The time may be ripe to explore DRTV in Latin America (1,243 Wo
Both opportunities come with challenges, but nonetheless can get you to your business goal.
Select a test market in one of the more populated countries such as Argentina, Brazil or Mexico. Listed below are key elements needed to achieve a profitable return.
• Understand issues typical of marketing in any method, in any country and in any language; cultural and ethnic diversity; geography; and consumer demographics and psychographics. Although the region is gifted with a sense of commonality and identity through language, remember that Spanish spoken in Argentina, for instance, is not the same as that spoken in Mexico. (This is similar to the differences between American English and British English.) In the infomercial world this is a critical point, as a show in Mexican Spanish won't have the required response in Argentina to be successful.
• You'll need training in the media landscape of the countries, such as key TV stations, cable and satellite opportunities; the role of third-party negotiators (e.g., reps); federal regulations concerning advertising and infomercials; audience trends; media penetration; viewing share; and much more. Some obstacles are government restrictions that limit the amount of available infomercial airtime. Or you may find yourself combating station skeptics concerned about the effect of 30-minute segments of advertising on their audiences and content. Often, you'll find that better-performing local media contracts have been monopolized by existing local DRTV players.
• Partner with a trusted and competent firm responsible for the operational infrastructure of telemarketing, fulfillment, payment processing and delivery. As telemarketing and fulfillment centers often are sub-par to their American counterparts, this aspect of your business must be monitored with care.
Another major difference between the U.S. and international DRTV markets is the variance in credit card penetration. For example, when Williams Worldwide Television ran local operations in Mexico, our credit card penetration was just 20 percent. As most of our shipments were COD, the business continuously experienced tight cash flow cycles. In addition, sometimes courier services returned damaged goods, or goods didn't reach the end consumer due to theft, and more recently, hijackings.