Dec 04

Response November: Doing Well by Doing Good

Response November 2016Response’s November issue hit the web and mailboxes during the past two weeks. Here’s something to consider: in our four feature stories, we cover the housewares market, the medical equipment space, the travel marketing world, and home shopping/e-retail. Even for our team, that’s some impressive breadth. That’s not to mention this month’s research and opinion pages. Suffice it to say, we packed a lot into a tight 52 pages. If you want to hear more about how it came together, read on:

  • If you are in the habit of listening to your car radio, there’s a high likelihood you’ve heard a Boll & Branch ad. I can’t remember the last time I was in my car heading to our Orange County office on a Monday morning and didn’t hear a B&B ad on one of Howard Stern’s SiriusXM channels. So when I went to the IRCE show in Chicago in June, I made sure to head to the educational session featuring Scott Tannen, co-founder and CEO of the company. In the days thereafter, I reached out to Tannen’s team to see if they would have any interest in a cover feature on their performance-based marketing efforts. Very quickly, the PR liaison for the company, Dillan Arrick, was on the job. Timing was the issue, which is how many of our cover stories — this one included — take five or more months from genesis to print. Scott, his wife Missy, the company’s co-founder and president, and Dillan could not have been easier to work with. And this story is not only a great testament to performance-based metrics building a huge housewares e-retailer, it’s also a feel-good piece about a company that does things the right way. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Balancing More Than Sheets
  • Think of your own needs and desires when you travel. Are they more about convenience or comfort? Service or luxury? Now, multiply those by the choices of billions of others and you’ll understand the challenges travel marketers face in today’s consumer-controlled marketing world. Make promises … at your own peril. Our Nicole Urso Reed dove into the space for this feature, chatting with marketers from across the travel spectrum to find out what’s working — and what isn’t. In case you skipped the link above: Total Immersion
  • Another key member of our team of contributors, Bridget McCrea delved into the rapidly changing world of home shopping. With the expansion of Amazon, long-time home shopping leaders like HSN and QVC have had to nimbly adjust their business plans. And, just as they’re gaining comfort as multichannel e-retailers, along comes Amazon again — now with its own online “home shopping” programming. What’s next in the home shopping world? Here’s that story link again: The ‘Amazon-ing’ of Home Shopping
  • Our Doug McPherson‘s outstanding case study on the truly intriguing birth and success of the HurryCane, is not your average “bring a hot new product to market” story. From the why and the when to the how and the who, the success of this medical equipment legend took many hands. If you missed the link above, click here: How a HurryCane Forms
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for second-quarter 2016 results. And though those results show the least-steep decline in more than a year, short-form DRTV — at least according to how Kantar Media measures it — continues to flounder. Is it an issue of what Kantar’s measuring — to wit, are its parameters for a direct response spot too narrow in today’s performance-based marketplace? We’ve heard rumblings from readers about this, and we’re not wholly unconvinced. For a full look at 2Q 2016 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Continue to Fade
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:
  • Finally, in my Editor’s Note column, I ask marketers and other leaders in our space to look ahead — at 2017 and beyond — after spending months spellbound by the most memorable and most embarrassing election cycle in modern U.S. history. We, as an industry, have plenty of challenges — and opportunities — to focus upon in the coming months and years. Let’s get to them! If you missed the link above, here it is: Now That That’s Over …

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Mar 02

Response February: Marketing Adored, an e-Commerce Reward, and Politics Deplored

Response February 2016Response‘s February issue has been live online for about two weeks. With the March issue coming soon— due to some tight deadlines in order for it to reach next week’s Housewares show and DRMA reception in Chicago — now’s the time for a deeper look. With a cover feature on online lingerie challenger brand Adore Me, and additional features diving into e-commerce success, the focus in February clearly was digital marketing. Here are some of the key pieces you should consider taking a look at:

  • My cover story on Adore Me, featuring impressive young COO Romain Liot, grew its roots during some e-mail back and forth with Adrienne Scordato, CEO and founder of Atrium PR, about one of her agency clients. That agency, R2C Group, had been crucial in bringing the online lingerie retailer into offline direct response television. The short-form DR campaign played a great role in Adore Me reaching No. 14 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America. Adore Me has its sights set on market leader Victoria’s Secret — even hiring one of VS’ top designers to lead its own design department. How did this e-retailer explode on the scene in less than five years? If you missed the link above, click here: Adore Me’s Rapid Rise
  • Following up on our initial foray into the Digital Goods marketplace — those services sold, bought, and used online — last summer, Nicole Urso Reed took an intriguing angle in this update: looking at health and happiness services and apps. From meditation and therapy services to emotional support apps, there is a surprising and burgeoning marketplace of online services available to consumers. If you missed the link above but want to check it out, click here: Health, Wealth & Happiness
  • Global e-Commerce sales are expected to reach $3.5 trillion by 2019 — one of many interesting tidbits that can be found in Bridget McCrea‘s look at the latest in e-Commerce. As consumers become more savvy and more comfortable transacting online — most especially in today’s environment, via mobile — marketers and e-retailers are faced with this fact: if you don’t meet your consumer where they want to meet you, you’re not selling them anything. If you missed the link above, here you go: Global Reach, Local Feel
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for third-quarter 2015 results. As the numbers continue to reset and rebound from Kantar Media’s early 2015 methodology change in the U.S. Hispanic market, those results were predictably off — a 24.3-percent overall decrease. But, when you remove the Hispanic space from the mix, the dip among the other four outlets (network, spot, cable, and syndication) was a much more palatable 8.1 percent. For a full look at 3Q 2015 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: 3Q 2015 Short-Form DR Billings Continue Reset After Kantar Shift
  • Finally, in my Editor’s Note, I take a first glance at the 2016 political races and their effects on the media marketplace. With a campaign that already seems interminable — with more than eight months to go until election day on Nov. 9 — it’s hard to imagine that the bulk of what could be anywhere from $6 billion to $11 billion in political advertising is yet to come. If you missed the link above, here’s my take on the topic: Enjoy the Silence? Not Until November 9

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Sep 18

Response August: Dating, Gumballs and Storage Units

Response August 2015Since we sent the September issue off to print almost two weeks ago, I suppose I’d better get around to my quick recap of the August issue of Response. An intriguing, multifaceted cover story on Social Discovery Ventures, another digital marketer that’s found success by adding offline media to its mix, plus the usual array of news, research, and opinion, gives you plenty of reason to read on for more background on the latest issue.

  • At a trade show in early 2015, I met with Lindsey Carnett of Marketing Maven PR to discuss her client base and see if there might be an interesting story or two out there among them. Near the end of the meeting, Lindsey brought up a dating site client that was involved in sponsoring the international road rally Gumball 3000. She mentioned that this client — which turned out to be SDV, owner of and — not only had added a direct response TV campaign to its mix, but that it was inviting journalists to attend all or part of the nine-day, two-continent Gumball rally. During the next few months, with the help of Lindsey and former MMPR staffer Elizabeth Maxim, I was able to interview Anthony Volpe, SDV’s chief marketing officer, about SDV’s overall marketing plan, how a sponsorship of the Gumball event fit within that plan, and put together this feature on the performance-based aspects of their efforts. I also joined
    Hanging with Gumball 3000 founder Maximillion Cooper in Las Vegas on May 29.

    Hanging with Gumball 3000 founder Maximillion Cooper in Las Vegas on May 29.

    the final leg of the Gumball rally — from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, via Death Valley — on May 29-30 (and what an event that was: I’ll just leave this link to a piece from Eric Mack, one of my fellow journalists who was along for the ride) If you missed the link to the cover story above, here it is again: Racing to Success

  • Our writer Bridget McCrea — who was freelancing for the magazine prior to my arrival in 2001 and earns more than her keep every year — brings to life the natural fit of direct response as part of financial services marketers’ performance-based arsenal. For a long time, the financial services space — from local payday loan shops all the way up to multinational investment firms — have been leaders in using DR, and as services (especially online services) expand their power in the market, it’s no surprise that the financial space remains one of the most innovative users of performance-based tactics. If you didn’t already click the link above — here it is: Cracking the Code
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings recap takes a look at the first short-form DRTV results of 2015 — and some of you might want to look away. With a 12.8-percent decline, 1Q 2015 results were rather similar to the prior three-month period — 4Q 2014 numbers fell 12.7 percent. Total spending in 1Q 2015 short-form billings was the lowest recorded in any first quarter by Response since 2006. The results were intriguing in light of conversations I had during a recent visit to New York, where I met with a number of agency and network leaders. The buzz about the battle over what exactly constitutes a direct response TV campaign in 2015 was massive — and these reported results don’t exactly give lie to that buzz. For a more in-depth look at 1Q 2015 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: A Rough Start
  • If you remember one thing from my August Editor’s Note column, I’d suggest this: never fill up a 10×10 storage unit with 40-plus years of your life unless you want to spend four consecutive weekends clearing through its contents. If you missed the link to the column above, here it is once again: Slowing Down … to Pick Up Your Sales Pace

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!