DIY Powers Through Tough Times1 May, 2009 By: Doug McPherson Response
Direct response continues to build a strong foundation for hardware marketers facing cautious consumers.
DR: Nuts and Bolts of Sales
The folks at SuperWhipper Inc. are hoping DIY spills over into the kitchen. That's because in March, they launched the SuperWhipper, a new kitchen tool that whips, beats, mixes and whisks.
And they're counting on DR to put the new gadget in cooks' hands. Kathrin Zimmermann, communication and customer service manager for SuperWhipper Inc., in Ormond Beach, Fla., says the marketing strategy includes four primary channels: DRTV (a 30-second national spot) and DR print along with trade shows and the Web.
Harry Hensler, chairman and CEO of SuperWhipper Inc., says the company's Web site is taking orders and the site includes a vanity toll-free number — (877) 699-WHIP. Hensler says studies show consumers are more likely to buy from Web sites with a phone number, customer service E-mails and mailing addresses, which instill more confidence.
The Web site also includes a blog for frequent updates and direct interaction with consumers. "Blogs are a quick and effective way to get feedback from customers and it lets others share their experiences with the product," Hensler says.
Last fall, Atomic Direct produced a half-hour show for the Kreg Jig that's now running on cable television. An 8-minute excerpt can be viewed online at www.kregjoint.com.
Harker also blogs and is a big fan of Internet DR. He's also putting more emphasis on his company's site, www.mygriptite.com, and Web marketing.
Harker contends that his site is mostly about convenience. "We're not looking to take traffic away from other sites where our line is sold [Sears.com and Amazon.com, for example]," he says. "It's really a matter of convenience for consumers who want to buy our product — it's an extra service."
The site includes a button to buy, and Harker is also using Google AdWords to drive traffic to the site.
Better Tools & Fasteners is also doing its share of product placement on both radio and TV. The company's toolset gets regular mentions on the Carey Brothers radio show. Better Tools runs a 30-second spot on the show, and there's a link to company's site on the show's Web site.
DRTV, by Itself, is a One-Legged Stool for Hardware
On TV, Harker says the company's products are embedded on a show called Two Guys Garage® , which airs regularly on the Speed Network. The hosts use the product and tell viewers where they can get it. And the show's Web site links to the Grip-Tite™ site. Harker says Web traffic soared to nearly 16,000 hits immediately after the product mention aired.