The 2017 Catalyst Conference was an incredible opportunity for Peter Koeppel to discuss the concept of direct response television advertising (DRTV) to marketing professionals in the Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) industry.
In his “Executive Spotlight” presentation entitled “DRTV & the Senior Market,” Koeppel explained the benefits and some strategies for implementing DRTV as an effective tool for reaching seniors who would be interested in purchasing PERS devices.
Success with DRTV in the Senior Market
Koeppel is a longtime leader in the field of DRTV advertising, a powerful and proven medium for reaching audiences like the senior demographic that are closely connected to television sets and cable and broadcast TV.
Instead of focusing on building up a brand’s image directly and hoping the audience will choose this company over that one next time they’re ready to purchase, direct response television asks viewers to act immediately. DRTV is surprisingly effective, largely because customers who have a particular need for a product or service often act when a relevant commercial airs.
The two biggest benefits of DRTV over other types of television advertising, he explained in his presentation, are its ability to tell a better story about your product because of the longer spot lengths and low costs.
Because DRTV airtime is often sold at remnant rates, advertisers can save 50 percent or more when compared to the cost of brand advertising, while having more time to explain their product or service fully. The increased time can give marketers a chance to show how the product works or discuss who can benefit most from using it. As long as the creative message is engaging and clear, customers can better weigh the benefits of products like emergency alert pendants, which may require more than 15- or 30-seconds to explain fully.
Avoid DRTV Pitfalls
However, simply running DRTV commercials won’t guarantee success. There are several issues that need to be addressed before launching a DRTV campaign. First, consider whether your product or service will benefit from the longer length of DRTV spots vs. the short spot length used by brand campaigns. Making sure your online presence is in order is also critical to the success of a DRTV campaign. If your prospects only find negative or mixed reviews online or they have problems navigating the site you provide in a DRTV spot, consider a site overhaul before launching your campaign. Companies that ask for viewers to call should also ensure they have a sufficient number of operators available to answer calls immediately.
Once these issues are addressed, there are budgetary items to keep in mind. DRTV’s success is often tied to flexibility in funding. If your budgets are rigid and unresponsive to potential successes, it can be difficult to fully implement a DRTV strategy. DRTV works much better with flexible budgets that can respond immediately to positive signals, like increased lead generation and higher ROI. Even if more income isn’t generated immediately, DRTV gives you data for tracking longer-term signs of success. Neglecting that budding audience can mean turning a campaign that’s just about to pay out into one that fails utterly.
DRTV can be an effective tool for reaching the senior audience, especially when it’s used to explain more complicated products and services. Just remember to keep your phone number or web address memorable with the use of repeater numbers and easy-to-remember URLs, since most people can only remember three or four chunks of information at one time.