The New Alternative
The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. — whose brands include PajamaGram, Calyx & Corolla, Gift Bag Boutique, and TastyGram — uses DR radio, DRTV spots, and magazine and online advertising. Sarah Pribram, the company’s director of sales and marketing information, notes that the company spends less to acquire customers via mass media, like TV and radio. But the lifetime value of those customers, in turn, tends not to be as strong as ones acquired via direct catalog mailing.
The value of customers is consistent with the cost to acquire them. Mass media — be it DRTV spots or mass magazines — costs less per customer to acquire but delivers less long-term value. Execute careful goal-setting and analysis of results in alternative media.
Set Goals, Then Test
Given the dynamics of cost and lifetime value, set your goals before you test. Every medium has unique measurement tools, but you can define standard goals to compare customers acquired from one media as opposed to another. Cost per order, average order size, gross sales and percent of promotion spending are good places to start. You can define goals that span all media, allowing you to have an apples-to-apples comparison.
You can succeed with alternative prospecting if you treat each media uniquely. Learn particulars before diving in. This means listening to the experts; a DR radio agency with 20 years of successful experience will offer valuable insights on DR radio. What’s more, a package insert broker should do the same regarding package inserts. Listen to those who have made the mistakes before you.
Know your audience. An ad that works in a men’s magazine is probably different than an ad that’ll work in a women’s magazine. A commercial that works on sports talk radio is probably different than a commercial that works on an easy listening station. Tailor your creative message to the audience to have the greatest response and acquire the largest number of customers.