Aug 23

Response August:, the ‘Super Feature’ and Short-Form Struggles

Response August 2013The August issue of Response has been available online for a couple of weeks now. Hopefully, if you’re one of our readers, you’ve taken a look at it, but — if not — here’s some back story on the cover feature on and Bill Broich, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • August’s cover feature on returns the magazine to one of the evergreen spaces in the new world of direct, digital and data-driven marketing: the financial services sector. Thanks to the team at Karlin+Pimsler — the creative agency that built’s short-form TV campaign — and its PR agent, Lauren de la Fuente, I was able to connect with’s co-founder Bill Broich. The company’s story of educating consumers about annuities and driving responses to the right agents is an intriguing one for any marketer interested in using direct response. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: A Safe Boom
  • Every August, we include a feature that, way back when, we used to refer to in-house as the “Support Services Super Feature.” Today, this compendium of information about the goings-on in the teleservices, fulfillment and payment processing corners of the marketing world is known as the “Annual Support Services Update.” I know, I think “Super Feature” sounds kind of awesome in retrospect, too! In any case, we canvassed some of the leaders in this space about what’s hot and new in 2013. As usual, for these oft-forgotten services, there is much to learn for marketers and front-end agencies alike. If you missed the link above, here it is: Powerful Triad Helps Create Successful Direct Campaigns
  • The bad news continued in our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results. Taking a look at short-form DRTV billings’ 1Q 2013 results, a $185 million loss (17.5 percent) from the same quarter a year previous is obviously not the way the market wanted to kick off the new year. Falling below $900 million in total billings, the short-form market finds itself in a spot it hasn’t since 2006. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: Short-Form DRTV Billings Crash in the First Quarter
  • My Editor’s Note circles back to the power financial services marketers are wielding in the direct, digital and data driven space. Beyond the cover story and the financial services market feature in this issue, Response has featured financial services marketers — like this one and this one and this one — on its cover time and again in recent years. What does it all mean? If you missed the link to my the column above, here it is once again: Financial Services Marketers Lead the Way Into New Era

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Dec 18

Response December: A Beauty, CE Tools and the Big Top 50!

Mally Roncal shimmers on the cover of the December Response.

Mally Roncal shimmers on the cover of the December Response.

The December issue of Response is now available online, and I’m happy to say we closed out the year with a strong book, hitting two key vertical markets — beauty and consumer electronics. Let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to the issue!

  • The story behind celebrity make-up artist Mally Roncal’s incredible foray into home shopping and DRTV isn’t all glitz and glamour. Certainly, while Roncal parlayed her stellar work for such celebrities as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Angelina Jolie — among many others — into the now-powerful Mally Beauty brand of cosmetics, her background growing up in suburban New York City was far from glamorous. It did, however, prepare her to take the airwaves by storm from her first appearance on QVC in 2005. With the help of DRTV production veteran Bob Caudill, our story on Roncal and business partner Don Pettit showcases two people who truly love what they do. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: Looking Beautiful, Feeling Beautiful
  • In a feature written by long-time Response contributor Bridget McCrea, we dig into the ways certain consumer electronics products are helping consumer electronics marketers utilize the tenets of direct response to sell their products. With the rise of smartphones and tablets as both marketing outlets and shopping devices, it’s our goal to continue to keep our readers abreast of the ever-changing technological landscape. If you missed the link above, here’s the story: CE Sells CE
  • One of our most eagerly awaited stories every year is the IMS ranking of the top 50 DRTV spots and infomercials of the year. Put together by Sam Catanese and his crack research and analysis staff in Philadelphia, this is the best-known annual ranking of DRTV success — and it’s appearing exclusively in the pages of Response for the 11th consecutive year! You don’t want to miss it, so — again — here’s the link: IMS Top 50 Infomercials and Spots of 2012
  • Our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results takes a look at the DR radio space. Second-quarter 2012 results — from Response‘s partnership with Kantar Media —  continue the strikingly good news for 2012 thus far. The total of more than $11.2 million spent represents the best second quarter 2008. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 2Q 2012 DR Radio Media Billings Jump 15.1 Percent
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note takes on a personal bent as I discuss my thoughts on the creeping shopping frenzy that’s become known as Black Friday. With the event spilling over into Thanksgiving night, the irony of watching retailers and consumers take part in a festival of greed on the day we’re supposed to be giving thanks for more important things was just a little too much to take. If you missed the link above, here’s my take: Giving Thanks … and Slowing Down Greed

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response! Wishing you all a very happy holiday season, and all the best in 2013!