Part A: Success of DRTV
Intuit, owned by David Kirven, had initially tried to market Turbo Tax through Direct Response Television (DRTV) but this had proved to be a failure. However, after some extensive research, it retested this mode of marketing with some positive results realized. Therefore, I agree with Kirven’s assessment that this time round, DRTV test was a success. This is because the Turbo Tax Free Federal Edition commercials were run in only seven designated markets and these markets showed an increase in online sales. On the contrary, markets that did not receive these advertisements did not return positive results. This difference, in my opinion, can be wholly attributed to the DRTV spots since each of the seven markets had been matched with another market with similar characteristics: consumer demographics, market size, previous Turbo Tax sales and distribution, PC ownership and internet usage.
In general, larger volumes of sales were experienced after the direct response television test. This also strengthens the case of these commercials in convincing consumers to subscribe and use Turbo Tax. Most, if not all, businesses judge their performance according to the profits that they earn. And I believe that Intuit is no exception. Therefore, since it managed to make some profits during the time of testing, Intuit, and its director Kirven, should be satisfied with the peoples’ response to the DRTV test. It was a success.
Late during the test, the company concluded that these Direct Response TV spots actually raised the image of the company in the eyes of consumers. Hence, many of them preferred it to other companies. This places them at a distinct advantage. Thus, I believe that the company achieved its objectives by doing this test.
The only way that Intuit measured the success of this DRTV test was by the volume of sales that they made as a result of these commercials. Of course increasing sales was their primary objective. But I believe that they could have gone out to find some more information concerning these spots. For example, perhaps they should have gone out and found out how many clients they managed to convince to ditch their competitors to join Intuit. Many businesses will feel proud when they manage to convince customers of their competitors to ditch them (competitors) and join their businesses instead. In this case, Intuit should have at least researched about the number of new customers that they got who had previously subscribed to their rivals such as Tax ACT and Tax Cut. If such customers were really numerous, then this test would be classified as very successful.
Additionally, the company should have gone to the ground and find out the ratio of the eligible people that actually bought Turbo Tax services to the people that saw the advertisements. If this ratio was big then we can classify the test as successful. On the other hand, if it was very small then we conclude that it was not so successful.
Part B: What Next?
After Turbo Tax realized what I believe were positive results, I firmly advocate that they should roll out the program incrementally for the subsequent tax seasons. Since the direct response TV only advertised the free Turbo Tax Federal edition, it won’t be a good idea to continue to do tests. This is because there were a wide range of services that were not advertised. It’s very important that the company use the direct response TV to advertise other services so that the people have the clearest idea of exactly what they deal in. Launching the program nationally at once isn’t a good idea. I think that rolling out to new markets at a time and observing their responses to Turbo Tax is the best option. Markets respond differently to new goods and services and it’s vital that the company takes this into account rather than going nationally all at once.
Additionally, I also believe also that Turbo Tax competitors may also roll out a similar program advertising their services via DRTV spots. Therefore, to be at the head of the pack, Turbo Tax should go for the new markets before the competitors do so. The company can only grow if it continues to attract new markets, and customers.
The success of DRTV in advertising the free Turbo Tax Federal Edition should be a clear indicator that this media can be useful to Turbo Tax in advertising the other services it offers. Yes, I agree that it should be expanded to include its other products. If not, then the public will be misled in to thinking that it offers only the free federal tax service. As a result, its other services won’t be subscribed to. The company should thus diversify their commercials by making new ones that incorporate the other services.
The original advertisement did not include any toll free number for the customers to call, so in subsequent commercials this number should be included. Since the animated character, the screenshots, the colors and fonts of Turbo Tax were well received by the public, they should be maintained. Only the message should be changed to reflect the services offered. This ensures that Intuit is clearly recognizable. Additionally, instead of utilizing the remnant media technique, Turbo Tax should use alternative media such that its spots are guaranteed, not by chance. Now that the company found out that 60 seconds and 120 seconds spots leave a better impression to the public, it should strive to use only these spots in the new One of the most compelling offers that companies use to attract new customers when they open their services in a new market is offering these services at subsidized prices. Intuit could also use this strategy to entice such markets.
For services that require payment, Intuit should make their DRTV spots in such a way to show that the rates being charged are simply the best in the market. The URL provided in these spots should be pulling to the public. For example, having a website like ‘cheapturbotax.com’ will draw the attention of the people. Additionally, the spots should clearly depict that Turbo Tax is useful and necessary for all people and businesses with no bias to their earnings.