Is your Marketing benefiting from video & DRTV in 2016?

Is your Marketing benefiting from video & DRTV in 2016?

By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.


Having worked in or run brand advertising agencies, direct marketing and digital agencies globally for over 25 years – I am puzzled as to why those currently using: Big Data, Mobile Marketing, Cloud, Internet of Things, Analytics to build loyal fans and enhance customer experiences ARE NOT using video or DRTV?

Direct Response Television (DRTV) is both cost effective and cost efficient, and can deliver a huge revenue stream when used with pinpoint targeting to a list or precise audience, offer, creative and timing. So why is it underutilized?

Why aren’t more companies enhancing their online marketing i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc. or broadcast TV with brand-oriented DRTV campaigns? Not only can they generate amazing interest in a product or service but they also offer broader integrated media approach which ensures maximum profits and shareholder return.

In fact, the image shown above the title features the image of Adam Levine (Maroon 5 frontman) for Proactiv+. Proactiv® is an iconic DRTV product, trusted by millions of women, men and teens and recognized with 28 awards and honors from the beauty and health industry over the past 20 years! In fact, for more than 16 years, Guthy-Renker, one of the most respected direct marketing companies has catapulted Proactiv Solution leveraging its unique style of marketing to bring a revolutionary new approach to acne treatment direct to consumers.

When you integrate classic DRTV infomercials with traditional brand commercials you expand your impact exponentially. So why not consider delivering new products in light of their full multimedia potential? There’s always going to be new media to tap into, you just have to look for it.

So what’s the catch about using DRTV, you ask? There is no catch for most savvy digital marketers today and it starts with little cost as the price of a 30 second ad on TV in prime time (network TV (8–11 PM), advertisers can fund dozens of DRTV airings across a broad range of stations. Many stations or networks will sell ‘unsold’ spots at rock-bottom prices late because they would rather make some money, than lose the potential time/date with nothing appearing. It’s that simple.

Additionally, the direct response metrics of a long- or short-form DRTV commercial can be accurately modified, refined and tested for as little as $25,000 – $35,000 in media costs. Even a new product or service launch or an emerging brand working on a tight advertising budget, can realistically TEST a campaign with a DRTV campaign that produces a measurable return on investment. Now that’s cost effectiveness! Spot DR media can also be regularly purchased at steep discounts of 20 to 50 plus percent off rate card.

In the recession driven, soft advertising market of 2008–2013, for example, long-form DRTV media rates were down between 10 and 20 percent on average, to levels not seen since the turn of the millennium. TV stations and cable networks simply responded to deteriorating ad revenues by replacing standard entertainment programming with paid 30-minute ‘Infomercial’ programs.

Today, despite spending more time on their mobile phones, laptops, iPads and computers – TV viewing households are on the rise and TV viewing hours are still averaging as high as almost five hours per day for some age groups – always a good sign for DRTV.

Importantly, for the last few decades, I have consistently seen DRTV driving massive results in both, short form AND long form DRTV (infomercials). In many categories from: E*Trade, Visa, AT&T, American Airlines, EarthLink, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Estee Lauder, P&G, Microsoft, Nissan, and Pepsi. Plus, categories as diverse as: Toys, Books, Pets, Kitchen, Health and Beauty, Electronics, Insurance and more.

Over the past 60 years, DRTV marketing has time and time again, proven itself as a cost-effective, accountable, measurable, and powerful way to attract customers who will order products and/or services via the phone/cell, mail, Internet or even drive them into retail stores to touch and try the product(s) firsthand.

Since the beginning of heavy American acceptance of DRTV – generally any TV commercial (TVC) that includes a response mechanism (800 number, URL, QR Code,  SMS or mobile app code, or “push to order” button on your TV remote) to generate an immediate response to purchase a product or request more information or trial is considered to be a DRTV commercial. Additionally, DRTV commercials can be of any length but most typically: 15 seconds, 30-, 60- or 120-second “spots” (short-form) or 30 or 60 minute “infomercials” (long-form).

According to eMarketer in Q4 2014 research, The Diffusion Group estimated that the average weekly time US Internet users spent watching Over-the-top video (OTT TV) would rise 425% between 2014 and 2020, from 3.6 hours to 18.9 hours. In 2015 alone, time spent with OTT programming was expected to nearly double to almost 7 hours per week. AND, they also stated that US connected TV viewers will top 200 million by 2019, up from around 140 million this year.

Importantly, in utilizing cost effective and cost effective marketing best practice, DTRTV can help you build a massive database in real-time too. So, I keep asking myself – why aren’t more companies, brands and agencies integrating more video and direct response television into their media planning in 2016?

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According to Ooyala last year, the rationale that TV is best enjoyed at a designated time with family or friends is outdated. A recent study of 2–12 year-olds found that 57% of them preferred watching video on a mobile device because they could take it anywhere; it gave them a sense of independence and they could easily navigate to the content they wanted. 

QUICK TIPS for DRTV Success in 2016:

1) Products or Services used on DRTV must demonstrate why they are unique & special.

Despite a rapidly transforming retail market, especially in the Digital Age, it’s still easier, cheaper, faster for most people to buy at a store (even with Amazon around). So if you want people to buy from you, you have to have something really special with a compelling OFFER.

2) The visual appeal of the product is vital.

DRTV is the ultimate: Show & Tell. Your product or service must look amazing NOT just good and if it lends itself to an amazing demonstration, so much the better. DRTV delivers customers who are buying mainly on the basis of what they see and hear. It’s emotions that win too because people respond to a product’s benefits not its features!

3) You must have an irresistible deal or offer as this accounts for up to 30% of its Success

There are many obstacles to a DRTV purchase. So remember if people buy from you, they have to:

  • Listen to a stranger make the ‘pitch’ unless it’s a trusted celebrity,
  • Give their credit card number,
  • Pay shipping & handling,
  • Wait 2 to 4 weeks for delivery, and
  • Commit to a product they’ve never seen.

Importantly, if you expect your target audience to overcome these hurdles, you’d better have an OUTSTANDING offer, i.e. Limited editions, special deadlines tied to impressive discounts, etc.

4) Passion and Emotion sells.

Energy, passion, emotion and excitement sell.

If you can ‘’nab’ a celebrity such as: Ben Stein, Anthony Robbins, Brooke Shields, Adam Levine, Debra Messing, Valerie Bertinelli or Cindy Crawford to deliver your message so much the better because celebrity endorsements of your product are a great way to kickoff any campaign.

5) Include a minimum 5-10x mark-up in your suggested Retail price.

You need a healthy mark-up to pay for media and get the return you need to be profitable. If you’re going to sell for $49.95, your cost-of-goods should be about $7.50.

Test, test, test and adapt, adapt, adapt. The direct marketing industry and the Age of Digital Disruption changes on a daily basis. (No rest for the wicked!)

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 6.11.50 PM

In summary, don’t think of DRTV as the ‘ugly duckling’ compared with your Facebook, Instagram or Brand TV campaigns. The more times and places prospective customers see your product or service the better, especially if you want immediacy, flexibility and importantly to build a global database – can you afford to ignore it? I don’t think so!

Viewers today are no longer limited by program schedules, location, device or even age. The only limits are (perhaps) price and their own time. Today’s consumers are looking for brands, companies and providers to experiment more with truly custom, social and on the-go offerings in the battle for consumer mindshare. So, why not use DRTV is 2016? You may also discover it is a beautiful swan and so will your bottom-line and share price.


Stay passionate



More about Geoff De Weaver:

Geoff De Weaver Oct 2015

Hailing originally from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the globally experienced entrepreneur, technology disruptor, trend hunter, transformation expert and keynote speaker behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.

Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:

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