How you like your “moving pictures” served up is mostly a matter of generation.

For example, according to Forrester Research, GenXers (age 13-26) spend 12.2 hours a week on the internet and 10.6 hours watching TV. At the other end of the spectrum, Seniors (age 62+) spend 3.8 hours a week on the internet and 14.4 hours watching TV.

To be sure, everybody watches a lot of television. But that said, the latest data from comScore Media Metrix says that 3 of every 5 internet users are watching online videos, typically twice a day. In all 7.2 billion videos were streamed across the internet this past July. The top three online video sources (a bit of a surprise here) were MySpace, then Yahoo, then YouTube.

I'm an old-timer who spent many unrewarded hours trying to convince nonprofits to try direct reponse TV ads back in the days when cable TV was the next hot medium. The only fundraisers who ever really mastered the medium were (and still are) the child relief agencies like Worldvision, Save the Children and Christian Children's Fund. For most nonprofits, even today, getting some PSA time counts as a big score.

So it is with some trepidation that I pass along this DRTV Guide, courtesy of DMNews. As The Essential Guide to Direct Response Television illustrates, folks are selling stuff quite successfully on TV, thank you. I suspect they're doing even better these days because they can “close” the deal online (rather than just with 800 numbers).

The advice in the Guide comes from successful DRTV pros. And guess what? If you're a GenX or GenY fundraiser who thinks online video is the next big thing (and my old gut thinks you're right), there are even lessons in the Guide for you. Because some laws of direct marketing are timeless, because the underlying human nature is immutable.

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