DRTV and Radio: Think Outside the Book, Part II
As traditional catalog prospecting for new customers gets more and more challenging, consider two proven media channels that have been steady workhorses for other types of marketers for more than 50 years: television, and radio.
Direct Response Television (DRTV):
If a typical catalog has 150 to 200 products, there usually are one or two hit products that are worthy of elevated promotional efforts. Perhaps the most famous example is Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze® Air Purifier. This product started in the catalog with strong sales, but sales exploded after the product was promoted via an infomercial. Not only has the airing of the infomercial helped product sales, it’s been an excellent resource for building Sharper Image’s brand as well as its customer file.
A catalog can be an excellent tool for finding products that are worthy of DRTV treatment. After all, your customers tell you which products they’re most interested in. If one product is unique, has broad enough appeal and has a five times mark-up or better, a DRTV test may be worth considering.
Short-Form vs. Long-Form: The first thing to determine is how much time you’ll need to effectively sell your product. If it’s a fairly straightforward item, then short-form (typically a 60- or 120-second) spots will be most appropriate. Spots that are 120 seconds long often are more cost-effective from a media efficiency standpoint, but they are also harder to come by.
If the product lends itself well to telling a story, then a full-length 28-minute infomercial (also know as long-form) may be a better approach to take. Sometimes a product will start out with an infomercial; then as it builds in notoriety, a short-form spot is developed.
Product price is another key determinant in choosing between short-form and long-form. A price of $19.95 is typical for short-form, with the price rarely going above $29.95 (unless it’s also on long-form). Higher-priced products and continuity products are better candidates for an infomercial.