The direct response advertising business is a $250 Billion dollar industry. Yes, Billion with a capital B. Yet people think they are not affected by direct response – until you find a George Foreman Grill in their kitchen. Even the most unsuspecting people are roped in by DR advertising. This is why it is a growing industry for medium to small business owners to get their products and services sold.
Many of products you use today got their initial launch through DR advertising: TheraBreath; OxyClean, the Ab Roller® … and the list goes on.
Ironically, many people think they know nothing about it and are not affected by it. It is the most unsuspecting, yet highly workable, marketing method today.
Why? TV. A newsblaze.com article Why You Can’t Ignore the Power of Direct Response Ads to Boost Sales, cites television as reaching a whopping 98% of the homes in the U.S.
And according to a study from the Electronic Retailing Association, called The Evolving Role of Direct Response Television in Multichannel Marketing Execution, multichannel marketers are growing the DRTV industry. (Multichannel marketing is offering customers more than one way to buy something – for example, from a website as well as in retail stores.)
Bob Francis, the Vice President of Commercial Production for Event Management Services, Inc. is a pioneer in the world of direct response. With 25 years under his belt in the DR advertising industry and accolades like having been the creative genius behind the well-known 8-Minute Abs campaign, when Francis comments on what it takes to be successful in DRTV, people listen.
To hit it big with DR, one needs:
- A product that has mass appeal
- A good ratio between hard cost & retail price
- An irresistible, generous offer – give away way more than what the consumer pays for (Victoria Principal’s skin care line is a great example).
An added advantage is to have a consumable product. “Once they [consumers] like it, wear it or use it and get compliments three days in a row, you can guarantee when they run out they will buy it again.” says Francis. “Consumable products have lifetime customers.”
DRTV is not just for celebrities. Today’s small to medium businesses can reap the rewards. The benefits include:
- Building brand name recognition
- Retail backup – in other words, take your product with proven DR advertising and sales backing it up, that retailer is already ensured they have a product that is going to sell in their stores.
What’s the ultimate goal of DR advertising? Going to retail. George Foreman made millions before taking to retail. Jane Fonda’s videos were once sold via Direct Response – now you can even rent them at video stores.
Francis’ acumen lies in not only writing, producing and directing Direct Response ads, but also in assessing what products are viable candidates for this type of marketing approach. He imparts his knowledge to entrepreneurs from many different industries nationwide at marketing boot camps organized by Joy Gendusa, CEO of PostcardMania, and Marsha Friedman, CEO of Event Management Services, Inc.
One factor Francis claims he loves is disabusing entrepreneurs of the misconceptions of direct response advertising. DR advertising is very workable today because:
- The costs of production is low
- With the advent of cable TV, media time is inexpensive
- You can target your audience with cable like never before
“You can’t just utilize one channel of advertising these days,” says Francis. “DR advertising coupled with an aggressive web and retail presence can boom your business.”
About Bob Francis
As one of the pioneers in the direct response advertising industry, Bob began his career in 1983 as the producer of the hour long infomercials for the Lowry Group and National Super Star, two Real Estate seminar companies. Bob’s most recent TV commercial hit was “8 MINUTE ABS” which he wrote, produced and directed. This award winning commercial sold over $20 million dollars in the first eighteen months it aired and is still being sold on the internet today.
Bob Francis is Vice President of Commercial Production for Event Management Services, Inc. a nationally recognized PR and advertising agency in Tampa, Florida (www.tvadsthatwork).