Put simply, infomercials present an informative broadcast introducing a product or service for sale. Product sales are usually conducted at the time of broadcast, so no part of an infomercial is left to chance – they’re carefully crafted, perfectly targeted and scripted with care. This is hard-sell advertising in a soft outer shell, often resulting in phenomenal sales.

They’re unlikely to appeal to your professional tastes. In fact, your marketing muscles may be ready to run, but infomercials are convincing and it’s good to know why.

It’s a methodology

The infomercial model originated in the US but their high-impact methods are now repeated worldwide. Addictively awful, these long-form late-night commercials engage customers’ minds and open their wallets with stunning success. The best thing about infomercials is that their proven methodology is available to all and B2B marketers have much here to learn.

Let’s take a closer look:

Lesson 1. Think in Buyer Personas

Infomercials worked with Buyer Personas long before we reinvented them for B2B. They know that speaking to statistics is not enough; watch a 28-minute infomercial and you’ll know instantly if they’re speaking to you. Almost every Infomercial presents either 3 real (buyer) personas who demonstrate the way the product is used in their life, or shows the many ways a product can be used.

Effective B2B marketing appeals directly to the customer who is likely to buy. Great buyer personas dig deep, identifying a prospect’s specific and detailed situation, tailoring your message so your buyer knows it’s for them.

Lesson 2. Tell a Story

Powerful storytelling melts prospects’ hearts. Infomercials don’t sell features, they tell a story. The viewer is led from problem to solution, stress to relief, failure to success, disappointment to hope. Stories aid recall: information is fleeting but people remember how you make them feel.

Effective B2B marketing doesn’t focus on data, or even the product. It makes a human connection through the telling of tales.

Lesson 3: Impact / Outcome                                            

Infomercials explain outcomes. Again and again, they cut to the chase: better returns, bigger biceps, faster, better, more fun. Lose X kilos in Y number of weeks… demonstrate the measure of your product’s success.

More than ever, purchase decisions are driven by financial considerations and subjected to higher levels of review. Effective B2B marketing calms these concerns. Offer measurable results, focussing on COI (Cost of Inaction) and ROI – outcomes have impact; specificity sells.

Lesson 4: Think in Scenarios

Infomercials create endless scenarios that move products mentally into customers’ lives. Every usage scenario is explained step-by-step and slots the product into stories buyers know and understand.

Effective B2B marketing provides context. (User) scenarios describe an interaction between product and prospect, explaining how your solution will make which difference when.

Lesson 5: Make solid claims

Make non-negotiable claims that are hard to refute – you need a reason why your offering is the only true solution, the one that customers want. Infomercials brazenly brandish claims to uniqueness, announce an identity that no others have. What can you offer that your competition can’t? What makes your offering so unique?

Effective B2B marketing builds winning positions to stand out from the crowd, giving a compelling answer to “Why should I buy from you?”

Lesson 6. Craft your message

Agreed, the sales message is salesy and over the top, but every word of an infomercial is chosen with care. The wording is direct and considered and the sales message straightforward and clear.

An effective B2B marketing message should be thought-through and honed. Make your value proposition clear and unique; persuade your prospects why they need to buy from you, and why to buy now. Keep it short, simple and and memorable – something your prospects will retain and repeat.

Lesson 7. Positioning

Position your product so that cheaper alternatives don’t stand a chance. Infomercials repeatedly and shamelessly highlight the weaknesses of their competition in the light of their own product’s strengths.

Effective B2B marketing places a product at the top of its class. Successful sales messages incorporate a realistic and sustainable statement that differentiates you from the rest.

Lesson 8: Get in their Heads

Infomercials get in buyers heads by presenting their problems and feeling their pain. They catch their attention by reading their minds, then feed them their message on relentless repeat.

Effective B2B marketing shows clients the conversation that’s going on in their head. Hit their hot buttons quickly before their attention moves on, then feed them solutions and ask them to act.

Recognition (they see themselves) and repetition (again and again) are the keys to success.

Lesson 9: Urgency

Infomercials move quickly and sell on the spot. If you don’t order during or just after broadcast then the moment is lost, so they increase the urgency and demand action now.

While it’s rarely so pressing in B2B marketing, a strong call to action will keep prospects on board. It’s time to move your product up their priority list. What are they losing by not buying now – customers, money, productivity, time? Be urgent, feel urgent, ask for action today.

Lesson 10. The Power of authority

“Experts” litter infomercials, placing a stamp of authority on the marketers’ words. People listen to experience, and love to believe letters placed after a name. It’s in our nature to follow, to listen and let others lead.

Effective B2B marketing calls on analysts, “thought leaders” and even customers to allay buyers’ fears. They offer their experience, their influence, their hard-won expertise. It works: there are countless examples of the power of authority to make customers buy.

Believe me, I am an expert in this field.

Don’t think this is for you? Then think again.

You may think that infomercials are pushy and salesy, or tacky and cheap. You may not believe that your product belongs in this world. But don’t let the dressing fool you; these highly successful sales funnels have important lessons to teach. Bringing infomercial insights to your B2B message will attract prospects and persuade them to buy.