Advertising – the definition can be broken into 6 segments;

1. It is one of the paid forms of communication.

2. The sponsor is identified

3. Most advertising nourishes the purpose of “persuade through recall” i.e. influence consumer to do. Something though in some cases is to make consumers aware of the product or company.

4. Message is conveyed through different types of media

5. Advertising is a source through which the message is conveyed to larger number of potential consumers

6. Advertising is a form of mass communication there it is non-personal

The direct-response advertising is a kind of advertising that is seen on TV, radio and other media, in which the ad aims to generate an action response (such as calling a toll-free number). Direct response advertising has two key advantages that differentiate from the regular, mass advertising;

(1) The ability to target specific, individual consumers (not just demographically described segments) with an offer that is tailored to that consumer and (2) the ability to directly measure response. For example, the script used by a telemarketer can be tailored to what is known about the person being called. The response (or lack of it) can then be entered into a computerized database so that the next marketing effort aimed at this individual can be customized to whatever the direct marketer known about this specific individual. Unlike the traditional mass media advertising, the goal of direct response advertising is not simply to build awareness or change preference, but to generate an action: either an order or request for more information, a visit to a dealer or a store, and so on. This need to generate action is another distinguishing element of direct response advertising and has implications for tits creative requirements, which are discussed below;

These features of action orientation, target ability, customization ability, and measurability have led to the tremendous growth in direct marketing over the past decade and have led to the current popularity known as data-base marketing. While the first catalogue in the US was offered as far back as 1744 by Benjamin Franklin, today about 4000 catalogs go through the mails each year in the US and almost 100 million Americans shop every year by mail or telephone, spending over $50 billion.
To share in this growth, all major ad agency groups now own direct-response advertising units. The leading direct marketing agencies in the US include Ogilvy and Mather Direct (New York), Wunderman Cato Johnson (a division of Young and Rubicam, in New York), Rapp Collins Marcoa (a part of the Omnicom group, and based in New York), Kobs and Draft Worldwide (Chicago), and Bronner Slosberg Humphery (Boston).

The explosion in the direct response advertising has occurred because more and more traditional “mass market” advertisers have taken to combining direct response advertising efforts with their regular advertising efforts, in an effort to not only sharpen their ability to win new customers (by mailing more targeted offers to prospects) but also to retain the loyalty of existing customers, to cross-sell new products and services to these existing customers, and to increase the amount or frequency of usage.

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