Review of the Summit: Direct Response Advertising

One of the strongest parts of last year’s Home Improvement Summit was the number of companies who spoke that were from outside the industry.  Each brought a fresh perspective that the attendees took away with them after the program was wrapped up.

On the topic of direct response advertising, Andrew Gordon was the speaker.

Andrew is the founder and President of Direct Impact Group, Ltd. They specialize in results-oriented broadcast lead generation initiatives. With over 28 years of direct marketing experience, he is recognized as an expert on direct response for both radio and television. He created a communication process that combines brand advertising with the persuasive pulling power of direct response advertising. He currently serves on an advisory group for the Direct Marketing Association’s Broadcast Council, is the Chair of the ERA Television Council and is an active member of the ERA Radio Council. He is a frequent speaker at DMA and ERA Conferences.

Andrew stated that developing highly responsive direct response creative is a science. It is a carefully scripted sequence of 6 essential elements, that must be followed in their exact order, to maximize your advertising ROI.

First, you need an attention-grabbing device. Breaking through the advertising clutter is one of the biggest challenges direct marketers face. You have 2 seconds to grab their attention with such elements as:

  • Humor, sarcasm or the element of surprise
  • Atypical words
  • Conversational language, tone and voice talent
  • Simple visuals, stock photography, footage, animation or graphics

However, unlike in traditional advertising, in direct response you need to get and hold their attention all the way through to the response mechanisms.

The second element is making an emotional connection with the target & tapping on their point of pain. How you uncover this information is the key to your success.

The owner of a business often believes they can provide these answers, but the best resource is the customer and those who are in the front line with the customer.

Andrew stated that Direct Impact Group retrieves their best ‘nuggets’ when they conduct telephone interviews with call center staff,  sales team members and customers (in that order).

In order to determine whether you have adequately tapped on their point of pain you need to ask yourself:

  • Have you put the consumer in a frame of mind where they can look at their problem?
  • Have you connected the consumer with their point of pain?
  • Have you successfully communicated to the consumer that you understand their pain?
  • Have you made it OK to experience this pain (you’re not alone)

The third element is presenting a key feature, benefit and/or testimonial. In direct marketing, there is an old adage: the more you tell, the more you sell. Consumers are confused because so many companies make the same claims. Why should they choose you?  As you compile your features/benefits/testimonials – – imagine the consumer standing over you saying, “What’s in it for me?”.

In the next post I will wrap up this presentation by presenting the final three elements of highly effective direct response advertising.

Should you have any more questions regarding this topic feel free to contact Andrew Gordon directly.

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