter is most critical to the success of the majority of infomercials today. A powerful on-camera product presenter can absolutely make the difference between success or failure. The only way to increase the power of that presenter is if he or she has used the product and believes in it. That combination of professional skill and personal conviction—the real true believer—will produce a powerful statement for your product and its benefits. Again, however, use this approach only if it’s right for your product.

    4. Product is king.

    Don’t stray too far from the all-important product. All your copy should tie back to product features, benefits, and uses. Identify the primary buying motivator: love (self-esteem, vanity), security (power, fear of loss), acquisition (greed, wealth), pleasure (pain relief, entertainment).

    5. Showcase an irresistible offer.

    Surprise them. Build value. Give them more than they expected. But wait, there’s more! (You don’t have to say it, but do it in what you’re offering.) People love a bargain. Bonuses, premiums, discounts, coupons. “Free” is the strongest word in direct marketing. But don’t give them too much; it’s confusing and damages credibility. (Why are they giving me so much? What’s the catch?) During the scripting, I encourage my writers to compile their list of hooks, content points, and key selling words, phrases, and images. Every product has unique properties that are critical to the essence of communicating the product’s benefits.

    6. Emphasize information/content over entertainment.

    Don’t over-entertain and under-sell. The entertainment factor should never take the viewers so totally away from their real world that it hampers their ability to make a rational decision to buy. People order when logic justifies an immediate response. Too much entertainment distracts them from making a logical decision.

    7. Pacing is everything.

    It’s a perfect marriage of sight and sound: benefits, features, uses, success stories, credibility builders, expert testimony, research, guarantees, offer details, call to action. Repeat the cycle three times. Once short line, then a broad paragraph. Seven-second sound bites, 15-second voice-over. Sell the benefits. Tell a joke. It’s not only what you say, but also when you say it. If you crowd the viewers, back off. Inhale; exhale.
    Keep viewers interested, pleasingly off balance, anticipating. Be unpredictable, yet believable. Pace it. Rhythmically move between on-camera spokesperson, cover footage, brief testimonial inserts, appropriate digital video effects. Spice with music when appropriate.

    8. Create a high perceived-value for the product.

    The strength of direct-response television has always been its positioning as a personal—not universal—message to the television viewer. Infomercials take the time to outline specific solutions to individual’s problems. You know your target audience well. Surprise them. Offer an attractive premium-something for nothing, easy payments, discounts on upsell or cross-sell products. Give a little and get a lot back. Your relationship with your customer will be off to a great start.

    9. Mention the product name whenever possible—at least three times a minute.

    Much like in-person sales, where your goal is to use the prospect’s name three times in the first 30 seconds, make sure you repeat the product name over and over again. For example, Braun’s hand-held blender infomercial must include the words: Braun’s superior quality, world-class Braun products, Braun’s renowned craftsmanship, and so on. There’s power in names.

    10. Complete a full sales cycle before doing your call to action.

    Capture their Attention, create Interest, instill Desire, and finally motive them to Action (AIDA). When you’ve done your work of establishing a relationship with the viewer, building credibility, and demonstrating the product benefits, you’ve earned the right to give price, payment terms, and to ask them to call now! If you ask for the order too soon you aren’t respecting the viewer’s right to information before making a buying decision. You’ll lose the sale.

    11. Call to action (CTA). The CTA closes the AIDA cycle and the sale.

    They are the commercials within the infomercial, inserted three times throughout the program. In the call to action, review all the highlights of your product, then urge viewers to call. Recreate a miniature experience of the emotions you evoked in the show body. Refresh viewer’s memories just before you ask them to order. Display the number on the screen for as much of the time as possible. Keep the mailing address up for twice the time it takes to read. Preferably, the announcer should state the number and mailing address a minimum of two times. Payment terms, credit cards, COD, and guarantee policy should also be visible on the tag page and stated, if time allows. Showcase the installment price, if it’s a multi-pay offer, but be sure to graphically show the full-payment price.

    12. Make it easy to understand.

    Paint word pictures. Good documentary writers know this rule well. Use 25-word paragraphs, seven-second sound bites. Use colourful adjectives. No million-dollar words. The ear listens while the eyes watch, and the combined experience is infinitely more powerful if you don’t state the obvious—that which the eyes are seeing. Your audio track is married to, yet separate from, the video. Be specific, not general. Use photo captions, subheads and on-TV-screen support graphics. Simple offer, simple order graphic page.

    13. Choose excellent talent.

    Often a personality, celebrity, or non-celebrity will be intimately connected to a product. The talent might be a major product asset: either the spokesperson knows the product pitch better than anyone, a lot of money has already been spent on associating the product with the specific celebrity.
    Infomercial talent is the individual who must create a relationship with the home viewer within the length of the informercial! That’s incredibly valuable time, which we entrust to a celebrity to achieve a positive relationship with viewers and gain their trust. We buy from people we like.
    In the past many celebrities wouldn’t touch infomercials. Recently it appears that the tide is turning. Celebrities are useful in infomercials for two reasons: First, their appearance on screen will stop the remote control long enough (two to 10 seconds) to capture their interest. Second, they give credibility to the product. If your product presenter doesn’t have vivid personality, and/or your product or company name is not a household word, consider using a celebrity.

    14. Craft a script that emphasizes benefits and answers objections.

    Writing an infomercial is like having a long conversation with a mute person who can’t respond except with his or her dialing finger. You must anticipate the viewer’s every response to your ongoing monologue. You must anticipate and answer the objections that will typically arise. And you must get them to agree with your common-sense statements as often as possible. The more they agree, the more they’re in a relationship. Remove their doubts—with a smile. Move them from fear and skepticism to trust. Be credible. Use expert testimonials and endorsements. Be honest, sincere, and genuine. Tell them why they need your product now, why the price is a great value, and why they should get it from you. Sell the sizzle. Folks want to know the benefits—what the product can do for them.

    15. Sell the benefits; close with emotion.

    Emotion will always win out over intellect. Don’t ever ask, “What do you think?” Instead ask, “How do you feel?” Use emotional, evocative language and visual images. Be enthusiastic and passionate. Inspire excitement. Be entertaining and humorous (within reason). Create the emotions that they will feel when using your product. Give them a taste and they will want it all. Let them know you like them. Logic justifies, but emotion buys.

    16. Be powerful and real.

    Your purpose is to motivate immediate action. You want the viewer to pick up the phone and order right now or go to a local retail outlet now. Communicate your enthusiasm for the product. Don’t let the sale happen; make it happen.

    17. Use quality product shots.

    It seems basic, but the perceived quality of your featured product depends greatly on what it looks like on the infomercial. Make sure the colors are bright, edges are sharp, and the product is angled for just the right presentation. The best scriptwriting in the world can’t override a lousy product image on screen.

    18. Create graphics and montage that make sense.

    Support your strongest images with simple on-screen graphics where appropriate. Avoid obscure imagery that can sidetrack your viewer’s attention from your message. The quality and variety of computer-generated special effects these days is enticing, especially for the computer graphic artist. Stick to your theme and remember your audience. Use montage (quick cutting of images), as old as filmmaking, and still effective. It always holds attention. But don’t think you have to do it MTV-style (50 to 300 cuts per minute!). Slower is okay. Again use crisp graphics that enhance, rather than detract from, your message. Use bullet points to graphically list your benefits.

    19. Employ affecting music.

    Use background music to emotionally communicate your message. Make it fit what you’re selling. The music accompanying a talk show format infomercial on beauty tips would likely be soft and soothing, not at all like the upbeat score used for an exercise video.
    Then, of course, there’s the music for an infomercial for music products. In this case, the most critical creative element in music infomercials is the music track itself. When marketing music CDs and cassettes, the maxim is: let the music do the selling. While visual components help, it’s the music that sells music products on infomercials.

    20. Present gripping and real testimonials.

    Quality testimonials can boost response by 20 to 50 percent. They should be real people, real product-users, and truly interviewed, not scripted. Photos and video of potential testimonials and product experts should be gathered during pre-production to determine the strength of the product’s testimonial component. Testimonials are not required for success, but if you’ve got ’em, use ’em. Testimonials talk directly to the viewer, not the masses. Give viewers testimonials they can relate to. They, too, must be true believer spokespersons. Great testimonials create immediate response. Very few infomercials have achieved success without them.

    21. Generate high emotional appeal.

    Nobody turns the channel when a real-life infomercial testimonial-giver is crying. Poignancy sells better than any emotion. Happiness (ecstasy, joy, fulfillment) is second on the bestseller list. Then humor. The emotional infomercial will always outsell the dry. It’s empathy at work. Viewers can’t help it. And if they emphasize, they’re connected. You’ve created a relationship. This is a classic advertising technique. Create a dialogue with your customers. Get them involved. Demonstrate the product. Give them a sample and they’ll want it all. Appeal to their five senses and you appeal to their emotions.

    22. Emphasize the “magical transformation.”

    Weight loss products, cosmetics, kitchen gadgets—they all transform something. Incorporate before-and-after photos. The more dramatic the change, the better. Customers don’t want our products-only what they can do for them. They want the profits, not the mutual fund; they want the compliments and approving looks, not the skin cream. The product isn’t really king; what it does for the customers is king. Give them the dream, the magical transformation. State the before, but give them the after.

    23. Ask for the order.

    Earn the right to ask for the order, but don’t be shy. There’s a right time and place. Everybody dislikes salespeople who haven’t earned the right to ask for the order.

    24. Remember to sell all the time.

    No moment or element of the script should have any purpose other than to sell your product.

    Creating the Creative:
    Creative Briefs

    Crafting the creative brief is a critical stage. Simply put, this stage determines your entire infomercial’s positioning, format, look, and feel. Your success or failure is incubated here. Give it the time it requires. During the creative brief phase, your writer and researcher should first gather existing resources—advertising materials, marketing research, demographic studies, pre-existing video footage, testimonial files, expert opinion, celebrities or talent already associated with the product—all your product assets—to thoroughly understand the product’s history. Second, a clearly defined unique selling proposition (USP) needs to be carefully crafted and a demographic target decided upon. Remember, only 30 percent of TV viewers are DRTV shoppers. Are enough of your product’s demo targets among those? If not, then your offer may change from a one-step, direct product sale to a lead-generator intended to drive retail. At this stage, someone should be making testimonial pre-interview calls. The results of all your research should be summarized in the creative brief document. Allow a minimum of one to two weeks for this all-important phase. Well begun is half done.

    Concepts and Treatments

    Infomercial concept development is not nearly as creative or freewheeling as image-spot conceptualizing. In the midst of the television commercial clutter, makers of image TV advertising have unfortunately reduced their marketing goals to impact, impression, frequency, and recall. This method of persuasion and motivation does work for delayed purchasing of product, but lacks accountability. And because it plays more on a viewer’s emotions (read “entertaining”) rather than their intellects, it has a wider field of creative concepts and images to play in. Infomercials have to play more by the rules. Budget, image, format, talent, testimonials, and product characteristics all need analysis before determining concept and treatment.

    Offer Scripting

    Script the call to action (CTA) first, then script the show body to synchronize with the offer. Not vice versa. The offer is not an afterthought! It’s the most critical part of your infomercial—when the viewer is asked to make a decision. It’s an exercise in clarity. You’ll discover how you need to describe and place the product benefits and features in condensed time. And remember, the consumer needs to understand the logic of ordering your product.

    Visual Grabbers.

    Beautiful, startling visuals get attention.

    Problem and Solution.

    This is a classic opening for DRTV spots. State a common problem and then tell viewers you have a solution. They’ll watch to discover it.

    Be Personal.

    Talk to the individual. Use “you,” not “him/her/them.” Testimonials may look like the viewer or, better yet, the viewer may aspire to look like them.

    Tell a Story.

    Stories take time and command people’s attention from beginning to end. This is why storymercials work—for a longer infomercials. It’s problem/solution, again. Or conflict and resolution in three acts. People seek resolution and happy endings. But stories can also be told by hosts, talk-show guests, product presenters, and testimonials. Testimonial features (two- to four-minute real-life stories) are very effective.

    Show the Process.

    The mind is curious. People love watching a process of making or changing anything. Just remember, professionally presented process peaks and retains interest.

    Ask Questions.

    If you ask a question viewers are naturally wondering about at that moment, they’ll wait for the answer.

    Present a Challenge.

    For example, lighting a car hood on fire. The viewer’s response is, “Oh, my! What’s going to happen?” Of course, there are many more sophisticated ways to do this.

    Use a “Holder.”

    Promise people a great deal up front—something free, perhaps, if they’ll stick around until the end of the commercial. Tacky tactic, but it works.

    Pacing.

    You’re structuring four audio/video tracks: visuals, voice-overs, on-camera spokespeople/testimonials/actors, and music. How you pace these tracks proves your mastery of the infomercial symphony. Surprise people again. Don’t drone on. Keep your dialogue snappy, your voice-overs and testimonial cuts brief (maximum 15 to 20 seconds). Cut/cut/dissolve. Again, remember AIDA: Get attention, create interest, then desire, then motivate them to action. Move it.

    Present the Dream.

    Give viewers a beautiful image of their lives transformed after using the product.

    Be Specific.

    It’s easier to write in generalities; but generalities don’t sell. Work harder and be specific. Similarly, it’s easier to write long-winded explanations than it is to be precise and to the point. Cut the extra words and get down to essential selling points.

    Don’t Try This:

    To help make sure your infomercial succeeds, here are some pointers on what not to do in your infomercial creative:

    1. Don’t just create a general topic information program and then throw two or three DRTV commercials into it. You must sell benefits all the time. For example, don’t do a talk show about all types of insurance. Talk specifically about the insurance you’re selling.

    2. Don’t think that a celebrity spokesperson guarantees success. It doesn’t. In a recent survey, 57 percent of infomercial customers said their purchase was not influenced by celebrity endorsements. Remember: the offer and the copy rule supreme.

    3. Don’t try to entertain too much. Sure, make it glitzy, fun, exciting, and fast paced—but you’re selling all the while.

    4. Don’t sell more than one product in your infomercial. It won’t work.

    Although it may seem logical that you can adequately explain several products in the length of the informercial, 12 years of failed multiple-product infomercial tests have proven otherwise. Why? Give consumers multiple choices or multiple sales messages and, (1) the impact of each message is weakened, plus (2) response drops dramatically. (Of course, 30-second-spot clutter has created the same problem for years.)
    You’ll get sales from a multiple-product infomercial– you just won’t get as many direct television sales per minute. This again demonstrates the power of time. For every minute you spend selling the same product in an infomercial, your response rates rise exponentially, not arithmetically.
    There are exceptions. If your strategy is to drive retail sales and direct television sales are less important, a multiple-product infomercial could be the most economical decision.

    Problem Solving Checklist:
    • Long-term success in selling stems from answering one basic question: What need does this individual have that I have the capability to fulfill?
    • Infomercials give you one ultimate advantage: Time. The more you tell, the more you sell.
    • The creative brief stage determines your entire infomercial’s positioning, format, look, and feel.
    • Budget, image, format, talent, testimonials, and product characteristics all need analysis before determining concept and treatment.
    • Employ the AIDA formula: create attention, interest, desire, and action.
    • When it’s appropriate to the product, use a true believer as the commercial spokesperson.
    • Script the call to action (CTA) first; then script the show body to synchronize with the offer.
    • Logic justifies, emotion buys.
    • Balance entertainment with information and credibility.
    • Always say, “Call now!”
    • Remember the “eight movements of the symphony”: selling cycles, benefits, features, uses, credibility, guarantees, offer details, call to action.
    • Product is king.
    • Give creative the time it takes.
    • Stop the channel surfers by catching their interest at any point in your infomercial.
    • Balance entertainment and information so that neither overshadows the other.
    • Direct testimonials to your viewers, up close and personal, one on one.
    • Don’t let the sale happen, make it happen.
    • Review product benefits during the CTA for at least one minute.
    • Pace your infomercial appropriately.
    • A product offer pitched by the right celebrity can mean a 15 percent to 20 percent increase in response.
    • State the offer details verbally and clearly to encourage direct sales and avoid inquiry calls.
    • Use premiums and bonuses whenever possible. They’ll lift response 10 percent to 25 percent.
    • Say the phone number and address a minimum of two times in the tag.
    How to Assess the Script

    As you read the script, ask a few questions on each page. How are we capturing the viewer’s attention at each moment? Are we creating desire and building motivation? Are we honest, sincere, credible? Are we creating a positive relationship and trust with the individual viewer, and earning the right to ask for the order? And, lastly, have we moved the viewers with emotion and convinced them with logic?

    DRTV Effective Arm Media

    DRTV = Effective

    DRTV proves an effective choice for advertisers needing an accountable medium

    Traditional TV advertising continues to make way for DRTV (Direct Response TV), the offspring that has matured rapidly to take a grown-up share of the UK broadcast TV ad market.

    The key benefit driving DRTV’s popularity is its accountability, providing advertisers with detailed customer data that can be analysed to accurately measure the success of a TV campaign.

    The main performance indicator for any DRTV campaign is its overall cost-efficiency and return on investment. Having the data-mining tools in place to delve deep into the increasing amount of customer and viewing data is therefore essential to long-term success.

    So what are the key steps to analysing DRTV effectively?
    (1) Estimate scheduled call volumes

    Always obtain scheduled TV spot times before a campaign airs. Ensure the right copy is running, along with correct telephone numbers, and that spots are broadcast as planned throughout campaigns. This information, along with estimated call volumes, is vital to the advertiser’s call centre, so that responses can be handled efficiently.

    (2) Obtain detailed DRTV response data

    Know what response data is going to be available once the campaign is running and how often it will be supplied. Having an infrequent supply of data leaves little time to revise media plans while a campaign is on air. Be sure to receive exact times of calls in order to match this back to spot times at a later stage.

    Collecting details of when qualified respondents called is more useful than simply noting gross call volumes. While a DRTV campaign’s main objective is the ’call to action’ to generate as many cost-effective calls as possible, the quality of respondents is also important. The number of qualified leads can feed back vital creative information, such as the advert’s appeal and whether it contains a clear message. It can also influence future media plans, for example a kid’s channel may be generating a large number of hoax calls and may need to be removed from future plans.

    (3) Attribute accurate responses to DRTV spots

    Determine how quantifiable the data is. If TV channels have run separate telephone numbers, the response data can be assigned with greater accuracy. Should one ‘golden’ number have been used across multiple TV channels, then a spot-matching methodology is needed to attribute each response to an individual TV spot. The most efficient is a purpose-built software system programmed to do this automatically.

    (4) Drill down to your DRTV results

    Analyse the response data with BARB viewing figures to determine response rates and costs. The DRTV campaign’s overall response rate and cost-per-response provides a first indication of success. However, successful or not, it is essential to drill down further into the data to establish the accountability of all the TV airtime and plan how future DRTV campaigns can be improved.

    Each TV channel’s performance can be judged after responses are spot-matched, but it is also important to analyse other variables, such as days of the week, dayparts (such as peak time), position in breaks and individual TV programmes or programme genres.

    Even a cost-efficient and successful TV channel may have poorly performing days or dayparts, which, if removed from future plans, could lead to a lower cost-per-response. Conversely, a TV channel that has not been effective may have certain times which were cost-efficient and the airtime could be restricted to these times in future. All these affect the overall campaign results.

    This is why DRTV campaigns should be constantly tested, analysed and refined.
    (5) Ensure transparent DRTV airtime costs

    An ongoing (and campaign-end) reconciliation of delivered viewing figures versus budgets will give a transparent picture of final TV airtime costs. Reconciled airtime figures will show an over or under-delivery for each TV station, which will help plan spend levels for future DRTV campaigns.

    (6) Use return on investment to judge your DRTV campaign success

    When planning subsequent DRTV campaigns, use recent response rates to judge each channel’s expected performance. However, it is also important to balance the plan with cost-efficient channels and high volume generators. Response rates are guides, but cost-per-response and ROI are the key performance indicators.

    (7) Variable DRTV airtime costs may reduce future efficiencies

    When analysing campaign results and planning future budgets, the changeable TV landscape should be considered. A TV channel may not perform successfully month-on-month due to external factors, such as new competing satellite channels launching, programming changes and particularly price changes.

    The majority of TV airtime is purchased through CpTs (cost-per-thousand viewers). Each station’s price can fluctuate by month. Therefore, airtime purchased in one campaign may be more expensive by the next. This can have a large bearing on future results and must be taken into consideration when planning future DRTV activity based upon previous results.

    DRTV Generate Arm Media

    DRTV Generates Leads

    DRTV is now used by leading Brands

    DRTV is often considered to be the poor relation of other media aimed primarily at daytime viewers with debt problems or those seeking compensation claims of some sort. Companies offering solutions to these problems use DRTV because they know it works and can generate many thousands of good leads at an acceptable cost-per-response.

    Among the leading brands now adopting DRTV and helping to improve DRTV’s credibility, are Apple, Braun, Coca-Cola, Disney, Weight Watchers, Nissan and numerous charities looking for donors – proving that if a company gets its DRTV campaign right then thousands of TV viewers will pick up the phone or visit a website within the first 10 minutes of their DRTV ad appearing on screen.

    For DRTV success you need a specialist DRTV Agency

    It has, arguably, been the emergence of specialist DRTV agencies which has promoted this growth. In the UK, ARM Direct provides its clients with DRTV creative plus DRTV media planning & buying. It also offers a bespoke DRTV campaign tracking & analysis software system so that client’s can monitor which TV channels are generating the most response, and at what times of day in what programmes. After many years of DRTV experience ARM Direct are experts in helping clients generate measurable results profiling customers by their needs & responses as well as geographic location.

    Typical DRTV consumers

    Recent research reveals that DRTV consumers do not necessarily fit the demographic profile many of its critics might expect. Around 79% of DRTV buyers are homeowners aged between 25-45yrs, 53% are professionals and 68% are graduates. Some 53% of consumers respond to DRTV ads in the afternoon, compared with 23% in the morning and 24% in the evening.

    First-time DRTV respondents usually have to watch an ad two or three times before they are prompted to act, which means it’s vital Brand advertisers follow ARM Direct’s proven rules when making their first DRTV ad.

    Making a successful DRTV ad

    All DRTV ads must generate an immediate response so it is crucial to use simple language to express a solution that viewers can respond too. The DRTV ad must also be the right length – 60sec works best according to CH4 Research – the creative must be sincere, use an 0800 number & URL plus display these within 5secs from the start.

    At ARM Direct we’ve made highly successful DRTV ads with budgets from as little as £12,500 and we achieve this without sacrificing any creativity believing that the commercial must be original and clever whilst at the same triggering a high response from targeted TV viewers. The product or service should be made clear, any music or sound must complement the message, and viewers need to be reminded several times to call the number on the screen or to visit the website.

    Ultimately, for your DRTV ad to work effectively, the creative idea must be simple and the DRTV campaign should form part of an integrated marketing strategy which includes other activities such as VoD, Online,Press and Sponsorship.

    DRTV is perfect for established Brands

    ARM Direct has proven that DRTV is the perfect partner for Brand advertisers who want to encourage consumer participation. For example, in the USA several major Brands use DRTV for generating additional interest especially during product launches. 30sec Brand ads run in peak and are costly whereas 60sec DRTV ads work best off-peak which means responders are more likely to have a genuine interest in the product or service.

    Several ARM Direct clients have used DRTV ads to actually launch their Brands and generate immediate business – then later they have added more traditional Brand ads to their marketing mix at selected times of year eg. pre-Christmas or school holidays or before a major sporting event.

    DRTV helps drive Online success

    The importance of online & smartphones is another reason why there is a growing interest in DRTV as Brand advertisers realize the advantages of adopting a duel approach by dovetailing their regular campaigns with DRTV ads. DRTV drives online and mobile response especially as consumers now appreciate they have alternative methods to browse before purchase.

    Infomercials and the power of the half hour show

    ARM Direct has many case studies of DRTV having been responsible for substantially growing business especially in the financial services sector. Some advertisers, however, have developed longform Infomercials. Started in the 80s in the USA, usually between 15 & 30 minutes long, Infomercials are used by clients selling items such as kitchen gadgets or cosmetics and many have achieved multi-million dollar successes. Today the Infomercial format is appealing to a wider range of Brand advertisers and Lexus, Nissan, Dell, CitiBank and others have regularly used Infomercials to launch new products and attract new fans & buyers.

    At ARM Direct we believe Infomercials work for two reasons: anyone who sits through an entire 30min commercial show will afterwards have a very good understanding of the brand and high propensity to buy the product or service. Whilst creative production costs will be higher the upside is that UK Infomercial airtime costs are very low.

    Key DRTV Facts

    DRTV continues to grow because it can generate an immediate return on investment (ROI). Many Brand-owners are now setting aside separate budgets for DRTV campaigns helping to support their social media & online campaigns as well as generating thousands of new sales & enquiries.

    • Total TV advertising expenditure has remained strong in recent years, in spite of newer forms of media competing for consumer attention.
    • The proportion of DRTV ads carrying a URL has risen significantly, largely due to the growth of online sales.
    • SMS has also become a more important since the launch of smartphones and many DRTV ads now include this response mechanism.
    • Over the past 4 years DRTV ads featuring a URL only have increased.DRTV ads now account for over 28% of all ads on UK television.
    ARM Direct DRTV Market Report

    DRTV Market Report

    What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for the European TV market?

    The UK TV advertising market grew by 14% last year and the “Television Key Facts 2012 Report” found that European viewers watched more TV year-on-year which is positive news for TV advertisers.

    Even more encouraging was the confirmation that the overall TV advertising spend in Western Europe increased by 7.6%. It also found that 72% of EU households now have digital television, with 33% of homes in Europe watching high definition TV (69% in the UK).

    Catch-up services are also continuing to grow in popularity with over half of European online users (55%) watching TV on their computers. Interestingly 81% of respondents said they still watched as much television as they had previously.

    Is the trend away from immeasurable Brand TV ads toward more measurable DRTV ads affecting multi-channel marketing?

    ARM Direct is a specialist media & creative advertising agency which means that all our clients run a mix of DRTV (Direct Response TV) and also what we refer to as BRTV (Brand Response TV) campaigns. Both DRTV & BRTV genres are measurable and we often combine this strategy with TV Channel programme sponsorship.

    In today’s ever shifting marketplace we always recommend adopting a multimedia strategy. For example, we have successfully combined BRTV ads which are typically 10sec or 20sec or 30sec long and less measurable with totally measurable classic 60sec DRTV ad campaigns. The shorter BRTV ads feature the URL only and focus on the core brand messages whilst the longer DRTV spots generate leads or sell a product. This strategy is entirely complimentary and allows us to place the shorter spots in near peak airtime that clients could not otherwise afford.

    What are the three biggest effects the growth of Social Media is having on the DRTV marketplace?

    Around 70% of Facebook users are based outside the USA – with nearly 34 million of these being in the UK whilst the EU has the highest growth in social networking.

    Our advice is that all advertising should be supported by a strong Social Media presence with a combination of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube helping drive awareness. It is now an accepted view that Social Media should be seen as a long-term branding strategy and less about quick sales & profits. This is the ideal way to engage and listen to what buyers and fans are saying about your products in real time.

    In the UK one third of women aged 18 to 34 check Facebook when they first wake up, before even going to the toilet, according to research. Twenty-one per cent of women aged between 18 to 34 check Facebook in the middle of the night confirmed in a study by Media and Lightspeed Research.

    The Direct-to-Retail game plan now seems to be a must for every DRTV product campaign that hits television?

    The UK follows the US trend in that Retail is now the aim of every DRTV campaign. We’ve had substantial success recently using a two prong approach for a 50+ health product. Firstly, DRTV to create a buzz and immediate sales then secondly, BRTV to increase brand awareness. Marketers have to explore new ways of coupling their DRTV & online spend with Social Media to maximize consumer awareness.

    Has the influence of mobile marketing grown in the past 12 months?

    Media multi-tasking – where, for example, someone makes a phone call while surfing the internet – now accounts for one fifth (20%) of all UK media consumed throughout the day and the younger the person, the more this happens.

    Among 16-24yr olds in the UK, almost a third of their media activity is simultaneous compared to just over one eighth for people aged 55+. Surfing the internet via mobile phones is the fastest growing mobile media activity with 1 million new users during the first quarter of 2012 (taking the total to 14.3 million, compared to 11.2 million in the first quarter of 2011). Direct marketers who ignore this trend will be left behind as the 25+ generation enters the next decade!

    Social Media can’t be ignored as Facebook remains the most popular mobile internet site in terms of time UK people spend on it, accounting for almost half (45 per cent) of total time spent online on mobiles. And a fifth (20%) of time 16-24yr olds spend social networking is on a mobile.

    Which UK consumers are the most valuable for DRTV marketers to target?

    Our advice to DRTV marketers is to separate out their target buyers now as follows:

    Younger people
    Recent UK consumer research found that the 16-24s are the most efficient users of communications services as they squeeze 9.5 hours of media consumption into just over 6.5 hours actual time, spending the largest part of their time on computers and mobiles. Finding ways to harness this interest through clever Apps which help to drive direct-to-retail sales is worth exploring and several of our UK DRTV clients are now using this approach.

    Barry M’s success at using Social Media to target teenage cosmetic buyers is an award winning example of using joined-up-thinking.

    Older people
    There is a growing use of technology among Britain’s ageing population and this consumer group (typically empty nesters) often focus on a narrower range of products & services. DRTV for this group can be quite seasonal for example health & fitness plus family Christmas gifts in the winter and later in spring gardening products & outdoor pursuits. The UK growth in internet take-up is being driven largely by families who are using the Internet to save money during the recession.

    Social networking grows across all age groups
    Younger people respond well to DRTV however they are more likely to access social networking sites, with 61% of 15-34yr olds claiming to do so, compared with 40% of all adults aged 16+ (12% higher than 2010). But it is by no means exclusively a young person’s activity. Nearly half (48%) of 35-54yr olds claim to use social networking sites, as do 20% of 55-64yr olds.

    UK men spend more time using media than women
    Men spend nearly an hour more per day using media than women – an average of 7 hours 33 minutes per day compared with 6 hours 38 minutes.

    Men (25%) are also more likely than women (21%) to use their smartphones to access the internet which opens up opportunities for male focussed products & services.

    What vertical markets are best equipped to survive and even thrive in today’s competitive consumer markets?

    The upside for DRTV is that many TV channels are having to seasonally lower their DRTV airtime rates – this means that some DRTV advertisers are now paying less for 60sec & 120sec spot avails than 5 years ago and if media budgets allow they are in a good position to increase their opportunities to sell.

    Combine this with other related media such as Social Media + Online + Magazines + Newspapers + PR and those Direct Response advertisers that can afford integrated campaigns are the ones that will make the biggest gains.

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    Now let’s talk about what we can do for you!
    Call Digby Orsmond or Shane Murphy on +44 (0)20 7224 3040
    or email info@arm-direct.co.uk

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