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Admittedly, I don’t know much about traditional media as I do about “new media.” So, I thought it would be interesting to dive into the world of direct response television, DRTV for short.

What is DRTV?

In my ignorance, I took “direct response” to mean a sale, but in fact, it’s much more than that. Wikipedia says it best:
Direct Response Television… includes any TV advertising that asks consumers to respond directly to the company — usually either by calling an 800 number or by visiting a web site. This is a form of direct response marketing.
The obvious benefit of DRTV is the ability to accurately track and measure segments, helping to drive decisions, goals, and objectives.

The founding of DRTV

Also according to Wikipedia, the industry was founded by Alvin Maurey Eicoff (June 8, 1921 — March 2, 2002), as he helped pioneer the use of “1-800” numbers on television, along with the phrase “or your money back”.
Alvin was a proponent of short-form DRTV, which consisted of 120-second and 60-seconds commercials featuring a 1-800 number and a call to action. Alvin found his own advertising agency in 1959, A. Eicoff & Company, specializing in short-form DRTV. Due to his significant contributions and accomplishments in the direct response industry, he was elected to the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame and was elected as one of the 50 most influential people in television history by Advertising Age.

Evolution and Measurement

Over the years, DRTV has evolved from providing a unique phone (usually 1-800) number to also providing a unique URLs. Measurements usually include such data as:
• # of calls (some do # of calls > 10s)
• Time of call
• Phone number called
• Their phone number (you can tell sooo much about a person based on their phone number)
• # of sales

DRTV Resources

A. Eicoff & Company The founding agency of DRTV.
The DMA The Direct Marketing Association has a broadcast council focusing on issues in DRTV.
Response Magazine Independent Magazine Reporting on DRTV.
DMNews Weekly news magazine covering all direct marketing issues.
jwgreensheet The Jordan-Whitney DRTV monitoring website with rankings and copies of commercials.
IMSTV.com Infomercial Monitoring Service. Another DRTV monitoring service with rankings and copies of commercials.

This wiki entry was added by Dave Rigotti (@drigotti on Twitter), an honors student at The University of Toledo majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing. Dave is also the owner of Freezing Hot, an Internet marketing company that services clients nationwide.