Saturday, November 28, 2009

DRTV Media Cost

How many spots will I get? How often will my infomercial run? Can I just run my infomercial in one or two markets? Will my infomercial run in the middle of the night? How much does prime time cost? Questions, questions.....we've got answers. This is the blog for serious infomercial start ups, experienced DRTV entrepreneurs, and direct response marketers looking for an edge.

When discussing DRTV (Direct Response Television) costs -- always remember there are four components to a DRTV campaign.
-- TV Production
-- Media planning and placement
-- Inbound order capture (through telemarketing AND web)
-- Fulfillment

TV production costs can vary widely, and we are seeing a trend lately that is disturbing. In order to defray production costs many marketers are using inexperienced direct response producers. We have always said that TV production is the fun part, but that does not mean anyone can do it. Perhaps you can figure the production part out or find help from an experienced DRTV media buyer, but the wacky, wonderful world of direct response media is complicated and we do not recommend navigating this portion of your campaign without a serious direct response media buyer -- pit bull. That's right you must be tough, know when the media cost is too high, and be on top of this ever changing landscape to find true values.

Direct response media is the largest part of your budget and too many marketers are looking for instant results without proper testing. Remember, you should crunch your numbers, establish an allowable cost per order, and keep testing offers until you hit the sweet spot. For example, we recently started working with a new client that produced the short form TV infomercials themselves -- and placed the media themselves. They were buying "cheap" cable spots at about $2 a spot, but after careful analysis, we showed them that their cable buys were poorly targeted and in very limited distribution. In addition, they thought they could get more bang for the buck from short form, when in fact, their product line is much better suited to long form TV infomercials. Two dollars a spot may sound cheap, but at $100 per call, this media plan was very expensive. So how much does TV media cost? It's not what you pay, it's what you get. A good DRTV media buyer knows value, knows how to buy "fire sale" inventory, and is a tough negotiator.

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