The direct response television industry is no longer in its infancy and, one could argue, there are two distinctly different sub sets of DRTV companies that have evolved in the industry. There is the “traditional” DRTV agency, that is usually working with you in the capacity to sell one product with a premium or an upsell, usually a hard good, something that is revolutionary, remarkable, demonstrable and super cala fragalistastic. It usually has a hard offer, somewhere between $10 and $29.99. It is usually sold in two minute and one-minute TV spots. Then, if successful, will roll into stores like Bed Bath and Beyond in the As Seen On TV section.
But wait, there’s more! There is a whole other world out there with regard to DRTV companies and direct response agencies. And that is the world of: 60 and: 30 direct response TV spots generating leads for expensive products and services, continuity items or subscription offers. These spots often have “soft” offers (no price is mentioned), or trial or discount offers.
In fact, would you believe it if I told you that Avalanche has sold $5,000 plus services from sixty second DRTV campaigns? Now I sound like a snake oil salesman, but it is the truth.
Consider this. The way that media is consumed now is quite different than it was in past years. Many consumers will research what they have been exposed to from these DRTV companies and go into due diligence mode. They will look at reviews. They may do comparison-shopping. They will educate themselves about the category and options. Then, when they come back to make a purchase, they are willing to spend those big dollars on a hair restoration service, on a cosmetic procedure, on a home improvement project or on a monthly subscription to an alarm system, a nutritional supplement or a diet program.
So how do you go about weeding through the many DRTV companies out there to find the right one for your project? When searching for a direct response company to carry out your strategy, be it for a traditional hard good or generating a lead for a service, just be sure whatever company you select has a strong track record in a similar category or genre. It wouldn’t be advisable to hire a company who has only done kitchen gadgets to produce a direct response commercial for your window installation. Nor would it make sense to hire a company who has done only financial services to work with you on a DRTV production for your toenail fungus product. And while it may be tempting to hire your nephew’s friend of a friend who has never done DRTV before, there is just too much that can go wrong. Your efforts to save yourself a bundle may likely cost you three bundles.
There are plenty of great DRTV companies out there in all categories. Do your homework and you will have the best chance for success. Check out potential companies in the resource guides published by industry trade associations, ERA (Electronic Retailer Magazine) and DRMA (Response Magazine). They both have listings by category showcasing the different DRTV companies as they may suite your unique requirements. If you are in the market to produce a long form infomercial, be sure to hire a DRTV company that has produced long form, same thing for short form. See if you can identify the categories each company has worked in. Go to their web sites and view some of their work. It is generally best to speak to at least three companies. If you schedule calls with the companies, be sure to try to speak with the actual folks that will be working on your account, not just the sales people. Part of a creative, collaborative process involves creating a working relationship. Be sure that the personalities jibe well with your own corporate culture. And be sure that whomever you want to work with has a passion for what you are marketing. It’s a tough business and without passion it’s harder to move that needle.
So now that you know the different types of direct response advertising companies out there, go find that one that is right for you and get your product or service out there in front of millions of people. Simply put, TV is still among the most persuasive and effective media channels available.