Test reports from all industries indicated that when you combine direct mail and telephone together, the combined effort is greater than each medium individually. In fact, the late Murray Roman, one of the true pioneers of telephone marketing, frequently said that when you combine telephone and direct mail, the results are three to five times the sum of each separately. Running 10 second spots, or longer, on television, telling people to look for the mail about to arrive in their mail box, seems to more than pay for itself.
Using both magazine ads offering catalogs and merchandise by mail and the cold list mailing of catalogs themselves seems to work, though the method is hard to qualify. The dramatic rise of mail order magazine ads testifies to the results. Remember, everything is measured in direct marketing.
Why this multimedia success? The answer lies in the fact that mass media is inexpensive, and the more direct the medium, the more expensive. On a relative index basis, with the cost of a page mass market magazine ad at $100, the following shows how expensive targeted mediums are on a cost per exposure basis:
- Television spot $50
- Consumer magazine $100
- Trade magazine $500
- Direct mail $5000
- Telephone call $60,000
Simply, if low cost media can favorably affect higher cost media, the leverage effect is enormous and the savings considerable.
Let’s take an example. A mailing is made to announce to a doctor a new prescription drug product. The company offering it is not well known. The mailing talks about the benefit of the product, little-known facts about the company’s fine history, and the excellent background of key executives.
Even if the doctor just glances at the piece, the doctor knows more about the company and product than before. Awareness is created.
The follow-up phone call to the doctor is more efficient for two reasons. First, the doctor, being aware, is more apt to accept the call. Second, less time need be spent establishing the company, because the doctor already has some awareness. This helps to reduce the total time of the phone call.
Phone calls, as we have seen, are very expensive. If you can reduce the time of the call by 20%, increase acceptance of a call by 20%, and receptivity by 20%, you have at least a 60% efficiency increase on a medium that is twelve times as expensive as direct mail.
You can relate multimedia efficiency in direct marketing to multimedia in general advertising. For example, an auto manufacturer will advertise its product in magazines, on television, on billboards, in newspapers, and so on. But it all comes down to bringing the prospect into the showroom and having the prospect presold, which saves the floor salesperson time and increases the chance of closing the sale.
Now that we know why, what does it tell us about how to plan a strategy for multimedia? It tells us to raise the lead media in such a way as to convey that part of the more expensive media story that can be explained the easiest and can reduce time the most.
A few test phone calls will quickly establish what hurdles your telemarketing effort faces. Some of these can be reduced or eliminated by a good softening campaign of direct mail.
Multimedia need not be expensive, just smart.
WHY SRDS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TOOL
SRDS is short for Standard Rate and Data Service. If you are in advertising you know it well because there is one for every medium. The Newspaper SRDS gives all the rates and specifications for all newspapers. The Television SRDS does the same for television stations. Magazine SRDS, Radio SRDS, and Direct Mail Lists Rate and Data Services (DMLRDS) are other major publications.
The DMLRDS is a compendium of some 40,000 different mailing lists. It tells you more about different mailing lists than any other source because it encourages all list owners to include their lists, at no charge.
You can quickly find list areas (that is, gourmet, sports, education, and so on) and see what is available. Just being aware of what is available helps you talk to a list broker or manager (see section on list brokers). It helps you quickly find possible lists that you can refine with phone calls at a later date. But, more than that, the SRDS is a fund of marketing knowledge.