7 Reasons Why Internet Marketing Cannot, Does Not and Will Not Replace the Traditional DR (Direct Response) Model
1. Most DR sales are impulsive.
Imagine this, it’s at the top of the hour, a TV or Radio infomercial starts, 35 minutes or so later, the advertiser has racked up 10, 20, or 100 sales, depending on the media, the message, and the audience. The consumer went from never having heard of the product or service to buying it, often on the sheer persuasiveness of the sales pitch.
Internet search, yelp reviews, fake scam sites can throw a big, wet blanket on the impulsive nature of direct-to-consumer buying.
The traditional DR model says to new media: “go sit in the back seat, I’ll drive sales to you.”
2. The monetization models are not fast enough for traditional direct response advertisers.
No matter what form of internet marketing you use, organic search, paid search, social, mobile or any combination that brings customers to you, there is no urgency for DR consumers to purchase on the Internet, only to engage for a brief moment or to move up the search ladder to a higher position.
While everything on the internet is instantly more measurable, an elongated search-decision process doesn’t move the needle like a well-executed DRTV, radio or print campaign.
The traditional DR model says to new media: “we want to make money now, not later. “
3. Many older folks are slow to use new technology and many are still afraid of the internet. They can be cautious, distrustful and/or unwilling to purchase this way and also often require more human contact in the purchasing decision process.
For as long as traditional media exists, it will arguably attract an aging audience. And this audience is still somewhat leery of the newer model of commerce and cannot be banked on to “get with it NOW.”
The traditional DR model says to the new model, “you may be fancy and sophisticated but older folks don’t trust you yet.”
4. Media is not the message, at least not entirely.
The symbiotic relationship between the newspaper and its contents has been and still has a lasting bond. It’s not unusual for someone to say “I saw an article in the newspaper…,” especially, when they read it on the internet and not in the newspaper.
However, in our rush to keep up with the trends, the marketing of the Internet has been partially defined as the ‘essential media’ for advertising, and everyone is told that they need to embrace it. The Internet model is still chaotic and shifting, so it is hard to get a read on the symbiosis. Being on the Internet does not define an advertiser. It’s a given, but doesn’t convey a brand statement being there.
The traditional DR model says to the new model, “your relationship with advertising is too new to bond symbiotically, because it is still in an early and rapidly shifting identity phase.”
5. The amount of time spent listening (TSL)/watching anything on the Internet is perversely low.
When purchasing airtime on contemporary hit radio (CHR) formatted radio, much is made of the TSL figures on young-skewing stations.
While young-skewing stations have an average TSL of 4-5 minutes per hour, older-skewing stations have an average TSL of 8-10 minutes.
Internet average TSL is less than 1 minute on any site visited. Some internet experts will say you have about 10 seconds to connect with a visitor before you lose them. And that’s to listen to the content, not the ads!
The traditional DR model says to the new model, “no one is sitting still long enough with you to consider the content much less the advertising.”
6. Content is king, internet advertising is not an effect interrupter.
Much is made of the “content is king” element of Internet marketing and that’s a great argument.
Television, radio and print media has been successful for DR advertisers because the content of the media is compelling enough that listeners and viewers are somewhat willing to sit through, tolerate, or even welcome some amount of advertising in exchange for entertaining, informative or escapist programming.
For long form advertisers, infomercial and advertorial marketers, the marketing IS the content. And while some marketing content on the internet can work (You Tube pre-rolls for example), most will not earn our attention long enough to warrant this content-for-exchange dynamic.
The traditional DR model says to the new model “your content hasn’t established a quid-pro-quo relationship with its audience, so don’t pretend there is truly equality in ad delivery between interrupting content and being marginally adjacent to it.”
7. Content only exists as a commodity to sell, it does not concern itself with value.
Listen to a crowd funding pitch and you will see that the emphasis is to arbitrarily set advertising values on content, not on the response it will generate materially. Business models are content-based affairs with investor pitches designed for generating financing….for the website or the app.
Get a bunch of entrepreneurs in a room to talk about how their website or application will be monetized; quite often the response is about advertising revenue (of course).
The business models of internet startups today has not changed much since the first tech boom – we throw a big “social dance” to drive up viewers to our content, and then we sell that traffic to others who are advertising to drive up their traffic so they may attract advertisers to their content. I wouldn’t be so cynical as to label this all a giant Ponzi scheme, but there are some serious flaws in the valuation of audience “numbers”, (consider 75% of all people who click on mobile banner ads do so by mistake because they meant to hit another button). There may be some models in this world where that works but not in direct response marketing.
The traditional DR model says to the new media model “let’s talk when you can show me the money”.