Q4 is a wild time for any agency. Clients need results in Q4, and they often turn to—or turn up— their channel mix with Direct Response TV (DRTV). While brands are competing against each other for inventory that will grant them a strong finish on sales for the year, Arm Candy’s experts are here to guide you through the competitive Q4 DRTV marketplace.
Learn how to take advantage of DRTV as a sales-driving tactic with these valuable insights and considerations to polish off a solid media strategy.
The DRTV marketplace in the 4th quarter is historically volatile
This is not surprising for advertising in general, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see it happening for DRTV. In particular, the 8–10 weeks leading up to Christmas (often referred to as the “Hard 8” or “Hard 10”) are the most challenging time for all advertisers.
In Q4, Market conditions are extremely tight with advertisers from every category clamoring for the same inventory. With a finite amount of inventory, this creates a supply and demand issue. Q4 demand goes through the roof, and supply is limited—this inflates the average available unit rate.
Certain networks during this quarter are in higher demand than others
Leading up to the gift-giving holidays, advertisers compete for available inventory where they feel their dollars will go the farthest.
Tight inventory tends to be on female-skewing networks, as she is the consumer that is typically profiled to make purchases during this time. Average unit rates on networks like Lifetime, Hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Bravo, E!, LMN, and others historically see substantial increases from other quarters—that is, if inventory is available.
Set on scoring DRTV in Q4? Fear not, as there are options!
This type of marketplace certainly presents its challenges, but through our expertise, Arm Candy can plan and maneuver through these turbulent waters. These are some things we will look out for when working with you to navigate:
1. Establishing a presence on desired high profile networks via local breaks
Arm Candy has the unique advantage to purchase local break inventory directly from the network at a substantial markdown from the national unit rate. Networks set aside a certain amount of minutes every hour to allot for local insertion. Essentially, we would be able to score you a much lower average unit rate and have a presence on these premium networks in a smaller footprint than what they offer nationally. Footprint sizes can vary from 30-80% of what the full national footprint is depending on the network.
2. Seek Unwired Vendors
Unwired is an efficient alternative for advertisers who are looking to reach a national audience. Unwired vendors create a national footprint by aggregating local cable and broadcast breaks from MultiVideo Programming Distributor, or MVPD’s (cable and satellite providers) across the country and rolling them into one Nielsen measurable offering.
Unwired offers advertisers:
- Access to cost-effective inventory on high profile networks and broadcast affiliates
- Ability to purchase inventory (dayparts and programming) that may be difficult to place due to the marketplace dictating expensive premiums
- Help with clearance on popular networks during weeks and months when inventory is tight or sold out
3. Utilize Additional DR “Friendly” Networks (Networks that historically drive traffic to websites or have higher than average conversion rates)
Based on the consumer information we have, our team can run an MRI and determine what other networks we should be looking at
We will utilize this planning tool in combination with our historical information to determine what networks would be most cost-effective and have the highest propensity to drive website traffic and ultimately leads
Even though challenges, DRTV is a prime Q4 conversion tactic
The benefit of utilizing DRTV as a mechanism to drive sales is that it is 100% flexible, measurable, and optimizable. There are more than these three ways to incorporate DRTV tactics in a media strategy, and we’d love the opportunity to chat through your media needs!