Much to the dismay of our error-prone printers, the July issue of Response has been available online for more than two weeks now, though I know it just started hitting many of your mailboxes last week. Let’s take a look at the issue, including the cover feature on the geniuses behind fitness behemoth Zumba, our annual look at the entertainment market and more.
- When Alberto Perlman teamed with legendary trainer Beto Perez and fellow entrepreneur Alberto Aghion in 2001 to bring Perez’s workouts from their birthplaces of Colombia and South Florida to the world, there was no way they could have known that Zumba Fitness would become the world’s largest fitness brand. But, it has — with customers in 180 countries, more than 25 million DVDs sold and more than 200,000 fitness locations worldwide offering Zumba workouts. It’s also been a story I’ve been digging to tell in the pages of Response for some time now. Finally, thanks to Brian Comstock, the company’s DR marketing guru, and Aly Robins, its PR leader, we were finally able to track down the fast-moving Perlman for this exclusive feature. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: The Zumba Revolution
- As the average consumer’s options for entertainment expand — all the way to watching (and perhaps buying from) an online video on the smartphone in the palm of your hand — the options that same expansion have given marketers have served only to add to the fragmentation of the consumer base? What to do? Well, no one has all the answers, but Pat Cauley put together a strong piece for us that touches on multi-screen engagement, content distribution and data management. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: Entertainment Epiphanies
- Our DRMA Spotlight feature returned in July — after a brief hiatus — as payment processing leader Vantiv opted to tell its story to fellow DRMA members and Response readers. Elizabeth Rector, Vantiv’s senior vice president and general manager, spoke about the 40-year-old business, perhaps best known to our readers as the company that bought long-time direct response processing leader Litle & Co. about two years ago. For more on Vantiv and its focus on customer service and technological solutions, click here: The Vantiv Advantage
- Hopes for a flying start in 2014 media billings results didn’t last long. Unfortunately, first-quarter 2014 direct response TV and radio media billings got off to another slow start — after a generally dismal 2013 — in the long-form DRTV market. First-quarter billings eerily mirrored results in 1Q 2013, as the long-form space lost $24.2 million (9.2 percent). This drop caused 1Q long-form billings to slip below the quarter-billion dollar mark for the first time in 10 years. Positives were limited — time slots purchased only fell by 1.1 percent, as the cable market rebounded from some of its 2013 issues — but we won’t know what direction the long-form space is truly headed until 2Q results come in. For now, to take a deeper look at 1Q 2014 long-form DRTV billings, click here: The Struggle Continues for Long-Form in 1Q 2014
- Finally, this issue includes various takes on the role of payment processors in the direct, digital and data-driven marketing space (beyond the DRMA Spotlight on Vantiv, there was also a short feature on the space, as well as a column about fast-paced changes in processing). Therefore, it should be no surprise that my Editor’s Note touches on the truth that “if consumers know about your payment processor … something’s likely gone wrong.” To read my full take, here’s the link once again: Wherever the Order Comes From, It’s Still About Getting Paid
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!