The software industry has much to learn from mass marketing techniques used to great effect in the infomercial industry. There are lots of reasons that TV infomercials work. To find out what these unexpectedly powerful and seemingly trivial reasons are, read on.
Infomercials are simple, entertaining and educational. The visual product demonstrations are compelling and sometimes extreme. The presenters are charismatic and they answer all questions, objections and concerns in interesting and entertaining ways.
Infomercials advertise a single, simple product that’s priced perfectly. The product is explained and demonstrated in ways that are instant and easy for anyone aged 7 to 77 years old to understand. The price is low to encourage an easy impulse buy, and the presenters hammer you with dozens, even hundreds of powerful benefits and features that make you think about what is would be like to buy the product through the infomercial – even if just for kicks, novelty or entertainment.
MARK IT UP
Infomercial products are always priced at 5X markup (or more) with an 80% (or more) profit margin. Sometimes, they try to get you with a ‘backend’ or ‘continuity’ program which is a fancy way of saying recurring purchases. How many software products are marketed and sold as simply and effectively as infomercial products – even if the infomercials are sometimes cheesy and seedy? Yes, software products (especially B2B) can be much more complicated that BluBlocker sunglasses. However, The marketing, selling and demonstration techniques shows in infomercials can be used by anyone for any product – with enough creativity and imagination.
Infomercial producers and entrepreneurs have exact formulas and checklists they use for vetting product concepts - for brainstorming, researching, test marketing and developing products that sell. Software developers and designers would be well advised to study the infomercial industry’s formulas and checklists for developing and marketing successful product that sell. After all, what industry has been more successful in marketing and selling products to the masses to the tune of hundreds of billions per year in revenue?
The direct response industry (including infomercials) was one of few industries that grew even during the recession. It’s worth hundreds of billions of dollars for really good reasons. Why not find out which parts are applicable to what you do, and learn to ball hard like them?
THINK INFOMERCIAL STYLE
I suggest software developers, designers, marketers and entrepreneurs think ‘infomercial style’ from the beginning – even if you never plan to actually by airtime and broadcast your 2 minute infomercial. It forces you to simplify, simplify, simplify, simplify, simplify. There aren’t many marketing and selling exercises more informative, interesting, fun and valuable than writing a script for a 2 minute infomercial for your product idea. Going through this process will help you to understand the nature of your product better. The process will also help you to learn the exact words and phrases that echo its benefits in precise and powerful ways that persuade people to part with their hard-earned money to make a purchase.
I’m not literally suggesting you buy airtime and air an infomercial, for the record. The exercise of writing a script for a 2 minute infomercial is more about getting into a new way of thinking. Writing the script will help you with: simplifying your product concept, pricing it right and discovering which benefit and feature wordings resonate most to persuade people to sign up, opt in or purchase.
You will need to conduct some test marketing experiments for your product anyway – potentially using Google Adwords. You will certainly be talking to and interviewing potential customers to find out what they need/want/desire, and what resonates. What I’m about to share with you might be a bit unexpected. Here it is.
WRITE A 1 PAGE AD
Why not take 30-60 minutes to write a 1 page direct response print advertisement for your product. Doing this will force you to deeply understand your product and your customers. It’s the process of sifting through hundreds of benefits, features and emotional triggers that will give you all the marketing and selling ammunition you need to address questions and concerns and overcome objections. Joe Sugarman, one of the world’s leading copywriters and product marketers recommends writing a 1 page direct response magazine advertisement as the first step when vetting product concepts. You would be well advised to do the same.
Developers, designers, and marketers of software products could learn a lot about researching, brainstorming, vetting, marketing and developing products that sell by studying the infomercial and direct-response industries. By taking the proven insights, formulas and checklists that work in one industry and applying them to marketing your software products you’re bound to come up with better product concepts, and better ways to sell and market your products. Better selling equals more revenue. More revenue equals more profits. And more profits equal success and a thriving business.
Therefore, you should study the most successful marketers of all time – the infomercial and direct-response industries.
Reach out right now by email and I’d be glad to discuss your product concept and ideas: dan [at] tinylever [dot] com