Global Perspective: Less Is More ... More or Less?1 Sep, 2009 By: Marty Moosavi, John Parkin Response
After 20 years of traveling back and forth across the pond and swimming in the sea of DRTV, my long time business partner and friend Morty Moosavi and I have come to realize that one of America's truisms is, in fact, the necessary tool to facilitate success: "Anyone can be a Monday morning quarterback."
In Britspeak, we say: "Anyone can back the 4 p.m. winner at the track at 4:15 p.m."
In essence, these statements suggest that hindsight is the only precise science.
Why don't people use this concept to further their goals? If we look at what worked in the past, how it worked and — more importantly — why it worked, it gives us the best frame of reference possible to determine how to ensure we get it right again ... right now.
What lessons from the past can be used to structure our methodology moving forward? In the golden days, when Moosavi and I were heavily involved in DRTV product programming, the rule of thumb was always, "Give them as much as possible for as much as you can get." Product offers always included a series of bonuses —"But wait, there's more! And wait a bit more because there's even more to come!"
A single item had to have at least three bonus items to tempt the viewer to call. Alas, as history has shown, every era (no pun intended) has its day. Consumers now are much more savvy and targeted audiences more in tune with the infomercial idiosyncrasies of years gone by.
Programs now need to offer less volume and more essence — quality more than quantity. This formula applies across the board. This past May's Response Expo in San Diego proved my point — less sizzle, more steak — with affordable all-inclusive passes that gave real value for the money.
In difficult times, getting back to basics isn't the answer. We need to the review the "101" of the past and customize it to meet the needs of the present.
Media costs stateside aren't doing it anymore, but with fixed media costs outside of the United States, there is still a huge window. Pay less for the airtime, and get more airings in a higher number of smaller territories. Bingo! Less is more, more or less.
These international markets are smaller but with better average sales ratios and more territories that add up to the volume — more or less — of what was achievable with one major region.
One final word to the wise: if you have some thing to sell, sell it. Don't give it up or give it away, hoping someone else will sell it for you. Pick your best product, pick the place where it can do best, and pick who can do it for you at that moment. The days of one-size-fits-all DRTV are long gone.
John Parkin is famous for the red bowtie and suspenders he wore when began hosting infomercials in 1989 for the automotive wax product, Auri, which was originally owned by Morty Moosavi. The duo now owns Parkin Moosavi Intl. Ltd., a U.K.-registered company that brokers programming and products in the Middle East. Parkin can be reached at [email protected] . Moosavi can be reached at [email protected] . Visit the company's Web site at http://www.goods4tv.com/.