By Barbara Kerry

There are many benefits to implementing an integrated direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing campaign across the full spectrum of marketing channels. The top benefit is the ability to track, measure, and analyze exactly how your marketing dollars are spent and how they perform. This is why DTC marketing is also referred to as performance marketing. It allows you to optimize your marketing budget in ways traditional advertising does not. Television remains at the top of the list of marketing channels with the largest measurable impact on sales. However, DTC marketing, especially television, uses very different methodologies than traditional advertising. In the September issue of Results, we shared the first five of 10 potential pitfalls brands entering the space must avoid (click here to review). As promised, here are the remaining pitfalls you must keep in mind.

1 Putting more importance on media than creative. While performance marketing is data-driven marketing, this should not diminish the importance of powerful creative that resonates with your target audience. Media is a commodity, but no amount of great media will work if the creative is wrong. And the hottest creative house may not fully understand how to launch a successful DRTV campaign. Never underestimate the importance of your message and how it is conveyed. Many campaigns have failed on this point alone.

2 Not having the necessary back-end logistics. Often, experienced brands have long-standing and successful distribution channels based upon their traditional advertising approaches. However, performance marketers have different goals, including developing long-term relationships with customers. To do this, you want to know who your customers are and what motivates their purchases — and then offer them additional products that solve problems and provide solutions in their lives. To do this you must have a back-end infrastructure in which all parts communicate to create a synergistic network. Your merchant account provider must communicate with your fulfillment house, which must communicate with your call center and customer service provider. Not understanding the unique logistical requirements of a DTC campaign results in lost time and money.

3 Thinking digital alone can get the job done. A lot of marketers think digital is the most expedient way to a profitable business. However, many marketers who gave up television to focus solely on digital often bring television back to their marketing plans. Why? When they stopped running television, their digital numbers dropped. Statistically speaking, digital marketing has 78-percent penetration across the country, while television offers 98 percent. We have seen, over and over again, the high impact television has on increasing sales across all channels. In today’s environment, you need a broad-spectrum marketing plan — including television, digital, radio, social, podcasting, and more — to optimize your marketing efforts and your marketing dollars.

4 Inability to benefit from first-party data. Unlike traditional advertising and retail marketing, in DTC marketing, you own your consumers’ information. This is invaluable in developing long-term profitable relationships, meaningful communication, and downstream products that serve your demographic. However, less than 50 percent of marketers are using this data in any meaningful way. This alone can make or break a business. Collect and utilize your data.

5 Not going deep enough into various creative elements. A lot of companies come to us when a campaign isn’t working and ask, “What are we doing wrong?” After analyzing their campaigns, we often reply, “It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong, you’re just not going deep enough.” For instance, many companies do not realize what amazing assets come from a well-managed testimonial group. By getting to know your testimonials, helping them really understand your product — how it works, why it works — and getting them excited about it, you will have invaluable video footage you can use not only in your television campaign, but across many other channels. You also gain as much invaluable information from your testimonial group as you do from your consumers. Listen to them; understand what they like and don’t like about your product. Another way to go deeper is to bring in a trusted expert to give your claims credibility and importance. There is a lot of noise out there in the marketplace. Go the extra mile to stand out.

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