The Death of Direct Response and Branding

When Radio Stations Change Format
August 25, 2014
Skipping Past Commercials
September 9, 2014

The Death of Direct Response and Branding

There’s been a subtle shift these past few decades.  Branding advertisers now demand accountability and performance from their advertising.  Direct response marketers wish to put a face on their brand so the public perceives their apples as having more value than the next guy’s apples.

The dwindling volume of pure branding and direct response advertising in the marketplace has given rise to a hybrid model of direct brand marketing that co-mingles these extremes.  The advertising message is simple:

     “Feel this way about our product or service.  And now take this action.”

Blame shrinking budgets if you need a scapegoat.  Wag an index finger at egos that want their names remembered.  But accept that there is but one black, one white and infinite number of shades of grays in the middle.  The meeting and merging of these two advertising extremes is as inevitable as continental drift.

As a national “radio only” advertising agency, most clients come our way when their full service branding agency fails to generate tangible results from radio.  They like the fuzzy feel of their branding campaigns, but need better results.  They turn to us for tricks, tips and systems to make the media accountable, while keeping the message and tone true to the brand, using language and style consistent with the image they’ve spent millions to develop and nurture.

That’s not a problem.  Deep experience and imagination lets us take 26 letters, 10 numbers, music and sound to craft their message in infinite ways, enhancing the brand, while generating samples and sales.

The stakes are higher for start-ups with an urgent need to demonstrate a viable business model.  For every Kickstarter success story on the pages of Entrepreneur Magazine, there are hundreds more that crash and burn, spilling seed money and disappearing from sight.  Fast results are essential.

Branding without results requires bottomless pockets and precious patience.  Direct response without branding creates fleeting success stories; daily darlings quickly vanquished by The Next Big Thing.

Let’s call today’s advertising what it really is: Direct Brand Marketing.  Advertising that imparts a message while inspiring an action.  Let us know if we can help you get your voice heard.


MLJune2014bMark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website