Rethinking Direct Response

Written By

SMI Staff

Published On

Thursday, May 02
Man pointing to dollar signs

For direct response (DR) advertising agencies, getting ads on the air is not always a simple task. When media inventory is stressed, radio groups can be more selective about who they sell media to, and they don’t always choose DR. When many of the nation’s biggest advertisers (Vistaprint, Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron, and Pro Flowers) are running profitable direct response ads on the radio, why don’t stations welcome DR clients with open arms?

Saavy advertisers know that the main advantage of DR advertising is that it makes offline marketing trackable. When consumers respond to a CTA and text the number or visit the URL they hear in a radio ad, a direct response agency knows. And this data is utilized to gather information on who the demo is and how best to reach them, whether to tailor the messaging or optimize the channels on which the ad is airing.

Yet, could the trackability that is so desirable to advertisers also scare media outlets away?

The possibility is worth considering. Especially given that the data generated by DR helps agencies negotiate the best rates with media outlets and requires radio stations to be accountable for the advertising they run. Direct response agencies like Strategic Media, Inc., track when and where our clients’ ads run to make sure they are receiving the airplay paid for. By using attribution models, survey data and Google Analytics, shrewd direct response and brand agencies can see the detailed performance of all of their media.

Top advertisers know how valuable direct response data is, and they’re increasing their spend on radio. So when radio groups reject direct response advertisers, they let millions of dollars of media budgets slip through their fingertips.

That is why working with an established agency like Strategic Media, Inc. is so important. A successful DR agency keeps their practices above board. It operates on integrity, honest communication, and transparency. At Strategic Media, Inc. we take on only those clients whose ethics align with our own, and we pride ourselves on being 100% transparent with the data we receive. Over the past 20 years, SMI has built trusted relationships with radio groups and advertisers, and we leverage those relationships to negotiate deals that benefit all.

It is time to embrace a new perspective on “direct response,” one that celebrates the unique strengths that only DR can offer. To do this, we must first understand that direct response and brand response are not mutually exclusive. At Strategic Media, Inc., we have found that combining the two techniques artfully is the secret to advertising that: 1) pushes consumers to act now and 2) stays in the consumers’ minds. A multi-purpose form of highly effective advertising? Now that’s direct response.

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