Yes, you read that right, and after thinking about it for a minute, you probably agreed: Oprah is a great advertising medium. Referred to as the holy grail of marketing, Oprah turns everything she touches (or endorses) to gold.
Let’s talk about some of the other effective advertising media first before we go on to Ms. Winfrey.
Brochures are a great way to get detailed info out to consumers and customers. You can use brochures in a variety of ways: to generate leads, to follow up after a sales presentation or as a direct mail piece to introduce your product to the world. Whatever you do, make sure you’ve got a great design that includes a great photo. If you can send out a brochure with a picture of, oh, say Oprah on the front, it’s guaranteed to get read! And then maybe you can ask people to join your book club, which is similar to Oprah’s book club, except you get together to talk about what Oprah might think of this book if she had read it. Kind of an Oprah’s book club – a guaranteed seller!
When you need to get a lot of attention for little money, turn to posters. Posters aren’t only for use on the side of your building; billboards are also considered a form of poster printing. Really big poster printing. Posters are great at getting people’s attention as long as you don’t make them too text heavy and you include an eye-catching graphic in look-at-me colors. To make your posters really effective, you should use text that gives people a benefit like “Oprah ate here.” Or “We carry Oprah’s favorite things here.” People will knock each other down to get into your store!
This is the marketing piece that can give you the highest ROI, or the biggest bang for your buck. You can often print and mail postcards for less than $1 each, which makes them one of the cheapest marketing tactics around. Postcards work well because they can be personalized for your target market and you can write them in a conversational tone because postcards are sent directly to the recipient, unlike TV commercials, which can’t be personalized. Postcards that include a call to action work well. If you use something like “Call before the Oprah show for a special deal” you’re sure to get a high response!
Seriously, Oprah is a power-selling woman. Marianne Diorio, Senior VP Global Communications for Estée Lauder has been quoted as saying “Getting on Oprah is like winning the lottery.” Oprah likes to feature products before anyone else, which according to one thesis paper (http://cct.georgetown.edu/9059.html), makes her a “tastemaker.” Oprah creates the taste that American people want in clothes, beauty products and even spirituality. Ellen DeGeneres used a joke in her stand-up act that said when she gets to heaven she expects God to be a black woman named Oprah.
For a woman who is the first black woman billionaire (she’s worth about $1.5 billion), she is an icon for many men and women who have gone from having nothing to having it all. The thing about Oprah is that she is genuine – she talks about spirituality and she’s spiritual. She gives lots of money to charities and has brought to light many serious worldly matters that people need to know about. She’s got crazy power and she knows how to use it. All you have to do is Google “marketing” and “Oprah” and you’ll find articles that tell you how to market to her producers and get on her show. Anything that is on her show has success. Crazy? Maybe. Crazy enough to change company’s bottom lines for the positive? Definitely.