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In today’s world of expanded communications choices, campaigns that build brand awareness and drive response don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the synergy created by integrating these two marketing strategies can provide results for today, while building the brand essence for tomorrow.
Even the most basic direct response and direct response television campaigns are building some type of brand (good or bad), and the DR campaigns that work over a long time frame have also helped build successful brands.

For marketers interested in creating a brand response campaign, the following are some elements to consider:

Use a blend of media. It’s important to use a blend of direct response and general media activity. The aim should be to monitor and adjust both, but hold the DR to a much lower cost per lead, while letting the brand-focused media deliver the needed brand attributes.
For example, assuming that costs were comparable, if one prime-time network TV program delivers 500 hits to a Web site, while a different prime-time program delivers much more from a brand-awareness perspective while also delivering 2,000 hits, wouldn’t you rather have the latter?

With technology and keen analysis, it’s now possible to determine the contribution a program has to overall brand health, in addition to driving direct response.

Monitor brand and DR concurrently. From a higher campaign perspective, it’s vital to measure and evaluate brand metrics concurrent with traditional cost per leads and orders. Often in our campaigns, we’ll shift the percentage between brand and response activity based on achieving certain goals. 

In watching brand metrics, we can evaluate the success based on the client brand’s place against the competition. If the goal is to beat the brand leader in a number of  “brand health” scores, it may call for an increase in general media activity while at the same time decreasing DR activity. Results have shown that brand awareness lift helps our ability to provide a low cost per lead.

Use specialized technology. The right technology is another element of a successful brand response campaign. For example, COREMedia’s direct response analysis software measures cost per lead down to the individual spot using vanity numbers and one URL. CoreDirect helps marketers be consumer friendly while managing the weekly adjustments essential to fully optimize the direct response activity.

Keep the customer in the center. Even with powerful technology at our disposal, it’s important to remain as customer-centric as possible. Companies shouldn’t make the consumer responsible for remembering a unique telephone number or a complex URL. Marketers must hold themselves accountable to figure out the back end metrics without disturbing the consumers’ relationship with the brand.

If it’s done correctly, you will appreciate the ability to drive not only return on investment, but brand awareness as well. Using this approach, we’ve worked for years with clients such as Jenny Craig to help them pave the way for the brand while attaining an aggressive weekly cost per lead. Software allows the opportunity to make changes to the media weekly yet not disturb the easy and accessible 1- 800-Jenny-20 or channels. 

Direct marketing campaigns are going to shift dramatically as media continues to become digital, adding a component of flexibility. Before long, all TV activity will have some method of either bookmarking or click-through capability. The ability to make immediate changes to creative and offers will determine the success of a campaign.

In this new world, all television will become response oriented and ROI based. It’s a future all of us involved in direct response should look forward to.