Brands win with TV 2.0 and the new direct mail
While a lot of marketing talk focuses on making the most out of social and other new media, some brands are having the most luck with good old-fashioned TV ads. At the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo 2018 (IRCE) in Chicago, Marshall Rule, president of SCOTTeVEST, and Jenni Friedman, director of brand strategy at Hello Fresh, discussed how they’re getting new value out of old media advertising.
SCOTTeVEST is an 18-year-old Idaho-based brand with only 10 employees that sells multi-pocketed clothing. In 2012, the company’s traditionally lucrative PR outreach began to stagnate. As management pursued web marketing, it found owning search terms and Facebook promotion ineffective. During the 2016 holiday season, SCOTTeVEST invested $150,000 in TV ad buys and created a $6,000 commercial for DirectTV in-house. Throughout 2017, the company continued to invest in TV ads.
“TV customers on certain channels really saw an increase in lifetime value and repeat purchases, which is where our business has always driven most of our revenue,” said Mr. Rule.
The company experienced a 95 percent topline sales increase in 2017 after five years of stagnant growth or losses.
Ms. Friedman discussed how Hello Fresh applies its quick digital startup mindset to creating and placing advertisements in the slower, more expensive and production-heavy world of traditional advertising. She called the model TV 2.0. Rather than creating a single spot, the company’s production method allows for 50-some variations on the same commercial with minimal budget increase. The spots mix-and-match and test elements like filmed customer testimonials, front- and end-card colors and so on.
“To do this kind of testing, you need to think of a format that allows that,” Ms. Friedman. “If you had one talking head in the front and they spoke the entire commercial, it’s really hard to edit that.” In response to an audience question, Ms. Friedman also discussed Hello Fresh’s direct mail campaigns.
“It’s very successful for us at the right times of the year. It creates very loyal customers,” Ms. Friedman said.
“Someone once told me [direct mail is] popular again because nobody gets mail anymore. … So direct mail feels a little less like junk and more like a present in your mailbox.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are brands mistaken in turning away from traditional television advertising and direct mail? What other types of brands and retailers could benefit from pursuing these two companies’ “TV 2.0” media strategy?