February 2007 - Media Matters

Marrying Media to the Backend, Part 2

By Steven J. Edelstein

Last month, I addressed some key questions for “due diligence,” which could ultimately determine your product or service’s best chance of survival in the DR marketplace (see January issue, click here). This month, I will discuss how to evaluate a checklist of media and integration.

Media evaluation is an important component in moving a product and/or service forward. Whether it be television, print, radio, the Internet or an alternate media selling environment, knowing that your media partner has a similar thought process, understands your vertical market(s) and is willing to provide more than just purchasing media is the difference between forming a “partnership” and passing on the relationship.

Equal to the media partnership is the value of backend integration with your media partner. Like any strong “marriage,” the communication that takes place between these two critical components is a must. The media partner-at the very least-must have a direct relationship with your backend partner to ensure a fluid progression of information, as well as a consistent benchmark review of all product sales, inventory updates, single-pay, multi-pay, continuity and affiliate analysis, and all “backend” performance that could have an effect on media that is being purchased.


  • Media and systems integration. Ensure that all media schedules are “integrated” and that the backend partners can provide reporting that accurately profiles media performance.
  • Single, multi-pay, continuity/affiliate. Evaluate the performance of payment strategies, reviewing re-occurring revenue against the media strategy being discussed, reviewed and deployed.
  • Multichannel evaluation. The integration must include details on all channels of selling operation with the ability to report on the metrics that are being generated.
  • Inventory updates vs. media placement. Does the media being reviewed, secured and placed have a direct relationship with the inventory levels?
  • Detailed media evaluation. The media partner should provide detailed reports and metrics on not only the performance of the media and the economies generated, but also offer details of the relationship between media dollars spent, product sold, and how this all affects the multichannel strategy employed.
  • Marketing, media and backend service. Secure details on the logic and communication structure that exists. This will assist in the evaluation process.
  • Information access. Understand the details of how all metrics will be reported, the format of the information and how often this information is available.

The integration of both media partner activity and backend partner performance is a necessary fact of today’s direct response industry. As we continue to evaluate the ever-changing landscape of direct response marketing, the marketer who is strategic and tactical in his or her approach will reap the benefits.

Steven J. Edelstein is CEO of The Logical Step in New Haven, Conn. He can be reached at (203) 314-6490, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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