Station Breaks

So You Wanna Be A TV Star?

Like any other form of advertising, direct-response television (DRTV) does have some drawbacks. Not all products can be successfully advertised through this medium. For this reason, DRTV marketers use the following guidelines to select the most marketable products.

The product should:

  • have the "Aha!" factor--something that makes consumers say "Wow, what a great idea!"
  • be unique, innovative and of good quality;
  • demonstrate well;
  • solve a common problem and be easy to use;
  • appeal to a mass audience;
  • not be currently available to the public; and
  • have an average retail markup of five times its cost--enough of a margin to still make a profit after production and media costs.

And keep the following in mind:

  • You should have at least one prototype of the product to show marketers.
  • If the product is already in production, you should have marketing research data to prove consumer demand for the product.
  • Be prepared to deliver the product to retailers in mass quantities.

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This article was originally published in the September 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Station Breaks.

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