Drive Sales with a Mix of Media
By Dan Plunkett
Being born and raised into the direct response industry, frequency to me always has meant how many times a prospect purchased, not how many times I put an ad in front of him or her.
As for reach, all I had to do was look at the net output from the merge to figure that out.
General advertisers seemed unscientific. How did they know if a campaign worked? How did they isolate variables and branding? Give me new customers; building a brand wasn't in the mix.
At the time, many marketers even thought placing an ad in a magazine and renting that publication's list would actually reduce response through "cannibalization." What's more, they would never rent a catalog file, place an insert into fulfillment packages and blow it into the catalog for the same in-home date.
How times change. Factors such as higher postal rates and less success from new test lists drive us to look for new avenues to generate customers. The Internet has had its effect, too. Traditional advertisers have discovered direct response and are better informed about execution. With that comes the realization that the interaction between media channels must be addressed.
Not only is the cannibalization less significant than we thought, but the opposite is true. Each media tends to support and increase sales in other channels. For example, direct response television (DRTV) marketers who take products into other channels will see a boost in response when the infomercial is airing regularly. In specific markets, the infomercials' effect can be seen when ZIP analysis is applied to the customer generated through media other than TV.
There are many examples that illustrate this principle. Some continuity and merchandise marketers regularly use a simultaneous mix of mail, placements in magazines, newspaper free-standing inserts (FSIs) and the Sunday supplements, while also inserting into statements, catalogs and packages. Catalogers are moving into FSIs, DRTV and other venues that have been ignored until recently. DRTV marketers who traditionally went straight to retail after a run on TV now are making efforts in various direct-response channels before going to retail—extending the life of the product.