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Season 3: "A Taste for Blood: Direct Marketing."

Broadcast dates: Monday 23 March 2009 11:30am & Saturday, 28 March 2009 4:30pm (Originally aired 5 January '09)

There's a lot more to Direct Marketing than "ShamWow", and Ginsu knives, and Veg-O-Matics. In this repeat broadcast of this season's premiere, Terry O'Reilly looks at the changing craft of Direct Marketing- and explains why ad giant David Ogilvy called it his "first love and secret weapon". Terry will track the history of Direct Marketing from Eaton's catalogues to "amazing" TV offers to online banner ads.

Listen to this episode as streaming audio (runs 27:30)


Previous Comments (14)

Jan 12: Heard your direct marketing show a few days ago. Found it very interesting.

Possible subject for future investigation/show: Here in Western Canada, Canada Safeway has a marketing effort called the "Safeway Club". Anyone can join by filling out a form that doesn't require much contact information. Customers don't have to carry the "card" they give you: just give cashier your phone number at end of scanning items (which adds time to everyone's checkout process). Computer calculates which products you bought that are "Club" priced and lowers your total.

Over many years, Safeway has never tried to contact me in any way, nor send me special offers. Their weekly flyers emphasize certain items are "Club-priced". You get no "points" by being a club member. Since they don't link purchases to individual buyers, they get no extra information about what sells in certain stores compared to others...

So, in a way, it's as if they're saying we'll put certain items on sale, but we won't give the sale price to the small number of people who, for one reason or another, won't give us their phone number, which we won't ever use for any purpose.

Why not just say some things are on sale this week? Why does being a "Club Member" make their sales/market share go up? Most other chains out here have some kind of loyalty program, but the customer collects points or something that gets them an extra bonus later on. Not Safeway. Ask them what sense it makes to them.

Syd Portner, January 13, 2009 2:46 AM

Great episode! I'm glad you guys are back and continuing to stream episodes online. Thanks for bringing back the direct marketing world of my Gen X childhood.

I can still picture that knife cutting through a shoe. Now who doesn't need that?

Looking forward to the rest of the season.

Richard M, January 13, 2009 8:09 PM

I have to say, I'm an SEO and deal with online marketing but my wife told me that listening to your show might be interesting for me at work.

She was 100% right.

You've got me hooked - keep up the great work. :) You're lessons resonate in the online marketing world as much as the offline.

Dave Davies, CEO
Beanstalk SEO

Dave Davies, January 16, 2009 1:09 AM

Your direct marketing show reminded me of a visit to the PNE in Vancouver about 20 years ago. The pitchman at the Food Centre was lauding the amazing capabilities of a Ginsu-style knife, slicing, dicing, chopping, and julienning when he slipped into his patter that his assistant was going to complete the demo for the crowd. The reason? From my angle, I could see that he had virtually severed one of his fingers with the knife. He skulked off the stage wrapping what looked like a tourniquet around his hand!

Bravo on the show -- this is "Must-Listen" radio!!

Kevin LeBlanc, January 17, 2009 4:41 PM

Would like to hear a piece by The Age of Persuasion / Terry O'Reilly on the annoying misuse of telemarketers via my home phone and now (apparently with government encouragement) on my cellphone.

I (let me rephrase that..."I") pay for phone service for my convenience, not for a multitude of of calls from desperate marketeers digging for something I refuse to give them.

I just dumped 35 messages from my Telus home phone...I recognized one of the numbers...the rest were from District of Columbia, Virginia, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Toronto, Manitoba (ok...so I know someone in Manitoba), Uraguay, Peru, Alberta, BC, Timbuktu, along with numerous 1-800/1-888/1-877 numbers etc.

I don't answer...I don't respond...I'm not that lonely,

I promise I won't get into the bunk of the national "do not call" list.

Look forward to your response.

Ted Jablonski, February 12, 2009 9:22 PM

Hello Terry
My name is Shawn McGee. I'm a secondard year marketing student at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario.
I just wanted to say that I love this program, I listen to it all the time. I bring up a lot of interesting points at school that you talk about on your show.
I just finished taking a direct marketing course and I found it to be very interesting but hard to understand becuase I think of marketing and advertising in the old style. After listening to this show it has made a lot more sence. Thanks a lot keep up the great work.

Shawn McGee, March 23, 2009 12:06 PM

hello terry ; you have a fantastic voice and i love your show on the radio where else ,its really intelligent and smart and funny and highly educating,and i waite for it every week ,for the first time i saw your picture ,your voice doesn't match your picture .you look gruff and scary in the picture which doesn't match your soft voice!!!! is it really your picture and why don't you smile a bit to soften it.love your show .

koko brazil, March 23, 2009 12:22 PM

Just discovered your show and Im officially hooked. I love marketing but Im taking it right now in college and can't stand it! I would pay good money for you to teach it to me because you get the picture across very well...thank you

Andreas Papadopoulos, March 23, 2009 12:59 PM

Hi Terry and Crew;

I love the show. I get my kids to listen to it. I feel the best way to prepare them for life is to arm them with knowledge and understanding of their actions and perceptions of the world. I would like to think your words have made them (one more step) aware of things so that they are not 'blind followers' and question fact from fiction.

But wait, there's more...

Kevin Ghiglione, March 23, 2009 1:40 PM

Always informative there is one portion of the Direct Marketing show which needs addressing. I work for Columbia House - yes we are still in business. In the show Terry mentioned how years ago he stopped his membership in the Columbia House video club because he noticed that the product sold to him was inferior to the videos he could buy at the store. While I can't dispute what went on in the distant past, this is not the situtation now. Columbia House sells EXACTLY the same product as what can be purchased at any legitimate retail outlet, albeit at a better price point.
Today the issue is the inferior knock-offs that can be purchased illegally from retail outlets and flea markets. In fact, illegal downloads are murdering direct Marketers such as Columbia House, who are legitimate companies who pay taxes and employ Canadians. Bootleggers who flood the market with inferior product, undercutting and undermining real companies who are trying to survive in these difficult times are the real villains.
Comments that denigrate companies such as ours only make our jobs more insecure than they already are.
In your piece you left the impression that Columbia House continues to sell inferior copies. This is not the case, and a follow up would be helpful to clear this wrong perception you have planted in the listeners minds.
Thanks Terry. I love the show and never miss it!

Tom Beyer, March 24, 2009 8:07 AM

First, This show is a great example of what radio can be. Stan Freberg would have loved it.
Second, regarding the podcast-ability of the show: I know it probably won't happen, and I can understand why (legally, the permissions for the mentioned copyright material could take longer to get than the whole broadcast season of AoP). But for those using a Macintosh, I suggest that you get a program like WireTap (Ambrosia Software). It can capture any sound coming through your Mac. I play the streaming version of AoP on the Mac, and record it with WireTap, which puts it into iTunes. Then I can listen to it on my iPod. And if I miss a comment, I can back it up and replay it.

Having said this, I'd like to point out that I do not 'share' this recording; sometimes my wife listens, and sometimes I play a snippet for a colleague. I don't advocate using this to 'steal' things like AoP, but to make it easier to give the program my full attention at a time of my choosing.

Hope this doesn't offend any of Terry's listeners or sponsors - I have too much respect for the show to wish to put it -- or Terry -- in a bad spot.

Thanks for an interesting and enjoyable show, and thanks to all the background people involved in its production.

Rick McCormack, March 27, 2009 4:55 PM

Any updates on the podcast?

Mark Kruziak, March 28, 2009 7:28 AM

Can you buy any of these programs they are GREAT!!!!!!

mike adams, March 29, 2009 1:34 PM

While trying to dry my newly washed car with a towel I noticed it wasn't soaking up the water droplets at all
.....suddenly I could hear the Sham-Wow guy's voice in my head. Terry if you lived next door I'd beg
to use your Sham-Wow!

Kathy Leko, July 31, 2009 7:26 PM
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