Infomercial media time is not purchased by rating points, lead in, or demographics. It is purchased solely on whether a time slot produces enough orders to pay its media costs and turn a profit. Many infomercial timeslots are not monitored by rating services, or if they are, show virtually no viewship. Many studies within the industry have concretely demonstrated that ratings have absolutely no correlation to the number of orders the timeslot generates. This is completely the opposite way traditional media buyers purchase time.
So, how do we know who’s watching infomercials? The only valid way is to examine the customer base of existing infomercials and find out who these people really are. That is exactly what we’ve done in this landmark study.
Tony Robbins is the author of two best selling books, and the creator of Personal Power, the most successful audiotape program in the country. This self-improvement course consists of 24 audio tapes, a daily diary, reminder cards, and subliminal tapes. The product sells on television for $179.95, and has grossed over $100 million dollars since April, 1989.
During our Spring 1992 infomercial conference Guthy-Renker Corp. in association with Robbins Research, were generous enough to assist us in discovering who their buyers are. We selected 12,162 random names of recent Personal Power customers who purchased the product through the Robbins infomercial. The names were downloaded to National Demographics and Lifestyles, a Denver, Colorado company specializing in database marketing.
NDL matched the Robbins names with their database of 30 million consumers. Their database is compiled from warranty cards and lifestyle questionnaires included in over 100 major consumer manufacturer’s products. The following represents the results. It is the most in-depth study ever compiled on infomercial buyers.
National Demographics & Lifestyles then compared the Personal Power buyer against national averages in the same categories. The following data shows the characteristics of the Personal Power customers that are greater than the national averages.
An infomercial company can utilize this information in multiple ways. They can present additional offers to their customer base in the areas that are of the most interest, for example, real estate would be ideal. They can also target market potential new customers through print publications or television spots that fall within their targeted audience preferences, i.e. home computer users, real estate investors, self improvement or science and technology.
Obviously, different infomercial shows and products will have a completely different customer profile. However, based on these results, one should never underestimate who the infomercial buyer is. i
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)