Have you ever been hypnotized into watching the Shopping network as you scan around to see what’s on TV? I’ll admit it, lately I have been tuning in to learn how they do what they do so well. I become memorized, as they get deeper into their product sales pitch.

I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Harrington known as the architect of the infomercial industry and an investor on the Shark Tank TV show

I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Harrington known as the architect of the infomercial industry and an investor on the Shark Tank TV show

This fascination started earlier this year when I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Harrington, known as the architect of the infomercial industry and one of the first investors on the Shark Tank hit TV show. As the behind the scenes investor and producer of famous infomercials like Ginsu Knives, Tony Little’s fitness products and the Snuggie, Harrington has built a company worth billions.

What really piqued my interest is the statement Kevin Harrington made during his presentation:

“In the old days I went to a few channels and spent millions of dollars. Today, I go to millions of channels and spend a few dollars.”

How can I integrate my knowledge of direct mail marketing with Harrington’s direct response marketing insight to conquer the network economy?

Here’s what I learned about using subliminal integrated direct response promotions to intrigue buyers.

Pull The Mental Trigger To Hit Your Target

Unlike traditional advertising, which focuses on the product, direct response marketing focuses the message on the perspective customer.

Direct mail, TV, and print media are still effective ways to reach consumers using coupons, business reply cards, toll-free numbers and direction to an internet addresses. The network economy has opened new channels using social media and the ability to drill down to target specific niche consumers.

In Harrington’s presentation he explained how he continually grows his business using all the tools of traditional marketing and the network economy.

His advice on marketing your product today:

“ Aggressively use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and email newsletters to advertise products via text, images and video.”

Wheather it’s direct mail advertising, selling on the shopping network or through social media channels, the goal is to fully engage the buyer using mental triggers that influence people to buy. Don’t overwhelm them with information, tell a story and engage people as individuals.

 Engage Prospects Using Packard’s Eight Hidden Persuaders

Appealing to “compelling needs” advertisers subliminally compel us to buy a product

Appealing to “compelling needs” advertisers subliminally compel us to buy a product

Way back in 1957 Vance Packard published his book ‘The Hidden Persuaders’ to explore the ethics of how advertisers and political campaigns manipulate people.

Appealing to one or more of eight “compelling needs” advertisers subliminally compel us to buy a product or support a candidate.

Looking at the shopping network and infomercials of today I can tell you that we are no longer questioning the ethics, we are bombarding consumers with all eight hidden needs to create an emotional connection and to close the deal.

So here are Packard’s eight compelling needs and how they are being applied. Let’s pick a random product category for this exercise, say skin moisturizer made from moon rocks. Keep in mind that you can fill the blank with any product or service and make the offer fit the client.

Packard’s Eight Hidden Needs

HIDDEN NEED ENGAGING CUSTOMER
Emotional Security With moon rock moisture cream you will be happier with your appearance than you have been in years.
Reassurance of worth Your friends won’t believe how good you look and will ask if you had work done!
Ego Gratification Being the first to use this secret formula shows how smart you are to seize this limited supply of moon rock available.
Creative Outlets Smart people like you know that the minerals found on the moon far exceed any known elements on earth.
Love Objects Your face will be kissable smooth and you will attract attention everywhere you go.
Sense of Power Isn’t it time you take charge of your destiny and have the smooth skin nature intended you to have.
Sense of Roots Whatever your skin tone you will have the complexion nature intended, without the stress created by living in the modern world.
Immortality The age-defying properties of moon rock minerals will keep you looking young forever. Supplies of this rare mineral is limited. Order now to stay young forever!

OK, so the example is a little corny, but you can see how an effective infomercial will hit on every hidden need to create an emotional connection.

 Know What Motivates Your Customer

From quick social media ads or messages to long-winded direct mail advertising, effectively telling a story that engages people on an individual basis is the process used in successful direct marketing.

Once you know what motivates your customer try incorporating some of the hidden needs to connect on a one-on-one level with your story. With the low attention span for advertising we have today, connecting with one hidden need at a time may be just the thing to continually engage your base and expand your message.

As Kevin Harrington said, there are millions of channels available for few dollars. Isn’t it time you take charge of your limited marketing budget and really engage the customer. Your next sale is just a click away.

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More