13 Oct Should your First TV Advertising Campaign Focus on Response?
What is Direct Response Marketing?
A direct response advertisement is defined as one that urges viewers to take immediate action. The purpose of direct response advertising is not necessarily to sell a product or service but to encourage consumers to take action, such as – signing up for a newsletter, attending an event or entering a contest.
Marketing professionals utilise direct response marketing on all media platforms, including TV, print, radio, email, digital, and social media. Direct response campaigns should have a specific objective in mind, i.e. registration, sharing with contacts, etc. – and offer prospects something irresistible in exchange.
Direct Response Marketing typically focuses on four key elements:
A Clear CTA
An effective direct response strategy prompts customers to take immediate action. The offer presented in the call to action plays a crucial role. A successfully executed direct response advert needs a clear, easily accessible call to action (CTA) to ensure interested consumers know precisely what they need to do next. The CTA should be a tailor-made approach that communicates what you sell, especially the benefits and the response you want the viewer to take. Identify one action and focus on it. Ensure your message elicits this response by using active language and powerful words to explain the action you want prospective customers to take clearly. Make the steps involved in the CTA easy to find, follow, and access. Your CTA will successfully elicit the desired action from your customers if it contains these essential ingredients.
To get prospective customers to respond to the CTA, they need to understand why and how it benefits them. Advertisements focusing solely on the brand image won’t elicit a response or action from consumers. Marketers achieve better short-term results when they concentrate on the needs of consumers or on things that matter to them.
Personalisation and Targeting
Can you predict what will appeal to your customers based on their behaviours? Know your target audience before launching a direct response marketing campaign. Personalising your ads towards a target audience helps to connect brand and buyer, encourage action and ultimately generate the best results. Creating a personalised offer requires knowing and understanding problems and ambitions typical to the target market. Recent studies indicated that 80 per cent of consumers prefer to do business with a brand that offers advertising with personal interactions.
Procrastination is a natural human trait, especially when money is at stake. A sense of urgency encourages consumers to act quickly. It is crucial in driving conversions because quick interactions and decisions are more likely to occur. Using techniques like scarcity, limited-time offers and competitions, a sense of urgency can encourage viewers to act now and positively affect conversion rates.
Should your first TV campaign focus on response?
The answer is almost certainly yes if your brand sells products and services directly to consumers. Most new entrants to TV advertising opt for response advertising. Rather than focusing on pure brand awareness, your first TV commercial should drive conversions and sales.
New TV advertisers often look to big businesses for inspiration. They want to create super-stylish brand advertisements, but this advertising style does not necessarily spike sales and should be considered a long-term strategy that builds awareness. If TV is a new marketing channel for your company, your first TV campaign must demonstrate ROI immediately to keep senior leaders’ confidence.
Marketing professionals sometimes have to accept that unless short-term ROI is generated, there might be no ad budget for future campaigns. For first-time TV advertisers, direct response campaigns are usually the best choices unless money is no object.
Benefits of Direct Response Marketing
The quick ROI of direct response marketing and its high volume of leads generated make it a very effective marketing strategy, but numerous other benefits are included.
Advertisers can track direct response marketing easily. It is easy to analyse because it utilises unique correlated responses, such as discount coupons or competition entrants, as part of the CTA, making it easy to measure whether a given campaign is producing prospects or leads. Marketers can record participants who have responded and their relevant details into company databases through coupons, offers and competitions. This way, direct response ads provide a list of prospects who have expressed interest in your brand or product. Marketers can easily measure how much you spend to reach each customer by breaking it down by return on investment (ROI), and it’s easy to determine if the campaign was successful.
Direct response ads promote direct communication with prospects and potential customers to create stronger relationships. If your response campaign is successful, prospects look forward to receiving helpful information and special offers from your brand. It is a huge difference when you’re trying to close sales deals to have leads who want to be contacted by you rather than merely collecting contacts. As a result, sales teams will be able to spend less time chasing cold leads and more time driving interested prospects through the sales process.
Direct response marketing is undoubtedly the fastest way to produce short-term results. Data-driven direct response marketing makes campaigns more targeted, increasing conversion rates. Having this information is crucial to optimising your marketing strategy; identifying your core consumer base and which ads and media are most effective upon them allows you to dedicate resources to the means that deliver returns. Because of these benefits and others, advertisers should take full advantage of this marketing strategy.
Does the style of your TV advert matter?
The short answer is yes and no regarding direct response tv advertising. For your TV advert to succeed, your creative techniques and concepts must be appropriate for your brand, your campaign objectives, and your audience. There are no general rules like “animated ads do better” that marketers can follow blindly to guarantee a response. You and your TV production agency need to work together to make an ad creative that aligns with your brand message and personality with the CTA.
Businesses should not underestimate the importance of high production values in their TV campaign. First-time TV advertisements that are well-camera worked, have a great soundtrack, are edited well, and are coloured well are more likely to grab attention, engage with a viewer, and therefore illicit the action desired. Don’t forget that making your ad stand out from your competition is vital.
Predicting an Ad’s Effectiveness
Ad tests can be conducted on a small group of target buyers, known as qualitative research. Marketers should evaluate ads shown to focus groups for their uniqueness, memorability, credibility, and incentive to purchase.
An ad campaign with a high level of creativity had, on average, double the sales impact of one without. Originality is often a feature of the most effective advertising combinations, suggesting that this kind of creativity is crucial in facilitating the buying process. A product’s originality does not boost sales on its own — advertisers must combine it with additional creative elements for it to be successful. Many companies use originality in their ad campaigns because of its ability to enable the CTA, despite the mediocre effectiveness of individual products.
By sticking to a likeable style, you can make your ads more memorable and inviting. People naturally want to engage with friendly, encouraging personalities and eliciting a response is a vital consideration for those using direct response advertising. In your advertisement, invite buyers to visit your store in a friendly and welcoming way and encourage them to call for information and orders. Information regarding the CTA in the advertisement should be as transparent as possible so that potential customers can respond quickly, be it location, telephone number, store hours etc. Stick with a style and personality for at least a year or more; potential buyers will become confused if you change your ads too often, and in addition, it reduces an ad’s memorability.
Credibility is important. If you say you offer the best quality or value, but it’s not true, advertising will have the opposite effect. Marketers should also avoid the use of denigrating language and identifying competitors. In the long run, this could backfire on you by making consumers less likely to respond and, worse, more loyal to competitive products. Your advertising should always be honest, regardless of your chosen medium. If false advertising or deceptive practices are used, strict laws are in place.
The incentive to purchase is the defining feature of an ad. it can be judged by how well all the aspects of an advert, its look, feel, personality and products, gel around the CTA at its core. Does the information presented in it flow logically? The individual elements need to come together and create an enticing offer that the viewer ideally cannot refuse. Use feedback from focus groups to determine which aspects of the ad work and which don’t, and ultimately whether the participants would consider purchasing the product described.
Best Practices for Direct Response
Direct response campaigns utilise sophisticated consumer data to maximise returns on an ad spend. Analytics are needed to tailor the ads and deliver them on the proper channels at the correct times. Here are a few of the best practices employed in direct response advertising:
Make the Response Easy
Forms with many fields or the thought of waiting a long time on the phone to get more information are less likely to draw consumers’ attention. Your conversion rates will increase if you make your ad easy and quick to respond to for your consumers.
Make the Call to Action Specific
The CTA must be clear and specific so that consumers can quickly respond. Consumers should be able to instantly recognise what they need to do next and how to do it. For example, if you want people to opt into your newsletter, only include a CTA button for this action, as additional CTAs (such as social media promotion) may distract from this goal.
Use a Compelling Script
People are bombarded with ads daily and have learned to ignore the vast majority. If applicable, direct response ads must be driven by a compelling script and storylines.
It is essential to ensure your adverts are as personalised as possible towards your core consumer base, targeted strategically by medium and channel, and clear enough for consumers to understand what you’re offering.
Since many of these campaigns focus on delivering value instead of closing the sale, ensure your sales and marketing teams are clear about how to engage prospects further. How will these leads be nurtured? Marketers should set up their direct response campaign with the following steps prepared.
Direct Response Marketing Techniques
Most people associate advertising with extensive, big-budget campaigns by brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, and Doritos. There’s a creative, emotional, and larger-than-life quality about them. As a result, they attract customers and remain in the minds of those who encounter them. A small business considering a television advertising campaign might find the situation overwhelming. Taking on the giants head-on is not always the best approach; they need to approach advertising differently yet still create marketing that drives action today.
Direct response marketing focuses on making things happen immediately. It combines the value proposition and the call to action to get prospects to make a decision quickly. The following are several examples of the techniques and strategies employed in direct response marketing to elicit a desired reaction in a consumer base; each takes a different approach you can use in your own business.
Drive Direct Response with Informercials
A classic example of direct response advertising is the infomercial. By combining traditional television advertising and direct response marketing, infomercials are an informative way of building brand recognition. An infomercial is typically longer than a regular commercial with a more explanatory style; hosts can demonstrate products and their uses alongside offers, discounts and testimonials from customers. Infomercials usually emphasise social proof, including information about how many new people are purchasing every week, and they include countless positive testimonials from a selection of customers from the targeted demographic. By constantly urging you to “call now”, they display their website and phone number on-screen at all times, reminding viewers of the call to action. Furthermore, they create a fear of missing out by offering limited-time bonuses.
As an example of successful direct response television ads, Proactiv wins hands down. After initially rejecting the idea of using infomercials to market their products, Proactiv eventually adopted infomercials that advertised limited-time deals like free face moisturiser with an immediate purchase. Since 1993, Proactive has made a fortune from these infomercials, and by 2015, direct response television marketing had driven Proactiv’s sales to over a billion dollars a year.
Word-of-mouth marketing is amongst the most potent traditional forms of marketing; according to national statistics, people trust recommendations they receive from family, friends, or colleagues 83% of the time. Referral programs are more effective than conventional word-of-mouth marketing because the customers are actively incentivised to make the referrals. Businesses encourage their current customers to refer their brand, product or service to their friends and family by offering a reward when they refer someone who makes a purchase. These rewards are known as referral incentives and usually include special offers such as discounts, gift vouchers, spending cash or even free products.
This is why referral programs are one of the best techniques employed in effective direct response marketing. This strategy rewards people for spreading the word about your business and recommending it to others. Promotions like this work well because existing customers keep returning for rewards while bringing new customers to a business. It’s a simple means of generating both short and long-term revenue.
For those looking to incorporate a referral program into an advertising campaign, try inviting your customer base to your referral program by sending them an email or including information about it in an ad. Make referring a friend easy by providing them with a link to a landing page you want their friends to visit, or, after a customer makes a purchase, ask them for referrals on a “thank you” page.
A well-executed referral program can drive both sales and brand awareness at the same time.
Upselling involves marketing and selling more expensive versions of a product that prospective customers already own or are considering purchasing. Selling products and services to existing clients is far easier than selling to new prospects, so it’s a powerful selling technique. If your business relies on recurring revenue models, it is even more important to sell to your existing customers. Initial sales typically only account for 5-30% of revenue in this type of business. New prospects usually have a 5-20% chance of making a purchase, but existing customers have a 70-90% chance of buying again.
When selling a product or service, you can advertise a superior version of a product or a service alongside the base model, or you can ask your customers if they would like to upgrade to the premium version before they complete the buying process. You should clearly explain the advantages of upgrading and make it as easy as possible for your customers to make the switch.
As part of some subscription models, companies can send newsletters or friendly reminder emails every month to encourage further sales to members of their customer base who opt to receive correspondence. Subscribers receive a message reminding them when items will ship, along with information and details on even more great new products being sold. When it comes to a direct response campaign, urgency is critical because it encourages people to act immediately. This strategy creates a sense of urgency without needing discounts or freebies.
Contests or Giveaways
Contests are always a hit for marketers looking for inventive ways to incorporate direct response marketing. Marketing campaigns that include contests and giveaways are highly effective for grabbing attention and creating buzz. They are full of excitement, and the prospect of getting something for free encourages consumer participation and spreads brand awareness. A contest giveaway’s most significant advantage is that it attracts an immediate response from your target audience, which is why it serves as an effective direct response marketing tool.
The main goals of holding a contest are to raise awareness, increase website traffic, generate leads, promote products and services, increase sales and build a community around a brand, amongst many other benefits.
As prizes, some contests offer cash awards, trips, free services, special events tickets, and free merchandise, to name but a few, and some games even give away cash prizes. Companies should carefully choose gifts and rewards to reflect the brands’ image. This way, you ensure that your campaign will only attract the target demographic. You can quickly include information regarding competition in a tv ad by using memorable and enticing offers such as ‘Our 100,000th customer will win a free car!’ or ‘Sign up now to be entered into our free prize draw!’
Things to remember about direct marketing strategies
There are many ways for founders and marketers to apply direct marketing to their businesses, regardless of whether they are emerging small businesses or long-established and popular brands. Some of the most prominent brands have had excellent customer outreach success. The significant patterns and how you can use them are as follows:
Identify the correct target audience for your advertising, along with a list of meaningful features and benefits that a product can help them to overcome problems that they face in everyday life. In this fashion, the ads align with your business positioning, and marketers can make the CTA as enticing as possible. Then, on top of this, advertising should provide reasons why a product is superior and unique, along with a personality that matches. Knowing the things that make your target demographic unique will help you propel your direct marketing campaigns; it is possible to find inspiration for an ad creative in the smallest of details.
Direct marketing can still have a significant impact, even if you only sell to an existing network of clients and customers at first. Ask your core consumer base to get involved by sharing your email, promoting your crowd fundraiser, or something else entirely. Direct response advertising campaigns can still be very effective when they target established high ROI leads; if you reach out first to your most prominent supporters and loyal customers, you can accomplish a lot.
Finally, adapt your direct marketing to your own company’s needs. The truth is direct marketing may suit one company but not necessarily another.