Well, we survived it yet again. Another holiday shopping season where “She who lands the best deal wins!” (Personally, the Anthropologie Winter Tag Sale is my favorite; I scored a pair of J Brand boyfriend jeans for $29 the day after Christmas.)
Over the years, it’s become more obvious how retailers desperately lure buyers into spending more money on everything they didn’t buy before Xmas and convince them that they truly need all this stuff. “I’m actually saving us money by going to Nordstrom Rack’s Clear the Rack Sale, honey,” the lady says to her husband on a recent radio commercial I heard on Pandora.
It’s no surprise that this trend in retail is also crossing over to the media, as in television deal segments. Shows like Extra, The Wendy Williams Show, The Real, and even The View are cashing in on deal segments where an attractive and chatty lifestyle expert offers a grouping of fashion, beauty and lifestyle products at a discounted price for a short period of time. It’s kind of like QVC on speed.
While these deals are not only alluring to viewers looking for a good deal, they’re also appealing to entrepreneurs (i.e., your clients) who want to get their brand’s name on television. Just in the last year, I’ve had an increasing number of clients ask me to help get them in on these deals. Sure, being able to say that your scarf collection, jewelry brand or skincare line was on The View may be great for branding, but what your clients may not realize is how these deals truly work. Unless you’ve traversed down this hazy road as a hard working publicist before, you may not exactly know what you’re getting your clients into.
To help paint a clear picture of the world of TV Deal Segments, I asked fellow publicist and deal segment expert Elizabeth Rosenberg from LOFT Marketing & Communications to answer a few questions:
Is there a secret formula to TV Deal Segment success?
The key to being successful at these deal segments is being familiar with the shows/platforms. Watch the shows you want to be on and see what kinds of deals they are featuring and how deep the discount really is. Small to big brands can participate in these deals if they have enough inventory and margins that will allow them to offer customers a deep discount. The minimum for some smaller deal segments is normally 1,500 units across no more than six SKUS of the product. For example, a handbag in one style, but six different color options.
Do not alter your retail price to make a deal work. Placement planners are very savvy researchers. In a matter of minutes they can see you're not telling the truth and won't want to work with you.
What kind of brands work well with TV Deal Segments?
The shows are all looking for the same types of product for deals; handbags, accessories, jewelry, beauty, hair tools, technology, housewares (blankets, pillows, sheets, plates, glassware), etc. Things that really don't work well on deal segments are anything sized (like shoes, rings, etc.), smartphone apps, supplements/vitamins, kids and men’s items (I'm hoping this changes soon!). Also, remember that this is NOT an editorial placement. There is a system to how this works, so when people email me saying that their client has 500 units and can offer 30% off it kills me. It would be like someone pitching a sports story to a fashion reporter. Know the gist of what a deal segment entails before reaching out.
What is the best way for a publicist to help a client attain a TV Deal?
Some shows have internal teams that handle their deal segments and other shows use backend companies like Telewise to handle the logistics. The best advice is to ask around! So many brands have already participated in these deals. Ask those brands whom they've worked with and ask for an introduction.
Bookers and producers are never the right contact!
Once you have a contact, emailing is always best. However, never email and ask for more information without giving some yourself. My biggest pet peeve is a publicist who will email me asking me for more information without telling me who their clients are. I don't want to waste your time and mine if you have clients that are in a space that won't work well in deals.
What can the brand do to help drive sales during the segment?
The first thing is to make sure you're offering the best deal you possibly can and that this deal isn't available anywhere else, even Amazon. Also, every show has different rules regarding social media posts. Most shows won't let you post something until the deal has aired. Check with your contact that set up your deal and see if they have verbiage you can post on your social media networks. Also, while these deals are great for new customer acquisition, don't forget about your loyal fans. Email blast them with the deal as a thank you, this will increase sales and your existing customer will appreciate that you kept them in the loop.
In your opinion, what communication department should be in charge of Deal Segments?
There is a very fine line between whether this is a job for marketing, for sales, or for PR. Because many of these sales are featured on national TV shows, it's important that your publicist is in the loop and can help with messaging as well as push through the importance of this major on-air opportunity with the marketing and sales teams. Sales and marketing often need to get involved to sign off on the backend/logistics of things. For example; what the deal will look like, how many units will be sold, for how much, etc.
What else should publicists know before jumping into attaining a TV Deal Segment for a client?
It's important to remember that while deals are an amazing new opportunity for brands, they aren't for everyone. Companies need the right structure and product to make a deal run seamlessly to truly hit it out of the park. Lastly, beware of companies/individuals out there charging brands an arm and leg for guaranteed placements on these segments. 1) This is still TV and nothing is guaranteed. While deal segments aren't editorial, they still need to be pitched and placed. 2) The more someone charges you, the less of a "deal" a brand can usually make thus making it harder to place.
Have a question for Elizabeth? Email her at: [email protected].
Photo Credit: torbakhopper HE DEAD
E! Photo Credit: Telewise