How to tune in to direct response radio

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					8 | DMNEWS | July 27, 2009 | www.dmnews.com




OPINION

                          Editorial
                                                                Rebaters face more laws, enforcement
                                                                                                                                             mission entered into settlements with two companies for
                                                                                                                                             failing to mail rebates within the amount of time promised.
                                                                                                                                             And, the New York Attorney General alleged that AT&T’s
                                                                                               Gonzalo E. Mon                                rebate advertisements highlighted the post-rebate price, but
                                                                                               Attorney for advertising                      hid the pre-rebate price in fine print. The AG also argued
                          Carol Krol                                                           and marketing law,                            that AT&T didn’t adequately disclose that rebates would
                          Executive editor,                                                    Kelley, Drye & Warren                         be fulfilled using debit cards that were subject to various
                          DMNews
                                                                                                                                             restrictions. To settle the investigation, AT&T agreed to
                                                                   As consumers become more cautious with their spending,                    pay more than $2.63 million to consumers.


I
    t’s the dog days of summer and what we may look back        some companies are trying to lure them back into stores                        Another area where we’re likely to see more enforcement
    on as the dog days of the recession as well. Hopes the      with rebate offers. These offers have recently come under                    is escheat. Under escheat statutes in various states, if a
    economy would have begun its slow climb out of the          increased scrutiny as states pass new rebate laws and regula-                consumer does not cash a rebate check within a specific
hole by now are stalled. Many marketers are reacting by         tors challenge companies who fail to comply.                                 time, the check may be presumed “abandoned” and the
sitting tight — a dangerous decision. Every facet of the           Laws in various states dictate how rebates can be adver-                  issuer may be required to turn the funds over to the state. As
direct marketing industry is suffering. The domino effect       tised. For example, some states prohibit advertising a post-                 states face budget shortfalls, many are looking for alternate
of squeezing budgets means some businesses won’t survive        rebate price unless the price paid at the register is clearly                sources of revenue, including escheat. There is currently a
and others will require radical change. Direct marketers        disclosed. Even in states where such a disclosure isn’t spe-                 lawsuit pending in Iowa regarding escheatment of uncashed
still need to sell products, get people to Web sites to plunk   cifically mandated, the disclosure is arguably necessary                     rebate checks. Rebate issuers should pay close attention
down the plastic and induce them to pick up the phone           to comply with advertising laws. Thus, it’s always a good                    as the case develops.
and order away.                                                 idea to highlight the pre-rebate price. Other states have                      These developments indicate that rebates will continue to
  Sara Cisler, director of CRM at The Limited, told me          more stringent advertising requirements, so check with                       be subject to increased scrutiny. As states pass new laws and
recently that getting customers into the store is her biggest   your legal counsel before advertising a rebate.                              challenge rebate issuers, companies need to pay attention and
concern now. Her company has an in-house database of               Regulators have also become more active in challenging                    be able to react quickly to changes in the legal landscape.
more than seven million people, and she drops more than         rebate offers. This year alone, the Federal Trade Com-                       gmon@kelleydrye.com
a million direct mail pieces every month to drive sales.


                                                                How to tune in to direct response radio
So what is Cisler doing for the next three months? Going
deeper into the house file to reactivate dormant customers
and putting more money behind direct mail at a time
when direct mail volume is down across the board.
  “We haven’t decreased the budgets,” she said, calling                                                                                      long as the campaigns underscore a “new and improved”
direct mail “a growing channel.” But, in this economy,                                                                                       positioning. Think of it this way: if your prospective buyer
her budget hasn’t increased either. It wasn’t easy, she                                                                                      can immediately identify what the product is, what it looks
said, but she was able to negotiate her cost per piece,                                                                                      like and how it will benefit him — all in his mind, without the
getting better rates on paper and printing.                                                                                                  need to see something for validation or comprehension — it
                                                                                               Buck Robinson
  Negotiating is hardly a new concept, but direct mar-                                                                                       has a shot of working in DRR. If it is so novel or unique that
                                                                                               President and CEO,
keters are particularly adept at running the numbers to                                        Robinson Radio                                the listener can’t form a frame of reference, or if your pitch
closely track the ROI of each campaign. Analytics are                                                                                        includes the phrases “you won’t believe your eyes” or “wait
the industry’s forté. That’s the good news.                       “Radio doesn’t work… we know, we’ve tried it.” That the                    till you see this,” chances are radio is not right for it.
  The bad news? This strength obviously will not solve          reception that I am used to receiving from clients. Based on                    Traditional radio likes to put all of its emphasis on frequency
the problems plaguing service sectors in the direct             a single mishandled, poorly targeted, untracked radio test,                  — running the spot repeatedly over a long period of time to
industry. Consider list marketing: As list buyers con-          they come to the determination that the entire medium has                    continuously reinforce the message. While direct response
                                                                no merit for their particular product or service.                            radio also benefits from frequency, it certainly is not a panacea.
                                                                  That’s when we introduce them to the concept of direct                     It’s important to avoid the “one size fits all” approach a
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: The best candidates for DRR are products that can be explained easily within a 60-second spot without the need for a demonstration. Products or services that have some degree of consumer familiarity are also good DRR candidates, as long as the campaigns underscore a "new and improved" positioning.
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