Electronic Retailer - May 2011 - (Page 54)

BY PETER KOEPPEL As Seen On… Retail Shelves CHANNEL CROSSING: DRTV Walk down the aisle of any mass drug or discount retailer, and you’re likely to come across something that appears incongruous at first: A variety of disparate products that share one thing in common – the red and white As Seen On TV button emblazoned on the packaging. Yet, when you think about it, what at first might seem random makes perfect sense. After all, where else is a Walgreens customer supposed to find a Snuggie, a Pillow Pet or a Mister Steamy? The emergence of the As Seen On TV section as a staple of retail planograms is a testament to DRTV’s power and how it has migrated largely from a push marketing tactic to a pull one. As recently as 10 years ago, direct marketers pushed demand for their products by taking their message directly to consumers via what were truly exclusive TV offers. Such offers could generate a profit for months, or even years, and those earnings helped fuel strikingly effective awareness-building ad campaigns. This success, coupled with consumer demand to buy at mass retail, convinced retail buyers they should stock the items. Amid today’s multichannel reality, much of that has changed. DRTV now serves primarily as a pull marketing tactic, by enlightening consumers about product uniqueness that then results in sellthrough at mass retail. The runway of TV and online exclusivity is now exceedingly short, because retailers want As Seen On TV products as soon as they hit the airwaves – a tribute to the model having proven itself again and again. With such broad distribution occurring at the onset of a product’s introduction; however, many DRTV campaigns now run at a deficit to support retail sell-through. This changes the game considerably. DRTV has become hybrid advertising that needs to be viewed not just in terms of direct sales, but sales across all channels. This is not always the case. Too often, there is a tension between the marketer and their agency because the former wants to turn a direct profit much like they did in the halcyon days of the exclusive TV offer. Strictly looking at a campaign in terms of a media efficiency ratio (MER) ignores the enormous impact DRTV has across all channels. The solution is to employ all meaningful measurement tools available so that the impact of media spends can be measured against total sales. That means embracing traditional imagebased advertising yardsticks such as reach and frequency and target rating points – yardsticks that the direct marketing industry has long tried to dismiss or ignore. It also means that retail sales figures need to be transparent; in short, it means there needs to be trust that everyone involved is seeking the same thing: enduring success. Perhaps the ultimate barometer of that success is when an As Seen On TV product graduates from the DRTV section of the store and becomes a retail staple. Now, for example, The Ped Egg is carried in the foot care section at mass market drugstores. Such a foothold can only be achieved when marketers and agencies work together to define appropriate media spends that will accelerate overall success. Peter Koeppel is president of Koeppel Direct www.koeppeldirect.com, a full-service media buying agency based in Dallas. He can be reached at (972) 732-6110 or online at pkoeppel@koeppelinc.com or twitter.com/DRTVBUYER. 54 electronicRETAILER | May 2011 http://www.koeppeldirect.com http://www.twitter.com/DRTVBUYER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - May 2011

Electronic Retailer - May 2011
Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Legislative Primer for the ERA 2011 Government Affairs Fly-In
Guest Viewpoint: Government, Industry and the People... Working Tirelessly Together – to Shoot Themselves in the Foot!
The Motive Behind Motivational
Guest Viewpoint: Protecting Your Brand – Logistics Behind the Buy Button
Penetrating the U.S. Hispanic Market
Guest Viewpoint: A New “Perspectiva”
Member Spotlight
Advertiser Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classified Directory

Electronic Retailer - May 2011