Is your product right for direct response or infomercial
I get calls every day from people wondering if their product is right for direct
response TV advertising. Unfortunately, there is no short answer, but there are a
lot of clues that we look for to help find the right answer. Although a product may
not have every attribute we look for, the more of them it has the more likely it is to
The following are a few of the many areas we look at when considering a
product’s DRTV viability:
As a rule, most as seen on TV products have at least a 5 to 1 cost structure. This
means that a product that sells for $24.95 actually costs 5 dollars to make. There
are certainly many exceptions to this rule. Some products run a much higher
retail price-to-cost ratio, such as educational and how to videos, while some have
a lower mark up due to being a high priced item. A home gym is a good example
of a product with a lower mark-up.
The standard of TV selling is that a new product or gadget solves an everyday
problem. For instance, a hair growth problem would follow the following
problem/solution structure: the problem “I am losing my hair” is met with the
solution, “Your product grows new hair.”
Demonstration is everything on TV. Can I see it remove a stain, catch a fish,
grow hair? Think of all of the best infomercials and direct-to-consumer ads you
have seen. There is always a “wow” factor, with a demonstration that makes you
say, "I want that."
Does your product have a wide appeal, if not for the nation at large, then at least
for a specific type of network? The more people your product appeals to the
more potential exists for a sale.
That said, “broad appeal” can be focused within a group. For instance, there are
a lot of outdoor shows that would attract fishermen where we could sell a new
fishing lure. A lure may not appeal to the nation at large, but for the viewers of
those shows or networks a fishing lure has great potential to sell.
This is due, largely, to the fact that cable TV allows us to target specific groups of
consumers better than ever before. We have networks for all kinds of interests
and lifestyles: sports, home improvement, cooking, golf cars, etc. This makes
marketing a specific product easier, but it still needs a broad appeal, even within
a specific subset.
This is very important: your product has to be something that I have never seen
before, or it must be a breakthrough in the technology making an old product
easy to use or more affordable. If your product is just like something else that I
can buy at retail, then your TV spot will just support someone else’s sales.
These are just a few of the many key areas we look at when evaluating whether
or not a product is right for DRTV. While these are basic guidelines, and while
there is more to the story, they are a good starting place for anyone that wants to
take a product to TV.
To take the next step with your product, read, “Just DR, or DR to Retail?”