Craig Lowther's Top Tips For New TV Advertisers

In the final instalment from our Q&A with entrepreneur Craig Lowther, he shares his top tips on how businesses new to TV advertising can glean maximum returns from their campaign.

“If you prepare, if you analyse, if you are ready to take on what TV is going to give you, then you’re already ahead of the game. You’re not on the back foot.”

“I love TV because you can be very specific; you can say, ‘are you over 50? Do you own your own home? Have you bought a time-share?’ And it’s so good to be able to put that out on TV, because I know whoever contacts us, they’re going to be contacting me because I’ve said, ‘are you this person?’ I’m not going to get somebody calling me because they’ve had their window smashed and they want to get a repair guy.”

“So I’d say research, and then prepare: what is your response mechanism?”

“When I started on TV 80% of people called us, they picked up the phone and called a freephone number. It’s completely reversed now; something like 90% of our responses are online."

Craig then proceeded to warn advertisers new to TV that, in order to extract the considerable benefits proffered by the growing synergy between TV and online platforms, it’s imperative to ensure that a company’s online presence is robust: “We had a really crap website and it looked awful – we weren’t prepared for it.

“We found that, ‘wow, we’re getting all these responses, and our website looks awful. So it’s preparing your responses; is my website fit for purpose? Does it carry the same brand message? For example, is the advert I’ve got on TV also on my website?

“The other thing is fulfilment: how am I going to fulfil the order? I might have a great website; I might have a brilliant TV advert… you will fall down if you’ve not worked out who you’re going to fulfil, and we did. We just weren’t prepared for the success. We had a pile of leads – it took us four months to work through them.

“That’s the thing I would say: make sure you have everything [prepared]. What’s the worst-case scenario? What’s the best case? What happens if it blows the bloody doors off?

“And analyse; take time out – one hour a day – to see where you are. Because of the tech, speak to your agency, look at your channels – are they working?

“If you do all of that, it pretty much plays out on its own; it’s rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. That’s how I approach it. It’s an overlay template; I’ve done it with seven companies and it’s done exactly the same thing for me [every time]. It’s delivered what I want.”