Getting Maximum Impact
The DRTV industry has come a long way dur- ing the past 25 years. Yet the one-dimensional nature of too many campaigns leaves DRTV’s richest potential untapped — by both traditional and brand marketers. Looking forward, our industry must move from its simplistic starting points to a
more complex maturity.
In fact, I’ve spent my DRTV career developing ways
to delve deeper and build more power. This has led to a
vision my agency calls the Six Degrees of DRTV™ —
six elements that describe the total potential of a DRTV
In this series of three articles in the coming months, I
will look at how the Six Degrees lead to campaigns that
increase profit for both brand and traditional DRTV
marketers. And, we’ll look at how the Six Degrees may
change some of the most deeply embedded habits of our
Starting Point: The Yin Yang of Profit
Sadly, most campaigns choose to focus on one or
the other of our first two degrees. These two degrees are
interconnected. To reap the best profits through DRTV,
campaigns must achieve a balance between the two.
❯ Immediate direct sales/leads by phone or Web
❯ Sales/leads in other channels (retail, Web, mobile,
social, continuing sales)
The Direct Sales Error
Yell-and-sell practitioners tell me that even when
seeking retail sales, they believe the most effective over-
all campaign is the one that uses every trick in the book
to drive direct sales. (Besides, they love the cash flow
from immediate sales revenue.) Campaigns of this type
started our industry, and the MER mythology has been
enhanced by the fog
But a single-minded focus on direct sales
drives creative choices
that reduce impact at
retail. And, it creates
a definition of success
that is so high that it kills many projects — projects that
would succeed if total profit were considered.
The Retail Channel Error
Many brand agencies encourage clients to ignore
direct sales, reducing DRTV to little more than inexpensive media. But this error of one dimensionality also
Why would it matter when you’re selling eight, 10
or even 20 units at retail per unit sold directly? Because
profit from direct sales should subsidize media cost. And
when a company creates effective direct selling brand
DRTV, that company can get two or three times the on-air media for the same out-of-pocket cost.
Unfortunately, brand DRTV direct selling is very
hard creative work. Too many agencies minimize the
need to sell directly, then satisfy clients with “A” grade
production that covers up “C” to “F” grade communication. Sadly, the ultimate result of these campaigns isn’t
just low direct sales, but lower impact at retail.
Balance Creates Higher Profits
In his book “Convergence Marketing,” Richard
Rosen presents this balance through a “Velocity Scale.”
His testing of the Velocity Scale across a range of direct
marketing shows that when you strive hardest for direct
sales, your total profit decreases rather than increases.
In fact, we recently compared a balanced campaign
with a one-dimensional campaign in the same category.
While direct sales were comparable, the balanced campaign drove three times the retail revenue per media
dollar. So while the extremes of yell-and-sell might snag
a couple more direct sales, they may drive away 20 or 30
sales at retail.
Focusing on one degree at the expense of the other
will diminish total campaign profitability. Create and
manage your campaigns in ways that balance these two
degrees. When you do, you’ll find that you’ll get even
stronger financial results. ■