After two years of double-digit rating declines, many in the industry are questioning the longevity of traditional television advertising in all lengths, both long and short form DRTV. If there’s one thing everyone in the DRTV industry can agree on: 2020 changed everything. During the pandemic’s first waves, advertisers, like so many others worldwide, were uncertain or scared about the future. The pandemic may have led to unprecedented change, but many underlying trends began long before COVID-19.
Today, the gap between those who view streaming services as an addition rather than a replacement and those who only use streaming services is quickly closing. According to an MRI-Simmons study, the two percentages went from 55% and 45%, respectively, to 51% and 49%. 5.5 million households also canceled pay-TV services offered by the top five providers last year, compared to 5.8 million in 2019. More than 4 in 5 households subscribe to at least one video-on-demand service. Respondents who made the switch to streaming only or plan to do so report that their main reason for doing so is to watch streaming services instead. A quarter of the respondents said that their TV packages are too costly and blamed prices. More than 43% of respondents claim streaming is the more cost-effective option.
These shifts are causing similar waves within advertiser spending, with companies beginning to allocate more to streaming. For the time being, traditional tv remains, along with many questions surrounding its future within the media world that remain unanswered, for now.
The explosion of e-commerce has not only changed the way we buy but how we pay. When the pandemic hit and millions of users flooded to online retailers, several already-existing businesses and ideas were thrown into full gear as they gained popularity. Buy Now, Pay Later, or BNPL, is an installment loan utilized by many online retailers today. With Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm, or simply retailers offering their own plan, BNPL allows consumers to make a purchase and receive it immediately while paying for it over time through a series of installments.
Some plans can come with interest and late fees, but some charge neither. Pricing and plan information varies from company to company.
Allowing a consumer to pay over time can dramatically alter the consumer landscape for marketers. It will give those with poor credit or lack of credit card funds an opportunity to purchase impulse products advertised to them. It also gives marketers a chance to close more sales at minimal risk.
Data shows that consumers buy more when they can pay over time. BNPL gives companies a much wider reach and the ability to expand their target audiences further.
A recent survey found that 1 in 5 U.S. consumers used a BNPL service in the 12 months ended Aug. 20, 2021, and only 1 in 6 of them regretted doing so.
While this is a boon for marketers with higher price point items, full disclosure of terms is mandatory. In December 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an inquiry into BNPL, expressing concern about “debt accumulation, lack of regulation, and data harvesting.” The regulator is concerned that borrowers are accumulating too much debt and that consumers’ personal data could be misused.
Last month, the agency demanded information from a handful of the industry’s most prominent players, including Klarna and Afterpay.
This inquiry notwithstanding, the BNPL option has opened up an excellent opportunity for higher price point items and allows credit-challenged consumers to have an equal playing field for products that otherwise may have been out of reach.
“Coming out of brand advertising, I was mesmerized by achieving instant sales when I started doing infomercials over 20 years ago. Now with some of the new social platforms, I am even more excited by the metrics, measurements, and immediacy in creating leads and sales. And that is why I believe that these digital platforms are transforming to become the new infomercial, especially for Gen Z and Millennials, which has been a tougher market to reach on traditional TV.” Ava Seavey, Avalanche
When it comes to creating compelling ads that inspire immediate consumer response, sometimes tried and true methods reveal themselves, amongst new trends and technologies, to be the real champions in selling. As plethoras of new platforms, products, brands, and trends pave the way for changes in the effectiveness of digital ad types, new research has shown that aspects of the traditional infomercial are working their way into social media ads, and they’re working!
With apps like TikTok and Instagram that feature predominantly visual content, consumers are turning to spokesperson videos, product demos, influencer content-creation, unboxing, and social proof videos to inform their buying decisions. Out of the top seven social media advertising formats, these six are all classified as Infomercial formats. What does this tell us?
Consumers want information. Recent studies show that the #1 thing consumers want from online advertising is product info, across all age groups. Many buyers prefer the demonstrative aspect to infomercial-style ads, feeling more comfortable trusting them because they provide adequate information and thus purchase motivation.
It will be interesting for advertisers everywhere to see in what other ways traditional advertising bleeds its way into the new digital age, and sometimes, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Importance of Omni Channel Marketing for DRTV products
The pandemic and its economic impact have entirely changed the way businesses is done. With many consumers and working professionals working remotely and spending so much time online, it’s clear how important digital channels are becoming and how critical it is for marketers to reach consumers where the eyeballs are.
For DRTV, Direct-Response, Infomercial, and Direct-to-Consumer Marketers, this change proves just as meaningful. It is vital to be mindful of what happens within each platform and utilize as many channels as possible. By using omnichannel marketing and tracking ads, you can successfully create high-converting campaigns, and all can work with the halo effect of reinforcing ads seen on other platforms.
DRTV can bring you excellent results when used as part of an omnichannel strategy and can be among the highest converting platform.
Creating Ads on Google or Bing that build on your DRTV ads can yield great results and help conversion rates. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok can yield extremely high results as well, especially when geo targeted. Both lead generation and product specific ads can work well on these platforms.
When considering DRTV, be sure to maximize your results by having all digital tactics in place.
Direct-to-consumer, social media, and DRTV marketers and brands have had their share of challenges driving consumers to purchase, either through a web site or phone number. But with the events of the pandemic, consumers changed their online shopping habits and helped push a massive shift occurring over the past decade. The insight into how the retail experience is different today in 2021 can be expressed in one word: Amazon.
Various studies have demonstrated very strong consumer trust in Amazon. According to a FeedAdvisor study, 89% of consumers are more likely to buy products from Amazon than other e-commerce sites. 78% say that they trust big corporations such as Amazon or Walmart.com over other online retailers.
Customers often look to Amazon first when it comes to quickly purchasing name brand products, as well as unknown brands. They are putting less and less trust into smaller DTC websites and brands, which is why it is critical to also sell on Amazon in today’s world.
Amazon has undergone various investigations into fake products and says it blocked over 10 billion counterfeit listings in 2020. Despite this, Amazon continues to soar in subscriber numbers, with over 150 billion Prime members, and takes its place as #1 in the U.S. e-commerce market with net sales of $386 billion in 2020, followed by Walmart.com.
But direct response, infomercial, social media, digital, and DRTV marketers should not despair, as all media purchases can also drive supplemental Amazon sales in addition to sales on their brand sites and at the call centers. Thus, attribution of Amazon sales should be included when analyzing and reporting on revenue from media spend.
It is becoming increasingly common for companies to have sustainable elements within either their products or services. Sustainability is something that people are considering more and more critical, so it benefits a company to explain and share how they are saving energy, recycling materials, and engaging in green marketing in general. Green marketing refers to advertising products or practices that promote sustainability.
Sustainability is fundamental to younger people looking to make a change by giving money to companies with their interests in mind. Companies need to share this information in a format that will resonate with young people, such as social media.
There are some key elements to creatively advertise how your company or product promotes sustainability to the public.
First, it is always important to understand the audience. According to a Fast Company survey from 2019, 40% of millennials have picked one job over another because of the companies’ dedication to sustainability. Millennials value companies that value sustainability. Once you understand your audience and how to use green marketing, you can begin to explore effective ways to reach them.
In cases where a company is trying to target a younger audience, social media ads specifically should be used more than something like direct response television (DRTV) ads just because of the levels of engagement of each age group. If a company has created an infomercial or something similar, they can post clips of it to social media for more direct advertising to younger audiences.
Second, the explanation should be clear and specific with background information about how the research was gathered. Companies should be environmentally savvy and able to explain precisely how their products or practices go about achieving what they say they are. Nestle did this exceptionally well in this area when they announced a press release in early 2020 that explained how they would begin using recycled plastic for their packaging. Their thorough description of this process gained a lot of attention, and they received about ninety-thousand direct responses to this announcement, according to ListenFirstMedia.com.
Third, it is helpful for companies to explain their plans for achieving a more sustainable way of working in the future so that audiences can understand its goals even if they haven’t quite reached them yet. Conveying this type of information over social media is effective because it serves as direct-to-consumer advertising where people feel directly addressed and, therefore, more engaged with what the company is saying.
When executing direct to consumer advertising to Gen Z, some of the tactics used for other demographics, such as DRTV and Facebook advertising, may not fit the bill. It is important to consider the best ways to reach them and catch their attention. There are some key differences from other generations that will determine how effective certain types of marketing are. Here are some specific points to consider:
TV and broadcast radio are losing popularity as well as certain social media sites like Facebook. Audio streaming is quite popular, as are podcasts. For social media, popular Gen Z sites are platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. So advertising there could grab attention.
Importance of Ethical Consumption and Brand Image: Gen Z is more likely to be reached by a company they feel is ethical, so it is crucial to explain how a company or product is not harmful to the environment, how they help the community, who produced it, etc. It is not enough anymore to be a company whose only goal is to sell to them. They want to feel that the company is also helping the planet and its people.
Keep advertisements brief and honest: Gen Z is used to consuming a lot of visual, digital, and social media in short periods of time, and they value authenticity and transparency. It would be helpful to clearly explain the product or company and its history using those involved in the company rather than paid actors and sets.
Written by our own Gen Z, Ariel Smith
It’s official, Generation Z has been declared as those born between the years 1995-2015, (3 to 23 years old). This group is born into a planet of technology and a time where social media is the norm. So what does this mean for marketers? Well, it means it’s time for us to step up our game and adapt to these new societal changes, whether we like it or not. They want connections; therefore the old school hard sell is not the best way to advertise first anymore. No fluff messages are allowed, they can see right through that. We live in a time where short attention spans are the norm, due to the instant gratification society we live in today. The Internet has allowed us to dig into what a brand’s true colors are and what they stand for.
As marketers, it’s our job to keep up with the newest trends, technology, social platforms, etc. In order for us to better connect with generation Z, it is important for us to understand the culture of this generation. Marketers must embrace technology and the new ways of storytelling. Here are four ways to market to Generation Z.
Work on Social Media Game: There is having social media and there is using social media. A few platforms that Generation Z frequently use are Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube. The more you know about using each platform’s features, the better you can connect with your audience. Hashtags are a simple but effective way to help promote your brand organically. Engage with your audience by actually taking the time to respond to comments; they will appreciate it. User generated content is a sure way to have your own crowd; create contests and loyalty programs to spark up your social media. Remember, it’s also important to be relevant and engaging on all your platforms.
Utilize Video- Video marketing has become extremely popular over the past few years in the digital era. According to HubSpot, 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. That is a whooping 90%! The key is to be authentic as much as possible. There are various options like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and Snapchat Stories, just to name a few. The key is to keep the copy light and the graphics colorful to grab and maintain attention. Short videos with subtitles are the way to go! Using video communications to connect with your audience is a great and easy way to get new leads and sales.
Be Mobile Friendly– Phones are the primary platform of Gen Z, because they’re glued to them 24/7. It’s important to be mobile friendly for your product. A few factors to consider are to make sure your content is quick to load, as you don’t want to lose eyeballs, a quick and simple Call to Action, minimal copy, and a clear message.
Create Awesome Content– As stated before (this is key to marketing to Gen Z), fluffing your message to potential customers is not the way to go. Instead, focus on providing information viewers can learn from or that they would find engaging and entertaining. This way, they will be thinking positively and optimistically about your brand and not dread a commercial interruption. In fact, they will be way more likely to engage and become a long-term customer.