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Direct Response and Performance Marketing Drive Results

BrandStar Performance Marketing is our full-service direct response division. We excel at making small brands big and big brands bigger by creating fully integrated campaigns for TV, eCommerce, digital, social, radio, print, and retail. Performance marketing is where creativity drives results, generates sales, and builds brands.

One of the tools we use when building your ladder to success is direct response marketing.

What is Performance Marketing?

These days, performance marketing is the golden child of marketing, not only for small businesses but for large brands too. As digital media has greatly expanded, the industry has branched out and become more sophisticated; no longer is it limited to the familiar, highly effective “yell-and-sell” commercials of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Rapidly advancing technology has made it imperative that companies become more agile, adaptive, and innovative than ever with their marketing efforts. Even massive corporations like Proctor & Gamble are shifting their ad spend significantly toward the performance marketing medium. An industry measuring company, DRMetrix, recently cited that nearly 50% of the revenue from cable came from performance marketing media.

Direct response marketing usually includes calls to action to promote sales, from phone numbers to email addresses, URLs, and promo codes. In the past, these ads were not created for branding at all but rather strictly to get results now—sell, sell, sell. Today, building the brand is an important ancillary goal to closing the sale in the performance marketing world. Establishing and executing an engaging creative concept is as crucial as providing a compelling offer. Direct response ads are the most efficient and affordable type of advertising for any business because they promote deals that viewers remember.

BrandStar helped its client MyPhoto achieve a great deal of success in recent direct response campaigns. After a full rebranding effort, we produced all-new creative for a series of commercials that showcased the fast, easy way customers could receive their high-quality MyPhoto products. Thanks in long part to the DRTV campaign 2018, annual sales jumped 600%, with 2019 sales on track to multiply yet another 600%!

One key development in the direct response world is the expansion to streaming services and over-the-top providers. Performance marketers are advertising on places like Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube, among others. Additionally, a direct response ad can use a URL as the call to action for specific offers rather than an 800 number, or they can direct viewers to refer a friend, join a newsletter, or a variety of other conversions. Video ads on Facebook, for example, can drive viewers to Amazon, a URL, or anyplace else.

Elements of Performance Marketing/Direct Response

When it comes to performance marketing, there are a few must-haves:

1. An offer. There always needs to be an offer. What is motivating viewers and users to take any action on your product?

2. A deadline. You can tell your viewers to call or go to a website, but building urgency is key to getting them to act. Direct response strives for immediate return on investment. The point is to induce FOMO. Let your viewers know that if they don’t act now, they’ll miss out on a great opportunity.

3. Call-to-action. The viewers see the offer. They want the offer. They call. Then what should they do? Tell them. Viewers need you to tell them if they need to fill out a survey, like a post, mail in a subscription or just simply call now.

4. Creative matters in direct response marketing; audiences are more sophisticated than ever and won’t respond to lackluster creativity. Hire a copywriter who knows how to use words that will sell. The commercial will come out crisper and clearer if you find someone who knows how to get viewers to call now.

5. Track them. You’ll never know if you spent your money wisely if you don’t look for the return on investment. This could be tracking website clicks, 1-800 calls, or any other service that helps with this element. Do not go into a strategy without a plan to see if it works or not.

Thanks in large part to their successful direct response ad, MyPhoto’s annual revenue jumped 600% in 2018

Why should you use performance marketing?

Performance marketing’s main purpose is to produce an immediate return on investment, putting value and action into one segment. The ads send target audiences messages to drive a particular action or sequence of actions. The segmented bits of information with follow-up deals allow viewers to learn about the product while being converted into a client. Direct response creates brand name recognition in addition to promoting purchases. Most traditional brand advertisements only do the first.


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