"In all my years in this business, I've never seen so much fast-moving change as in the last three-to-four years. I remember the days when DR media strategy, planning and execution were much Acquiryless complex than it is now. It has evolved into its own science, with all the new choices and constant change. It's a real challenge that keeps me on the edge of my seat!" Jeff Copsey, VP, Media Services

What major changes impact DRTV advertisers?

There are so many! Let's start with infomercial market conditions. National inventory has diminished significantly as more media outlets seek to accommodate the many advertisers buying short-form DRTV. This has had an impact on the true value of remaining infomercial time as competition has heated up for limited avails. Just as important are these 7 changes:

· Syndication is now a big part of DRTV media planning and adds another layer of complexity.

· The increased fragmentation of TV networks gives us so many choices, but a greater dispersal of GRPs. We've gone from dozens of offline media options to hundreds.

· The change from analog to digital means increased bandwidth, new opportunities, more local avails and of course, more tracking required. I'm thrilled that acquirgy developed the iFactz tracking system that makes for faster and more accurate TV-to-web tracking.

· DRTV-driven search really complicates things, and focuses the need for media buyers to be on the same page as those who manage the SEM programs

· More Fortune companies are getting into DRTV which is a good thing (that's one of our niches) because we now have more opportunities to work with familiar household brands than we did in the past.

· Different metrics are being developed as the marketplace evolves. Success criteria remained relatively constant for the first 20 years in the DRTV world, but now they are changing rapidly. We're pioneering what we call the Retail Subsidy Model that is designed for companies that have retail/dealer distribution and who use DRTV for its immediate accountability in addition to its ability to drive retail. It's an exciting new program born out of necessity. (Learn more: http://D3P.acquirgy.net).

· Networks are moving up in "ratings tiers," meaning what used to be an unrated 3rd or 4th tier network with limited audience delivery is now a 2nd or 3rd tier network that is accountable for both DRTV and GRP metrics. Pricing has adjusted accordingly. The key is to focus on campaign goals and be very deliberate in determining the most efficient media mix.

What's your "Plan B" when a network stops clearing DRTV time?

When we craft media plans, we always have backup recommendations should any given network be particularly affected by ever-changing market conditions. It is not unexpected for brands and retailers to "heavy up" at specific times such as 4th quarter, or for political advertising to displace DRTV during high profile election cycles. It is important to plan in advance and be aware of all available media options.

Has the quality of DRTV time changed over the years? I think a lot of people are stuck in the notion that DRTV time is late-night, overnight and generally junk airtime.

That may have been true in the past, but there are several media options now that allow exposure in dayparts with high viewing levels such as Access and Prime. We still include Late Fringe and Overnight in our media plans, but we adjust daypart shares based on campaign goals. We schedule media that meets the campaign bottom line. That may be a sales-to-media ratio, a cost-per-lead, a cost-per-thousand, or a combination of all three.

You can download the entire eBook at any time at: http://BS123.acquirgy.net

Irv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: irv@acquirgy.com .

Read all Irv's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Customer Acquisition Intel.

Check us out on Facebook at MediaBizBloggers.com
Follow our Twitter updates @MediaBizBlogger

The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaBizBloggers.com management or associated bloggers. MediaBizBloggers is an open thought leadership platform and readers may share their comments and opinions in response to all commentaries.