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Thursday, March 3, 2011

ERSP at ERA's Great Ideas Summit 2011

ERSP Director Peter Marinello and ERA's President and CEO, Julie Coons

We just got back from the ERA's Great Ideas Summit 2011 (http://www.eragreatideas.org/) which took place over the past couple of days in New Orleans.

ERSP had a booth in the exhibit hall where we were able to put the word out about the program and self-regulation.  People from all the different facets of the DR industry were represented - manufacturers, agencies, buyers, media - and it was great to get a few minutes to talk to each of them.

Check out our report on the conference after the jump.

We attended a handful of the education sessions as well.  Here are some of the key takeaways from each panel:

The Wait is Over: National Interactive TV is Finally a Reality!
- One of the trickiest parts of broadcast advertising these days is to counter the DVR/online video viewers' ability to skip commercials.
- Through free samples and coupons, advertisers are hoping that they can keep couch surfers in their seats during commercials breaks.  Advertisers hope to introduce polling and trivia in the future.
- Interactive TV enables viewers to get more info or sign up for an offer through two clicks of the remote.
- Interactive ads have 10 times the click through rate as online ads with free samples being the most popular offer.
- The greatest difficulty in increasing the accessibility of interactive TV is installing the software on the 50+ types of set-top boxes.
- Interactive ads allow for better data collection on response rates and on shows' viewership.
- This new platform will enable advertisers to begin to cater ads to households. e.g., a family with a cat will see a cat food commercial while a family with a dog will see one for dog food.
- So far, interactive TV only allows for delivery of goods by postal mail, because the cable companies already have the customer's address on record.  Eventually, companies will look to expand to electronic delivery.

Emerging Trends in Direct Social Marketing
- Social marketing is taking what works and putting it into social media, making it shareable.
- Social media is the easiest way to get free, quality referrals.
- The fastest growing advertising markets are mobile and video.
- The goal of using social media is not to sell, but to create more buyers - to let them come to the conclusion themselves that your product is one they'd like to buy.
- Social media is about conveying a message from one to many, unlike than most business interactions which are on a one to one basis.

Turning a Direct Miss Into a Direct Hit
- Emphasis on testing before the roll-out of a DR campaign.
- Multivariate testing - changing several elements on a landing page to record separate analytics for each variation.
- Sometimes what you think may work, doesn't.  Or, it works for a completely different consumer group, maybe even one you weren't targeting.
- Key areas to test: pricing, BOGO offers, impact of a celebrity, etc.
- It's important to give consumers a choice in response.  One company only offered a 1-800 number as an initial response, but saw a huge increase when it added a website as an option.
- Be your consumers, even going so far as to go through the process of ordering your product from the initial phone call to delivery.

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