Allstar Takes Inaugural Marketer of the Year Honors1 Oct, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response
Because of this, Boilen's outlook for Allstar — and the direct response business as a whole — is very bullish for the coming year. "Allstar just launched three new products that are already demonstrating excellent traction in the marketplace, and the potential to transition into brands within their respective categories," he says. "We have already begun working on the line extensions and early response from retailers has been excellent."
He's also positive about the types of vertical categories that can see success in direct response in the coming year. "Many categories can thrive, even in a downturn. Providing the consumer an excellent product with a perceived value that exceeds the price it is being sold for is a winning formula in most categories. In particular, we have seen an uptick in the gardening category. Not only do people want to grow their own fruits and vegetables, but the entire aspect of gardening makes people feel good," Boilen says.
And Boilen also believes that, thought the short-form DRTV business has been expanding impressively in recent years, that consumers still respond to both long-form and short-form DRTV products if they are promoted and priced properly. "It depends on the product category, price point and time needed to effectively communicate the product's benefits," he says. "The online, print and radio markets [also] work well for both short-form and long-form DRTV products."
Beachbody Leads Long-Form Marketers
As the lone long-form-centric finalist in the DRMA Marketer of the Year competition, the team at Santa Monica, Calif.-based Product Partners knows it has a special thing going. With more than $350 million in annual revenue, co-founders Jon Congdon (president) and Carl Daikeler (chairman and CEO) have built one of the most profitable DR marketing businesses anywhere during the past decade. "We had three shows simultaneously in the top five of the IMS (Infomercial Monitoring Service) rankings for the first time in our history, and perhaps for the first time in DRTV history," Congdon says about campaigns for P90X, Slim in 6 and Ten Minute Trainer.
The company, which markets many of its products under the successful Beachbody trade name, is focused on "helping people achieve their goals and a healthy, fulfilling life," says Congdon. He points to the power of the Web and how the company has harnessed it to create a thriving online community that, with dynamic word-of-mouth power, has transcended what many thought possible for a direct response marketing company.
"P90X has broken new ground for the company because we don't solicit anyone to use the program, yet we seem to hear about new athletes and celebrities using it every week," he says. "That has created the need to measure word-of-mouth influence on new purchases. P90X, and therefore the Beachbody brand, seem to have finally allowed us to really capitalize on new channels of marketing."
Congdon credits the success of P90X for the recognition of voters in this competition. He says, "We've been lucky enough for the brand to take off, and I think our peers recognize how difficult it is to get a brand to that level when it launches in DRTV."
Though Product Partners' line of products isn't inexpensive, the value they bring to the customer outweighs the cost — another goal of the company. Even in tough economic times, the company set sales records using it's everyday retail pricing. "I firmly believe there will always be a market for products that deliver on their promises, offered by companies that put the customer first," Congdon says.
And while the company has been built on long-form DRTV marketing, the advances made on the Web in recent years have made Congdon and Daikeler believers in a more expansive marketing program. "Neither short- nor long-form is effective as a standalone," Congdon adds. "We believe in multi-channel marketing to reach the widest audience and a synergistic approach to media buying."