What is direct response TV or DRTV? This is a concept that some people have trouble understanding. The concept is made easier if you think about what an infomercial is. It is basically a commercial with a toll-free number that the viewer can call and instantly buy the product in the advertisement. Infomercials were originally used in television time slots that weren’t being used, so they were cheap. Sometimes they cost as little as $500.00 for 60-minutes.
From the beginning, infomercials shown on late night TV were designed to cater to the emotions of the viewer, by focusing on three topics: vanity, need, and greed. They all had money back guarantees and told the viewer they could make their lives better instantly. Currently, these three emotions are still used for the majority of DRTV advertisements. This formula continues to be popular, however, the airtime is no longer as cheap.
The cost for a half-hour infomercial has dramatically increased compared to back in the day. Currently, large companies are buying up blocks of time and resell them for a profit. In today’s market a 30-minute infomercial now costs five times more than the $500 charged 15 years ago. However, DRTV agencies can get the time slots at a cheaper price.
If it’s done correctly, DRTV can be very profitable. Think about the George Foreman Grill. It has sold 16 million units through a massive direct response media campaign. Which in turn, drove consumers to Sears all over the country. For every grill that’s sold on television, retail stores sell five to seven of them.
What is DRTV Such a Successful Advertising Tool?
One of the most important aspects of DRTV advertising is that it can reach the people who most need a certain product. Any offer is more relevant if it gets in front of the market who needs it and not in front of those who don’t. And its relevance to the consumer can easily be articulated.
Another aspect of successful DRTV advertising is when urgency is added to the offer. Such as a limited supply, or limit to the length of time it is available. The exact number of how many are left, and the date the offer ends also need to be specified.
However, this can work against an ad on DRTV because viewers who don’t need the product immediately may forget about the ad because they don’t need to remember it. So if they need the product after the air date, they will look for it elsewhere.
When using DRTV for advertising, the advertiser has to put themselves in the consumer’s shoes, and make the message relevant to them. As well, they have to consider what makes their ad and what they’re offering better than the competition’s product and key selling points.
DRTV campaigns are generally managed by Direct Response agencies, that are experts in their field and have connections that an inventor, or entrepreneur may not have. Since DRTV has gained popularity outside of the U.S., some agencies also have connections with advertisers overseas.
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How DRTV is so Successful