Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 26

CARMD MAKES A DR DIAGNOSIS

in other media outlets, which led to a half-million hits on the CarMD website during its debut month. Three months later, the product earned a high rating in PC Word magazine. “People are very interested in their cars. Cars are typically the second largest purchase most people make in their lifetime,” says Jacobsen. “PR has always been quite successful for us.” In 2007-2008, CarMD added home shopping to its marketing strategy by appearing on HSN. The product did very well on the network, and that got the company thinking about DRTV. In fact, CarMD is the longest running product on HSN. “It was sort of the final indicator for moving into DRTV, and because our product is highly demonstrable, it has done well on television,” says Jacobsen. The only problem was the company had never dabbled in DRTV, nor had Jacobsen. CarMD CEO Chen then asked his vice president to do a bit of due diligence on putting an infomercial together. A chemical engineer by trade, Jacobsen began doing extensive research on the direct response television market. “I don’t think there’s anybody on the face of the planet who’s watched more infomercials than I have,” he laughs. Jacobsen soon realized that if he really wanted to learn about DR, he would need to talk to someone who knew firsthand what it was like to market through the medium and who ran a successful campaign. That person turned out to be Art Wing, CEO of Little Giant Ladder. Jacobsen figured that if he called the company and asked to speak directly to Wing that he would be given the runaround – as it turned out, just the opposite. “I was on hold for five minutes and then he picked up the phone. The first time we spoke for 45 minutes and then an hour-and-a-half the second time,” recalls Jacobsen. He adds that Wing mentored him, guiding Jacobsen on the intricacies of the DR business and sharing his own experiences marketing his own products and building a brand. Jacobsen credits Wing along with other thought leaders who have also offered their support and 26

Former Miss Utah Keri Hatfield and Chris Jacobs, co-host of TLC’s Overhaulin’, in a CarMD infomercial.

guidance. “We’ve learned a lot from our peers within the industry. It’s been quite humbling,” he admits.

Stepping into DRTV Territory
CarMD rolled out its first long-form show in 2009. Jacobsen says the only way to truly comprehend DR was to be fully immersed in it, especially with the creative process. That meant making sure that the creative thoroughly educated consumers on the product and effectively communicated the value propositions. He says putting together the DRTV campaign has been a labor of love, but very hard work. “We put together a 28-and-a-half-minute infomercial, yet I can’t imagine what a feature film is like. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those people,” Jacobsen says. One of the most important lessons he’s learned is how an infomercial impacts every aspect of the business – from offline marketing to online marketing to fulfillment and shipping. It cuts across everything you do, he says. In November 2010, Jacobsen says he knew CarMD DR campaign was a hit. “That was when I really started to see the numbers moving in the right direction. We had a core of network stations that were performing and things really took off,” he explains. Overseeing the entire DR operations, Jacobsen must wear many hats. “I feel a lot of responsibility to make sure

that everything in my power is done to manage the campaign properly,” he says. That includes carefully monitoring the media. “Buying media is like one equation with seven unknowns. There are so many things that go into whether a particular media airing is going to do well for you or not.” He adds that you simply need to stay abreast of the various aspects that can impact the campaign.

Building on Other Marketing Channels
To date, 55 percent of CarMD sales come from television, while online makes up 40 percent and radio 5 percent of product sales. In addition to selling directly through its own website, CarMD sells online through a whole network of affiliates, including HSN, QVC, Amazon and Value Twist. Amazon is its second largest e-retailer just behind its own site. The company devotes a significant amount of marketing dollars to a search campaign, focusing on branded keywords. Jacobsen says his team also concentrates on remarketing efforts. “When some people search on the CarMD site and don’t purchase for whatever reason, we try to present them with creative again,” he explains. “Our research tells us that roughly 30 percent of the population watch infomercials, which means you’re not

electronicRETAILER | March 2012



Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Chasing Shadows in Mobile Retail
Calendar of Events
Industry Reports
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Selling in a Fragmented World
Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Advertiser Index
Bulletin Board
Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 7
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 8
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 10
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 12
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - eMarketer Research
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 19
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Selling in a Fragmented World
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 31
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 33
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 37
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 38
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 39
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 40
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Bulletin Board
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 46
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com