Guys, let’s be honest. Moms rule the world. Not only are they responsible for raising virtuous citizens of the future while managing the daily tasks and routines of running a household, they also hold a lot of power when it comes to the decision making for their families. Trust me, I know. No big decision in my home is made without the approval of my wife. J Definitely not a category or a target audience you can afford to ignore if you plan on marketing your products or services effectively.
So, in order to honor the amazing women in the world as we approach Mother’s Day, here are some fun facts that cannot be ignored if you want to succeed connecting with this coveted, and a lot of times hard to understand, group.

• Women drive an estimated 70-80% of consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence

• Women now own 40% of America’s privately owned businesses and hold half of its wealth—estimated to be $11 trillion of a total $22 trillion by 2020.

• Women influence 91% of all home purchases.

• The annual U.S. mom buying power is estimated to be $2.1 trillion

If you already have figured out how to market to moms, congrats! If you are a lost male marketer still trying to understand women, here are some pointers:

  • Be the solution. Develop your creative strategies and executions by presenting the problem, feature your product/service as the solution to said problem and provide them with reasons to believe why YOU are the answer to their needs.
  • Be available! – Moms are constantly researching and shopping around for the best deals.  So make sure you establish an online presence and work on your organic and paid results so it is easy to find you.
  • Provide awesome customer service.  People love interacting with brands that care about their customers and dealing with nice people, and more often than not,these gestures are rewarded with a referral or a complimentary review. This leads us to the next point.
  • Ask for reviews! And if you can (some industries do not allow it), offer tokens of appreciation for a customer’s review (discounts, free product, gift cards, etc).   In the thorough shopping process, reviews and testimonials weigh a lot when making a final decision. Plus by providing discounts or incentives, you have bought yourself a return customer.  A win-win.
  • Connect with them! And be honest! Nobody likes a poser.  – Women like to engage with and support brands that align with their values.  A “fake” brand personality can be detected quite easily and will be a deterrent for potential customers.

So, whether you are already marketing to women, getting ready to or are now considering it, think about those special women in your life and how they relate to their favorite brands. Now reach out to the women close to you, give them a kiss, tell them thank you and really show them how much you appreciate them.


Happy Mothers Day!

1. Multiple sources, including Boston Consulting Group, Women Want More by Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre, (Harper Collins 2009), The Economist: Guide to Womenomics and Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan (Crown Business 2011)
2. ”Buying Power.”Catalyst (2013).
3. Tyrie, David. “What Women Can Teach Us About Money.” SpectremGroup (2011).
4. Brennan, Bridget. Why She Buys. Crown Business, 2011. Print
5. Forbes 2013

Brands: When fishing for customers, Modus can help you keep your lines tight and your rods bent

Most brands / agencies are about brand awareness. They “Chum” the waters with an ad and hope that reach and frequency will get their name out there to the masses.  At Modus, we look at advertising as a means to increase brand performance through a call to action.  What is “brand performance” you ask?  It is the ability for the brand to get customers to buy product through a call to action while promoting its brand through effective use of media.  Reach and frequency are important but utilizing data and targeting to get the customer to buy is what we are after.

We will “cover the water” for you through our capability to plan and buy media across TV, Social (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat) and Radio.  Our bleeding edge tools and platforms allow us to plan and buy media efficiently and at the best economic value to you.  As an agency Modus invents in a wide range of research tools; Kantar, MRI, iSpot and Nielsen to ensure we have the data needed to plan an effective marketing campaign.  Modus has unique experience in data mining, prospect modeling, lead generation, push marketing, offer development and results monitoring for our clients which all results in brand awareness.

Our expertise goes beyond just media planning and buying.  Our team of creative experts provide the correct “bait” for the message you want for your customers.  We can work with you to create  TV, Social and Radio spots.  One of our agency strengths is our diverse and talented creative staff, capable of concepting and executing a growing portfolio of communication mediums.

At Modus, we believe in collaboration across all of the media platforms we buy.  You will never have “tangled lines” with our crew.  Whether it’s TV, Social or Radio, we work as a team to ensure you have a successful campaign building brand awareness and your bottom line. Our goal is to develop rapport and synergy with our clients and arm clients with the best team to “captain” your business with strategic

leadership and expertise.  We have experts in the development of television and social media strategy and subscribe to the tools that will help our clients monitor and manage their brand’s industry. Our focus is to make your integrated marketing work together with optimal impact and efficiencies, gaining added value opportunities whenever possible.

When you do land your catch, we provide attribution and custom reporting to ensure that your campaign meets all “size and limit” requirements.  We have an analytics department which allows Modus to deep dive into both the client’s historical data and current data to find the best performing media at the lowest cost.

Good Data Practices: What to Do (or Not)

With the advent of the internet of things, wearable devices, and a pervasive need for more information the world generates over 2.5 quintillion (that’s 2.5 followed by 29 zeroes) Bytes of data every day.  Surprisingly, only 0.5% of that information is never used.  While Modus Direct doesn’t analyze quite that much data, we receive a lot! Despite our technology and elite analytics background, with every new client brings new challenges that Modus Direct tackles every day.  Are we receiving, collecting and generating this information in a straight and accurate fashion? Are we utilizing this data in the most efficient and germane method?

Data is said to be pure, unbiased, and truthful.  It is factual.   Yet, taking it at face value with no monitoring can be at best naïve and at worst disingenuous.  The methods and hardware that are used to generate and analyze data may be flawed in their application leading to errors and wrong conclusions.   To avoid this the first steps before any campaign is to plan, implement, and continually test data generating systems in order to make sure that the information is unbiased and error free.

Design what and how information is going to be gathered or created that will be relevant to the task at hand.  Be cognizant of what will be needed in the future based upon business or client needs.  It may seem like you to want to collect everything, but that can be impractical in size and require prohibitively expensive assets.  It also leads to time wasted on parsing large, unneeded datasets when a smaller, applicable collection would have served.

Once setup, testing is key.  Computers are a wonderful tool, but it takes a human touch to see patterns in information that could be signs of problems.  If the data looks too good to be true, then it probably is (and vice-versa).  Quality control is vital and an ongoing process during data collection that ensures reality is being recorded.

Now that we have good data it’s time to parse it and analyze it to inform the client of results or make internal business decisions. It’s easy to feed data into excel, make a bunch of graphs, and send off a canned report.  At Modus we really dig deep into the information to see what insights can be gleaned and utilized.  For clients that can often mean not only reporting results, but seeing what areas they can focus and grow their business and translating that into actionable decisions. Internally, Modus uses information to maximize optimizations on campaigns, giving the best bang for your buck.

It’s these data collecting, handling, and analysis processes that separates good information from the bad.  It can be the difference between success and failure.


Integrity and Success

Integrity means being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.

This cannot be truer because if you have lied and cheated to climb a ladder of success you did not earn it you have stolen it. There can be a tendency in our industry to “fake it until you make it”.  Sadly, that behavior goes on all the time.  I’m not saying there aren’t good people with integrity that work in advertising, because there are, but what people can sometimes do in our business is try to convince people to spend their money, sometimes money they don’t even have, on the goods and services that you are marketing.  In a ‘sell yourself world’ sometime the lines get blurred between truth and over-embellishment.   The mentality that you constantly have to ‘one-up’ the next person or agency is so pervasive that it can lead to promises which just cannot be kept.

The ad biz is constantly changing. What could very well be the correct answer one day is outdated the next. What people fail to accept is that it is acceptable not to have all the answers all the time.  Should you be well rehearsed in your area of expertise, stay on top of trends and industry news? Absolutely! But it is ok to say, “I’m not 100% sure, but I will find out.”  I think most people would rather hear that than be lied to, because then, before you know it, you have to tell more lies just to cover up your first one.  It’s a dead-end street.

You also have to own up to your mistakes. That can be tough, but everyone makes mistakes. It is how you handle those mistakes that can make all the difference. As a mentor of mine once said, “We are not performing heart surgery.” The faster a mistake can be handled the better the outcome.

The longer you’ve been in any business the more you will see, encounter, and learn. The best part of experience, good or bad, is what you take away from it.  When you go about your daily business with honesty and integrity your clients will know and trust you. If there is anything that will follow you from job to job it is your reputation; it follows you everywhere. So always treat your reputation with care. Your integrity and success depend on it.

At Modus Direct we believe – “GOOD KARMA IS GOOD BUSINESS.”

DRTV Must Haves

For a successful launch of a DRTV (or any advertising campaign), there are 3 crucial ingredients: Creative, Media and Back-end Operations. Some people in the industry may say one of these is more important than others, however, if all three of these are not properly done, you will be left with a recipe for failure.

It is very important for your creative to do a few simple things:
1. Address the problem
2. Show how your product or service solves the problem
3. Have a strong call to action to make the consumer react immediately by calling a phone number or going to a website.
You must speak to the customer that may be in the market for your product, and then ask them for the sale with a strong call to action.

An expertly thought out media plan is equally critical for a successful DRTV campaign. The media plan for your DRTV campaign should be developed using every tool available to your media agency: ratings, rates, research, competition, as well as DRTV experience. While running a commercial for a home improvement product on HGTV sounds like a no-brainer, the cost for spots on the station may be too high for it to be profitable. Also, some stations or programs have a very high engagement levels like live sports, so customers may be less likely to respond out of fear of missing out what happens when the commercial break is over. It is important to not only identify what your potential customer is watching, but hit that at the right time when they are ready to buy.

Having the back-end operations set up correctly can easily be an overlooked aspect of a DRTV campaign, but is just as important as creative and media. If you have a rock-star creative and media in the perfect places at the right prices, but have no way to order the product, then ultimately your campaign will fail. Seamless setup of a call center, landing pages and fulfillment are all needed to make sure that when customers do respond, they can quickly and easily buy your product and/or sign up for your service.

The experts at Modus Direct can help you with all three aspects of a successful DRTV campaign. We can help write and shoot your next creative, buy your media efficiently, and help with all aspects of back-end operations to make sure that your campaign is set up for success before it launches. Contact us today to learn more!

DRTV Storytelling. Page-turning data analytics.

Dear fellow direct response television experts,

How often do you hear our analytics gurus referred to as “Storytellers”? Ever? Probably not.  No, these terms are usually set aside for Brand advertising campaigns that win CLIOs and ADDYs.  Direct Response professionals have been telling glorious stories regarding data since 1984 – long before “big data” was even a coined phrase.

Boring? No way. Critical. We love data at Modus Direct. Data speaks the truth, but the interpretation and the presentation of that truth is where it all comes together.

There are 5 keys to successful DRTV performance storytelling:

  1. We want to write a novel – not a short story.  This means collaborating with our clients to gather data from all media channels in order to review media in a holistic capacity. The impact television has on your business is under constant debate.
  2. Every new week is a new chapter. Because we report performance at least once a week, we treat each weekly report as a new chapter.  An engaged advertiser can read the cost pers and can see that performance went up or down week over week. We don’t regurgitate the data. We present findings and next steps that build on your story, providing insights that are mind-blowing.  Anyone can see that the “cost per” went up or down $3.  But what does that mean?  Why did it happen and it is even relevant to the overall story?
  3. The end of every chapter is the beginning of the next and should have you craving for more.
  4. Visuals can speak louder than words. When it’s laid out there in front you, you can see the story of your campaign and its performance clearly. It’s an eye-opener.
  5. It’s a Series, not one and done. Every client has lifecycles in its marketing initiatives. It is okay for one story to end and another to begin. Every success has the next edition on the horizon.

So when you think about DRTV and data analysis, think about a good book you can’t wait to dig into. Expect the story (reports) from your DRTV partner to have that same level of detail and passion inside the cover.

DRTV advertising should focus on mobile and tablet strategies


With over 129 million smartphone users in the United States (55% mobile market penetration) as of January 2013, Direct Response advertisers now more than ever need to include mobile and tablet consumer engagement strategies into their response mechanisms.

With the constant evolution of multi-window experiences (TV, Phone, Tablet, PC), and the access to web browsers and search engines at the touch of a button, direct response marketers cannot rely on phone and desktop responses alone.  At the least, a responsive landing page (or website) must be developed to offer a good experience to potential buyers that were captured by the DRTV creative and offers.

Because of today’s consumer behaviors interacting with brands and DRTV advertising,  sound strategies including SEM, SEO and a mobile experience are key in today’s success.  An order, a lead or any other response goal needs to be easily attained via all response channels without any effort from the consumer (nobody likes having to “blow up” phone screens to tap on the “Order Now” button).

The days of only two response mechanisms are long gone… first impressions, good consumer experiences, consumer/brand relationships and engagements now dictate ideas, strategies and budget allocation… (note that I did not even mention Social Media – that’s a whole other post :)) so when thinking of all those, make sure to include mobile and tablet in the mix.  From experience, a few of our clients generated 50% of their overall web responses from mobile.

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