Mar 08

Response February: Lo-Tech Products to Hi-Tech Marketing

Response February 2018Following on the heels of my recap of the January issue, I’m back to share some inside info on Response‘s February Issue. Online for a couple weeks now, the issue’s cover feature focuses on a marketer you might not immediately identify as groundbreaking: ITW Welding. Our inaugural technology spotlight feature — as part of our new editorial calendar focus on quarterly updates on media, technology, and commerce — looks at cross-platform attribution, and we also present a look at what the FCC‘s recent repeal of net neutrality regulations could mean for marketers. We also lock in on 3Q 2017 short-form DRTV media billings, while three contributed columns contain some noteworthy thoughts. Let’s see how the issue came together.

  • If you’re a long-time reader of Response, our February cover boy might strike you as familiar. That’s because Rich Thompson, VP of marketing (North America) for ITW Welding, appeared on our cover in September 2006, then as part of his marketing efforts on behalf of DuPont’s Teflon brand. Rich has also spoken at Response Expo multiple times in the show’s existence, including in 2017. It was at that event — when he shared information about the company’s incredibly successful “We Build” campaign — that we began discussing the possibility of this feature. If you didn’t think the welding space was where you’d hear about some creative and powerful uses of online video to drive brand and response, well … you’re not alone. But the story is well worth the read. And you’ll be able to catch Rich on stage next month at MTC Expo to hear even more! If you missed the link above, click here: Removing the Masks
  • Freelancer Nicole Urso Reed takes the wheel for our first technology spotlight feature, which dives into the cross-platform attribution question that’s plaguing performance-based marketers of every stripe. What’s the best tech? How is it best used? Can you trust any attribution report provider 100 percent? In case you missed the link: Credit Where Credit Is Due
  • Our freelancer Doug McPherson handles our weekly e-newsletter — so he’s seen his share of reporting on the topic of net neutrality, especially in recent months. So when we needed to take a deeper dive into what to expect now that the FCC has overturned 2015 rules, he was the obvious choice. Doug touched base with a half-dozen experts on both sides of the debate, creating a well-rounded piece that you can find right here: Net Gain … or Loss?
  • Third-quarter 2017 short-form DRTV billings are highlighted in our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings research. Our partner Kantar Media says the short-form space rose for the fifth consecutive quarter, this time by 6.6 percent. Through the first nine months of 2017, short-form billings are up by more than $370 million compared to the same timeframe a year prior. For a full look at 3Q 2017 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Billings Continue Hot Streak
  • The February issue also offers a trio of solid column contributions:
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note column riffs off of a story that was shared with me by a number of our readers upon its appearance online in January: a millennial who recognizes the link between As Seen On TV marketing and Instagram marketing. In fact, that link remains apparent all the way through her experience. For my thoughts, click here: ‘The More Things Change, the More …’ Well, You Know the Rest

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Jun 23

Response June: A Series of Educated Gambles

Response June 2016Response‘s June issue hit the web (and mailboxes) this week. Headlined by a cover story on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the issue also features our second quarterly Advisors Forum feature of 2016, this time centered on the topic of attribution, a special case study on‘s solution to issues with credit card fraud, and a web-exclusive story on the pharmaceutical and healthcare space. Read on for background on some of the key facets of our first summer issue:

  • In a shocking turn, the headline for the cover story on the LVCVA echoes its most famous tagline: ‘What Happens in Vegas …’ The work on this story actually dates to late 2015, when I received a press release from the LVCVA’s Courtney Fitzgerald about a new digital offering from the group. By early January, we’d settled on a cover interview with Cathy Tull, the group’s senior vice president of marketing, as a cover story. But with a new TV campaign rolling out in June — and a series of mobile-focused digital offerings hitting in the interim — we agreed to push the feature until this particular issue. It was the right choice, because by the time I sat down for a phone call with Tull in early May, we had plenty to discuss. The LVCVA’s wide-ranging goals and ever-expanding online and offline marketing efforts make it a great story for anyone looking at any facet of performance-based marketing. If you missed it above, here’s the link: ‘What Happens in Vegas …’
  • Attribution may be the biggest buzzword in performance-based marketing today. Marketers, agencies, and other vendors are working constantly to find the right mix of data that will help them attribute each lead or sale back to the piece of media that prompted a consumer to act. But as consumers have gained more control over how and when they are reached — let alone how and when they respond — that attribution is harder and harder to nail down. Seven members of the Response Advisory Board responded to questions for this special roundtable on the topic of attribution — and the online version includes their full, unabridged answers. If you missed the link above but want to check out the story, click here: What’s the Attribution Solution?
  • When I met with Forter‘s Bill Zielke and’s Colin Sims at the eTail West event in Palm Desert, Calif., in February, I was intrigued by their story about the online retailer’s struggles with credit card fraud and Forter’s solution. Right then and there, I made an immediate decision that this story was worthy of a rare case study feature in the pages of Response. Four months later, freelancer Doug McPherson has the story for you: Fighting Fraud
  • The issue’s fourth feature — our look at the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets — is only available online. For marketers of healthcare services to health insurance to pharmaceuticals, an ever-changing regulatory environment is nothing new. How are these marketers dealing with the restrictions — and capitalizing on new opportunities in the age of Obamacare and expanded Medicare coverage? Don’t miss this web exclusive: Healthy Changes
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the DR radio space for outstanding fourth-quarter 2015 results. The radio space’s best 4Q performance in five years lifted its annual total to more than $58 million — a 7.9-percent rise over 2014, which itself was a big bounce-back year. What’s behind the recent success of the radio medium? For a full look at 4Q 2015 DR radio media billings, click here: DR Radio Doubles Down on Success
  • Response is very fortunate to have many of the brightest minds in the business as regular contributors to our column well. This month’s pieces display the breadth of that expertise, if you simply click on these links: Media Zone; Production House; Net Gains; and Legal Review. At the risk of sounding a little self-assured after more than 15 years running the magazine’s editorial, I’d like to think I’m in that group of “bright minds,” which means I always want to make sure my Editor’s Note column measures up. This month, I flip the attribution debate among marketers and agencies on its head and ask our readers to view attribution from a consumer’s perspective. Might this reversal help you better understand your attribution issues from a business perspective? That’s what I’d like to know. If you missed the link above, click here to read (and respond to) my latest: Thinking Like a Consumer Could Help Your Attribution Modeling

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Nov 11

Response October: Marketer of the Year, Media Feedback and Much More

Response October 2014It’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!