Dec 13

Response October: New Look, New Feel, Same Strong Content

Brand, refreshed! Our first issue under our sleek new masthead and tagline — the magazine for media, technology, and commerce — the October 2017 cover features Boll & Branch, the winner of our ninth annual DRMA Marketer of the Year Award. And not only did the magazine get a facelift, so did our website, responsemagazine.com. If you haven’t bounced around the site yet (let’s be honest, this recap’s a bit on the late side), I urge you to do so! The cover story itself includes interviews with the Boll & Branch team, as well as leaders from the other two finalists: Highmark Health and Monster Worldwide. The issue also features our annual look at the automotive marketing space, a dive into the domination of Google and Facebook in digital advertising, and the latest edition of our biannual media buying and planning guide. Want to get deeper into the first issue of Response 3.0 (our moniker for the rebrand project around the office)? Read on!

  • With each of our three nominees for the Marketer of the Year Award having been featured in a cover story during the preceding calendar year, the competition for the 2017 DRMA honor (and second cover feature in Response) was one of the fiercest in years. Of her company’s victory, Cally Everett, vice president of marketing for Boll & Branch, says, “We have always made decisions as a company based on what’s right for us, not what our competitors are doing, and it’s encouraging to see that our approach is resonating with consumers and other marketers alike.” If you missed the link above, read more from Everett, Monster’s Chris Owen, and Highmark Health’s Chris Zdanowski by clicking here: Blanketing the Competition
  • Freelancer Doug McPherson speeds directly into traffic — social media traffic — in his look at marketing in the automotive space. Manufacturers, dealers, and others involved in auto marketing are finding great success online — particularly using Facebook — to reach, groom, and eventually sell to new car buyers. Miss the link above? Here it is again: The Wheel Deal
  • Beyond the shocking stats — such as Facebook and Google owning 85-percent of digital advertising’s growth during the past year — just what is it about these two behemoths that’s drawing marketers to give them so much advertising budget? What can other digital ad outlets do to compete — as Amazon begins to flex its muscles, as well? And what can marketers expect from the digital advertising space in the coming year(s). Freelancer Bridget McCrea digs deep for a few answers that could help. Here’s that link again: The Gigantic Digital Ad Duopoly
  • Freelancer Nicole Urso Reed queries leaders of some of the industry’s key agencies in her latest edition of our ongoing media buying and planning guide. Expansion or consolidation? That is the question. The answer: Both? Neither? Check out the story to find out the latest: Consolidation Rules
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings enter second-quarter 2017 with Response’s own long-form DRTV research. To no one’s shock, the 28:30 space suffered yet another drop: a 4.5-percent decrease that represents the fifth consecutive losing period for the long-form market. Spending was up in the top 30 DMAs, while marketers also invested a bigger share of their pies in the lower-cost satellite and broadcast outlets. For a full look at 2Q 2017 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form DRTV Suffers Fifth Consecutive Down Quarter
  • Don’t miss October’s power-packed column submissions, as well:
  • Finally, as you might expect, my Editor’s Note column riffs on the changes represented by this issue of Response. What are we thinking by undertaking this refresh of the magazine and the DRMA and — in the case of our annual event, MTC Expo — full rebrand? How are we hoping our readers, members, and attendees respond? If you missed the link above, here it is: Response Refreshed — Here’s to the New World of Marketing!

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 13

Response September: 25 Years Down and a Transition to Come

Following on the heels of my August recap, here’s a look at Response‘s September issue — the last issue of our 25th year of publication and the final issue prior to the brand refresh we’ve been working on in recent weeks. Appropriately, then, the issue is led by a cover story about a traditional direct-to-consumer marketer also celebrating its 25th anniversary: Tristar Products. Beyond that, September’s book includes a look at marketing in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, a piece on the power of video marketing (no matter the medium) driving the convergence of media, technology, and commerce, and our 22nd annual State of the Industry report. Let’s take a look at how these — and other stories — came together to form this transitional issue.

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Jul 11

Response June: Highmark, Direct Tech, and the Retail Revolution

Here’s hoping everyone had a great 4th of July holiday! After returning from a week in Massachusetts, visiting my wife’s family and friends, I pushed through my inbox and some other pressing matter to give myself a few moments to put together a quick recap of Response‘s June issue. While we’re still getting back on track with timing following late April’s Response Expo, the issue has been online and hitting mailboxes for more than 2 weeks now. Led by a cover story on one of Blue Cross Blue Shield‘s largest affiliates, Highmark, the issue also includes features on the wider healthcare and pharmaceuticals market and a pair of loosely connected stories: a roundtable on the vast effects of Amazon on marketers and retailers of all stripes; and our second quarterly Advisors Forum of 2017, which tackles the rapidly changing retail space. Looking for background on how these items — and more — came together? You’ve come to the right place.

  • The cover feature on Pittsburgh-based Highmark — featuring an interview with Chris Zdanowski, director, strategic marketing, senior markets, commercial markets, and retail — had its beginnings in an email pitch from Highmark’s agency, Partners + Napier, in February. Shortly thereafter, I connected with Becca Bellush, the agency’s associate director of PR and social media, who served as an outstanding liaison between the Highmark team and me. Not only was this story a pleasure to work on from start to finish, due to the accessibility of Bellush, Zdanowski, and all others involved, but it also bore out many of the concepts we’ve been talking about recently in Response. The highlighted campaign features a mix of online and offline media, has a clear and measurable goal, and maximizes back-end technology to track results. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Marketing With High Marks
  • Beyond Highmark’s success using performance-based marketing tactics, our freelancer Bridget McCrea tackled a wider look at what’s new in marketing across the healthcare and pharmaceutical markets. She found marketers, both large and small, utilizing new technology to take their messages — and more importantly, their services — directly to consumers, at the time and place they wish. From using secure, online video chat to apps that allow patients to make more informed decisions about their care, health and pharma marketers are ahead of the technological game. In case you skipped the link above: The Future of Healthcare Has Arrived — and It’s D-to-C
  • Riffing from one of our most popular sessions at Response Expo, a third feature — penned by freelancer Doug McPherson — takes a look at the many ways Amazon is changing business, from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom. We enlisted three of the speakers from that “Amazon Effect” Expo session — Jaffer Ali of PulseTV.com, Matt Fiedler of Vinyl Me, Please, and Rus Sarnoff of Integrated Marketing — to give us an overview of a few of those issues. Here’s that story link again: It’s a Jungle Out There
  • The second of our quarterly roundtables featuring members of the Response Advisory Board takes a look at the changing face of retail. Early in May, I sent a series of questions to our advisors and five leaders stepped up to share their thoughts on how brick-and-mortar and e-commerce can not only coexist but flourish as consumer desires — and their attendant habits — change. If you missed the link, it’s right here: The Changing Face of Retail
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the DR radio sector for fourth-quarter 2016 results. The radio market notched a fifth consecutive quarterly increase — this time, 6.7 percent. However, the big news is that 2016’s total of $69.9 million marked the radio market’s best year since 2004. How did it happen? For a full look at 4Q 2016 DR radio media billings, click here: DR Radio Billings Continue Winning Streak to Close 2016
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:
  • My Editor’s Note column riffs off of an idea I’ve formulated recently while attending industry events and thumbing through other publications. And it closes with a concept you’re going to see an awful lot of in the coming months — more pointedly than ever before. If you’ve been inattentive to the direction Response has taken and if you missed the link above, here it is: The Third Leg — Media Drives Technology and Commerce

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!