The definition of synergy is:
The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual. (www.answers.com)
Why is synergy important to advertising, especially direct response radio advertising or TV advertising campaigns?
Synergy increases credibility
Brick and mortar stores have instant credibility with consumers. Direct Response products with a website and a call center do not. Companies that sell products over the phone must work much harder at building credibility than, say, “Lucky Charms” cereal had to when it was starting out. Why? Because consumers can pick up a box of cereal, see it, touch it and feel it. It also gets credibility brownie points just from being in a “big box” retail store.
Another way that credibility is built amongst consumers is through multiple touches with the same marketing message and referrals from people they TRUST. You notice the word trust was put in all CAPS. That is because having customer testimonials on a website is not nearly enough. As far as any prospective client knows, those testimonials were made up or bought and paid for. They have almost zero intrinsic value as far as influencing a prospects buying decision. Consumers do think, however, that many companies that advertise on TV or radio are credible. When you advertise on multiple platforms in a market, it creates synergy amongst those platforms. Those platforms could be TV commercials, radio ads, direct mail, or newspapers. Multiple forms of media running at the same time feed off each other and will reduce your overall lead/acquisition cost in a market and improve ROI.
Bear in mind, I am not regurgitating this information to you from some advertising book from college, or something I picked up at Barnes and Noble. I have personally spent several million dollars of my own money promoting products via direct response TV advertising and direct response radio advertising. I have personally seen this play out on several occasions. For example: let’s say I decided to start my own lead generation program. It started with a 3-month radio campaign in a market and my acquisition cost ended up being $100 per customer. At that time, I said the radio acquisition cost was too high. So I cancelled the radio and started a test TV campaign in the same market. The TV acquisition cost came back at $75.00 per customer, so then I said the TV acquisition cost was too high. So finally I cancelled the TV and started a direct mail campaign. The acquisition cost for the direct mail was $120. I said crap, what now?
At the suggestion of a mentor that I trusted (there is that word again), we ran the TV and radio campaigns at the same time in the same market. He said, “Evaluate the acquisition cost of the campaigns together, not separately.” What happened? Our acquisition cost dropped to $50. How is that possible? Multiple touches from multiple platforms create synergy.
Synergy = Credibility
More Credibility = Increased Sales
Obviously, your message to the consumer is also very important. Next time, I will get into ways to improve credibility within your creative (commercial) message.
As always, feel free to call our office with any questions you may have about TV or radio advertising. Even if you are not spending money with us, we are happy to help.