Global Perspective: TV Is Only Part of a Larger Picture1 Oct, 2013 By: Daniela Todorovic, Thane Direct Response
Throughout the course of the direct response marketing era, dating to the 1980s, there has been one overriding rule that has remained constant: nothing remains the same — and we must always be nimble enough to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world of direct marketing.
Product owners know there are revenues waiting to be generated from every corner of the earth, far beyond their own domestic borders — wherever they happen to be. No matter what the level of understanding these product owners have for international direct-to-consumer marketing, it takes experience and expertise to successfully launch these products in every available global market.
The work of the best international distributors always begins with a thorough understanding of the product, category, competitive landscape and the key elements of each product that will make it instantly attractive to consumers across all territories. From there, it’s about developing customized campaigns that are tailored to connect with consumers both commercially and culturally.
However, in today’s direct-to-consumer environment, campaigns need to reach targeted consumers where they work, play and live. We call our own consumer outreach “precision marketing.”
In the past, DR marketers had the luxury of producing campaigns primarily for television in which consumers passively watched then made the call to buy. Media buyers, of course, helped greatly (and still do) to pinpoint target consumers and determine the best networks, programming and dayparts for DR campaigns. However, today this effort — while remaining critical — is no longer the endgame. Television has become part of a larger mix that encompasses many more marketing channels required to impart messages and encourage consumers.
Precision marketing begins with television then follows the consumer through digital media. TV can and should continue to drive sales, but today it serves other purposes, including education and lead generation. The Internet has emerged as a powerful platform for product sell-through. Mobile marketing is transforming smartphones into shopping tools, and retail has embraced the As Seen On TV category.
Moreover, the ‘balance’ of TV and Internet — along with other forms of digital marketing — changes from one country to the next (along with the tremendous body of rules and regulations regarding direct-to-consumer selling). In certain countries, television is basically a lead generator, and the Internet rules as the medium for buying. In other countries, mobile marketing is gaining measurable traction.
Social media is also proving its influence as a selling force. The proliferation of local product bloggers further underscores how the consumer is becoming more involved in the marketing process.
As exciting as the Internet may be, it is a vast and untamed wilderness of billions of pages — clutter unlike anything consumers have ever seen. Precision marketing helps direct marketers establish their brands, zero-in on their target audience, give their message focus and provide direction as to where the consumer can learn about their products and make the purchase. It follows consumers where they are. It grows with them. It gives them consistent experience from one media platform to the next.
When somebody sees an infomercial on TV and goes online or on their mobile device to buy the product or learn more, that moment is as important and immersive as tuning into the show and watching it. In fact, it is vital that we engage them even deeper by dropping the borders and letting them roam freely from one medium to the other, providing one consistent and uninterrupted entertainment and shopping experience.
Precision marketing means making a product a consumer’s newest friend — getting them to ‘like’ it on Facebook; encouraging consumer to “introduce” their new friend to others through social media and review it through blogs. It’s detailed, grass roots marketing alongside the powerhouse of television.
In addressing the global marketplace, precision marketing has to be redefined from country to country. There really is no one global approach — the international marketplace is comprised of as many markets as there are countries.
While the proliferation of media may make it more of a challenge to reach targeted consumers, properly balancing traditional and digital media though integrated precision marketing can be the Holy Grail for direct marketing. ■