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7 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From TV Infomercials

You may think of these often annoying programs as "trash TV", but think again. Did you realize that they use many of the exact same strategies that we should?

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I hate to share this, but I love watching infomercials. And I've ordered more than once from them! Everything from cosmetics to a cell phone accessory.

When pressed, my friends admit the same. If you sniff around most people's homes, you'll find SOMETHING ordered from an infomercial, whether it's the Ronco Rotisserie or Victoria Principal's skincare.

You may think of these often annoying programs as "trash TV", but think again. Did you realize that they use many of the exact same strategies that we should?

Now, I don't mean you need to scream at your customers or flash "$19.95" in blinking digits on your website! Those are gimmicks. But what most people don't realize is that many of the STRATEGIES that sell the kitchen doohickey gadget are the same ones that can also sell your products and programs.)

Here are 7 of my favorites:

1. They grab your attention.

Infomercials air on the most challenging medium there is out there: television. You're just a second away from your prospect clicking their remote to the next channel. So they do their best to get your attention right away and KEEP it for as long as possible.

That's why infomercials give bold statements and emphasize how this doohickey will change your life. You should do this too -- stop beating around the bush and make it clear to your prospects how your products and services will change *their* lives!

2. They give tons of real-life testimonials.

You'll see that TV infomercials have evolved greatly since years ago. It used to be one or two people talking to a camera for the entire time. These days most typical 30 minute spots are over 80% customer testimonials! And that's for good reason... they are the hands-down BEST way to gain instant credibility.

A great example is for one of those home exercise machines. I noticed years ago they just showed the super-ripped guy using it on the infomercial. Now they show that guy, PLUS dozens of before and after testimonials from real-life guys with beer bellies and real jobs who used the product with success. That was a great move on their part, because c'mon, I just can't believe that super-ripped guy got that hot looking using it just 30 minutes, 3 times a week!

3. They use personalities.

The most successful infomercials now use celebrity guest hosts. They know this gets people's attention more than practically anything out there. Pro Activ uses Jessica Simpson. Youthful Essence (a skincare product I love) uses Susan Lucci. Even NutriSystem is now using Dan Marino in their commercials to target men.

You can do the same in your marketing. You can either hire a star, or even better, make YOURSELF the celebrity... by sharing stories, being personal, and having fun with your market.

4. They give an irresistible offer.

It's rare these days to see an infomercial asking for you to pay for something in full. You'll mostly see things like "3 payments of $19.95" or "4 payments of $39.95". Why? Cash-crunched Americans are always more concerned about cash flow than the total price. They'll even happily pay much MORE in the end in order to gain a lower monthly payment!

You can do the same. Offer a payment plan for your products, courses, workshops, and coaching. You'll be AMAZED at the increased response, and it's easy to do with marketing-savvy shopping cart systems.

5. They give a strong call-to-action NOW.

These folks know that as soon as you change the channel, you're going to forget about their product. So they make it very urgent that you pick up the phone and call them now or visit their website and order. They usually say something like "If you call in the next 10 minutes you also get..." and they list a few great bonuses.

This isn't just specific to TV. Everyone would rather put off ANY decision these days, we're all so busy and overwhelmed! So you need to give people a good REASON to act now, whether it's a discount that expires, a payment plan that expires, a limited number of products or seats, a special bonus... you get the idea.

6. They sell on continuity.

What's "continuity"? <a href="http://www.ezinequeen.com/">online newsletter</a> it's when you make ONE sale that results in multiple charges over and over. For example, because my friends have been raving about I.D. Bare Minerals natural makeup, I recently ordered a kit from their infomercial. Now, every 2 months, I receive a fresh supply in the mail, and my card is charged again. I love it because I don't have to remember to reorder. They love it because they only had to make ONE sale, and how they've got me as a customer forever until I cancel!

Hear me now... continuity will change your life! Consider how you can use this principle in your business. Could you convert some of your current offerings into a monthly membership? Or instead of doing one-shot teleseminars, create an ongoing monthly program? (I did this with my Marketing & Motivation Mastermind.)

7. They repeat themselves. And repeat themselves.

And repeat themselves again! Smart marketers know it takes an average of 9 TIMES for someone to see/hear your message BEFORE they will even consider purchasing! That goes for you too. So many of my clients complain that advertising doesn't work when they only ran one ad ONCE. Or published ONE newsletter and it didn't get them results.

Remember it's the ongoing exposure and repetition that breeds familiarity and trust with your prospects! And that leads to more sales than you've ever imagined.

 

Paid Tv – Buying Media Online – The Good Virus That Can Help Spread A Marketing Campaign

The internet is providing paid TV-like advertising opportunities. Most of the companies that are buying paid TV-like advertising online are buying in blocks of a three month period. Many companies are analyzing how the benefits of this type of advertising have an added advantage in reaching, as well as tracking, a wider audience. There is no doubt that most are more than satisfied with the results.

The diversification of paid TV-like internet advertising not only includes ...

tv shows

The internet is providing paid TV-like advertising opportunities. Most of the companies that are buying paid TV-like advertising online are buying in blocks of a three month period. Many companies are analyzing how the benefits of this type of advertising have an added advantage in reaching, as well as tracking, a wider audience. There is no doubt that most are more than satisfied with the results.

The diversification of paid TV-like internet advertising not only includes banner advertising, but e-mail newsletters, ads that are targeted by the web page content, text ads, and regional ads (which include direct targeting of a company’s marketing territories, i.e. cities, states). This blitz of advertising effect when done at the same time creates a buzz effect that exponentially increases the marketing effect.

Companies that are buying paid TV-like online advertising do not have the hassle of negotiating with search engine companies if they opt to use an agency that will provide that service for them. It becomes the advertisers’ job to negotiate the best placement of the client’s ads. It is also the responsibility of the advertiser to provide their client with projected visitor counts.

There are so many nuts and bolts that comprise the area of paid TV-like online advertising that it is best to contract with an advertising service because of their expertise.

There are advantages to buying online media advertising rather than traditional television ads. Because of the popularity of chat rooms, e-mail, and every day web searching, the internet has the capability of reaching a very wide audience that is performing more than one function at a time, unlike traditional TV viewing. The ability for an advertisement to appear while the user is performing other internet functions is a vastly different marketing technique in comparison to interruptive television commercials.

Online media advertising has increased sales as well as branding awareness.

Some paid TV online marketing companies have options whereby their client can place ads in exchange for a percentage of any sales resulting from the advertising. This feature is a selling point that traditional paid TV ads do not offer. With this offer, clients can save money and yet be effectively reaching out to the masses.

Companies offering search engine marketing as part of online media buying also handle the aspect of creating and optimizing their clients meta tags and manage their clients “cost per click” marketing campaigns. In addition, some companies are offering blogging as part of an online media campaign. Nowadays, with the advent of social bookmarking, companies have also started to offer social bookmarking services as part of the total marketing package to their clients.

Key Advantages of Paid TV Online Media Buying

The companies that sell the marketing of online advertising have the advantage of tracking the information gathered as a result of internet user behavior. Ad agencies deliver a marketing analysis as well as any recommendations with regards to any changes needed in an online marketing strategy. It is also easy to swap outads, unlike TV advertising takes considerable production time.

 

A Marketing Lesson From TV's The Apprentice

What happens when smart business people try to be too creative with their advertising and marketing? They often lose sight of exactly what they're trying to accomplish. Yes you can be too creative for your business' good.

marketing, advertising

Advertising and marketing are creative disciplines. That's one reason I love being a part of the marketing industry. Finding creative solutions to help clients sell their products and services is a fun way to make a living. Having said that, I must also say that too often I see marketers going too far.

In my opinion it is certainly possible to be too creative for your own good. What exactly do I mean by that? Let me share a very public example to explain.

My example comes from the reality television show, "The Apprentice." Okay, so I admit it, I LOVE that show. I'm not much of a reality TV fan, but there's something about watching these teams compete on business challenges week in and week out that intrigues and entertains me.

Quite often they are given marketing-related tasks on the show. Let’s face it, marketing is one of THE most important jobs you’ll ever have in business. If you can do it well, your business will more than likely do well. If you can’t market well, your business is in trouble.

In a recent episode of “The Apprentice” the task was to create a TV commercial for Dove Body Wash. The teams were instructed to come up with an "out of the box" 30-second spot to promote the product. The result?

Both teams created garbage! I guess some may argue they certainly did think "out of the box," and both teams tried to justify that's what they did, but in the end, they failed miserably at their number one task: to sell the product!

And that's what I think happens to many marketers who try to be too creative. They lose sight of the fact their job is to sell a product or service. To do that effectively, your marketing has to be one word: relevant.

You can be as clever or creative as you want, but in the end if your marketing is not relevant to the product and to those who are most likely to buy it, you have failed.

Look, I realize we have to be creative to capture our audience's attention. After all we are trying to cut through a sea of marketing clutter. I just wish more marketers tried harder to connect with their audience vs. simply entertain them.

Heck, I sometimes wonder if marketers even know who their audience is. This definitely came into play in The Apprentice with both teams showing men using Dove Body Wash in their commercials. C'mon, it doesn't take a lot of sense to recognize this product is for women! But because they were so focused on being clever, they lost sight of this very basic fact.

If I can leave you with one thought it is this: Identify and know your audience and then aim to connect with them and jump into the conversation they are already having in their head about your product or service.

If you can do this, you will be effective in capturing their attention, AND selling your product or service.

© Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa, 10stepmarketing




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