DRTV Derailer #4: Lack of a Robust SEM Program

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template
Irv Brechner




DRTV Derailers is a monthly series on Internet-age issues that can turn a promising DRTV campaign into a train wreck.

Instead of calling your 800 number or going to the web URL on the TV screen, more and more consumers simply type your company or product name into Google.

There is a lot of evidence that consumers search a company name, product name and/or keywords they’ve heard or seen in an infomercial or short-form as their means of response. For whatever reason, they are typing these words into Google, Bing or another engine instead of calling the 800 number or typing in the URL on the screen.

While this may seem like a minor issue on the surface, the impact can be very dramatic. When a consumer enters a keyword as a means of responding to your commercial, he/she is then presented with a webpage featuring anywhere from 10 to 20 search results. These results include both organic (SEO) listings and paid (SEM) ads.

The consumer now is faced with choosing between all the listings, and as a result, your paid search listing:

  • Must be present.
  • Must be better than other companies bidding on the same words.
  • Must have a strong call-to-action.
  • Must have a solid tracking system (next section, #5).

If you do not have a strong paid search program, here is what is likely to happen: As more and more consumers respond via search and visit competitors’ sites, you will lose business and perhaps not even understand why. You may even be forced to cancel media placements that are actually working when you take into account responses via search. This has become a major problem for DRTV advertisers, even when they have a SEM program.

Bridge Over Disaster

bridge-over-disasterA comprehensive SEM program is a necessity, not an option. And the in-house marketing team or agency that runs it must be in sync with others in your company.

A stellar paid search program that is totally in sync with your DRTV production and media placements will have several elements all working in harmony to get maximum value from “DRTV-driven search.” They include:

  • Communications: Get your search people and media people talking. They need to share information, schedules, etc., because the goal is to get the most accurate snapshot of how the DRTV is working, which is a combination of phone, web and DRTV-driven search orders.
  • Copy Consistency: By reflecting the offer and verbiage used in a DRTV spot on your website and search copy, you provide a consistency that resonates with the consumer. Once they recognize your copy, they are more likely to click through to your DRTV site.
  • Copy Testing: DRTV spots generally leverage multiple USPs for a product. Testing each selling point against each other in A/B split tests informs the advertiser of what the consumer’s perceived value is regarding the product.
  • Offline/Online Budget Parallels: By ensuring that your digital budget is elevated to meet the offline flighting schedule, you make sure that you maximize the amount of relevant traffic coming through to your DRTV site.
  • Landing Page Testing: If more than one commercial is being run with multiple offers, make sure to create landing pages for each offer. Testing the pages in an even serving rotation will let you know what converts more effectively on the back end.
  • Keyword Development: Make sure a thorough list of buzz words exhibited in the DRTV spots are included in your bidding strategy (aside from the product or infomercial names themselves), as consumers may be prompted to search a phrase or word they remember from the spot. Have your search team review the actual script and finished commercial to create this list.

If you need proof of the impact of DRTV on search — and the need for a well thought-out paid search strategy — this is a graph showing actual client data.


This graph clearly shows that sales made via paid search closely mirror DRTV media spend. In this particular program, once the DRTV campaign started, daily search impressions increased by 1,230 percent, the click rate increased by 58 percent and clicks increased by 2,006 percent — positive proof that paid search and DRTV go hand in hand!

Topics: PPC

Related Articles

Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

    Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform