Use Direct Response TV specialists when buying DRTV
DRTV planning, buying and accountability is vastly different than purchasing Brand media (aka retail rates). If you are going to move to accountable DRTV buying you need an agency that is an expert in it.
Some simple questions every DRTV agency should quickly have the answers to:

 
1. What is my discount off retail rate card?

 
DRTV rates are up to 80% off retail rate card. This holds true for both national cable and spot market affiliates. Because your media is being purchased at distressed rates not all media will clear. Retail buys paying full rate card may “bump” you out of your inventory. Because you want to make sure you are clearing your dollars, your agency should be booking no less than 150% to budget. This is where DRTV experience is key – people who buy DRTV understand this balancing act so you do not clear over or below your budget. They understand they may need to cancel media (DRTV cancellation is 72-hours vs. Retail’s 2-week cancellation – minimum) or add media at the last minute.

 
2. How do you track my campaign performance?

 
The answer should never be Reach, Frequency, Ratings or GRPs. Also, if your agency says they ONLY use Strata, they are most likely not buying much direct response. Strata is a great tool when planning and buying retail but not direct response. Your agency needs a system that will not only allow them to plan and buy media but also track your performance and budget clearance. Direct response experts evaluate your campaign performance every day and review performance of every commercial airing. Therefore, it is critical for optimization and performance evaluation to have the proper tools.

 
3. What type of reporting do you provide?

 
Your agency should be able to give you daily performance on exactly which commercial airings delivered what. This should include the full funnel from response to sale and the ultimate return on investment. Even if there is a long tail on the sale (6-months to a year) a direct response pro will be able to track that sale back to the specific television airing. Direct response television experts track everything – creative, unit length, networks, times, programming. You want it Direct Response Television experts track it. Even if you are driving viewers to your branded URL their analytics team will still be able to give detailed reporting. Your media buy will then be optimized based on this data to deliver the highest return on investment.

Don’t be fooled. It could be costly.
If you have additional questions on buying DRTV or are interested in launching a DRTV campaign, contact Modus Direct, modusdirect.com. We are Direct Response.