Posts Tagged ‘ronald pearlstein’

DRTV Media Buyer – Remnant TV Media

June 22, 2013

Direct Response Television, Direct Response Media, Direct Response Radio – these are all forms of DR Media and they represent a remnant media buy. In the vast world of TV Media Buying, most national TV media is sold quarter by quarter to large branded advertisers in what is called the upfront buy. Negotiations for 4th quarter 2013 are underway as we publish this post. After the upfront, advertisers make what is called “scatter buys.” TV networks save some air time for advertisers to jump in and pay even higher rates than the upfront buys, which guarantee a CPM and CPP. What is left is then sent to the network DRTV departments to sell on a week to week basis based on supply and demand. So you see – all DRTV is remnant – but at what cost?

A smart media buyer knows value and seeks soft spots in the TV media markets in order to find –pardon the expression – cheap TV Media. Whether you track cost per call (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) or cost per order (CPO) – I can tell you from experience DRTV works with undervalued and unrated media for the most part. A savvy media buyer knows where to find national high profile cable media at low, low prices. For example, we are currently buying top tier cable networks for as low as $5 per spot in as many as 30 million households.

How do we do it? Well, after 38 years in the media business and 21 years in the DRTV media business – we’ve got a “secret sauce” and a vast network of relationships and insider info.

Thanks for following Ron Perlstein’s DRTV Media Blog.

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Ron Perlstein-DRTV Short Form TV Lead Generation

December 1, 2012

Direct Response TV can make the telephone ring and many campaigns can be driven by Per Inquiry TV or Pay for Performance marketing. Nowadays all the buzz is about integrated campaigns. That means that you need a TV campaign, a print campaign, a pay per click campaign, an email marketing campaign, a social media campaign, a radio campaign, and a direct mail campaign. Even our deep pocketed clients like Wamsutta, Rubbermaid and Emerson don’t start like that!

Today, I want to talk about TV Lead Generation and especially leads that are driven by live calls. In the old days, calls from toll free numbers drove the TV Infomercial industry. In the early 1990’s, marketers started putting up URL’s and micro sites for online sales. As these online sales grew, DRTV driven integrated campaigns were born. Micro landing pages, newsletters, updates and email marketing all followed as “components” of an integrated campaign. How can a marketer afford all of that?

Now it’s 2012 and the fragmentation of media is greater than ever. But I want to tell you that TV still works, and it can work as a standalone campaign. However, to gain the accountability that we need to track media, using only a toll free number can have a great impact on your media costs, tracking, and customer acquisition. We seeing this trend back to toll free only gain steam, even on expensive long form infomercial products.

Many categories can use inexpensive short form DRTV with stock footage to drive live calls or leads. We currently have several clients using :30 second and :60 second spots with a toll free number only. For one client we drive calls through our Advanced IVR Tracking system to their in house call center. They pay only for 60 second calls. Another client uses a 2 step system in which we gather a name, address, and telephone to send sales materials and have a consultant follow up. Sounds old fashioned, I know – but the results and conversions are high.

Here are just a few of the many categories that work well with lead generating short form DRTV:
– Foreclosure defense
– Debt management
– Insurance
– Legal
– Seniors
– Education
– Diabetic and medical supplies
– Social Security Disability
– Invention marketing
– Tax resolution
Think about it. A web search allows all of your competitors to buy your brand and key words and the customer is directed to anything but your offer. With classic direct response lead generation, your customer is more exclusive, focused and interested in your offer.

Direct Response TV Update – Response Expo

June 9, 2012

Response Expo 2012 brought together the top Direct Response TV professionals, Infomercial Producers and TV Media giants all at one great trade conference. InfoWorx Direct has attended every one of these since they started 6 years ago. We sponsored the Inventor’s Pavilion and I moderated a blue ribbon panel of Direct Response and DR marketing geniuses. I want to thank my great friends John Yarrington, who runs the Response Expo and Jenny Lawlor, who works with Inventor’s full time.

We met with Comcast, MTV, DirecTV, Turner Broadcasting, ESPN, Bounce and others to solidify those all-important media relationships and, of course, attended lots of cocktail parties at the Hard Rock and the Hilton Bayfront. It was phenomenal to see some of my dearest friends and colleagues and competitors – I love the Direct Response industry!

Each year, I try to help inventor and product developers learn more about what it takes to sell a product on TV and roll it out. Last year, I gave a DRTV 101 presentation that covered the basics. This year, 2012, I wanted to put together a blue ribbon panel of DRTV superheroes and have each of them explain an aspect of Direct Response Television marketing. BJ Fazielli of BJ Global Direct explained cost of goods and overseas sourcing. Al Diem, of Hampton Direct, explained licensing deals and royalties, Doug Frankel, of Broadcast Communications Media, explained media metrics and testing philosophies and Manish Israni, of Telebrands, spoke about the Telebrands product evaluation process and how inventors should pitch their products effectively. I asked some tough questions of the panel because I promised the audience high level information that they could not get anywhere else.

Here are five trends and tips learned from Response Expo 2012:

1. TV still reaches a mass audience and can target specific niches in a way that no other medium does. For any type of full roll out – marketers need TV.

2. Media rates have remained fairly flat, but the economy seems to be doing a little better.

3. Great DR marketers are working on new tracking and metric models as TV drives consumers to traditional inbound telemarketing as well as web, mobile and home shopping. New methods are being developed to track the web sales generated by TV. Traditional MER metrics just calculated from telephone calls do not give the full picture.

4. Hispanic DRTV marketing requires a specialist and many Hispanic homes still speak Spanish at home to preserve the culture even though they speak good English.

5. Celebrities can help – but they must be right for the product and must love the product.

Please check out my DRTV Media blog here for the latest news, updates and trends in the wacky, wonderful world of Infomercials and Direct Response.

Ron Perlstein – International Home + Housewares Show 2012 Update

March 11, 2012

Ron Perlstein Infomercial ProducerInfomercials in 2012, especially short form infomercials or DRTV commercials are increasingly driven by the retail backend. Annually, I am invited to participate on a blue ribbon panel of DRTV experts and Infomercial gurus each year at The International Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Our panel included Gary Sullivan, Scott Hynd, Jon LaClare, Jeff Frankel and myself – all very experienced at evaluating products and helping inventors and product developers evolve their products and pitches. Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank also appeared. This year, we saw about two dozen new products, many of which were viable, but only a few had all of the attributes necessary for As Seen on TV Success. Remember, for DRTV, we look for products that solve a problem, are new and innovative, have a 5 to 1 markup ratio, and can fit on the shelf space afforded in an As Seen on TV department.

The International Home + Housewares Show is the world’s largest homegoods event with 60000 professional attendees and 2000 exhibitors – from over 35 countries. This year the added plus was the weather which was Spring like here in normally windy, chilly Chicago.

We saw many innovative products, and my message to many of the inventors was that the offer is King, and you must develop a robust upsell stream to increase revenue from direct sales to make TV viable. Having a great product is not enough, if you expect to generate enough revenue to keep a direct response TV campaign going.

To learn more about the metrics involved with DRTV and the wacky, wonderful world of Infomercials, click here for a primer on allowable cost per order.

If you are interested in production costs, media planning and turnkey campaign management services click here.

 

Ron Perlstein’s Infomercial Update

March 19, 2011

I, Ronald Perlstein, love the wacky, wonderful world of infomercials and direct response TV!!  For nearly 20 years, I have enjoyed every minute, every production, every media buy and every client.  And when we achieve hit status – WOW!

But how is 2011 shaping up?  Direct response media rates are firming up, and InfoWorx Direct has continued to innovate.  Now, InfoWorx Direct can offer research for all 210 DMA’s in the USA.  What can we discover? 

Which markets have the demographics you seek by age, sex or income?

How has the ethnic landscape changed since 2010?

What market is the best for families with children, early adopters, or over 200 lifestyle indexes?

We have the latest demographics on age, sex, household income, psychographics, lifestyle indexes and more.  Pick any market and InfoWorx Direct can place your media buys.  We offer all 44 local Comcast cable markets and all Cox Cable markets for local cable buys at the lowest rates and best service. 

In 2011, you must have the latest data to be successful with “The Science of Direct Response”.

Ron Perlstein’s Rules for Infomercial Success

September 16, 2010

Direct Response Television success, Infomercial Success or DR Radio success does not always come that easy. I’ve developed seven easy rules after 18 years running InfoWorx, producing infomercials, and placing millions in media buys.

1. Make practical and rational not emotional decisions. DRTV offers immediate empirical information regarding your offer. Base your decisions on facts, not theories.

2. Be scientific, use the numbers. But the numbers must be handled and interpreted by an expert who has the experience to understand what the numbers are telling you.

3. DRTV Success Test: Is the phone ringing? You should know from day one if your program has life.

4. Frequency is the benefit of success, not the key to success. A top direct response and infomercial agency can push out a successful offer for all of it’s value and prevent you from throwing good money after bad. Media tests are just that — tests to discover what works and what does not.

5. Your offer is King. Great product, weak offer, no calls.

6. Use traditional Direct Response techniques. Branding is a side effect of great direct response campaigns, not the other way around. A great DRTV and infomercial company will buy to your allowable cost per order and generate direct sales and leads. Brand awareness will result from DRTV success.

7. Infomercials and Direct Response TV are a science. Stay with your winners and cut your losers immediately. At InfoWorx we use research to target your best customers, media buying power to get your offer in front of millions, and 18 years experience turning response into revenue.

TV Infomercial Budgets

October 26, 2009

What is the cost of an infomercial? How much does it cost for TV infomercial production? Are long form infomercials more expensive than short form infomercials? These questions — and others about the cost of TV infomercial media and airtime come into our offices every day. This blog is for you — to answer your questions and help you understand the wacky, wonderful world of TV infomercials — our world!

Let’s start with question number one: What is the cost of an infomercial? First of all, as you may know, there are two basic formats: short form infomercials and long form infomercials. Short form is comprised of commercial lengths of two minutes or less. Long form is generally considered the thirty minute format (actually 28:30 minutes, but there is now some nationwide media distribution for five minute infomercials too. So what is the cost of an infomercial? TV infomercial budgets start with a TV production budget. This cost is a one time fixed cost, and it needs to amortized over the life of the project. Short form budgets can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more then $50,000.00 depending on the scope of the production. Long form infomercial costs also run in a wide range of budgets. Talk show formats cost about $20,000.00 and up, demonstration shows usually cost around $50,000.00 to $100.000.00. Again, think production values — or in movie language big action movie budgets verses low budget indie films.

The largest portion of a TV infomercial budget is the media budget. And you may be surprised to learn that long form infomercial media is cheaper than highly targeted CPM short form airtime. Check out our other blog for ongoing discussions about TV and radio media costs, clearance issues, and the latest trends. We recommend testing your offer on national and regional cable with test budgets of at least $5000.00 per week. Remember, repetition is very important in all forms of television advertising, so you must stay on the air to build momentum. Check back here frequently for more information on TV infomercial budgets.

Ron Perlstein – Infomercial Producer

December 18, 2008

You know….when I started in this business (1992) an infomercial was a half hour program that combined information and a sales message for a product.   Back in the day, no one called a direct response commercial an “infomercial.”  Nowadays, the term is thrown around willy nilly for just about any advertising that makes a direct pitch to the consumer.  Having explained this business to thousands of marketers, product developers and inventors, it’s clear that everyone is looking for the cheapest, fastest and best way to launch a new product and bring it to market.

The classic infomercial, a half hour program that informs, entertains and sells is still the best format to achieve faster, cheaper, better.  Especially if you are reaching out to baby boomer and older audiences. Yes, it’s true that my son’s generation (he’s 22) uses the Internet and mobile devices for information.  But us old folks who have been brought up with Ozzie and Harriett, The Fonz, or even Seinfeld still love to watch TV for entertainment, information, and shopping from home.

There’s much power in the half hour and we can produce shows for as little as $30,000.00.  Airtime for half hours can be as lttle as $10.00, so the idea that half hour infomercials cost more then short form direct response commercials is not correct.  There are usually several long form infomercials airing with great success in a talk show format.  Why? Because viewers stop to listen to information that interests them.

Check back to blog frequently and I’ll give you many more insights into how to make the most with little or low budgets.

Ron Perlstein Buys Cheap Media

December 12, 2008

It’s Economics 101….supply verses demand.  Recessions create cheap media opportunites for smart, savvy media buyers.  And new technology has brought many many ad auction platforms: Google TV, Radio and Print, SpotXchange, and several others for online video ads.

Cheap media means that products that are driven by an allowable cost per order can produce better results in a recession then in a boom. There are more per inquiry opportunities, remnant media, and syndication fire sales.  You can drive a truck through the available media after December 22, 2208.

If you have a product ready to launch, if your product is inexpensive and meets the needs of the recession weary public, then there is an opportunity now like we have not seen since 9-11-01.  By the way, direct response and infomercials had a fantastic run in late 2001 and 2002.