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Infomercials: Impact on Companies and Business Strategies

Infomercial companies have revolutionized the face of marketing and advertising.   Not only do they advertise the product, service or company, they also provide the public with an interactive community of consumers who testify to the product's or service's benefits.  Infomercials are information based commercials which provide the public with detailed information about a product or service.  As against the 10 -20 seconds advertisements that flood the media, or the pictorial presentations of products, an infomercial is a two way or interactive tie between supplier and consumer.

Recent studies have shown how infomercials can help grow a business. They are a boost to a company's profits in a time span faster than mere advertising.    Some of the benefits of infomercials to a business are noted below.

Strategic Planning and Returns:

Infomercials are not 10 second advertisements that get the attention of the viewer or consumer for a short span of time and then lost in the hoards of other visual distractions.  It ranges from 5 minutes to 60 minutes of detailed presentations.  It is strategically planned so as to provide the consumer with in-depth information about the product or service and presented in such a way that this information is enforced and reinforced into the thought process of the consumer.   Market studies have shown that an information-based commercial is more productive as the consumer is better able to trust results they can see as opposed to an advertisement by the same company.

Direct Marketing:

Infomercials are a method of direct marketing.   In most cases, since the middlemen like wholesaler and retailer are not involved, this does away with logistics costs (from manufacturer to retailer).  There is no expense for 'Shipping and Handling' of bulk quantities of the product from manufacturer to retailer via wholesaler and then to consumer from the retailer in addition to the wholesaler and retailer profits.   When such costs are cut down, the manufacturer is able to provide huge discounts to the consumer.  Prices often displayed are the Maximum Retail Price (should it be transported via a retailer) and the Discounted Price.  The company doesn't stand to lose profits as 'Shipping and Handling' from manufacturer to consumer, and manufacturing prices are already a part of the Cost Price.  However, to a consumer, there is a huge slash in prices which makes it attractive and comparatively affordable.   Lower prices means more customers.  More customers results in more sales.  More sales translate to more profits for a business.

A Directory of Consumers / Customers:

Some of the main features that makes a consumer connect with the Infomercial are the discounted prices and the guarantee that the company offers.  In most cases, infomercials provide the consumer with a full money-back guarantee.  For example, in the Guthy Renker infomercial of Proactive, the consumer may return a half or empty bottle of the product with a full money-back guarantee should the consumer be dis-satisfied with the product.  Customers are willing to take this risk as it offers a win-win situation for them.   Satisfied customers return for more of the product thereby becoming the backbone of the company.  It is upon these regular customers that the business progresses.

Testimonials:

Satisfied customers are welcomed to give in their feedback about the product or service.   Prospective customers on seeing or hearing about positive results from ordinary men and women just like them are more convinced of a product and hence has a tendency to get involved with the company.  Frequent episodes of the infomercial make a viewer convinced that the product works and hence a prospective bond develops.  Hence, in this case the business stands to gain from involvement of customers to help promote their products.

It isn't difficult to understand how infomercials can help grow a business.  There is a psychological pattern at play here and one that is interconnected with both - sale and profit, use and benefit.   It is a cyclic process where the business is dependent on the consumer and the consumer is dependent on the business.  Well researched and in-depth infomercials help gain and keep happy customers which in turn sustain the on-going operations of the business, making it thrive. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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