Whatever happened to K-Tel? Remember the K-Tel Record Holder? (I am presuming that there is still just a couple of you out there who remember Records).
I can remember the excitement when it turned up at my place and I could just flick through all of my David Cassidy and Donny Osmond records. Bliss.
I think it was around the same time as the Recycled Paper Open Fire log maker. I can't remember what it was called but it was basically an oblong shaped plastic contain that you filled with torn up old newspaper, slopped in some water, pressed down hard, and then pushed out a newspaper briquette.
Not sure if K-Tel is around - but the new K-Tel is Danoz Direct, home of all of those wonderful direct-sales campaigns on daytime and Pay TV.
You may have heard the expression - But Wait, There's More?
The original in this space was Tim Shaw who would demonstrate the product and constantly prompt you to "Wait" for "More".
These ads are still hugely popular for a certain style of product - such as the Magic Bullet, Sham Wow, and Magic Cami. The technique is to keep adding more and more stuff onto the initial offer with the aim of making it seem such a great deal at the end of the 90second commercial that it is Irresistible.
I am very comfortable getting a Magic Bullet for less than $30 via one of these formula ads. The ad works - it is a numbers game - and most of the time the product works (At least long enough to make you feel that you got a bargain).
But there are certain products and services that I am not comfortable being "sold" to in this way. Such as anything to do with my business. And anything to do with a purchase over $100 or so.
Direct sales techniques have been around for years. And they are proven. They are more of a science than an art. For example, if you mail a list 3 times with the right offer and the right calls to action, you will get a 70% response.
But - this doesn't mean that you don't still adhere to your branding.
If you are a consultant or a business trainer I would suggest that a lot of the time the Sham Wow style of marketing is not going to position your brand as one that I can trust in the long term.
And if you are charging a good few thousand dollars, I will raise my expectations even higher than those I had for the Swirly Duster. I better be damn convinced that you can deliver before I risk my business to your advice.
The "Steak Knives" style of marketing works fine for....steak knives, or $29.95 record holders, or even a blanket with sleeves.
But I am to be convinced that it can ever work for business services and professional development.
Perhaps the best of both worlds is to accommodate the proven techniques and formula of the best direct sales gurus - with your own distinct branding and style that appeals directly to your target market.
But - hey - you may have another experience?