Meet Barbara Kerry, President and Co-Founder, Script to Screen, a leading digital marketing and performance-based advertising company based in Santa Ana, California.
This is her interview
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I was working as a sports reporter and producer in the L.A. area. My (soon to be husband) and I started seeing these infomercials on television. At the time, they seemed so incredibly cheesy and insincere. We thought, if we could come up with our own product, we could produce an infomercial to sell the product.
When and why did you start your business?
We started our business in 1987. We started it because we really thought we could do a better job than the people/companies at the time were doing in filming these ads.
To what do you attribute your success? (Please try to include mention of your work with WPO).
I attribute our success to many things and people. We started at ground zero so the only way to go was up. We really didn’t know what we were getting into so we just had to keep our head down, learn along the way and overcome whatever obstacles were in our way. We had the incredible guidance and consultation throughout our career from my very wise and generous father. His guidance was invaluable. We have always been able to surround ourselves with very smart, talented, dedicated and committed employees. Organizations like WPO (Women Presidents’ Organization) allow for learning and sharing with other company Presidents for continued growth, peer advice and great connections with women entrepreneurs.
What is unique about your business?
Our business is unique in that it is performance based. Our TV commercials are measured for performance. Every media airing online and offline has to meet specific metrics in order to be deemed successful.
What made you choose this type of business/career?
I can’t say I actually chose to be in this particular business. I did hope to be in the television field but I actually started in sports television. I would say we sort of found our way into this commercial television business and fortunately the outcome has been great.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I would say “focus” throughout the years has been the key to growing our business. We have focused solely on direct response television, direct to consumer, performance-based television and digital advertising. It would have been easy to stray into other areas of television production but we have remained true to our roots of strategy and execution in DRTV and expanded only in areas that relate directly to direct response, direct to consumer advertising.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Our first failure was our biggest. We entered the Direct Response television (Infomercial) business because we thought we could do better than what was currently on air. In the mid-‘80s, infomercials were in their infancy. They were what we called “yell and sell.” We believed we could create superior products and sell them in a way that was more educational than “yell and sell.” We found out very quickly that there was a very fine balance between “selling” and “educating.” When we minimized the “selling” we also minimized the sales. This was a tough lesson to learn but also an invaluable lesson and one we had to learn in order to have the kind of success we enjoy today.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Do your homework. Research everything you can about your business. Interview people in similar businesses. Try to understand the pros and cons of the business on a variety of levels so you have knowledge of what may lie ahead.
What’s been the best advice you received as a business owner?
Be prepared to make the tough decisions. Don’t go into business for yourself if you are not prepared to make the tough decisions.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to share with our readers?
Join an organization like WPO so you can learn, share, and grow because of great business relationships with others that share similar paths.
Here is Barbara Kerry’s WEBSITE www.scripttoscreen.com