Media Potpourri (989 words)
As the media scene in the U.K. has continued to change with the emergence of more satellite and cable channels, so has Telebrand's strategy.
When Telebrands first came to the U.K., less than a million homes had access to either satellite or cable TV. Seven years later, approximately six million homes have access, plus one more commercial terrestrial channel (Channel 5) has surfaced. The increase in the supply of airtime has made it much more affordable, and Telebrands is now leading the way in short-form mail-order advertising on TV.
This summer is due to see the arrival of digital television. It is anticipated that this new development will further increase the market penetration of new commercial TV stations that have sprung up in recent years.
Carol Wright first tested the U.K. market in 1994. Working closely with UKAMS and Trent Mail Order Management, it devised a test strategy that would yield meaningful results but at the same time minimize risk.
First, Carol Wright had to determine whether or not U.K. consumers would buy its type of low cost, value-for-money housewares before embarking on a full-scale catalog test. It was decided that the U.K.'s strong traditional off-the-page mail-order market was the place to test. Selecting some of the best selling catalog lines from the U.S., the marketer placed a series of national newspaper ads. Results were encouraging and it began creating a customer database.
This strategy of selling product direct off-the-page was quite different from the way customers were acquired in the U.S., but it was important. It helped Carol Wright to grow its own list in a market where the availability of strong consumer mailing lists was limited. This shortage was due primarily to two reasons. First, there were fewer catalogers in the U.K., so good lists were in short supply. Second, list owners in the U.K. proved to be far more protective of their lists than their U.S. counterparts. They simply did not want other catalogers talking to their customers.