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How To Scale Your Brand Through Direct Response TV Marketing With Rick Cesari of Direct Branding

Rick Cesari

Rick Cesari is the Chief Marketing Officer at Direct Branding, an omnichannel branding and marketing company that uses compelling videos to build brands and generate more sales. Before Direct Branding, he was the Founder, President, and CEO of Cesari Media and Cesari Response Television Inc.

Rick was the first person to use direct response television marketing to build a national brand (Juiceman® Juice Extractor). By applying similar direct response strategies and video marketing, he has been responsible for helping create and market many iconic brands like Sonicare®, Clarisonic, The George Foreman Grill, OxiClean, Rug Doctor, and GoPro.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:31] Rick Cesari shares his thoughts on advertising in today’s world — and how he’s led top brands to success
  • [09:15] What can direct response TV marketing achieve that other channels cannot?
  • [12:32] The difficult lessons Rick learned throughout his career
  • [15:20] Rick’s formula to success that helped Dormeo market themselves
  • [19:46] Rick shares his favorite direct response TV ads
  • [25:40] How Rick helped companies scale to billions of dollars in sales per year
  • [31:22] The attributes that helped Rick find marketing success
  • [33:39] Rick’s advice to the world: take a step back and observe before reacting
  • [36:16] When to start investing in marketing strategies

In this episode…

Technology and advertising platforms have changed over the years, but the way we market to people hasn’t changed much. According to marketing expert Rick Cesari, it’s about understanding basic human psychology, marketing principles, and selling through education.

As someone who helped uplift brands like GoPro and Juiceman®, Rick knows the formula to scale through direct response TV marketing. Running TV ads is more of a shotgun blast approach, but it’s no less effective than it was years ago. Direct response TV marketing can amplify other channels by 20% to 50%. Because of TV marketing’s large-scale awareness and ability to hit all potential demographics, it can elevate your brand and help you build lifetime value.

In this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin sits down with Rick Cesari, Chief Marketing Officer of Direct Branding, to discuss everything you’d want to know about direct response TV marketing. Rick shares why TV marketing is still effective today, the cost of running TV ads, and why it’s important to leverage marketing strategies early on. Rick also talks about how he’s helped leading brands grow and scale!

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts has helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce industry and take an in depth look at the struggles and successes in growing ecommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:23

Hey guys, Josh Chin here and the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top experts and entrepreneurs in the ecommerce Industry and go behind the scenes and the struggles of the struggles and successes in growing a brand I can leave it butchered that. I do that all the time. This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. And if you run a direct to consumer ecommerce brand is ready to scale and to double your customer lifetime value true retention marketing. Chronos is your company, we’ve helped hundreds of brands scale profits with email, SMS and mobile push while getting an average of 30 500% ROI. From our efforts. We’ve worked with brands like truly beauty, the UDI, alias, skin and many more. The next step is email us at sales@chronos.agency or you can go to Chronos.agency to learn more. Today’s guest is a pioneer in the direct response, advertising TV advertising industry since a long time ago, Rick Cesari. Rick, welcome to the show. And Rick, you have been someone that I have kind of studied your work for quite a bit of time without knowing that it was part of your work. Rick has been monumental in the development of iconic brands, such as czuczman Sonicare, the George Foreman grill, Oxy Clean, Go Pro, from a startup to making multi billion dollars in sales, over a billion dollars in sales in just a few short years through TV advertising. Rick is a wizard in TV advertising in direct response marketing. And he is an author of a number of books, which we’ll get into in a little bit. And Rick continues on to be on the cutting edge of their response as platforms evolve. And he has also evolved over the years. And I’m excited to have you on the show and kind of pick your mind, Rick, on the things that have evolved over the years and what you think about its development.

Rick Cesari 2:34

That’s great, Josh, thank you for the great introduction. And I’m really looking forward to the podcast, I just want to share a quick story with your listeners. We actually connected about a month ago and we were supposed to do this podcast and you and I just started talking about the different war stories and clients and case studies. And before we knew it an hour was up. So we had to reschedule this podcast. So I’m glad we’re finally able to do it, because I’m sure there’ll be a lot of great information.

Joshua Chin 3:02

Yes, it also is so much fun. And it’s, you know, what we want, one of the things that I’ve come to realize is that the platform’s have changed significantly over the years. But the the essence of what makes advertising successful, it makes marketing successful, hasn’t changed all that much, because people don’t change all that much over the course of 10 20 30 years. Do you agree with that statement?

Rick Cesari 3:31

I agree. 100%, I thought you were quoting something from one of my books, because I tell people that all the time that you really need to understand basic human psychology, basic direct marketing principles. And then the technology is always going to change it has throughout history, and just to be able to adapt the, you know, the knowledge, direct response marketing, direct to consumer marketing knowledge to the current platforms, where the viewers are, I you know, I also have another thing, which which really, I think is is important in direct to consumer marketing. And I’m a big believer in really being agnostic when it comes to platforms. And I really am a big believer in letting the consumer choose where they want to buy a product now, because people all different people have all different types of shopping habits. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t ramp up a certain platform faster. I just always like to offer the consumer the choice of where they want to buy a product or service or course or whatever you’re selling.

Joshua Chin 4:42

Rick, you took brands like the George Foreman grill Sonicare toothbrush to TV, what was it like to apply some of the some of the ideas and strategies that you’ve tested over the years to a startup like that? Go Pro and taking them from a, I suppose a relatively new New Age type of product to TV from an offline and online channel. What was that like?

Rick Cesari 5:15

Yeah, it’s really interesting because like you said earlier, even though the platform’s have changed, the basic marketing hasn’t and so I’ll just give you a quick, you know, when we start a project like Sonicare, and this is going back the early to mid 90s, to to give people a timeframe. And they were having the problem with Sonicare was $150, toothbrush. And people didn’t understand sonic technology. And they’d go into a store. And they’d be like, Well, why would I buy, buy a toothbrush for $150. So I’ve always been a big believer in what I call selling through education. So educating the consumer about the benefits of a product, the uniqueness of product and what benefits it could deliver to the end user. And once people really understand those things, you’re not really not selling anymore, people are making a decision to buy. And you don’t really have to, quote unquote, sell the people. And so when you talk about it, to answer your question, how something changed from like the early 90s, with Sonicare, to something with GoPro, which we started working with them about, I think 2015 Or so I think that, for me, anyway, with all of the different advent of different platforms and ways to reach the end user, in my opinion, marketing’s people say it got complicated, but I think marketing is actually gotten easier. Because you have more ways to reach your, your, the the end user or the audience. And so I think GoPro was a really great example of the first brand I worked with, that really straddled kind of the old direct response TV with the online and content marketing and YouTube advertising that they were doing. And you know, the one thing and we’ll probably get into this a little bit more as we go along, is when you are able to incorporate a really successful direct response TV advertising program. Still today with all of the people that are purchasing online, it really acts as like a magnifying glass on all of your other marketing channels. So if you’re able to implement this successful direct response TV program, all your other channels will, will rise anywhere from 20 to 50%. Just in the business from running the TV ads. And, and, and probably the biggest difference between if you go back like you know, 25 years ago with Sonicare. And go pro or even current brands, which we can talk about that I’m working with now is we used to launch brands on TV, it was very expensive. It’s not cheap to make a half hour TV or a 62nd TV spot. And and it’s not cheap to buy the TV time. And as opposed to now, if we’re going to launch a new brand, we always do it online. And until we figure out what the consumer is responding to, it’s it’s much easier to reach people much easier to target people, and much easier to find out what what’s motivating them. And then if we can do a successful online launch, then it makes sense, at some point down the road to layer in TV at that point.

Joshua Chin 8:50

Interesting. So the steps, the sequencing of which of which channel go with first has changed.

Rick Cesari 8:58

Yeah, flip flop pretty much.

Joshua Chin 8:59

What What’s the what are some of the things, listen with differences? What are some of the things that you see TV, being able to do that? Channels, like paid social and paid search or in just not able to?

Rick Cesari 9:14

I think you’re able to reach? I’ve always talked about direct response TV, of being more of a shotgun blast. So there’s a group of people that it’s even though it’s, you know, becoming less and less, there’s a certain group of people that you’re only able to reach through TV. And so you’re when you, you know, when you’re running that TV campaign, I think you’re you’re basically hitting all the potential demographics of purchasers, potential purchasers of the product. So then as you’re running this up and you’re getting leads, building your database, you can then remarket to them, target specific, you know, use different online platforms to market specifically to the different segments of people. But TV is really good at creating large scale awareness. And that’s really how we have we’ve used it in the last five years. And two current product projects, which you know, you and I talked about a little earlier. One is a mattress company called Dormeo. And they started out with online marketing and Facebook ads, and and then we made a TV show. And in 18 months, they were able to grow from zero to about 40 million in sales, which is pretty good. I mean, there’s other companies that have grown faster. But that that’s one thing that any day. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Those are good results. And, and it’s actually more now, because it’s been more than 18 months. And so that’s what TV is good at is, is if you do it correctly, and your project product has the right margins. You can rapidly scale a business and you know, every all those different brands you mentioned earlier, are perfect examples of pretty much startup companies new products introduced into the market, but all of them probably went from zero to, you know, 10,000,020 and more very rapidly because of the success of the direct response. TV.

Joshua Chin 11:34

Interesting. And you talked a little bit about the magnifying effect of the amplifier on the other channels that that that we utilize. I think that that’s a really interesting point to think about. When we think of launching brands and finding that fit that product market fit through social channels through online channels, and then amplifying that result with with TV, which, which is a, as you call it a shotgun blast, which I wouldn’t personally agree with. Are there any times in your career where that has backfired? It hasn’t worked out? Any favorite failures they talk about? Yeah.

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