Direct Response Methods
The Perfect M ix:
Print, Web and DRTV
Four years ago when ALCiS Health Inc. developed an over-the-counter
pain-relief cream that reportedly eases pain in five minutes, the goal was to
get it to retail as quickly as possible.
“When we started, we looked for the most efficient, quickest way to get
to the consumer,” says Brian Berchtold, CEO and president of ALCiS in San Jose,
Calif. “But we also knew going direct to retail would be tough and time consuming.”
So, to create product awareness, ALCiS opted
for 30-minute infomercials, a Web site and its staff
attended many medical shows, ultimately contacting about 5,000 physicians.
After that, ALCiS hit print, mostly dailies.
“We tested to see what worked and then moved to
magazines — a lot of magazines, like U.S. News
and World Report, Newsweek, Prevention, you name
it,” Berchtold says. “We tested everything, and it
turned out that we’ve been very successful at adapting to different media.”
Today the cream, called ALCiS Daily Relief, has
reached national retail including Walgreens, Rite
Aid (this summer) and 85 percent of all regional
Berchtold says one lesson to emerge was, “The
more mediums you can get going, the better off you
are. Consumers needed to realize the legitimacy of
The underlying principle of ALCiS’ success
is clear to Nancy Lazkani, president and CEO of
Icon Media Direct, a DR marketing agency in Van
Nuys, Calif.: people want to know more about the
products they buy.
Lazkani says this need to know is a trend she’s
watch develop in recent years. “With the advancements of technology, people are no longer relying
on just one source for information,” Lazkani says.
“People want to know more, want to know it in
their own time and on their own terms.”
Some analysts say consumers are taking more
initiative than they ever have before to educate
themselves and compare products or services, rather
than simply accept marketing messages.
Get It in Print
DR marketers are learning that adding print to
DRTV campaigns is one way to give consumers the
information they want and need to make a buying
John Bosacker, senior director of business development at Novus Print Media Network, a print
media buying agency in Plymouth, Minn., that
focuses on publication media, says integrating print
is a way to “undergird” DRTV, generate a new sales
channel (which he says is the No. 1 goal) and make