The convergence of TV and Internet marketing has certainly happened and is definitely here to stay. Advertising campaigns have increadible reach with the hundreds of TV channels now available and the ease of online video exchange. It has never been easier to sell ALOT of product very quickly using the combined power of TV and the Intenet. BUT! And it is a big BUT! The risk of loosing BIG TESTING DOLLARS is still very high in these mediums because they still have a high "stumbled upon" factor which does not always translate into product sales. Many product marketers have one shot at testing their product before they run out of money or worse- they get picked off by a competitor (bigger, better faster). When I am approached with a product and asked "Do you see any potential on TV?" I almost always respond, "Let's not guess. Let's listen instead and see if we can hear the success first."
For over a decade, I have been using a talk show interview format on the radio to test product concepts, pitches, spokespeople, and marketing angles with very little financial risk to my clients. What we have proven over and over again with dozens of shows is that these radio talk show formats create a template for the TV version of the same show. This template not only extends to the creative but also the sales metrics. Basically, if we produce a radio talk show 1/2 program and it generates a 100 calls and 30 sales with the average order value being $120 we can safely expect very similar results on TV using the exact same radio show creative. This is not news to some of you. BUT! And it's an even bigger BUT than before... we have now pioneered a highly effective way to combine traditional long form and spot radio with advertorial print and online rich media. We call it PRADIONLINE testing. This is not traditional radio or affiliate marketing or even banner advertising. It is literally a way to increase the number of people listening to your ads and help them "see" exactly what they are hearing. Let me explain!
We use the 1/2 radio show to test the control concept for the product, and then test alternate concepts, buzz copy, price points and visual elements using a combination of advertorial print and online. All at a fraction of the cost of creating a TV spot. Quickly, we distill your marketing message down to make it highly potent. Once we have a winner we increase your listening audience through podcasting and embedding the radio show in highly credible online communities. We use short form radio spots to drive more listners to these credible online communities so they can hear the show or read the advertorial- we have great incentives to get them from listening to clicking through to your website and ordering. And because we have fully integrated the three mediums your consumer has the opportunity to "hear" about your product in many different ways on websites they trust rather than getting SPAM or channel surfing. Rather than allowing your consumer to stumble upon your message we guide them through your message and ordering process. We track which trigger made them order and within a 2-3 week period you have all the data you need to make the jump to TV testing. By testing your product using this interactive radio approach before you produce your TV infomercial or spot ad you will defintley save thousands of dollars and have a significantly higher rate of hitting it big your first time on TV. BUT THAT'S STILL NOT ALL!
Many of our clients have been able to fund their TV production and media testing using the revenue generated from these interactive radio and advertorial campaigns. Most of our radio and advertorial campaigns have generous lifespans of over 18 months each. So, even before you start your TV campaign you will be collecting active customers everyday.
What is so exciting about this direct marketing approach is that it removes the "stumbled upon" affect of traditional TV, banner advertising and affiliate marketing. Using highly credible online communities we put your traditional radio and print campaigns to work for you in new ways. It's not a crystal ball but our clients definitely agree that they heard their own success long before the ever saw it on TV.
If you have a product that targets men or women 35+ and your product has continuity then PRADIONLINE testing should work for you. Think about it.
On September 13th Las Vegas will be invaded by Direct Response marketers from all over the world at the annual ERA Convention - check out www.retailing.org. If you are attending let's find a time to connect and create some synergy!