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Guru Search Results: 92 matches were found

Sunday, July 10, 2011 #8136
Direct response tv cost

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, July 10, 2011 ):
Direct response costs are usually less than staandard costs. They may range from 10-20% less to half of a supposed basic cost. It varies by TV type and vendor.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 #8114
what is an effective buy for a PI law firm on TV

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, June 21, 2011 ):
You would probably want to do a Direct response campaign. You would start by buying broadly and then closely track response to each station, daypart and program. Then drop what isn't working and expand what is.

Friday, May 20, 2011 #7899
I have been buying spot TV for many years but now have the opportunity to buy DR TV. Can you please point me to the right direction to learn about this topic? I have searched the archives but don't find anything that is not a number of years old. Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 21, 2011 ):
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is probably your best informational resource.

The site has an Events and Training section.

Thursday, May 19, 2011 #7894
how do you compare the worth of a infomercial schedule against the worth of a spot schedule? is there a formula that will compare apples to apples as far as eyeballs are concerned?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, May 19, 2011 ):
A spot schedule is a completely different concept than an infomercial. But ultimately both are meant to get response.

Even assuming that your "spot schedule" is a set of DR spots, putting out a simple message and a 1-800 number is not comparable to the deeper sell and demonstration potential of the infomercial.

In either case, response per dollar invested is the only standard.

Now, if you meant to compare a branding campaign to an infomercial, that's comparing apples to apple cobbler.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 #7782
Looking for the most effective way to quantify and compare the value of Facebook ads, Google keywords ads, consumer magazine print ads, and radio ads. Any suggestions? The ads have already been purchased and I need to share results and recommendations with a client.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 19, 2010 ):
Assuming these are all DR, sales / response results are the basis to compare. If only the online is DR and the print radio are image / awareness promotion comparison is futile.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 #7747
Do any agencies buy radio by CPM as opposed to CPP? What would the advantage or disadvantage be for either?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 23, 2009 ):
Certainly some do. CPM focuses on impressions and CPP on ratings. The impressions version, which might look at listening in a broader area, is possibly a Direct response approach. The ratings version is more attuned to the impact in a piece of geography, and might better fit a branding campaign.

Monday, October 20, 2008 #7622
Hi, Me again #7621. I need to back up. If my frequency is 57 total spots per week - how do I calcuate the average? this is Direct response - so do I divide by total days or specific time periods? When I divide by days (7)I get 8.14 - which still makes my reach terrible (4.91%). What am I doing wrong? Over a 4 week period my total GRP's are 40 and total spots airing are 57.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 20, 2008 ):
Although arithmetically, GRP ÷ frequency = reach, it does not mean you can get there the way you are going.

Reach is a complex calculation of the net number of different people exposed to your campaign, taking into account the duplication of audience between one spot and another on one station and between the audiences of different stations. Once you have determined reach, typically with a computer model, you can devide GRP by reach and get the average number of spots (frequency of exposure) seen by each of the people who were exposed at all. No manipulation of the numbers of spots you buy will get you to this average frequency that is a quotient of GRP and Reach.

You need a computer with software such as that offered by Telmar.

The calculation is extremely complex. For example, in print, as input, you need average issue audience, duplication between issues of the same publication and duplication between each possible pair of different publications. These must be combined using a complex formula such as the Beta-binomial function. There are variants of this formula, which might be preferred, depending on media type and other variables

Friday, October 17, 2008 #7621
Hi MG, I have been asked to do a Direct response media plan and include reach and Frequency. I have 40 GRP's and Frequency of 57. When I calculate to get Reach I come up with .7017 - does this mean my reach is 70% or am I doing this wrong...?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 17, 2008 ):
If you are right about the 40 GRPs and 57 Frequency then the reach is actually 0.7017% (Reach can never be greater than GRP). But the Guru doubts your frequency. How would you get to frequency without having calculated reach? Don't confuse the total number of messages (commercials / mailings / etc) in your plan with the average frequency of exposure of your schedule.,

Monday, October 30, 2006 #7217
I plan to buy local/spot cable in 8 DMAs. We will likely be using :15 DR spots (bookends)-I heard something along the lines of, "DR doesn't work on cable." Is this true or to be ignored?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2006 ):
There is a lot of DR on local cable . . . a lot. One thing about DR is certain: the practitioners know what works, they wouldn't be back if something didn't work.

The Guru would note that :15 seems like a short time to complete a sell and give contact info. And short bookends around cluttered breaks seems questionable too, especially if it's a divided sell / contact info message.

Monday, March 27, 2006 #7121
Hi Guru, I am trying to find a media superstar to help oversee both our long and short form Direct response departments in a 15 person ad agency. It would also be nice it they could help with new business. What are your thoughts about the best places to advertise to capture someone of this nature?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 27, 2006 ):
Start with Mediapost or NY Times Online

Friday, March 24, 2006 #7118
I'm planning media for a reputed airline brand in a market that has the competition dominated by about 4 key players - 3 general (premium) airline brands & 1 LCC's (Low Cost Carriers). Whilst my brand’s media spends has been a low constant over the years, they are very keen to sponsor day parts (morning drive-time, evening drive-time & mid-day day parts) on radio as almost all competition dominate these day-parts in form of sponsorships. Some competitors carry on-air calling promos regularly to attract listeners to the station/ promo. Sponsoring the entire day-parts such as 0600 to 1000hrs in the morning is an expensive proposition hence a two-week on air call-in promo was looked at in a station not having a major reach in listenership figures – where two air tickets with accommodation was the prize offered. Client was not too happy with the outcome but the actual response for the promo was higher than the usual response for the station. Client is very keen to how best to use radio in this context. Personally I feel based on the inherent attributes of Radio such as passiveness of the media, perish ability of the media that radio is best used for tactical activities such as promotions & competitions perhaps but not for strategic usage – which is what most of the competition here is using radio for (except for the on-air or calling-in promo they do once-in-a-way). Please advice in a context like this what are the kind-of tools or ways we could best use radio – creatively?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 26, 2006 ):
The Guru believes the question is not how to use radio, but what medium to use to achieve goals. But your goal is not clear. Is it simply to sell air tickets? Many Direct response media options might do this effectively. Is it to build awareness? Other media and mixes might be best, with a reach emphasis.

Saturday, March 11, 2006 #7110
We are launching an Internet web portal for advertising vehicles for sale. The site will initially focus on our local area, so we plan to use local radio and broadcast TV ads to drive users (car buyers) to the site. My question is: what type of response can we expect from the advertising? I have heard that a "typical" TV ad response rate is 1%-3%, but I couldn't find anything specific to driving visitors to a web portal. I also could not find any estimates for radio advertising responses, and I am very concerned that radio advertising might not be as effective for a web based business since listeners do not necessarily have access to the Internet while they are hearing the ad. Any help or direction would be appreciated. Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 12, 2006 ):
The Guru would expect TV or print to have the advantage of making your URL easier to remember. You shouldn't count on any medium causing a user to drop everything and get right on line. 1-2% response rates are related to "Direct response" ads, not ads about shopping resources or other retail. If the Guru were promoting a web site, he would start with online ads, especially if you want people who are exposed to your ads to have ready access to your site when they get the message.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 #7002
Hi Guru, Can you explain how you would go about correctly getting a R&F on a Direct response newsletter, that would be mailed out to 300,000 people in a local market. The market size is 800,000. Would it be correct to give this newletter a coverage # of 37.5? Also if the newsletter has 4 pages, would that count as 4 insertions? My client seems to think so, but I do not. I think it would be 1 insertion. He claims that his ads are on all pages of this newsletter. Would you weight it instead? Please help. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 04, 2005 ):
Assuming you are trying to estimate communications impact, the Guru's opinion is:
  1. Coverage: When a newspaper has circulation of 300,000 in a population of 800,000, it has 37.5% coverage, but there is a presumption that it is read by all 300,000.

    A presumably unsolicited direct mail piece will not be opened by the vast majority, perhaps only by 2%, and thus 2% x 300,000 ÷ 800,000, or 0.75% is a more appropriate coverage estimate.

  2. Ads on 4 consecutive pages of a four page piece would count as 1 insertion in the Guru's book, just as would a four page insert in a magazine.

Monday, August 08, 2005 #6991
Guru, Do advertising agencies/media buying services normally place Direct response TV? Or is this normally outsourced to firms that specialize in Direct response?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, August 08, 2005 ):
Some do it, some outsource. Production is more likely to be outsourced than placement.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005 #6772
Hi Guru, We recentrly presented a print plan to our client which we believed would have been highly effective in reaching Prof./Manag Men 25-54. The client then proceeded to compare our impressions against the impressions delivered by their online plan which were significantly higher (20.4MM vs. 3.4MM). Is this really an apples to apples comparison? Is there another way to compare the efficiences of the 2 plans?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 06, 2005 ):
"Efficiency" is cost per thousand impressions. So, if that's your only standard, that's that. But experience should tell the client something about the value of a print impression versus an online impression. Generally, online impressions are less expensive than print or tv impressions. If the two plans had the same cost and print impressions were six times as numerous as online, instead of vice versa, among the defined target you specify, then something is wrong.

If the plan is Direct response, each thousand print impression might deliver 5-10 times the response of online, if it's static rather than "rich" media.

Yes, there are other standards than efficiency. What else is important here?

In short, comparing print and online solely on cpm is foolish.

Saturday, January 29, 2005 #6768
This is a follow-up of my previous question regarding national/standard (local) cable rates. I consider your advice invaluable and, therefore, feel it would be to my advantage to understand this national/local (standard) rate card structure prior to my negotiations with the networks. Some cable networks have both National and Standard/Local rates, but their rate card states that all :30/:60 DRTV will automatically run in Local and :120 DRTV will air in National. However, one cable network describes their DRTV rate structure as follows: National Rate Card Advertisers paying the National rate card will air in National inventory only. If National inventory sells out, units will be automatically pre-empted. Advertisers that submit schedules below the National rate card, without prior approval will be subject to local. Standard Rate Card Advertisers paying the Standard DR rate card are subject to local insertion, but will be placed in national inventory when available. Paying above this rate card will ensure better clearance and offer a greater possibility of national exposure. Obviously, I can pay the National Rate, the Standard Rate or somewhere in-between. So, here's my two questions -- 1. Surely, the Standard Rate is negotiable as well? 2. I’m still unclear on the meaning of “local insertion” in this context – does it mean regional feeds? If so, is the difference between National and Standard/Local that National runs within the program and Standard/Local/Regional airs between programs and/or within a local commercial pod?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, January 30, 2005 ):
The short answer is everything is negotiable, but you have to actually talk to your vendors.

Friday, January 28, 2005 #6766
I requested national Direct response rates from several cable networks (Lifetime, Court TV, etc.). The DR rate cards they sent me all have two rates for any given daypart -- national rates and local rates -- local rates being approximately half the cost of national rates. So, say I pay the cable network's LOCAL DR rate for a NATIONAL DR spot -- does this mean my DR spot will air nationally, but be placed in the system's local avail time slots rather than the national pods? Would each local rate/national spot I buy air in the same local commercial pod simultaneously in each market? Would my local rate/national cable spot air in satellite homes? (Satellite sells it's "local" avails as national coverage in satellite homes, right?) For that matter, cable system operators sell their "local" avails as local market-specific avails. So how can national sell spot in the local pods? Since Direct response spots are immediately pre-emptible by any advertiser paying a higher rate, does that mean that any given local rate/national spot I buy could air in some markets and be bumped in others? I'm a pro at spot TV, but need some education buying national cable. The last thing I want is to sound like a dork during negotiations. Please help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 28, 2005 ):
You need to discuss this with the cable networks. It makes little sense as described, unless they are talking about regional feeds, as the broadcast networks do. In that case the air-time is not actually the "local avails."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 #6740
Hi Guru- Do you know of a resource where I can find a reported average CPM range for Direct response Advertisers for magazine?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, January 13, 2005 ):
No. There are too many other variables such as ad unit and target and magazine type. YOu might be able to calculate from competitve spending records and rate cards.

Monday, December 13, 2004 #6717
Do you know of a case study study that shows outdoor can successfully be used for Direct response.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, December 13, 2004 ):
Try Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and The Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter. For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230. ARF materials will also be available through American Association of Advertising Agencies and Association of National Advertisers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 #6614
Are you aware of any case studies of Magazines that have used Direct response on cable to boost subscription sales?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 21, 2004 ):
Try Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Cable TV Ad Bureau and The Magazine Publishers' Association.

Thursday, June 24, 2004 #6519
Hi media Guru, is frequency as important in a print campaign versus a broadcast campaign with a Direct response product?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, June 25, 2004 ):
In Direct response, generally only one consumer action per consumer is sought, as opposed to general campaigns to build awarenss or support ongoing sales.

Realistically, in a print campaign, frequency of exposure will never be comparable to what broadcast can deliver, so depth of message becomes more important.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004 #6510
What is the average reader response rate from a magazine ad?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 12, 2004 ):
If you mean a Direct response ad, probably in the 1 to 1.5% range, but averages are almost meaningless.

Also see Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Friday, May 07, 2004 #6485
What is informercials?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, May 08, 2004 ):
Generally, a long form commercial, from 2 minutes to 30 minutes, with detailed sell and usually a product demonstration, and particularly with a Direct response pitch, e.g. a toll-free telephone order line.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004 #6331
Dear Media Guru, This is a followup to my previous question regarding Direct response ads on satellite television. 1). Please elaborate on your statement "Top Tier may as well not be a consideration, since you are persuing minusucle audiences, at best." Are you saying I may not want to buy the most expensive (top tier) networks because satellite subscribers are more fragmented than cable subscribers (disregarding the the obvious difference in subscriber quantities). 2). Would it be safe to assume that one spot airing between 12 midnight and 6am on any given network would be seen by 1/10th of 1 percent of the total subscriber base? Would it be the same for either national satellite or national cable? 3). Is it a safe to assume a 60-second DRTV spot placed in first week of Feb 2004 on national cable on one of the larger networks in overnight (12AM - 6AM) will be twice the rate of a :30 and cost $500 each? Or, is $600 each more realistic? Other rate? 4). WIth a $30,000 budget I can buy 60 national cable spots @ $500 each or 200 spots @ $150 on satellite. Based on a .02% response rate, my media cost per order for cable is $3.31 compared to a $6.25 cost per order for satellite. Will 60 spots be enough for testing DRTV? My thinking is that satellite would be better since more spots will allow me to test more networks and daytime vs. overnight. (Also, I could test one offer on Direct TV Comedy Ch --11,850,000 subscribers -- and a second offer on Dish Comedy Ch -- 9,085,000 subscribers.) Then, I plan to apply response rates from satellite to national cable to determine if rollout is feasible. Does this sound right? How would you do it? 5). VERY IMPORTANT!!! How do I contact DirectTV and Dish to request rates? I can't find one bit of advertising sales info for either company on the internet.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 09, 2004 ):
  1. If a "top tier" network gets a rating of 0.5 to 1.0 and a satellite network has 8% U.S coverage, then a "top tier" spot might reach .04% to .08% of the target, and an average spot .01%. These audiences are too small to make price premium distinctions about, in the Guru's opinion. The Guru expects that satellite audiences are just slightly more fragmented than cable, due to greater numbers of choices, but it's a much smaller universe.
  2. 1/10th of 1% might be generous for an overnight estimate.
  3. The :30 / :60 ratio is right, but everything is negotiable and lower rates are probably possible. In DR, ratings never seem to matter as much as finding the "right" audience.
  4. If testing is the issue, then low out-of-pocket cost is a key consideration
  5. Dish ad sales contact is here. For DirecTV (note: just one "T"), the Guru would call any number listed on the page at this link and ask anyone you reach for an ad sales contact.

Friday, January 02, 2004 #6326
I want to advertise a product via Direct response TV featuring an 800 number. I plan to spend $30,000 for testing over a 10 day period in the U.S. market. I called this company I found online to inquire about the cheap TV spots offered on their site. They suggested I allocate the entire budget to air on cable networks via national satellite, which has a subscriber base of 8.6 million. They quoted the cost of a 30-second spot on a top tier network airing in overnight at $80 and in daytime between $175 and $225. Having never heard of national satellite advertising, I tried to investigate further on the web. The only info I found came from a discussion group upset about a TV show on Sci-fi being canceled back in February 2000. They were discussing how to place an ad during the show's last episode on satellite and had uncovered basically the same rates I was previously quoted. I also found your answer to a like question asked around the same time (Monday, April 24, 2000, #3415) in which you replied, "you may be looking for something that doesn't exist". You further explained that "national ads on cable networks are sold by the networks as national and run as the network is carried, whether the viewer receives the program through cable or a SATELLITE receiver. Local, cable-originated advertising runs in time slots reserved for local use. These "local" slots, about 2 minutes per hour, could theoretically be sold nationally by the SATELLITE carriers". You then, however, gave numerous reasons why even that wouldn't work. My question is this: Three+ years later, has anything changed? Is the media buy I described now a viable option? If it is, would this be the way to go or would I be better off putting it on national cable? I would appreciate any other information you care to share on this subject, be it advise or referrals. Thank You, Nicole Pellegrino

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 02, 2004 ):
Today, there are spots available on DirecTV and Dish Network. The prices you cite are about right (as one-time rates) for DirecTV, the larger one of the two, with about two-thirds of the satellite market.

From your question, you seem to be looking for the cheapest "national" spots you can buy, so Dish Network may be the better choice.

"Top Tier" may as well not be a consideration, since you are persuing minusucle audiences, at best.

Thursday, July 03, 2003 #6060
Hi Guru, I'm running a Direct response radio campaign and wanted to find out if there has been any studies regarding an average response rate on this type of campaign. I wanted to find out if let's say I ran an average of 5-10 spots per day in a mix of morning, afternoon, and evening dayparts, how many calls should i expect to see? Thanks in advance for your help! k

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, July 07, 2003 ):
Ratings, daypart, offer, and copy strength are all other important variables. Try Direct Marketing Association (DMA) or The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).

Friday, April 25, 2003 #5950
Dear Guru, In response to your answer of question: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 #5945. I am grateful for this free service and respect your answers. However, your response, “How did they determine that people who have injuries will watch these programs? HAve they looked at / understood reach and frequency, IF this is the right programming?” This doesn’t answer my question. Since their campaign uses a phone number and they get immediate response to their spots, we know the programs they are buying contain their prospects. My point is, they over-advertise in the same area day in, day out, week in, week out (my original over-saturation point). The easy way to prove my theory is to have them just cut back a small portion and buy other areas. They are reluctant to do so without other proof, first. So, my original question stands: How do you determine (using media formulas) that an advertiser has oversaturated a day part? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, April 26, 2003 ):
The simple approach, based on media formulae is to look for the point where the reach curve flattens (around 80% in the example below). This is where added GRP cease to add enough reach to be worthwhile, generally. But, your issue is one of definiton: What is "oversaturated?" In Direct response terms, it's the point where response drops below an acceptable return on investment -- and apparently that has not happened. You would like to experiment with something new, which you apparently believe could have a greater ROI. If there has been any slackening in the response rate, that might justify a test.

Thursday, September 05, 2002 #5499
Dear Guru, I know that there are many factors to consider (copy, the offer etc), but is there any way to figure out a repsonse rate for Direct response in radio. I remember that you had answered someones question regarding % of GIMP for DR TV. I think it was .02% of GIMP for TV. Could radio be half as much? About the same? Just looking for a shot in the dark. Thanks again.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, September 05, 2002 ):
The Guru's prior response was generic to DR.

Monday, August 19, 2002 #5471
Media Guru: I have a client that is airing a Direct response tv campaign that offers a 1-800# as well as their website address for people to receive information on their products. My client considers a call for the 800# a lead but on the internet, a lead is only counted when a participant registers on their website and requests information. That said, I feel that the internet lead is more qualified than the 800# lead and should be counted as such. How do I rationalize the need for the internet leads to be weighted, considering that the participant has to actually go online and complete the registration process rather than simply picking up the phone? Signed, New to DR & Internet

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 20, 2002 ):
At what point does a call count? If only after speaking to the operator and giving the same info as online, then the comparison is a wash. If not, then you need to figure out the ratio of conversions from calls versus internet to devise an appropriate weighting.

Thursday, August 01, 2002 #5444
Hi Guru- Do you have anything I can quote from that will say that SSI's in magazines are more effective for DR advertisers than regular pages? I dont have access to any studies anymore - I am no longer at an agency. Anything you can give me to use will be helpful! Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 01, 2002 ):
By SSI, do you mean "single sheet insert," a two sided ad on stiffer stock than the odinary magazine page? If so, the Guru imagines this page is more likely to be noticed than a standard page, and thus more likely to generate response. But the key question is how does cost compare versus incremetal response?

Monday, June 10, 2002 #5341
I wanted some resources on Direct response television and radio buying...any resources you could recommend?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 15, 2002 ):
Visit Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Friday, June 07, 2002 #5335
I'm looking for a resource that compares different mediums of advertising and their effectiveness in the market (cost vs.numbers reached/caipaign success rates), where could I find the name of such a publication the publication.

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, June 08, 2002 ):
The problem is in defining "campaign success rates." One definition might work in Direct response and quite another in a package goods awareness campaign or a political or corporate image campaign.

It is a mistake to compare without considering the standards of succes for the category or without considering the importance of factors beyon the medium itself, like creative, for example.

It is reasonable easy to find media efficiency comparisons, using sources like AMIC's Ad Data area.

Monday, May 20, 2002 #5292
We've just landed a new client who is interested in running DR TV. The client is a novice in DR advertising, and I'm a novice in the start-up of a DR campaign. My question is, how do I determine how much of the buget to use/put in each market?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 21, 2002 ):
Lacking all other information, begin with market population and efficiency within your target group, and adjust according to observed response.

Friday, March 22, 2002 #5167
Do you know of a primer for understanding radio advertising and how it is purchased? I am trying to learn about terminology and the dynamics of the industry such as the different pricing methods (CPM/CPP, Direct response, etc).

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 24, 2002 ):
This is a fairly narrow topic. Most likley the major rep firms, like Katz or Interep can provide useful guides.

Friday, March 01, 2002 #5128
What would you call the advertising technique whereby a manufacturer creates a character to sell a product, i.e. Madge for Palmolive, Mr. Wipple for Charmin, or the teenage boy recently used in Dell commercials? Can you think of any more examples of such characters?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, March 01, 2002 ):
Not a media question, but the Guru says "what the heck:"

Product spokeperson / mascot perhaps. Distinct from celebrity spokeperson. Including

  • The lonely Maytag repairman
  • The 7-Up Yours guy (Orlando Jones)
  • The new 7-Up-Yours guy
  • The DR Pepper "I'm a Pepper" guy (David Naughton)
  • Tony the Tiger
  • Wendy's "Where's the beef?" lady
  • Ronald McDonald
  • The Nescafé romantic neighbors (Buffy's Anthony Stuart Head and some woman)
  • Mrs. Olsen for Folger's Coffee
  • Frito Bandito
  • Taco Bell Chihuahua
  • Budweiser frogs

Wednesday, February 20, 2002 #5103
I am doing a paper for school, and need an A to S ratio for Clairol Herbal Essenses. Also, I need to find out how much of their sales is due to advertising. Where would I be able to get this info, or would you be able to provide it for me? Thank you MeL E

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 21, 2002 ):
Trade media occasionally report A:S ratios. Otherwise there are often trade media reports regarding sales and ad spend, from which you can make your own calculation.

The Guru doubts that any marketer can specifically and validly attribute a portion of sales to advertising (except in the case of Direct response). As George Washington Hill of American Tobacco is reputed to have quipped:

"I know half of my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half"

Sunday, February 10, 2002 #5077
Dear Guru, With resptct to DRTV commercials. Is there a minimum time frame and repetition number I can give clients that they can expect to start getting decent sales results in? Everyone at my agency says there really isn't a minimum basis but all of them when asked to guess say you should run a spot at least for 2 months with 100 repetitions in a market minimum to see acceptable results. I really want to be able to advise my clients well in this area so I was curious to your input. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, February 11, 2002 ):
The idea of DRTV is that each airing will generate response, this is, in part why DR commericials often have a longer format. The repetitions are more likely important to get adequate return on production investment: with no sales outlet other than the DRTV, several airings will be needed to amortize costs before a profit is shown.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002 #5053
I am looking to step into the Direct response TV world with an Infomercial. I have a 100K budget. A few companies have said that they can pull off a good production for me along with a decent amount of airrings on that budget. My question is what type of sales results can I expect. None of these companies will give me any kind of projections. Is that normal? Should I be able to get projections and if so what levels of sales? Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 10, 2002 ):
The variables of your product's appeal and pricing are just as important as the production. Nevertheless, the company you work with should be able to give you their history, in terms of the sales success of others by category and price, as a guideline.

Friday, January 11, 2002 #4998
Broadcast planning; I work in the digital space and was trying to learn more about how broadcast is planned, specifically television.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ):
Planning is a process of matching media choices to advertisng goals.

The biggest differences for traditional media versus digital are

  • Planners don't think in terms of a single medium; the plan is theoetically open to any medium at the start.
  • Audience measures are typically more detailed and finite, especaily in regard to reach.
  • Outside of Direct response planning, audience exposure estimates, rather than any analog of clicks is key.
See media planning texts in the AMIC Bookstore (in association with

Tuesday, November 13, 2001 #4885
We're attempting a TV DR campaign. Our DR company is a little nervous about giving any hard facts and I was hoping you could help. (1)What is the life cycle of a typical Direct response campaign for unsuccesful, moderately successful and highly successful products? 2) what type of results are considered successful to unsuccessful? (3) Typically, how much as a percentage of revenues are spent on the media buys? This is the best way for us to estimate promotional expenses. It is easiest to benchmark it according to sales revenue. (best case, worst case etc??) Thanks for any help in advance!

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 14, 2001 ):
  1. The beauty of DR is that you immediately know what is or isn't working. Life cycle is therefore directly dependent on "success."
  2. Successful = profitable ROI. The variables are advertising expediture and selling price versus cost of goods. The same advertisng budget might be put behind a $29 item that cost $10 to make and sells in enromous volume or a $290 item that costs $225 to make and sells many fewer units.
  3. Similar variables apply to the revenue/media spending ratio. It's all a crap-shoot and you rely on the expereience of your DR people. If they have the experience, they will show you case studies, but possibly not rules-of-thumb

Try Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

Friday, October 19, 2001 #4804
I wanted to know the return on investment for print advertising - specifically consumer magazines

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, October 19, 2001 ):
There is no simple, sensible answer. It will vary according to magazine category, ad unit, product category, marketing goals (e.g. image vs Direct response) etc.

But if you were absolutely specific, and asked "what is the R.O.I. of page, 4 color Direct response ads for do-it-yourself books in news weeklies" only an advertiser with that specific experience would have an answer for you, and would probably consider it proprietary info.

Friday, October 05, 2001 #4759
Dear Guru: I've been asked to develop a POV on including Spanish-Language TV stations in future DRTV efforts for a particular client. Unfortunately, I'm unsure where to locate information or research that would allow me to make an educated recommendation. I've tried speaking with reps from Spanish TV networks, but they are trying to sell me things instead of answering my basic questions. Can you point me toward any resource that might include information on this topic? Thanks!

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 09, 2001 ):
DR information is limited everywhere. Sellers don't necessarily know what thr response genrated by their DR advertisers has been. But they can tell you their rules for DR and what lenghts and schedules are commonly purchased. Both Univison and Telemundo networks can help. It is the Guru's impression that reponse is particulary good in Spanish TV. You may find that your local Spanish stations have DR specialists very willing to help. Contact AMIC's multicultural specialist at Abbott Wool's Market Segment Resources directly for some specific advice.

Tuesday, October 02, 2001 #4747
Guru - I am trying to do some research on Direct response TV for a new client. We are a small agency with limited resources. Do you know of any good articles or books that would explain the best way to plan for and/or purchase DRTV. Also I am looking for information on how determine cost per response on a first time advertiser and why might it be more likely to receive more response in a late fringe program vs. prime programming? Your advice is much appreciated.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, October 02, 2001 ):
See past Guru commnet on Direct response and Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Monday, May 21, 2001 #4418
I am just starting a job dealing with Direct response Television Advertising. Seeing that traditional TV media rates are valued based on ratings points. How do stations develop their rates for Direct response Television? Is Cost per Thousand a measure which can be used in Direct response Television analysis or is the measure just Cost per Order? I have a client which swears that I need to give him in depth Cost per Thousand numbers but our agency owner says that is ludicrous in DRTV. Thanks for any info.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, May 22, 2001 ):
Cost per thousand (cpm) is mereley the cost of a spot divided by its audience. All station inventory is essentially priced at least partially based on a cost/audience ratio, which determines the value of the spot to the station.

However, the value to a DR advertiser is based on cost per response, whether that is measured in inquiries or orders. Most DR practicioners have learned that there is little relationship between audience size and response. It is not unusual to get more orders from a low-rated late fringe program than a prime time program.

So, while it is possible to calculate cpm in a DR buy, and inherently harmless to report cpms, it would be wrong to judge a buy on this standard. If your owner objects to the waste of your time and the client's, he is justified in his objections.

Monday, May 07, 2001 #4372
Dear Guru, this question was last asked in 1997. I would love to hear your comments based on current(2001) and beyond...your opinion on the changing shape of the media environment. How the media is changing for the near future, what are the main trends in the media and how will it change the media planning? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 07, 2001 ):
In 1997, the Guru said

Media have always changed. Once there were only print media and billboards. Then radio, then TV. Not only do new media arise, but the numbers of media vehicles of each type of each type proliferate. The web is only the latest and most explosive example of this proliferation. What causes the changes for the planner is the availability of research and hard facts on which to base decisions, rather than using theory. One of the biggest changes may be the growing emphasis on Direct response models for evaluating media effectiveness, rather than awareness, recall, or requests for additional information. Or is it the ability to apply computer models to planning?

Today, the emphasis on the new has shifted to internet. Its importance as media must always be kept distinct from the prblrms of dot-com's business models. In 1997 the Direct response issue and internet were moslty on the same track: click rate and sell-through. Today CRM is the buzz word and the webs' data capture and branding ability fit well with marketings new emphasis on those two issues.

The Guru believes that other technologies promoted as the coming thing will continue to languish until they give the user more than they demand of him/her, these are interactive TV and wireless internet.

Friday, April 20, 2001 #4333
Direct response in spot TV is immediately pre-emptible. But on a spot market basis - is there a rule-of thumb in terms of the costs vs. buying regular fixed schedules.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, April 20, 2001 ):
The rule of thumb is "50% of regular costs." But since 'regular costs' are variable and negotiable the rule is not very meaningful.

Sunday, April 01, 2001 #4300
Hello Guru, it's been awhile since I posted a question. I always find your advice to be informative and helpful. I'm about to ask a somewhat embarrassing question, so please forgive my ignorance. I'm interested in educating myself more on the mechanics of DRTV media planning, actually DR planning in general. The little I know about it, feels to simplistic for me. Is it simply, buying spots at DR rates, tallying up the calls, then dividing spot cost by the number of calls to see if you hit your sales lead goal? I'd like to speak more articulately on the subject. Any good reading material on Direct response media planning you can recommend is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 01, 2001 ):
Most stations have DR specialists among their salespeople. Talk to the some of them. Also consider "Saleseman of the Century" about Ron Popeil, at Amazon

Wednesday, February 21, 2001 #4200
Is there a defined difference between a DRTV spot and a general spot with a call to action message? Also, can you run either of those spots in a general buy (e.g, on ER)? Also, does doing this make sense if you have dual objectives (i.e., awareness and trial?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, February 22, 2001 ):
Your first question is not a media issue. Why not run a DR spot on ER to build awareness? But don't expect DR rates. "Trial" seems an odd goal for the typical DR - make a sale now - product.

Thursday, February 15, 2001 #4184
What are your thoughts on attaching software to a client's phone that reports when the phone rang in relation to the TV spot that is airing at the time. It is used as a way of measuring how successful your Direct response commercial is. I am skeptical, because people don't get off the couch to call immediately, especially for high priced items like replacement windows for your home.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, February 18, 2001 ):
The general theory seems to be that Direct response calls are fairly close in time to message exposure. Many DR ads use phrases like "call in the next 20 minutes and we'll include a free something" to help the process along. This measure of DR is standard. If you can demonstrate that the reponse is less timely in your category, do so.

Thursday, February 01, 2001 #4145
Is there a tool or a formula that can effectively guestimate the number of leads expected from an advertising campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, February 03, 2001 ):
The only valid tool is past experience with similar campaigns. In Direct response the importance of the content (offer, price and pitch) means that media factors are outweighted as predictability issues.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001 #4137
Please help. One of my clients started a TV campaign YESTERDAY and wants to know why sales haven't gone through the roof yet. Where can I find research explaining R/F, etc. to help him answer this question? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 31, 2001 ):
This is not a matter of reach and frequency, just common sense.

If first day schedules usually put sales 'through the roof' why would anyone ever advertise all week or for several weeks?

Look at your GRP per day: is it perhaps as many as 20? If so, perhaps day one's schedule reached 12 or 15% of your target.

What's a reasonable proportion of those exposed to your message just one time immediately wanting to buy that day (assuming killer creative)? 1% as a generous estimate? Thus on day one, if there were one-tenth of one percent of the target as new customers, that would be a raging success. Over the course of the first week, more of those who heard it on day one may get around to buying, plus those from day 2,3, etc. Plus those who hear it 3 times by day 3 or four may finally become persuaded.

If you are doing Direct response, you might expect the build to be flatter and resonse to be more immediate.

Friday, January 12, 2001 #4095
I am working with another agency on a client - they are buying DR TV in many markets using :60 spots instead of utilizing a "regular" :30 spot buy. Their costs for the :60's is the same that I am paying for 2 :30's - I thought DR was suppose to be much less, and also the first thing bumped out. What would be the logic on this? Should the DR be the same rate as my fixed position spots?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, January 13, 2001 ):
The standard is that DR spots cost "half as much as regular spots" because they are more preemptible among other reasons. But the key is, half as much as what spots? Your DR agency may be paying half as much as they would pay for regular spots. And perhaps you are a much better buyer, getting lower rates for your regular spots. Or perhaps there are other differences between your spots and theirs than just the DR element.

Tuesday, December 05, 2000 #4018
What are the pros/cons of 30 minute infomercial-type spots compared to :15, :30, or :60 spots with respect to production, unit cost, response, reach/frequency, target audience, etc.? Would the type of product be a factor in deciding whether to run :30 minute spots? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 06, 2000 ):
The questions are essentially direct marketing issues, but as to the media points included:
  • Unit cost: In the same time periods, :30s cost about half of :60s. :15s cost 50-75% as much as :30s. Half hours cost much more but not proportionatly more. This become tricky, because half hours are usually only sold at less popular, lowere price tiems so comparisons to standard, ROS commercials are decieving. Similarly short commercials bought at Direct response rates are supposedly priced at half of normal rates but run in less desirable times and are highly pre-emptible.
  • Reach/frequency: A :15 spot has the same reeach as a 30 minute program at the same time. Since there will be many more different announcements with short commercials than half hours, for a given budget, the short commercials have better R&F, the shorter the better on this score. But Direct response isn't usually evaluated on an R&F basis.
  • Target audience depends on time slot and not advertising length.
  • Response varies, based more on offer and execution than on format.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000 #3912
How effective is Direct response advertising?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, October 30, 2000 ):
It depends on how you define "effective."

Typical DR return might be 1-2%. If that produces profit in excess of cost, it is effective. Since DR is the one advertising form best able to evaluate its own effectiveness, and we see the same advertisers repeating time after time, one presumes it is effective.

Experience teaches DR advertisers what are the most effective offers, copy and targets.

Thursday, September 14, 2000 #3797
I saw a chart indicating the "time to purchase" in hours. Something like 55% in first 30 min, 10% in 60 min, etc. Unfortunately I didn't bookmark it ... any ideas?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, September 18, 2000 ):
The Guru assumes you are referring to time between broadcast of a Direct response ad and customer telephone calls. Moist likley site is Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Friday, June 16, 2000 #3556
Are there any software programs/database tools that will help me to run reports and do comparisons on the response rate to my media plan?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, June 18, 2000 ):
When you say "results of my media plan" the Guru would guess you are probably trying to assess Direct response results or marketplace sales results. The only software the Guru has heard of to analyze these data against media were proprietary programs of DR houses.

But if perchance you mean "results of my media buy" or post- analysis of media delivery versus purchase, then Donovan Data is the standard.

Friday, May 12, 2000 #3465
one of our clients, whose commercial asks the viewere to call the 800# for information/brochure asked about Direct response :60's and :90's on TV (National cable and spot) compared to buying regular spots. In other words, what are the advantages and disadvantages of buying spots on a Direct response basis? I know the costs are cheaper but you run in broad dayparts. What else?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, May 14, 2000 ):
Cost are cheaper because you run in broad dayparts, but more so because the spots are immediately preemptible. If an ordinary advertiser wants the inventory at normal rates your spots will be bumped.

A good sales rep will give you a rough estimate of what percentage will be preemted If you can live with that, and don't miss out on specific programs that you find sell your product better then take advantage of the lower rates.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 #3391
Guru, I have been assigned the task of presenting the evolution of online media planning over the years. India has very recently seen some activity in this sphere, but in general the industry stalwarts are a little lost in all this confusion about the web and new media etc. Can you please guide me on the following: 1. How was online media originally planned 2. What kind of models have evolved over the years and which ones do you think have the maximum chance of succeeding 3. Have the traditional full service or media specialist agencies lost out in the race of online media planning. If so why? 4. What is the future for online media planning 5. Do you have a module on your website focussing only on online media planning and buying, parameters of evaluation and similar resources

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, April 16, 2000 ):
  1. Originally, online media was planned in much the same way as any new medium, like cable TV in the early 1980's. With no audience measurement, planners looked for environment, and justified the medium in general based on who used it overall. Online was, at first, an obvious, high impact choice for computer and software makers. Nest as entertainment and information suppliers jumped on the web, website promotion came to the fore.
  2. The Guru doesn't find that there are a lot of planning "models" in use. As with other media, there are communications goals based plans, Direct response plans, and revenue sharing driven plans. Each can succeed, the concepts serve different purposes.
  3. Traditional services haven't been the leading edge, but are catching up by acquisition and adding the services necessary. As the world of online becomes more research and resource driven, "deep pockets" will be important.
  4. As online becomes more established as just another ordinary medium, it will simply be just another choice in media plans, and online planning specialists will probably fade away, just as online agencies spread into traditional media, to fullt serve the advertisng needs of their web-based clients.
  5. AMIC doesn't have any purely online media palnning area. Most of the discussion on our email forum "MediaPlanning" is about online, however.

Thursday, March 02, 2000 #3271
Where can we get a list of agencies who specialize in Direct response clients?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, March 02, 2000 ):
The Standard Directories of Advertising Agencies and Advertisers ('The Redbook') could generate for you a list of Direct response agencies.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) might make available a membership list

Monday, January 17, 2000 #3124
Hi, Media Guru... I am new to media planning and need to know how to figure out how to distribute the budget among media. We have decided to use Direct response TV ads and Radio, but how do I determine how much of the budget to put in either? I understand the definitions of the terms reach and frequency but do not know how to use these tools. Also, is there an online (free) resource that can help me come up with psychographic data either in general for a demo or by market and demo? Thank you in advance for your help!

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, January 21, 2000 ):
When the planner has a free hand, media mix is determined by examining various combinations to see which best meet the Media Objectives and Strategies.

You may go through an examination of efficiency, communication impact, environmental support, etc, of broad types prior to testing various mixes for reach and frequency or other measurable contributions.

In the case of Direct response, you probably have some track record of the relative selling ability of each medium on which to base an intial distribution. After start, careful tracking of response will lead you to modify budgets. This direct tracking of sales, typical in DR, makes reach and frequency analysis moot.

The Guru does not believe there are any free online market psychographic/demographic resources.

Thursday, December 02, 1999 #3016
How do you feel branding issues will be answered in on-line media. Currently it is mainly response driven advertising. What are likely to be the best ways to improve the brand's images rather than just driving traffic to a site? Also is there any research on the effectiveness of brand driven web advertising campaigns?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, December 08, 1999 ):
Branding can be influenced by media as well as message. True, banners don't do much by themselves to convey a branding message, but one test done by AOL and posted in their media kit area shows some results of awareness generated by banners.

A banner must capture attention to be effective in Direct response or in branding. Using an interstitial, which is in effect, a full page ad, as the banner's click target, instead of a normal web site can allow a full branding message to be communicated.

The Guru does have his doubts about the potential click rate of a banner which says "Click here to see our ad," but finding sufficiently interesting ways to say it is what creativity is all about.

Friday, September 24, 1999 #2820
Hello Guru!My question may fall outside only media planning. Neverthless I hope you can direct me to the correct info. sites. I am planning a promotion for an established FMCG-Women's product. The product is used for hygiene as well as cosmetic purposes. The promotion entails the consumer entering a contest along with a proof of purchase and a writeup on her experience with the brand. 1. Which media TV or Print would yeild the best response. The brand has high TOMA. The campaign has a duration of one month in the peak sales season. 2.Is there any model to predict the response in terms of no. of entries received and offtakes 3.How should I plan- for generating max. response, in terms of reach and frequency at a moderate budget? No previous data exsists for any such promo with me.4.Are there any rules of thumb in exsistence for a corelation between reach, frequency and responses? Thanking you in advance for your guidance.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, September 24, 1999 ):
As you imagine, your questions fall mostly outside of media, and your acronyms are not standard in the U.S., so the Guru is not clear on the background.

A good source for the sort of information you want is the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

Within the realm of pure media / Direct response concepts, the Guru does not believe there is any rule of thumb for Reach / frequency / response relationships. The Gurru has seen small audiences produce much more response than large audiences in many cases.

Sunday, September 19, 1999 #2805
I have just started working on a Direct response account, is there a software program or buying program that can merge station invoice times (input our buying system) versus the exact times calls are received? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, September 19, 1999 ):
The software of this sort that the Guru has seen was proprietary to the agencies using it.

Perhaps Donovan Data Systems or its competitors now offer a commercial version.

Tuesday, August 03, 1999 #2683
Dear Guru, I have a Magazine analysis question, your early reply is appreciated. Media Analysis in Magazines (it includes magazine’s position and readers analysis), We usually study it through three directions: 1. The quantification demographic analysis – including target’s sex?age?education?income,… anything else? 2.The quantification analysis – including the positioning of magazines?the connection between product and target audience,… and anything else? 3.Media contact behavior – the influence of advertising positioning and page size,… and anything else? Is there any important I didn’t notice or any researches for magazines I can read, and where to get the researches?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, August 08, 1999 ):
The big missing item, which may only be possible in regard to Direct response, is ad response by magazine. Depending on your history, this may be trackable anyway.

Find magazine research at Newsweek Media Research Index ansd the Advertising Research Foundation InfoCenter For details about the InfoCenter, call 212-751-5656, extension 230.

Friday, July 16, 1999 #2642
My background is planning and buying "traditional" media but I strongly feel that as an agency, we need to be able to plan internet advertising and marketing and be able to consult with our clients about the web. Where is the best place to start to educate myself and other on this ever-changing medium? I am interested in starting with the very basics and building from there - everything I've seen seems to cater to those with considerable knowledge of the internet.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 16, 1999 ):
The Guru agrees that an agency should have mastery of internet media comparable to its knowledge of traditional media. Like Direct response though, there are enough new twists that some specialists have taken the lead.

Learning about internet advertising can be done in many ways. There is good coverage by some of the adverttsing trade press, like Ad Age and Business Marketing's Net Marketing . Some specilaized business publications covering the internet are particularly digestible for advertising genralists; try The Industry Standard.

And there are several web sites with hoighly educational topical archives, including NUA Internet Surveys, Iconocast and CyberAtlas.

Friday, July 16, 1999 #2640
In recent years, more companies have been using Direct response TV buys to maximize cost efficiencies. However, one drawback to this type of buying is the low clearance level of spots selected. Are there any statistics or research on predicting clearance levels for DRTV buys during the year (e.g., quantifiable factors for seasonality)? Thank you.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 23, 1999 ):
The inventory pressure logically follows the cpm indices, which are widely available, but in any given week, surprises may occur. Since, in theory, DR advertiing pays for itself, you merely need to find a level to order that is sure to be more than the clearance will be. Whatever runs, runs, If more runs than you anticipated, it should pay off in added orders.

Thursday, July 01, 1999 #2600
I'm coming from a traditional general market media background and am moving to a sophisticated Direct response company. What are the primary criteria I should address in negotiating DR rates (on net cable or synd radio) vs. a fixed position schedule? CPP has become irrelevant. We just want the lowest unit rate that will clear. Any tips? (by the way, the DMA is no help here).

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, July 02, 1999 ):
In DR, response is what matters, and it has little to do with CPP, or rating. You need to track response by station, daypart, program type, etc. and buy based on what delivers.

Wednesday, June 09, 1999 #2564
Do you know of any studies that compare Direct response television advertising to general rate/fixed position advertising? Specifically, the differences in the GRPs across the board? Thanks for your help.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, June 10, 1999 ):
Assuming you are talking about the comparison of spots sold on a pre-emptable, ROS basis for Direct response (often sold at 50% of "list price") versus ordinary "regular" priced spots in specific program or dayparts, why would there be a GRP difference? One can buy 100 GRPs either way; the price of a spot doesn't influence its rating.

If you are looking for the differences in GRPs purchased by typical campaigns of either style, the Guru isn't aware of any such compilation -- one can estimate dollars spent, but estimating GRPs requires and additiona source for ratings data and knowledge of the advertisers' targets.

One consideration worth noting is that Direct response is often just bought as numbers of spots, with little regard for GRP delivery.

Monday, November 30, 1998 #2183
Dear Guru, My question regards putting a value on an ad within a faxed newsletter. Our client is the head of the regional economic development council, and sends a weekly newsletter to 300 members. Membership encompasses a wide range of businesses: banks, contractors, developers, governmental entities, research groups, real estate brokers, financial planners...any individual or group interested in attracting business to the area. He wants to allow some space in the newsletter (about a 2" x 2" space on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet) for advertisers. He's asked us (as a favor) to help him justify a cost. My initial feeling is that he should charge whatever advertisers would pay. Can you suggest any means of comparison?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, November 30, 1998 ):
The value has to be based on the concept, not the audience. Charging even $25 for an ad creates a cost per thousand audience of $83, which is quite high by ordinary media standards.

Assuming all recipients pay for or at least actively request the fax, and since you have good knowledge of the activities and interests of audience, it should be very valuable to the right advertiser. You might be able to get $100 - $200, by Direct response standards.

Friday, November 13, 1998 #2151
In terms of government regulations (or independant broadcasting Authority) what is the definition of advertising - does it include sponsorships, self-promotion, Direct response vis-a-vis classical advertising? Help me oh great one...

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 13, 1998 ):
The Guru is not a lawyer, but . . .

Regulations in the U.S. will differ from your country (South Africa). The government definitions of advertising are generally only in the context of prohibited activity, such as advertising tobacco products in broadcast media. A cigarette could not sponsor television coverage of a baseball game. But it is unclear to what extent cigarette signage in the ballpark may be incidently shown during game broadcasts.

Other, non-governmental regulations are mostly concerned with non-program material connected to an advertiser. When a program is "sponsored" the "billboards" announcing the sponsor's involvement are advertising. Direct response is certainly advertising. "Self-promotion" is unclear.If public relations efforts result in an advertiser's activities receiving news or other in-program coverage, that is clearly not advertising.

Generally the identifier of advertising is: a message about a product, service or company for which the media outlet has been paid.

Thursday, November 05, 1998 #2123
Dear Guru, we work with a medical-device company. Our primary target audiences are physicians. We have been utilizing b-b pubs as our primary form of marketing communications but are looking for other means to communicate our messages. One consideration has been direct mail. I have been unable to locate any usable reseach that would indicate that direct mail is a successful means to communicate with physicians? Are there any research studies, that you are aware of, that would help to answer the question is direct mail effective when targeting a physician audience and if it is an effective means do standard frequecy rules apply? My current belief is that direct mail is not an effective means, for this audience, if the message content is image. Possibly something to consider if the message content is that of Direct response. Thanks in advance....

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, November 05, 1998 ):
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) ought to have some infromation for you.

Other media to consider are physicians radio networks and video tape releases.

Monday, November 02, 1998 #2120
Our agency has little Direct response TV (DRTV) buying experience yet a client has asked us to buy for a DR creative unit. Is there any rule of thumb on how many spots to purchase per week? I know it depends on results expectations and clearance rates but am wondering where to start.

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, November 06, 1998 ):

Make sure you have enough telephone answering capacity to handle the calls you will generate. For safety, consider 2% of the impressions you will buy as call volume.

Consider spacing spots to manage response flow.

Track responses closely to understand

  • clearance
  • which spots work best
  • and actual response rate

Wednesday, September 16, 1998 #2046
Do you know of a company that brokers remanant radio time? We currently buy print advertising through two different remnant brokers, but have not found the same for radio. We need very competitive, DR rates. I'm concerned that just letting reps know of our interest will not generate enough inventory. Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, September 22, 1998 ):
The Guru is not aware of any such brokers. In radio, the standard rep contract gives the rep a commission on any sales through any other rep, so this sort of brokering would not be financially feasible. The regular reps, however, may be a source for you.

The nature of broadcast "mechandise" which is perishable makes the situation quite different than print where last minute cancellations or less-than-national buys create space that will carry a cost unless sold. Often, broadcasters will give away unsold time as bonuses to paying advertisers.

There has been a history of buyers who are open to remnant time making themselves known to radio networks as ready to buy any remnants. The same technique might work with spot if you can identify enough stations that you are willing to buy on this basis.

Friday, September 04, 1998 #2029
What is the average response rate to national cable tv advertising (with a Direct response mechanism).

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, September 05, 1998 ):
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) may have some data for you. The Guru believes that averages in such matters are probably fairly meaningless, as each pitch and each product are unique.

Thursday, July 16, 1998 #1955
Our agency has recently acquired a Direct response account. We are wanting to test in two markets. The markets are Columbus, Ohio and Louisville, Ky. My question, are these considered good test markets? The product that we will be marketing is a Gun Safe. The price point is $199. If these are not good test market, what determines a good test market? Next question, what do you know about per inquiry? Is this something that I should consider for my Gun Safe client or am I better off running DR?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, July 16, 1998 ):
1) The usual considerations in choosing test markets include:
  • Population ; neither the very largest nor very smallest are usually appropriate. Often, top 10 or 20 and bottom 10 or 20 are eliminated
  • Demographic mix Is the proportion of your target -- age/gender/race/education/income/etc. -- typical of your overall geographic target area?
  • Media Are the available media representative of your eventual roll out media? If you plan to do national advertising in magazines, it is best (ideally) that the test market allows you to buy local editions of the same titles.

    Are the relative strengths of the media representative?

    Does cable compete with broadcast in a typical way? Is the newspaper coverage typical?

Should these factors be compared to national or a smaller eventual total target region? One might expect that a gun related product is more likely to experience success in certain parts of the country where multiple gun ownership is the norm and less likely in some other areas.

2) Per inquiry is a great approach for the underfunded advertiser. But, PI will generally cost up to 50% of revenue. "Per Inquiry" means you pay -- often 25-35% of product price -- for every inquiry, not just every order, that comes in. With ad funds available, the marketing costs ought to wotk out to be far lower per dollar of revenue.

Relatively few "good" media are available for PI. I.e. if the media can be sold for real money, it won't be sold on the speculative basis of PI.

Monday, May 11, 1998 #1588
Is this any accepted measurement standard in place to effectively price web-page advertising? Also, has any service been able to obtain more Direct response information, re:web-site hyperlinks, other than just counting "hits"?

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, May 11, 1998 ):
Web (banner) advertising is typically priced in one of 4 ways:
  • CPM- (cost per thousand ad exposures)
  • Flat fee ( usually calculated, by the seller, and compared, by the buyer, on an exposure basis)
  • Cost per click ( based on the number of times the banner gets clicked by a visitor to the site where it is displayed)
    This is not a very reasonable method, since the responsibility for making the copy attractive enough to stimulate clicks and fresh enough to keep stimulating clicks properly belongs with the advertiser, not the medium
  • Transactional ( where the payments to the site are based on the visitor's action when arriving at the advertiser's site; including making a purchase, requesting information, or navigating within the advertiser's site)

"Nobody" really counts "hits" anymore. Page exposures of the site and exposures of ads are the coin of the realm.

The latter two models above are Direct response measures.

Monday, March 23, 1998 #1547
Does Direct response television work for telecommunications companies? ie, long distance offers. Does Direct response work best as an adjunct to traditional media? Any info on drtv would be great

The Media Guru Answers(Monday, March 30, 1998 ):
There are two key factors controlling whether or not Direct Response works: The creative of the advertising and the quality of the mailing list used or TV target reached. This can work for telecommunications. The Guru belioeves that the branding and awareness benefits of traditional media will make DR more successful.

Tuesday, November 04, 1997 #1449
I'm looking for research on TV spot schedules vs. placing the monies on an infomercial instead. What are the advantages or disadvantages?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, November 05, 1997 ):
The Guru's answer is based on the assumption that your "spot schedule" would also be Direct response effort.

Research would take back seat to actual tracking of results and no one knows everyone's results.

The key theoretical difference would be much greater schedule dispersion for the spots, hence greater reach.

There would also be greater frequency for the spot schedule.

On the other hand, infomercials tend to run in fairly standard time blocks, e.g. weekend morning, overnight, etc. Therefore there is a certain segment who intentionally "shops" the infomercials.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) may have some tracking data regarding specific cases.

Wednesday, April 30, 1997 #1334
Dear Guru Could you suggest some WWW sites, books, or any literature abot Direct response models of the media evaluation? Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, April 30, 1997 ):
As always, the Guru's two favorite literature sources are the Newsweek Media Research Index and the Advertising Research Foundation Library.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) may also have some of the information you want.

Friday, March 28, 1997 #1002
I'd like to find out information on in-theater movie advertising. Any research on its effectiveness etc.? What companies sell it and is it sold locally and nationally?

The Media Guru Answers(Sunday, March 30, 1997 ):
The Guru's first thought for a sales organixation would be

Screenvision Cinema Network
6601 Center DR W Los Angeles, CA 90045

They should have the research and availability information you need.

Thursday, March 13, 1997 #1018
I am in the process of researching software used to plan and buy for a Direct response project, and could use some guidance. What programs do you recommend I purchase to get started? Or do you know where I could go to get advice?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 15, 1997 ):
Telmar's Ad Plus Suite containsthe ability to analyze direct mail in conjunction with other media.Pleawe note that Telmar is the sponser of AMIC.

You might also want to contact theDirect Marketing Association (DMA).

Wednesday, March 12, 1997 #1304
Dear GuruI am interresting in your oppinion on the changing shape of the media environment.What do you think how the media changing for the near future, what are the main trends in the media and how will it change the media planning?Thanks.

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, April 24, 1997 ):
Media have always changed. Once there were only print media and billboards. Then radio, then TV. Not only do new media arise, but the numbers of media vehicles of each type of each type proliferate. The web is only the latest and most explosive example of this proliferation. What causes the changes for the planner is the availability of research and hard facts on which to base decisions, rather than using theory. One of the biggest changes may be the growing emphasis on Direct response models for evaluating media effectiveness, rather than awareness, recall, or requests for additional information.

Or is it the ability to apply computer models to planning?

Friday, March 07, 1997 #1026
What steps are taken for a direct respone campaign?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, March 08, 1997 ):
Given the nature of this forum, the Guru's answer assumes you refer to the media planning steps and specifically to the aspects that differ from other kinds of media campaigns.

For instance, in any media campaign, delivering messages to the right target is crucial. However, in a Direct response campaign, the target is more often judged on response characteristics than on general demographic characteristics supposed to be true of product users. This can mean mailing to a list of persons known to buy by mail order, in product categories similar to the one at hand, or by trial and error, broadcasting Direct response commercials in programming that is shown to produce response.

It is one of the awesome mysteries of Direct response that one placement in a program with "X" number of the right demographic audience may repeatedly generate less response than another program with far more target audience.

Therefore response tracking during campaigns is a key difference. In broadcast this can mean that an "inbound telemarketing" company is hired to receive calls. This company takes orders, and send reports the next day tracking sales by time, which can then be associated with particular commercials or infomercial placements. Schedules may then be adjusted to focus on best producing times / stations / programs.

Similarly, variations in direct mail copy or mailing list may be compared.

Tuesday, February 25, 1997 #1037
Is there Internet access to newspaper listings with demographic 1descriptions or a site where I can research a paper's content, focus, demos, ad costs, etc.? Also, I have a client wanting to advertise 900 numbers: Sports; Finance; Entertainment Lines. Is there an Internet Advertising Section for 900 Numbers?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, February 26, 1997 ):
For that much detail on specific newspapers, the best way would be to look up their individual sites through a searchengine such as Yahoo.

The Guru does not actually believe that most newspaper's sites have all you want. Some newspaper reps (Sawyer Ferguson, Knight Ridder, etc) may have sites listing data fro several papers. The TheNewspaper Advertising Association site is being revisedsowatch to see if they add data such as you request.

(900) numbers can generally be advertised, depending on theservice offering. Many media no longer offer Direct responserates for (900)number advertisers.

Monday, January 20, 1997 #1071
Statistically, how successful are newsletters in obtaining customers?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, January 22, 1997 ):
If you refer to paid newsletters getting customers for themselves, the Guru expects that they are subject to the same results as other Direct response sales of media, probably 1 - 2%, depending on the quality of the prospect list and sales piece or sample, as well as price.

Friday, December 20, 1996 #1087
How do the concepts of effective frequency relate toDirect response advertising? Should the same rules of frequency be taken into account when planning forresponse as when planning for awareness? Is frequency even a factor in D.R. or should I just max out on impressions and occasions?

The Media Guru Answers(Saturday, December 21, 1996 ):
Effective frequency applies, but differently. If it takes 3 repetitions for a message to be absorbed, then DR may need the 3 repitions as well before it begins to work. But perhaps that's why DR messages are often 90's or 120's, There is the chance to repeat information 3 or more times and capture attention. In half hour infomercials, it is not unusual for ther to be 3 10 minute cycles of repeated information.

Monday, December 02, 1996 #1101
Is there a standard industry statistic on using a 1-800 number in tv and radio spots and what the response levelpercentage is? If it is a percentage, is it a percentageof the number of times the spot ran or a percentage relatedto the target audience?

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, December 03, 1996 ):
There are a number ov variables in this kind of Direct response, several of which are more important than the ones youmention.

Is the 800 number purely informational or a sales responsevehicle?

What is the product, how unique, how interesting?

What is the product's price?

How good is the commercial?

The Guru believes there are almost mystical aspects to Direct response. Sometimes spots with smaller audience seem toproduce more response than others with larger audience, whenthere are no apparent difference in target composition orprogramming "fit".

Sometimes one station seems to outperform a similar station whenimpressions, spots and programming appear identical.

Overall, 2% of people reached, is generally considered anoutstanding response rate.

Monday, August 05, 1996 #1171
In regards to print advertising, what is a wear-out report? What data do I need to complete this report (reach, frequency, formulas)?

The Media Guru Answers(Thursday, August 08, 1996 ):
The Guru has discussed Wear Out previously (see below July 17 and May 7).

A wear out report would state the status of various print executions in your campaign in comparison to the wear out standard you have established.

Clients have a way of asking the wear out question without setting a standard or even being able to decide how to set one.

Essentially an ad is worn out when it loses all or most of its ability to accomplish its marketing purpose with its target. The purpose may be as simple as product sales, or lead generation in a Direct response campaign, or it may be as difficult to define as building brand imagery or awareness of a specific product benefit. Since directly relating any of these to a specific ad would require custom research, it is typical to use whatever research has been done in the past as related to easily modelled media measurements, such as reach, frequency, GRPs or quintiles.

For example if in the past, a custom study showed the average ad was worn out at a time when the planners knew that 80% of the target had seen it 8 or more times, or when the frequency in the top 2 quintiles passed 30. (Don't use these examplenumbers). Naturally, different ads perform differently, but you will need to work on an average basis.

A wear out report then becomes a matter of reporting something like how many of thetarget have seen the ad at least "x" times, or that the frequency in the top 2quintiles will exceed the standard measure as of a certain month of the schedule, or"X" number of GRPs will have run for the ad by some date.

The key is knowing how one of these media measures relate to your wear out standard. Then the report is a simple task.

Sunday, August 04, 1996 #1168
I am working with a client in Los Angeles. It is a group of Opthalmologist promotingPRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy) or corrective vision by use of thelaser. It is a Direct response type of account as we have an 800# to call and telemarketers tracking the number of calls. The target audience is Adults 25-49, withHHI $75+, Professional/Managerial with active lifestyles. This is an elective surgery. I used television duringfirst quarter. It worked for a while, but because I did not have the budget for prime, Iused only early morning, early fringe and prime access. Programming such as Home Improvementand Seinfeld and etc. It worked for a while and then my cost per lead began to rise. I've usedradio and it has been fairly successful. Is there any book that I can purchase or can you direct me onwhere do I go from this point? Several years ago, I has a book on Direct response, but it has disappeared.Please help a tired old media person. Thanks

The Media Guru Answers(Tuesday, August 20, 1996 ):
There are many (mostly) unpredictable aspect to direct reponse, and ordinary media measures do not seem to be good predictors of results. Saying "prime doesn't fit the budget" is likely to be a reflection of the typical desire to run a lot of spots as opposed to determining the "best" spots. With an exrtremely narrow target as you have defined prime may be more valuable than cost per spot indicates.

One basic aspect of DR, especially for low-interest, one-time purchases like elective surgery, is that there is a definitely limited potential consumer base in any given medium. This would accunt for your unsurprising rise in cost per lead. The quick cure would be new media vehicles. On a cost per lead basis, perhaps prime will now be most affordable.

Tuesday, July 23, 1996 #1176
My telecommunications client is planning a multimedia (TV, newspaper, radio) launch in Chicago this fall, hoping the phone will ring off the hook. Is there a way to predict response levels per medium (or in total?) for the client to effectively staff its phone lines? I have total population, target population, reach & frequency levels (for TV - a 6 week flight; for radio a different 6 week flight; print used in both flights). The kicker is: this is not a direct - response spot (of course, an 800# will be included, but generally, it's an image builder). I also know that it will depend greatly on many things creatively (length of time the 800# is on the screen, is it a pnemonic number, is there an offer, etc). I'm thinking if there is an easy answer to this, I wouldn't have a job.

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, July 24, 1996 ):
The safe answer is to contract an "inbound telemarketing"service which is large enough to expand or contract around your actual traffic. Depending on the offer and strength of copy, calls could equal .01% to 5.0% or more of persons reached. Using a service the first time out, especially if you're not specifically setting up a DR business, will give you benchmarks for the future.

Wednesday, May 08, 1996 #1224
I am composing my first interactive media plan for a regional bank client. It is a three month campaign. I am trying to set a monthly gross impression goal that would generate adequate on-line exposure for launching a pc based banking product. Any rules of thumb?

The Media Guru Answers(Wednesday, May 08, 1996 ):
You could try to "back into" your goal.

How many customers for the PC product would be considered a "success?"

What response rate can you expect from a web site?There may be some published infromation in the trades.

Suppose it's the 1 - 1.5% that's considered successful in some other Direct response media. Divide your customer sign-up goal by the response rate to project needed site visits. For example, if you want 1000 pc accounts, 1000 divided by .01 (1%) is 100,000.

Is this realistic? If there are 10 million US households using the WWW (a mid range estimate) how many might be in the "regional" service area of your bank? We assume there is some need for a personal visit to the bank at some point in the process.

Let's take a generous estimate of 10%. So there would be 1,000,000 potential customers. You would need to draw 10% of them to your site to get the 100,000 vistors who would produce the 1000 accounts.

This certainly indicates that you would need a strong traditional media campaign to draw site visitors.

But, plug in your own numbers in the suggested process, and as the saying goes, "you do the math."

Wednesday, December 27, 1995 #1804
what is the difference between general media and Direct response television media? and would I ever recommend to my client DRTV as an inexpensive way of getting exposure?

The Media Guru Answers(Friday, February 02, 1996 ):
General TV and DRTV are different in the way they are purchased and in key aspects of the copy used. To qualify for DRTV, the copy usually must be selling something through an 800 telephone number. Mail is also possible, but the immediate nature of telephone response is preferable (900 number ads are typically under a different rate structure).

DRTV rates are usually based on half of the going rate for the time period. The concept of "going rate" is hard to pin down with any certainty, unless you are buying the same schedule at the same time as "general media." These half price schedules are typically in remnant time or relatively undesirable times late at night or early in the morning or weekends. They are also instantly preemptible. You can't rely on delivering a schedule of "50 GRP per week in prime and 75 GRP per week in early fringe" through DRTV.

General TV schedules are used to build awareness through planned levels of reach and frequency or timely impressions delivery during specific promitions or campaigns DRTV schedules are opportunistic buys, with each airing anticipated to generate a certain quata of responses for a product ready to sell at all times without specific timing issues.. DRTV advertisers often track resonse minute by minute to associate each call with the specific commercial airing responsible. This is in clear contrast with the awarenes building aspect of general media.

When your client measures "exposure" in reach or effective reach terms than DRTV is not an efficient way to get exposure. Those remnant timeslots are not reach builders.

A DRTV advertiser is generally selling something worth the investment in inbound telemarketing expenses for each 800 number order, and assuming a certain minimum of orders per airing. (You cant make money if a $5 an hour operator has to spend 10 minutes taking address, size, flavor and credit card info to sell a $2 item, unless you add $3 shipping and handling). This means it doesn't work for toothpaste, floor wax, soap or cookies, unless you're selling the $29 bag-o-groceries special.