and instant deployability online.
Hawthorne adds that while consumer
electronics firms are amazing at inventing things, they’re notoriously inept at
explaining them. Hence, many average
consumers don’t fully appreciate or understand a product’s potential. “
Approximately half of HDTV owners still watch
programs in standard definition — albeit
on a much larger screen,” he says. “You
need time to explain all the features.”
While Hawthorne agrees that the
direct sales approach has worked well for
consumer electronics on live TV home
shopping, for higher-end purchases he
prefers DRTV short- and long-form commercials to generate leads and push to the
Web. “About three-quarters of the population research more expensive purchases
online, but complete the transaction at
retail,” he says. “DRTV’s role is in persuading consumers that the product they
should be investigating is yours.”
“Most higher-end consumer electronics companies are now focusing their
direct response efforts on the Web,” adds
Hawthorne. Taking advantage of the
online video explosion, marketing-savvy
manufacturers are creating the equivalent
of an on-demand infomercial.
And therein Hawthorne envisions an
opportunity. “If buyers are going to seek
out professional and consumer reviews
anyway, why not make it easy for them?
Let DRTV not only drive to retail, but
also to a Web site.”
She notes that BKV’s clients products
advertised via DRTV tend to be somewhat complex, so directing consumers
to a Web site is an effective strategy for
reiterating the offer and product benefits.
“It’s not that buyers are necessarily moving away from TV, it’s just that they’re
combining the two,” Doty says.
The TV creative execution and the
Some see a narrow ray of light.
landing pages are created to work together so that the consumer isn’t confused
when he or she logs on to order. Landing
pages are designed to be relevant, easily navigated and contain as few steps
as possible during the checkout process
— dramatically reducing shopping cart
abandonment rate by moving the shopper
We see the full spectrum.
The Web Is a Closer!
Geller adds that studies indicate that
for DRTV viewers who gravitate to the
Web for more information, or perhaps in
hopes of a cheaper price, conversion rates
are high. “They’re pretty well prequalified,” she says.
“In the early days of DRTV, we sent
all of our responders directly to the telephone,” says Virginia Doty, executive
vice president of Bennett Kuhn Varner
(BKV), a full-service direct marketing
agency in Atlanta. “About 10 years ago,
we experimented with adding a URL to
a spot. Today, anywhere from 30 to 80
percent of our responses come through
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