Posted by: Marty Fahncke | February 24, 2010

DRTV – Infomercials – Home Shopping for entrepreneurs

DRTV – Infomercials – Home Shopping…it’s the industry where I got my start in business almost 25 years ago.  And it’s an industry where I still maintain a presence with numerous clients, speaking engagements, and as a writer for Electronic Retailer magazine and Online Strategies magazine, both trade publications for the DRTV industry.

As Seen On TV Logo

On March 3rd, I’m speaking in Kansas City about how businesses, individuals, inventors, and product marketers can be successful using this lucrative and exciting marketing channel.

As a bit of a “preview” to my presentation, the event organizers invited me to write a blog post about the topic.

The piece is called “DRTV: The often-overlooked entrepreneurial dream market”.  You can read it by clicking HERE

After you read it, please swing back here and let me know your thoughts in the Comments area.



  1. I had no idea how influential DRTV is. I always thought it was the other way around. Those are pretty impressive numbers. I learn something every time I read you.

    • @Michelle – Thank you! I’m honored that you consider my information valuable and worth reading. Have a great day!

  2. Marty,

    I read your article. It’s very informative and it has some very specific criteria that I find helpful. A lot of articles I read are too much fluff and not enough substance. Well done.

    Here is my question. Are DRTV firms interested in fully developend products or will they entertain well thought ideas that hve been prototyoed.

    And what about protecting your idea. I went to one sight and they make you agree to a non-non-disclosure agreement.


    Stephen Bozzone (the Invention Addict)

    • Stephen,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. To answer your questions:

      Most DRTV firms are interested in a product that has been fully developed, and possibly even market tested. However, some deals have been done based on the old-fashioned “drawing on a napkin”. It really just depends on the strength of the idea and the market potential.

      As far as protecting your idea, that’s a tough one. Most DRTV companies will NOT sign a non-disclosure or non-compete, because they see so many ideas and may already be working on something similar. You of course, don’t want to show your idea without one. It’s a tough call, and a situation that I’ve seen kill many a multi-million dollar deal for an inventor. Believe me, the little guy isn’t going to win the “NDA Showdown”. I will say this…MOST reputable DRTV companies have no interest in “stealing” your idea. They have so much stuff coming in already, they don’t have time to steal all the good ideas that come in the door. They also know that if they steal your idea, you won’t hesitate to sue them. That keeps everyone pretty honest.

      However, there are SOME companies out there who will steal your idea in a heartbeat. Although usually they don’t steal your idea until you’ve proven the product by selling a few million dollars worth. Then they usually steal not only your product idea, but your marketing as well.

      The best way to protect yourself is to work with only reputable firms with a proven track record of success and a reputation for being honest and dealing fair.

  3. Hi, Marty,

    I spoke with Dave Martin from ERA, and he thinks I ought to make contact with you…when you can, please drop me an email with your email address. I’d love to come to your seminar in KC, since that’s where I’m based.

    Let me know, and thanks!

    -Craig Burnett

  4. Marty:

    Great post. Leaves me wanting to hear more. When is your next seminar or speaking engagement on this?


  5. Marty, can you please suggest a few reputable marketing and distribution of retail product companies? My 12-year-old daughter just invented this product 3 months ago and a company called Media Corp contacted us telling us that her product has, “potential to be a successful “As Seen on TV” product.”

    Thank you!


    • Hello Kristi,

      Your daughter has invented something pretty cool…congratulations!

      I’m sure I can recommend a marketing and distribution company for you. However, every company out there serves a unique market and type of business, so it’s not “one size fits all”. It would be best if I understood your plans and objectives before referring you somewhere. Please give me a call this week so we can discuss your objectives, then I can give you a more specific direction.

      Looking forward to speaking with you!

  6. Hi Marty,
    Excellent post. We are a start up company with a ready prototype for a medical device that can potentially make cardiac surgeries a thing of the past! We have identified Germany & UK as the biggest EU markets and would like you to please recommend a good marketing & distribution co that is strong in these 2 markets in particular!
    Warm regards
    Dr. Rakesh

    • Hello Dr. Rakesh,
      I wish I could help you, but I don’t have any contacts in medical device marketing in those countries. But I do wish you the best of luck in your future endeavor!

  7. Hi Marty,

    I recently discovered the many new crowdsourcing product/invention websites online. On my first try (this past November), my new hair invention was selected, and is now in prototyping & testing with the company. Their hope is to get the product on store shelves within 6 months. Then already have working relationships with all the big box stores. I would like to widen my scope toward other avenues that don’t involve crowdsourcing as it can be a tedious & slow process. Since I’ve learned that 75% of home shopping buyers are women, that would definitely be a good fit for my ideas. Being a woman, who is also a hairstylist, I am with women every day. I hear complaints, daily, about everything from their kitchen trash can to cluttered bathroom cabinets. The wheels begin turning, and I draw up solutions. I’m very new to online pitching, but DRTV sounds like a good fit for me. Could you recommend a reputable DRTV company that caters mostly to women’s time-saving/cost-saving/efficiency issues?

    Thank you in advance,

    C.K. Leming

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