Sweet potato chips and Jack-O-Lanterns and Disneyland … oh my! Here’s the week that was Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2013! Remember, to see any image at its full size, just click on it!
It’s been about three weeks since Response’s October issue hit the website. While many of you have likely taken a gander at the issue, whether online or in print, let’s take a quick look at how it all came together — from the cover story on our DRMA Marketer of the Year finalists and winner to some of the other key ingredients.
- For the sixth consecutive year, Response and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance hosted a massive networking event in Las Vegas to announce the winner of the annual Marketer of the Year award, decided in an industry-wide vote. The party, on Sept. 17 at Drai’s in Las Vegas, was the biggest and best yet — with nearly 1,000 attendees enjoying the Strip’s hottest new club of 2014. Prior to the big announcement, we debuted the annual DRMA video, which included dozens of industry leaders donning their “superhero” best during filming at Response Expo this past spring. Through all the pomp ad circumstance — and not a few cocktails — the finalists and winner of the 2014 honor were announced, with Tristar Products taking home the big award and 2013 winner Euro-Pro tying Zumba Fitness for second place in the competition’s closest voting ever. If you’d like to read more about the winner (and finalists) and the campaigns that earned them the industry’s recognition, here’s the link: The Stars Align!
- Twice a year, we take a hard, feature-length look at the media buying and planning space. In our fall version, we hear more clearly from the buyers’ perspective (in the spring, we usually focus on the perspective of the cable and broadcast media outlets). In this month’s edition, talk of the omnichannel marketing world dominates, with media buyers and sellers going in depth on how to reach consumers in a fragmenting TV universe. While opportunities abound thanks to technology, attribution in campaigns has become more and more difficult. Where did that sale come from, anyway? However, these experts do know one thing — all of those fancy metrics you hear digital media experts kicking around these days got their start with the advent of direct response TV. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: A Brighter Outlook
- This month’s DRMA Spotlight revisits Cannella Response Television. The media agency, with locations in Los Angeles and Burlington, Wis., continues to grow from its leadership role in the long-form DRTV space. President Tony Besasie and CEO Rob Medved sat down for a video interview with me in the company’s Wisconsin offices in August to discuss a number of topics, including growth into the short-form buying space and some surprising results from a DRTV consumer study the company worked on with California-based Script to Screen and M2 Marketing. To read the Spotlight story, click here: Keeping an Edge. To view the video interview with Besasie and Medved, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video: Cannella Response Television
- In our monthly look at direct response TV and radio media billings, we turn the spotlight on second-quarter 2014 long-form DRTV results, which continued to struggle, losing 6.4 percent from results during the same time period in 2013. However, there were some positive signs — lower costs meant the number of half-hour time slots purchased actually rose, and the U.S. Hispanic marketplace continued to show steady growth across the board. To take a deeper look at 2Q 2014 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form Media Billings Fall 6.4 Percent in 2Q 2014
- Finally, my Editor’s Note column this month takes on some of the topics bandied about in the media buying and planning guide feature mentioned above. In the competitive landscape for marketing dollars today, it’s not enough for media leaders who are well schooled in the direct response space to sit on those laurels. DR media leaders have a significant strategic advantage over both traditional media agencies and digital media agencies — they’ve understood the metrics of attribution for a much longer time than both. To read the column, here’s the link once again: It’s Not Your Father’s MER
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!
The week of Oct. 21-27 was spent in and around L.A., but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some activities — like an industry networking event and another USC tailgate. As we turn the corner into the last 10 weeks of the Photo-A-Day 2013 project, let’s take a look at the images!
Ready for a rush to the finish of my 2013 Photo-A-Day project? Good, because just a couple of days ago, I finally finished working up images from late November and December — and they’ve been loaded into the media cache on the blog.
Let’s get started by reaching back to mid-October of last year, for a week that started in Chicago, stretched through the Dodgers’ final home playoff game and on to my sister’s 40th birthday and beyond! Remember, to see any image at full size, just click on it!
Trying to make the most of my dwindling time at home before yet another extended trip east, let’s follow Wednesday morning’s breakdown of Response’s August issue with this quick backgrounder of our jam-packed September issue. The issue hit first about two weeks ago, right around the time of our huge DRMA Marketer of the Year event in Las Vegas on Sept. 17. Let’s take a quick look at the issue, including a very special cover interview with Guthy-Renker co-founder Greg Renker.
- There’s no way to sugar coat this: after years of trying to work our way up the ladder inside the current iteration of Guthy-Renker — and Response has solid relationships with a number of the company’s leaders, including Elliott Segal, Dirk van de Bunt and Kendra Elliott — to secure a cover feature on the company, we’d simply hit one wall after another. So when we first spoke with Brian Kurtz of Boardroom Inc., who was organizing last month’s Titans of Direct Response event in Connecticut, I was wary of the idea that we could find a way to speak directly with Renker himself. But, the newsworthiness of Kurtz’s event — a true who’s who of DR leaders and top creatives — made it an easy call to write a news story about it for our August issue. So I asked Kurtz for the “big get” — could we interview Renker about the event for this news story and, if so, would he be interested in doing a more wide-ranging (and exclusive) interview about the past, present and future of both Guthy-Renker and the direct, digital and data-driven marketing world? Kurtz said he’d give it a shot, and later that afternoon, I received a calendar request from Renker’s executive assistant for a call at 10 a.m. the next morning. The call couldn’t have gone better — Renker was a fantastic interview, as you’d expect, and so gracious about both speaking with Response, as well as his induction into the Direct Response Hall of Fame last year. Most importantly, you want to read his insights. Trust me. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Personable, Proactive, Powerful
- For the 14th consecutive year, it was my honor and pleasure to put together our annual State of the Industry report, featuring the thoughts and insights of the members of our Response Advisory Board. Over the years, the topics have changed — and, crucially, expanded — as our focus has grown from DRTV to direct response marketing and now, as we all tackle this omnichannel universe, the behemoth we call “direct, digital and data-driven” marketing. While the story that appears in the print magazine is always solid thanks to our experts, the online version — featuring the complete and unabridged answers from each member of our Board that responded — provides one interesting take after another. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: 19th Annual State of the Industry Report
- This month’s DRMA Spotlight takes a look at O2 Media and its subsidiary, Incredible Discoveries. For the multi-faceted piece, I was able to speak with the business’ president and CEO, Dr. Thomas C. Deters, as well as George Bayer, vice president of direct response for Incredible Discoveries, and George O’Neill, director of studio operations for O2. The new team behind the business is keen on maximizing its production expertise, product experience and access to programming on various cable networks to create a new kind of direct response opportunity. For more on O2 Media, click here: O2 Media Seeks a New Level of Excellence
- In our monthly look at direct response TV and radio media billings, we focus on Kantar Media’s 1Q 2014 DR radio results, which were extremely positive. Pushed by a return to form from the local radio market and marketers’ expansion of the number of campaigns aired, DR radio enjoyed its best first quarter in three years, topping the $14 million mark. Led by two products — Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv Solution and the Rosetta Stone language line, each of which posted more than $2M in DR radio spending for the quarter — the DR radio market set a great tone for the year. To take a deeper look at 1Q 2014 DR radio billings, click here: 1Q 2014 DR Radio Billings Jump 28.5 Percent
- Finally, we return to Renker for my Editor’s Note column this month. Suffice it to say that interviewing Renker felt like a bit of a “full circle” moment for me. Additionally, you get a couple extra pearls of Renker’s wisdom. To read the column, here’s the link once again: Renker’s Message Resonates, Whether It’s 2001 or 2014
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!