DRTV Advertising Trends

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DR Advertising Trends

DR advertising is increasingly utilizing programmatic advertising, multimedia, refer-a-friend programs, videos, and driving upsells and cross-sells. These are some of the current trends in DR advertising.

Programmatic Advertising to Reach Audience

  • Majority of DR advertising agencies are increasingly going for programmatic advertising in order to reach their target audience. This is associated with the fact that programmatic advertising depends more on real-time consumer data to get brand offers exactly to the right audience whenever they use the internet.
  • Programmatic advertising is also more common across DR platforms because it's an easier and flexible. It is not only budget-friendly and automatic, but also less risky when compared to traditional forms of adverts.
  • According to Smart Insights, programmatic advertising is already common in DR advertising and will continue to dominate all the digital advertising platforms in the coming years. Currently, Google is targeting 60% of its digital ads budget on programmatic advertising to increase sales.
  • The Magna Global Programmatic Intelligence report estimates that by the end of 2019, more than 50% of advertising will be programmatic advertising.

Rising Consideration of Several Multimedia Offers throughout Consumer Journey

  • The customer journey has become a significant concept in DR advertising since the concept takes into account consumers’ always complex, end-to-end decision-making process. The behaviors and preferences of consumers are always changing over time and what interests them at the purchase stage may not be similar to consideration stage. Thus, DR advertising agencies have resorted to targeted offers that meet the specific needs of consumers.
  • Many agencies currently leverage multimedia for different offers in order to engage their customers. Providing different formats in ads such as videos, PDF files, and digital ebooks for particular content help in meeting the changing needs of customers.
  • Recently, Facebook introduced Canvas Ads which enables advertisers to create customized mobile ad experiences that provide new and variable storytelling experiences. The Facebook Canvas Ad supports image galleries, product feeds, and videos compared to the standard mobile web.

Refer-A-Friend Programs

  • Refer-a-friend programs are becoming more common among DR advertising agencies in the US. Since DR marketing thrives on personal connections, using such programs are beneficial as they focus on creating specific actions on consumers to consider.
  • Premiere Direct Response noted that the refer-a-friend program helps DR companies to grow their client base. By incentivizing customers to invite their friends, brands are able to have customers do the work of growing the brand, particularly subscription-based business.
  • Men’s grooming company Harry’s recently took the world by storm after growing its customer base to over one million in just two years after using DR marketing. The brand climbed to such success after successfully launching the refer-a-friend campaign, which focused on creating specific actions.

Growing Use of Video in DR Advertising

  • DR advertisers are always looking for better ways to connect with consumers and drive action, focusing on formats that positively influence business impacts. Because of this, video is becoming an important aspect of DR campaigns.
  • By 2018, the number of DR advertises using video for DR campaigns increased 3.8 times within a year.
  • Converge Marketing noted that the digital video ad spends in DR is projected to increase by 34% in 2019 when compared to 2014. This is associated with the fact that adults are spending more time online every day compared to before.

Driving Upsells and Cross-Sells

  • A key DR advertising trend that is building the potential of business in 2019 is the drive of cross-sells and upsells. DR marketing helps in increasing sales with existing customers compared to targeting new top-of-the-funnel sales leads.
  • This is because there is available data for current customers. As a result, brands are able to personalize offers based on communication preferences, buying patterns, demographic information, and many more.
  • According to WordStream, the probability of getting new prospect purchase is only 5% to 20% compared to successfully selling to existing customers which has a probability of 70% to 90%. Therefore, many DR advertising brands are currently considering upsell models to reach their sales target.
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DR Advertising Best Practices

Five best practices for direct response advertising are (1) providing an easy way for people to respond, (2) establishing an expiration time for the offer, (3) providing clear instructions/directions, (4) offering free trials/products, and (5) tracking the marketing campaign.


Five Best Practices for Direct Response Advertising

1. Easy way to respond

  • Including an easy way for people to respond to a direct response ad is a best practice because people don't "want to jump through hoops to get the product or service they want."
  • People tend to ignore ads that are complicated or time-consuming. Thus, providing a simple and easy way for people to complete the desired action within the direct response ad is really important.
  • The information requested within direct response ads should only be that which is essential. For example, if someone's occupation is unrelated to the service/product being advertised, it should not be requested from them.
  • Two examples of easy responses to drive participation are asking one question or including a brief form for people to complete.
  • A prominent example of an easy-response method for TV ads is a phone number that starts with "1-800" because it's easy for people to remember. Relatedly, infomercials often provide an easy way to respond by repeating the phrase "call now."

2. Establish an expiration time for the offer

  • Establishing a date/time when an offer expires is a best practice because it encourages people to act on the offer while it's still available. That expiration time also provides the chance for companies to offer a bonus that is time-sensitive.
  • In general, people don't like missing out on good opportunities, which is commonly referred to as the fear of missing out (FOMO).
  • The expiration time for an offer should be reasonable in that people have sufficient time to ponder it, yet not so distant that they push it off for later.
  • It's so important to give people just the right amount of time because providing insufficient time will likely result in fewer people acting on the direct response ad.

3. Provide clear instructions/directions

  • Providing clear directions is a must-do for direct response advertising because quick responses are the goal of such ads. Thus, quick responses and clear directions go hand-in-hand.
  • To add clarity, essential information such as an expiration date should be repeated so that people clearly see/hear it.
  • Arrows or similar types of visual indicators are other good ways to provide clear directions within direct response ads, as they help to ensure that people know how to continue or where they should look for the next information.
  • With respect to the use of forms in direct response ads, the information fields should be placed one above the other, should proceed in logical sequence, and should only request "basic information necessary to the ad."
  • One advertising source described the importance of clarity within direct response ads as follows: "If . . . [one] want[s] to keep . . . potential customers’ attention, . . . [they] need to tell them what value [they]’re offering. And . . . [they] have to tell them clearly!"

4. Offer free trials/products

  • Offering free products or trials to people is a best practice because people enjoy such offers. Furthermore, offering free stuff is a great way for a company to bolster awareness and attention about its brand.
  • In addition to offering something free, it's also important to persuade people to act on that offer because that communicates its value (e.g. "a $50 value!").
  • If a dollar value can be attached to the free giveaway, it should be included because it helps people quantify the value they're receiving. As a result, more people are likely to act on the free offer, as many might think it's too good to pass up on.
  • A free giveaway can also be used in a direct response ad as an add-on bonus, not just as the focal offer. For example, if the goal of the direct response ad is for someone to buy a product, offering a bonus item for free can make the purchase more appealing. Here too, if a dollar value can be assigned to the freebie, it should be included.

5. Track the marketing campaign

  • Tracking the direct response marketing campaign is a best practice because it helps to ensure its effectiveness by continually analyzing the results through key performance indicators (KPIs). After all, the goal of direct response ads is for consumers to act on them, so knowing if they are doing so is essential.
  • Tracking those results is relatively easy to do for direct response ads, as they often involve unique codes, phone numbers, and/or URLs.
  • Even if a direct response campaign isn't yielding great results, it can be adjusted to improve its performance. However, the only way to know if it's not working well is to track its progress.
  • Two measurements that should definitely be tracked for a direct response campaign are the number of conversions that each ad generates and the channels through which those responses were generated.

Your Research Team Applied the Following Strategy:

We determined the five practices above as "best practices" for direct response advertising because (1) they were expressly described as such by WebFX, a very reputable advertising source in the U.S., and (2) at least one or more other reputable, U.S. advertising sources discussed those practices with a comparable level of significant (meaning did all but use the words "best practice," though the information clearly supported that premise). WebFX, the leading source we used, "is a full-service digital marketing agency" based in the U.S. that's comprised of top-level designers, developers, and marketers. In sum, the company has "driven over $700 million in sales and over 3 million leads for . . . [its] clients." The other, supporting advertising-industry sources we used were Wordstream, Instapage, and Boostability, all of which are U.S. sources.