Atomic Direct, LTD

Tech Needs TV

Why Use TV?

December - 22 - 2009 - Tuesday

The Problem: Communicating Difficult Technology in a Hostile World

In the past, retail stores provided consumers with information and understanding that added value to products. But that was then. Retail stores are now no more than an outlet – a place where people go to get products they know they want. But how do they decide what they want?

Problems at retail are just the start of your challenges. If your product is at all unusual, most advertising won’t help shoppers decide – especially new media. Twitter and Facebook messages are so fragmented that it is impossible to use them to intentionally drive out coherent meaning. And to make matters worse, consumers are bombarded by so many new technological “gimmicks” that it is hard for them even to recognize a highly effective product.

So while developers are creating amazing new innovations, marketers must acknowledge that innovation that isn’t communicated is meaningless. So technology faces a marketing challenge: How do you communicate with consumers so that you drive them to retail to demand your product.

Solution: Television

To be clear, when Atomic talks about TV, we are talking about the most generally powerful medium for persuasion. And we’re talking about persuasion that steps far beyond the typically meaningless eye-candy “creative exercises” that populate television advertising and web video for tech companies. Because when you create meaningful and authentic TV, amazing things happen.

TV Drives Product Introductions… TV drives new product introductions and dramatically shortens the time it takes for a product to be a sales hit. A TV campaign can drive a product introduction at retail into the “top five” products at a retailer in only 3 or 4 short months. Why? Message, demonstration and communication builds consumer demand so that consumers enter the store asking for the product.

TV Increases Margins… A product on a shelf can’t add value to itself. So big box stores rely primarily on price cuts to drive sales volume – a practice that has dramatically cut manufacturer margins. (Forcing technology margins below many other consumer hard goods.) TV can change this situation. A well demonstrated product demands a higher price – often as much as double or triple the price without TV.

TV Builds Brand while selling product… Crafted carefully, a smart television campaign will build a long-term brand value. The core of the brand must be built around the value a product delivers to consumers – the brand promise. Well-executed TV advertising powerfully communicates this core value.

TV Brings Shelf Potatoes to Life… There’s a special type of product we call a “shelf potato” – a product consumers love when they own it, but which moves slowly at retail. TV can turn this product alive because it only sits on the shelf because consumers don’t know why they should care about it.

TV Creates Meaningful Product Differentiation… Companies spend millions creating highly differentiated products with exceptionally unique value. Unfortunately, consumer electronics companies are years – if not decades – ahead of their consumers with these advancements. Consumers rarely know the value of your current product– much less the most exciting new features.

Product advantages that aren’t communicated don’t deliver market power. And, this is where TV shines. It offers the single most cost effective way to get television advertising and demonstration that shows the benefits of your product and those exceptional features your team has developed.

TV Delivers Exceptional, Measurable ROI… One of advertising’s great challenges is determining the business impact of spending. When Atomic executes TV, we ensure that we have multiple measures of impact in place. If it’s DRTV, then we track direct response — by phone or web. If online, then we track online response and turn that “information” into ROI as well as useful knowledge. And, Atomic’s highly active view of TV creates immediate impact at retail — typically starting within 2 weeks of initial campaign release.

Atomic’s Unique Vision of TV

Of course, you’ll need an integrated strategy to solve any communication problem. But, television should be at the core of that strategy. Unfortunately, most agencies and advertisers make meaningless TV, taking the easy path by creating “eye candy”  that relies on creative gimmicks with little impact on consumers.

Atomic has a different – and very unique – vision of television. Used right, television is an exceptionally persuasive medium. But to tap that power you have to deliver valuable, meaningful messages. And, we know that when you deliver these messages effectively (both emotionally and rationally), they make the difference between failure and success.

Doug Garnett, DRTV and Technology Industry Expert

Doug Garnett is founder and CEO of DRTV agency Atomic Direct and a leading expert on innovative uses of DRTV, infomercials and other in-depth TV and non-TV messages to build brand and drive sales.

Doug has been working in and around the technology field for 27 years. After starting in aerospace, he spent 5 years selling and marketing supercomputers. Since shifting to advertising, his clients have included AT&T, IBM, Apple, Disney Mobile, Ugobe, Presto, and Netpliance.

Doug sits on the editorial board of Response Magazine, is an adjunct professor of general advertising at Portland State University, and is a member of the Jordan-Whitney Greensheet Panel.

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