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Who You Need to Help You Run a Direct Response TV-Radio Business

Who You Need to Help You Run a Direct Response TV-Radio Business

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Published by Ed Soehnel

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Published by: Ed Soehnel on Sep 17, 2010
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By Ed Soehnel 
Who You Need To Help You Run A Direct Response TV/Radio Business
This is a nuts and bolts article on operations for a DR TV/Radio business for aconsumer product. It includes the pieces you need to setup and manage in order torun such a business, whether it is part of a business or is the business. Think of these components as your team on the field and you’re the quarterback. If you area start-up or small company, all of these components, unless otherwise noted,should be outsourced to a qualified provider. This article assumes you are producingproduct already and want to market it via direct response.1. The spot producer. For a TV spot, whether its a long-form 30 minute or short-form 30, 60 or 120 second, you will need a producer to create the ad. You’ll pay fora TV spot, but in my experience, the radio spot is produced by the partner who willalso buy and place your media. You will need pitch-person(s), which you will pay forin addition to what you pay the spot producer, unless you have your ownspokesperson, like your company founder. Ideally, you will want your media buyerinvolved in helping you select and guide the producer. Once your spot is completeand in production (on air), you may use your producer from time to time to makechanges and refine your spot or to modify its length for ad time (for example, takinga 120 second spot and creating at 60 second spot).2. The media buyer. This entity purchases and places media for you, selecting thenetworks and time slots based on the likely demographic profile of your targetcustomer and the profitability ratio that you desire. They will also try to get youapproved on networks that might initially not accept your spot based on contentand/or claims (such as dieting products). They will constantly refine their buysbased on past results to help get you to your profitability target or improve upon it.They will do the nitty-gritty analysis of media performance for both call centers andweb, taking into account product cancels, declines and returns from customers whoresponded from a specific network. They are a key partner that you will work withon an almost daily basis and ideally, should have input into many of the operationalpieces of this business, especially spot production and call center selection andscript.3. In-bound order call center. This is a dedicated company that answers the phoneand takes orders. It could be a live agent or automated agent (known as interactivevoice response – IVR). They create the call center agent script with your guidanceand direction that agents use to help guide them in closing the sale and taking theorder. You will work with them at least weekly to improve on the myriad of metricsthat you watch on their performance and you will participate on a monthly basis totrain agents.4. Overflow in-bound call center. If you use live agents and start small in yourmedia buys, you will have low call center volume. It may not make economic senseto use a large call center, so use a small one instead. However, if you get higherthan anticipated call volume, you will need an overflow call center. Your regular in-bound call center should be able to help you select one, unless they already contractwith certain ones to handle their overflow.5. 3rd Party product upsells. This is a component of the in-bound call center. Afterthe sale has closed on your product and its associated upsells, and if you chose toPage 1 of 3
Copyright © Ed Soehnel. All Worldwide Rights Reserved
By Ed Soehnel 
Who You Need To Help You Run A Direct Response TV/Radio Business
have the agents try and sell the customers again, the agent will introduce 3rd partyproducts to upsell the customer, of which you will derive a portion of the revenue(but you will also pay for the minutes the agent spends on the phone for these 3
party upsells). You will work weekly with the call center to analyze these metricsand their impact on your revenue and profitability.6. Outbound call center on phone and web in-completes. This may or may not be apart of the call center company you use. There are customers that call in or visityour website and do not order. They may leave some contact information sufficientfor an agent to call back or their contact information is gleaned from phone records.In either case, an agent will call back within 24-hours to try and close the sale.7. Outbound snail mail phone and web in-completes. You might want to use a 3rdparty company that will send postcards via U.S. mail to phone or web in-completesas another method to try and close the sale.8. Website. If you outsource your website, you will work weekly with your providerto optimize your site for sales conversion and search engines (SEO). If you use andoutsource online marketing, for example pay-per-click, social media marketing andaffiliate marketing, these are additional components to manage.9. Warehouse. This provider can also be known as a pick and pack warehouse, orderfulfillment center or a third party logistics (3PL or TPL). Orders flow in and theyprocess the order, from banking (charging credit cards, depositing checks), packingand mailing. This includes processing product returns and charge-backs. They willalso assemble your product, if it comes from manufacturing in pieces or parts or if you have different configurations of the product. They should have a robust IT backend not only for accounting purposes, but also so you can gather and analyze keymetrics that help run your business.10. Customer service. This is most likely a part of the warehouse, or probablyshould be, since customer service does everything, including not just taking orders,but solving customer problems, processing returns and everything in between. If you use social marketing, you may have customer inquiries from this channel thatyou will need to route in a timely manner to customer service so they can be handledappropriately. Customer service should have a robust IT back end that gatherscustomer inquiry data that is useful for product feedback, marketing and operationsoptimization.11. Outbound email after purchase. Ideally, your warehouse/customer serviceprovider can handle this. This is not just emails sent to customers to confirm order,charge of your credit card and shipment of the product, but can be, for example,additional emails you create that are sent to your customer at future specified timeperiods to help them get the most out of the product.12. Legal. If you sell a digital product on the web (DVD, book, game, etc), expectto have pirate websites try to dupe customers into purchasing your product(s) forless than what is sold on your website. Ideally, you will establish your own internalprocess for addressing these sites as they pop up (sending cease and desist lettersPage 2 of 3
Copyright © Ed Soehnel. All Worldwide Rights Reserved

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