Thursday, February 14, 2008

Direct Marketing Success Story Pt. 2

JDS: Were you entrepreneurial at an early age? For instance, did you sell lemonade on the corner, shovel sidewalks or deliver newspapers? And if so, did your parents push you that way, or was it more part of your DNA?

Peter: I was not particularly entrepreneurial at an early age, but some of the jobs I had as a kid growing up peaked my interest in a business career. My parents wanted me to be a doctor. My mother often said to me, "If you're not going to be a doctor what are you going to do?" So there was definitely pressure on me to pursue a career in medicine or to pursue an advanced degree or become a professional in some field. I think that was one of the reasons I was motivated to earn an MBA in marketing from The Wharton School. I think the Wharton degree helped to establish my credibility with employers and new business prospects, but once you started working with a company or client the bottom line is the type of performance you can deliver for them and most could care less about your degree.

JDS: Were you ever involved in any other business before you started the infomercial business you're in now? If yes: What happened with it?

Peter: I worked as a brand manager on the Heinz Ketchup business when I got out of Wharton and then I worked at a large advertising agency, The Richards Group, before three other guys from that agency and I left to form our own ad agency, which I discussed earlier. We worked together for nine years before I broke off to form Koeppel Direct. That agency is still in business, but my DRTV agency has grown significantly and is now much larger than that agency.

JDS: Did you ever have a business idea you didn't act on? If yes: Do you ever catch yourself thinking, "Why didn't I do that?" or was it more, "Thank God I didn't do that."

Peter: I've definitely have had business ideas I didn't act on. I decided a number of years ago it was more fruitful for me to concentrate on ideas for growing my business rather than developing new businesses that might be outside my field of expertise.