Thursday, August 30, 2007

Direct Response TV Marketing

I wrote a post in July about the launch of Heaven Fresh infomercial.  After a trial run for about 2 weeks, we came to the harsh realization that the chances of running a successful direct response TV campaign are not any better than winning a multi million dollar jackpot.  Well, may be slightly better. The sales produced during the trial run on Shop TV Canada were way below our expectations.  We joined our heads together to analyze the results and the reasons for the lack of desired response.  We recognized that we needed to fix our ridiculously high  expectations before anything else.  Then we have to prepare  for a long and expensive learning curve.  

Direct response TV marketing is a multi-billion dollar business.  But broadcasting a successful TV infomercial campaign means that, along with the stars,  countless factors have to be perfectly aligned.  An infomercial is generally considered successful if the Media Efficiency Ratio (MER) is 1:2, which means that every dollar spent on buying the media should produce 2 dollars in sale. If an infomercial does not achieve the desired MER then one of the following need to be considered.

  1. The media is too expensive.
  2. The frequency of the broadcast is not high enough.
  3. The TV channels is not reaching the right audience.
  4. The time slots picked are not the right ones.
  5. The particular time of the year is not the right one.

For a micro-multinational like Heaven Fresh, experimenting with the broadcast frequency, time slots and TV channels can be an expensive proposition. If none of the above work then the next thing would be to try different versions of the production with the "right" combination of the following: 

  1. A different price level.
  2. A unique offer to convey value proposition.
  3. A stronger call-to-action (CTA) to create a sense of urgency in audiences' mind.
  4. A more engaging script to convey the "key information".
  5. A different host to create a sense of trust and a bond with the viewers.
  6.  More appealing graphics and visual creativity

There can be various permutations of all the above factors. As both the media and the production process are expensive undertakings, a small company can run out of budget long before finding the "magic combination". 

Anyone involved in direct response TV marketing knows that not all the products can be sold on TV and hopefully that can be determined in the very early stages. We are very much confident that Heaven Fresh air purifier is the perfect product to be sold on TV and it's just a matter of time before we find the winning combination of all the factors mentioned above to make our infomercial a phenomenal success.



Blogger Blake said...

Hi Imram. I also run a micromulti, and recently found your blog -- good stuff. I also have a blog on starting a micromultinational company. If you'd like, check mine out at

My company is Quality Sourcing Solutions at

Anyway, nice sharing this adventure with like-minded folks. Good luck.

September 17, 2007 3:49:00 AM PDT  

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