Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's more than advertising

If you are going to measure the effectiveness of your advertising, you must understand the many factors that your advertising has no control over.

Gas prices for example are going to have an affect on the RESPONSE RATE of your advertising.

In a perfect world, people would hear or see your ad and come running into your store and buy what you are selling.

This is not a perfect world.

Read more:

Willingness To Buy More Important Than Viewership During Holiday Periods

A recent study, conducted by Lockard & Wechsler Direct, and reported comprehensively in Electronic Retailer Magazine, says that while audience viewership is gauged in empirical measures (size and demographic composition), responsiveness is rooted in mindset, or human nature, and can be affected by cultural or societal events. For instance, says the article, after 9/11, responsiveness to DRTV offers dropped nearly 30 percent for the subsequent three months. It wasn't until Christmas passed that the consumer mindset shifted and response returned to traditional levels.

Audience viewership, the number of people watching a particular network, and responsiveness, the percentage of those people who respond to a particular offer, are the two most important criteria in establishing media value, concludes the study. Since mindset is the direct response marketer's great intangible, those who can predict their audience's willingness to respond to an offer at a particular point in time are significantly benefited.

Eddie Wilders, Lockard & Wechsler's director of research, points out that "The study shows that an intangible shift in consumer mindset seems to take hold around these events... (Mother's Day, Father's Day and the summer holiday weekends)... causing significant swings in responsiveness and, as a result, ROI."

Mother's Day and Easter are excellent cases in point, says the author. Viewership actually spikes on both holidays when compared with the prior six days. For the three years studied, the television audience jumped 50.9 percent on average on Mother's Day versus the prior six days. In contrast, response on Mother's Day fell an average of 30 percent over the three years.

Easter represents an even more dramatic example. On average, viewership increased 52 percent over the three year (study) period, while response fell 27.3 percent on average. "It's obvious that the viewer mindset on Mother's Day and Easter is quite different than on non-holidays," Wilders explains.

A recently conducted study of television consumption around annual holidays and calendar events, says the report, reveals that mindset swings more significantly than viewership. Since more than 12 percent of the year is made up of holidays, and annual events like Tax Day, understanding and anticipating these swings is critical when planning and buying media for DRTV campaigns.

Given the data presented, writes the author, it is critical for the DRTV marketer to understand the distinction and balance between viewership and responsiveness. Poor holiday results cannot be attributed to lower holiday viewership. In fact, viewership actually increases on most annual holidays. Results are much more closely tied to mindset, the intangible trigger that causes an individual to make an impulsive response. The clearest support for this in the research was the six days after Christmas when the viewing audience was basically flat (up 4 percent), but responsiveness went through the roof (up 212 percent).

To read the current article in the Electronic Retailer Magazine, please visit this link, or to obtain the complete media study, please contact Lockard & Wechsler Direct.

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