5-7 Channels … and We Should Put
By Timothy R. Hawthorne
As I write this, it’s premiere week for the major now employ it. Mobile? SeeSaw Networks just surpassed
TV networks. “K-ville,” a post-Katrina police 30 million impressions each week. Newspapers? Even our
drama, just debuted on Fox and has the re- stodgiest medium still attracts six percent of the national
viewers gushing. It drew about 9 million view- ad spend.
ers. Clearly the mass media isn’t as mass as it used to be. Obviously these channels overlap. Magazine readers
In the early 1980s, when I produced for NBC’s hit TV listen to radio. Online shoppers watch lots of TV. But
show “Real People,” we routinely had audiences of more each advertising medium offers unique audiences and
than 30 million, a stratosphere now only reached by opportunities to convert extra sales.
“American Idol” and the Super Bowl. But in a fragmented Fragmented audiences and media threaten only the
marketplace, and despite there being 110 million TV one-trick ponies. Multi-channel marketers and ad agen-
households, 9 million viewers put smiles on network cies should thrive. Scores have expanded their service
executives’ faces. menus. But direct response marketers have a decided
Traditional advertisers bemoan this demise of the mass advantage. We embraced fragmentation long ago. It’s fun-
appointment TV audience, but DRTV veterans shrug damental to our equations for campaign success.
unconcerned. Provided “ To sell a specialty fishing that media rates are set by sane GSMs, fragmen- Fragmented audiences and media item, we might place long-form edia on regional sports chan- tation will never destroy threaten only the one-trick ponies. Multi- nels and run short-form spots
the direct response during syndicated hunting and
model. We’ve always channel marketers and ad agencies should fishing shows — from Portland,
built our audience by methodically aggregat- thrive ... but direct response marketers have a Ore., to Portland, Maine. But we won’t buy 30-second com-
ing comparatively small decided advantage. We embraced mercials on “American Idol,”
groups. One thousand no matter how many millions
clusters of 1,000 con- fragmentation long ago. It’s fundamental to our we momentarily miss.
sumers respond signifi- cantly better than do 1 equations for campaign success. ” Cross-channel marketing abides by the same principle. million viewers you Since even the most creative reach all in one shot — and strategically placed DRTV
so long as historical response data directs your audience won’t reach every fisherman, we build Videoactive TM Web
targeting and media buys. sites optimized for search and attract many new sportsmen
Direct response marketers should feel similarly at ease that way. We design print campaigns for outdoor maga-
with the fragmentation of the marketing channels them- zines and reach more new interested buyers — whose
selves. Television, the Internet, magazines, store net- response we painstakingly track. We acquire address lists
works, radio, video games, cell phones and books all com- from online newsletters and magazine subscription data-
pete for consumer attention. Agencies compete for bases, and reel in still more customers with E-mail and
accounts, with each medium’s evangelists armed with sta- direct mail campaigns.
tistics to justify investments in For most advertisers, seeking a Super Bowl-sized splash
advertising. is unrealistic. Thanks to cross-channel marketing, it’s also
The Web? According to the E- unnecessary. Look beneath enough lily pads and behind
tailing Group, 77 percent of con- the tall reeds, and those clusters of consumers add up pret-sumers claim Web sites influence ty fast. They always have in well-managed DRTV, and
their purchase decisions. E-mail? they will even more in cross-channel campaigns.
McKinsey Quarterly says that 83 Assuming, of course, that you have something good to put
percent of marketing executives on. ■