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7 Things to Know Before Marketing Your Supplements on Radio and TV

Apr 7, 2008
Marketing can be a pretty bewildering subject for supplement makers, especially when it comes to marketing on radio and TV. First of all, should you even test radio or TV to market your supplements? Before answering this question, consider these seven points...

Seven Direct Response Marketing Points for Supplement Companies. Okay, first point:

1. Is your product better suited for a TV commercial or a radio spot? Does it need to be seen to be understood? Supplements are usually in pill, powder, cream or liquid form, things that don't need to be demonstrated to be sold. That being the case, consider using radio, a convincing and affordable way to go.

2. Does your product meet the correct direct response formula? Successful DR products have ratios of 4 or 5-to-1, that's hard cost to retail price. In other words, if you see a product selling for $19.95 the hard cost to the company should be around $4.00. Most supplements have no problem meeting this ratio. Does yours?

3. Can you make the "ultimate" TV or radio offer? Give away a free sample! Most supplements companies, believe it or not, can afford to do that for virtually the price of shipping. Here's an example: If your product's hard cost is $3.00 and the actual shipping is about $2.50, you could give away a free sample for a cost of $5.50 or even more, if necessary.

So if it looks like you can, the question then becomes, why do it? Why give away free samples like the makers of Icy Hot did? Because these are consumable products and when customers use up the free sample, they must order more!

So, it's the revenues generated over the lifetime a customer uses the supplement that makes consumable products so ideal for direct response.

Free samples can be one of your greatest marketing strategies ever. It was this strategy that made Icy Hot so successful. Here is another ratio you need to know.

4. Success in DR is measured by another ratio: the cost of airtime to sales. Generally you're looking for 2-to-1, that is, if you spend $1000 in airtime you're looking for $2000 in sales. Consumable products can make this ratio dynamic because, as I said, you need to take into account all reorders and the "lifetime" purchases of the product your customer will make.

Want an example? You spend $1000 on airtime, did $1000 in sales, and think you broke even. But, as each month passes, re-order after re-order raises that ratio. Some companies even prepare to lose 20% or so, on their initial airings knowing that continuity programs, cross-sells and up-sells will easily make this "expensive" advertising well worth that initial investment down the road.

5. I mentioned up-sells and cross-sells? Not every marketer knows what those terms mean (let alone practices them). Here are examples. Up-sells: You bought product A for $19.95, how about a three-month supply for a heavily discounted $49.95? Cross-sells: If you like product A you may also like product and you can try both at this discounted price.

Direct Mail - Paid For By Your Customer!

6. Package inserts often go wasted at most companies, and here's why: Let's say you're sending an order in a package to your TV or radio-generated customer, why not add in a free sample, an insert, a catalog or a bounce-back, while the shipping & handling is paid for by your customer?

It's ridiculous not to do this. And, since studies show customers are never more prone to buying from you than when they get an order in the mail from you, package inserts can indeed lower the cost of your advertising.

7. As the goal of most supplement companies is to take their product to retail, that's where direct response radio and TV can play a big role. DR advertising not only gives you brand name recognition but also good, hard facts, you'll have your actual advertising costs and the resulting sales figures: two things hard-to-convince buyers need to see.

What does this all boil down to? It boils down to you giving DR radio and TV advertising a good, hard look.
About the Author
Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on publicity for authors for nearly two decades as CEO of Event Management Services, Inc (EMSI). If you would like to receive her free Ebook "How to Be a Great Talk Radio Guest" visit http://www.emsincorporated.com.
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