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For those who have worked many years in the DRTV world, we know that shifts in TV viewership and consumer behavior are making us reevaluate our models and adapt to new realities. I’ve personally found that keeping an open mind is a great way to approach life. In business, the same concept is easier said than done, but what is life without challenges? It would be quite boring.
After spending most of 2015 strategizing ways to diversify our services, Listen Up Español has evolved into our new brand, ListenTrust. During this year of transformation, I had a few epiphanies about the strengths of the DRTV industry that will allow it to adapt and be successful throughout 2016 and beyond.
DR marketers understand the complex media game
DRTV marketers understand the ins and outs of metrics and performance within the complex media market. We not only use this knowledge to strategically maximize media budgets but also to boost, as much as possible, the mass response that TV advertising generates at a multichannel level.
Person-to-person connection is paramount
While other industries obsess over ways to personalize the customer experience, the DR industry has the advantage (and luxury) of having a person-to-person connection built into its models, which have been used for years. DR marketers know how to talk directly to clients and approach a conversation to maximize the value of the personal touch-point.
Deep knowledge of the target market
DRTV companies have extensive experience and an in-depth perspective of their target customers’ persona. The industry’s obsession with data is key to recognizing and even anticipating the market’s needs and how to respond to it.
DR marketers have a history of adapting to changes in the marketing landscape
We’ve seen shifts for years, but one of the more recent and important changes has been learning to utilize social media to assist product launches. My friend Melinda Whittsock, CEO of a social intelligence company, shared success stories with me that blew my mind. For one of her clients, she identified 10 women—regular everyday consumers—who influenced the purchasing decisions of more than 9 million and guided them straight to the Amazon shopping cart in just four weeks of Twitter interactions. She says that the 10:9 million ratio is the biggest she’s seen, and in most cases, 10 influencers have the power to influence more than 1 million.
Personalized relationship building—whether through social media, audience-specific campaign targeting, or live call center agents—is a powerful 10X-100X multiplier. However, it is important to be aware of the same multiplier effect that bad reviews and poor customer service can have on a brand. Considering that viewers who see DR creative on TV pick up their smart phones to search for the brand/product they are interested in, high-quality customer service and relevant campaign touch points take the front seat in our industry, especially when adapting to and developing consumer interactions.
These four components of the DRTV industry are things that have contributed strongly to its lasting success: understanding the complex media market, maintaining the personal connection, knowing the target audience, and a willingness to adapt. These things are also significant reminders of the strengths the industry (and us working within it) has, which will allow it to adjust with the times and continue to be successful.
Photo by Anoop Krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Craig Handley is the CEO and one of the Founders of ListenTrust (formerly Listen Up Español), a leading bilingual call center for English and Spanish multichannel services. Craig is an 18-year direct response veteran and an expert in Hispanic marketing, DR sales maximization, and brand expansion.