1. Is it to be, or not to be?
Every marketer loves his new product. And he should,
because that passion is sometimes the only thing he has going for him as he
travels the gauntlet of obstacles standing between him and the marketplace.
Loving your product is great. But sometimes, we love too
You can be too close to your product, too much enamored
with its features, and blind to the cold light of reality.
You may be overlooking a pricing issue, a design flaw,
competitive situations or other factors that the consumer won’t.
An experienced writer can give you that all-important
outsider’s perspective, helping you to come back to reality about your
It takes guts for a writer to put the brakes on a
project, but good ones do it all the time. They have enough offers that they
can pick only the ones with real potential.
2. Identify the heart of your sales message
On your yellow pad, you’ve identified 6 major uses, 14
main benefits, a dozen new features and more to talk about in your product.
But how do you boil it all down into one memorable sentence?
More than anything, this is why you’ve come to a writer
in the first place, to help you say in words what you know in your heart.
Disciplined TV writers can be as good as headline writers at condensing your
message up into one single line. Make sure he does it.
3. Bring in new sales tools and techniques
You’re an expert in your particular industry. But a good DRTV writer has
experience in many.
During my 25 years in advertising, I’ve sold weight loss,
magazine subscriptions, health care, entertainment, you name it. I’ve
learned from the best in each of those different businesses, and picked up
ideas and approaches that often transplant exceedingly well to other kinds
Experienced DRTV veterans have a whole repertoire of
ideas for free samples, attention-getters, objection-overcomers and other
selling devices that may just apply to your product and show in a new and
4. Help you restructure your offer for better results
In a retail store, your product might be offered in a
variety of prices, styles, sizes and configurations. But what do you offer
in your TV?
Again, experience can make a huge difference here. Your
DRTV writer can help you decide on the most appealing way to present your
He can help you decide whether to keep it simple or
complex, make the offer build or hammer home on one vital component, figure
out bonus items, upsells, downsells and future line extensions.
It’s an art, not a science, where instincts and
Shooting on location
5. Help you set the right price point
What’s the best price to try? $19.95? $49.95?
Two payments of 19.95?
A good writer knows his way around an Excel spreadsheet
as well as his word processor. He can show you how to develop a unit cost
analysis and pro-formas that help you zero in on those price points likely
to maximize your DRTV profits.
6. Lay out your show’s format and visual theme
Directors are the darlings of the movie business, and
also of the big-time TV advertising world. Most people think they are the
ones who decide what the film looks like, where it’s shot, and so on.
Despite the director’s big salaries and press, the truth
is a lot less flattering, particularly in DRTV. It’s the writer who usually
decides on the format for the show.
7. Design a show that’s easy to change
In a traditional ad agency, you think in finite terms.
The client sets a budget, the creative guys lock down a script, the
commercial is made and they roll out their ad program. They roll it out,
regardless of how it works (if they are even able to measure how it works.
But DRTV is different. It’s a much more fluid medium,
where changes are the order of the day.
In DRTV, your media plan and even the infomercial itself,
is subject to constant measurement, change, revision and improvement. You
know how you’re doing on a daily basis, and you’re always looking for ways
to tweak and improve your results.