The Holmes Group’s Dave Sarlitto on DRTV’s Role in a Multichannel World
In his position as vice president of direct channel marketing for The Holmes Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Jarden Corp., David Sarlitto oversees almost all of the multibrand company’s direct channels, including DRTV. During the last few years, Sarlitto has seen DRTV prove its worth by bringing in direct revenue and driving retail sales of the manufacturer’s brands, which include Rival, Crock-Pot and Bionaire. Target Marketing spoke with Sarlitto, who shared some of his insight into what it takes to make DRTV work.
Target Marketing: One of the challenges in today’s multichannel environment is measuring the effect one channel has on another. How does The Holmes Group measure the benefits of DRTV?
David Sarlitto: Within the organization, there’s a lot of discussion about how DRTV helps our brands. It has become our belief that you can do a DRTV spot, complete with a call to action, that supports an elevated brand position. The vast majority of the benefit of running [it] accrues to the retailer. We accrue some direct sales, and that’s great. But usually, we funnel that money back into the campaign to increase our reach.
With a good number of our [retail partners], same-store sales and point-of-purchase information are readily available. There’s a bit of a jump in some of the logic, and you have to extrapolate the data. However, when you have point-of-purchase information by store location, you can do baseline comparison of product sales—in the midst of a campaign, before a campaign, following the campaign—from the same store, in the same category, from the previous year, and begin to understand what effect your DRTV advertising is having on retail sales. By and large, it has a pretty significant effect.
But the company as a whole has to [commit] to measuring all of this. You need … to monitor the data on a regular basis and make adjustments as needed. Once you’ve gotten that process down, it’s easier to … make financial and revenue assumptions based on what you think you will see. You can’t put a couple million dollars into a DRTV effort without a fairly strong comfort that [you] are going to experience a measurable benefit.