How do you reduce the risk of uncertainty when rolling out a DRTV campaign?
Many, if not most, marketers rely on some sort of forecasting methodology, one of the most prominent being DRTV testing.
Getting a preview of audience response, according to a common belief, provides marketers with a fairly accurate way to judge the success potential of an infomercial or commercial spot. If response is lukewarm or weak, adjustments are duly made.
In rare instances, DRTV marketers will return to the drawing board and venture down a whole new marketing path. In the most extreme cases, the project will be scrapped as utterly hopeless. This extreme action, however, is rare. Marketers typically find ways to invigorate even the least promising projects.
The DRTV Test as a Crystal Ball
Metrics galore are now available to marketers eager to gauge the success-possibilities of their DRTV productions. But all the measuring technologies and methodologies in the world won’t guarantee sure-fire accuracy. Far from it. DRTV testing, for example, is a necessary process intended to provide accurate forecasts of performance. It is far from foolproof, however.
The abandoned campaign is one of the most glaring examples of the uncertainty of DRTV testing. The history of DRTV is marked by countless instances of marketers cancelling product commercials and even entire campaigns following poor test performance. The invariable conclusion is: product, not advertising, is to blame.
Then, in waltzes another DRTV marketing firm to grab the product and build their own campaign for it. And what happens? The product lights up the marketplace and becomes an unstoppable, cash register-ringing hit. Even though the products and the offer were basically the same. Both DRTV firms produced high quality commercials. As the original DRTV marketers scratch their heads and lick their wounds, the product sets new sales records.
The point of all this is, of course, that metrics and statistics will take your DRTV campaign only so far. At some point, intangibles come into play. These intangibles, such as creativity and insight, are best managed by experts who have accumulated insight, intuition, and experience. Numbers are important; but they tell only part of the story. The rest is up to the creative team building the infomercial or commercial spot.
After the Test: Does Heavy Promotion Equal Commercial Success?
What happens when a product is heavily-promoted via DRTV campaign that has tested well? Does that mean product sales will reflect the market blitz? Many people think so. But in reality, there’s only a marginal connection between the two. One simply doesn’t cause the other. If you believe otherwise, think of all those heavy-promotion infomercials that failed to hit home at the retail counter. Also, consider the number of times you’ve seen the opposite occur – modest promotion and booming sales.
The reason for the discrepancy between DRTV saturation and product performance runs all the way to a basic marketing truth: marketing is both an art and a science. Anyone relying solely on numerical indicators likely is in for a rude awakening. Day parts, demos, metrics, number of airings all impact outcomes. But as previously mentioned, the intangibles must be given their due. And those are something best left in the hands of experts.
Would you like to learn more about DRTV success factors, or about any other DRTV topic? Reach out to IDR for additional information and answers to all your questions. You’ll discover why we’re Orange County’s premier producer of TV commercials, infomercials, and online videos for every kind of business and brand.