Direct Selling – introduction 5

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For operational reasons, these DSOs rarely disclose their sales in overseas markets, although accumlative data are provided to the WFDSA. Despite this low profile, direct selling is now, throughout the world, a major channel of retail distribition. Ther is, however, another, and more significant, reason for this self imposed low profile.of direct selling. It is that DSOs rarely advertise their brand names.

You do not do so for good reasons, which are explained later on in these pages. However, the effect is that many DSOs are familiar only to those who are either participants or regular customers. Even in the latter case, the customer’s image of a DSO is bound to be heavily influencedby the image put across by part-time independent direct sellers. In practice it is difficult for them to do any DSO full justice in projecting to consumers the size and commercial strength of the business. Just compare this with the public awareness of the brand names of other consumer goods.

Every day we are all confronted with ads on TV, street posters and other media for a vast array of products and services. A few of these ads are able to influence a future purchasing decision of everyone who sees them – but not many. Most are targeted at specific sectors of the consuming public in certain knowledge that they are lost on the majority of those on whom the ad makes an impact.

Conventional brand advertising, while effective, is demonstrably wasteful. Direct sellers, on the other hand, are able to give clearly focused ‘live commercials’. While this as I will show, can be highly efficient, it does tend to disguise the true strength of direct selling. This is one of the biggest promotional challanges that confronts every DSO.

Reference: Direct Selling: Richard Berry