How will the government regulation to change TV to all
digital broadcasting in February 2009 affect the DRTV
Eden: The major change will be in the quality of the video transmission, causing producers and clients to upgrade commercials.
The major impact is cost of entry to market. Lead generation
— particularly service-oriented companies — may be the most
impacted as some of these information requests are for necessities, such as health insurance or credit cards, that often target
lower or lower-middle income households that may not be currently digital.
Garnett: Fundamentally, the “advertising” will be the same. But,
all of the providers in the business will be confronted with the
challenge of determining their own paths to full high-definition
(HD) production. I expect most will evolve to HD production as
it becomes more efficient for their businesses to become all HD.
Knight: The transition from analog to digital will create more opportunities for DR marketers simply due to a major expansion
of the media landscape. Platforms will need to program their
schedules, resulting in added inventory that will be ideal for all
forms of DR.
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Savage: The switch to digital should not affect the industry too
greatly. Until we reach first-quarter 2009, it will be difficult to
say if this will affect media buying in local markets. Right now,
we don’t anticipate there being much change, but that will be
something we will have a better idea of towards the end of this
Is this industry’s consumer changing or staying the
same? If so, how?
Garnett: I think this industry has three consumers. The “
yell-and-sell” practitioners have a set of regular purchasers to whom
they continually sell. This is a small, somewhat unusual, group of
committed TV buyers. Brand DRTV clients focus on two other
populations: those who can be brought to buy from TV without
being regular purchasers and those who are influenced by DRTV
but who purchase at retail. Both of these populations are much
larger than the “yell-and-sell” buyer, and they are the future of
Hawthorne: After six-to-eight years of DRTV consumers becoming accustomed to very aggressive, low-cost “trial offers,” multi-pay offers continue to disappear, as buyers expect to get great
deals whenever they view DRTV.
Medico: Over the past few years, the DR consumer is becoming
far more selective and the ratio of offers that work versus the
ones that don’t is increasing. In addition, the consumer is aware
that many products eventually work their way to retail, and this
has suppressed response to a greater degree.
Sarnow: I think we are still living in a “Baby Boomer” economy.
The purchasers of products on TV are still largely an older audience. On the other side, with more corporate marketers like
Kodak — selling printers — a wider group of first time infomercial and short-form DRTV consumers is in evidence. The more
diverse the products being offered via infomercials, the more
diverse and larger audiences will be.
How has technology changed the way your company
does business in the past 12 months? How will it in the
next 12 months?
Bruckheim: Certainly, technology is rapidly changing the way
most every company does business. It gives any company the
resources and breadth of scope to accomplish so much more.
For Latino Media Services, our B-to-C Web site has become
the meeting point used by global suppliers and our clients to exchange product information and resources.
Fays: Viacom has built a proprietary DR/paid programming
tracking system that allows us to view consumer spending habits,
thus giving my account executives insight into which shows clients will perform best based on appropriate demographics.