Mar 08

Response February: Building, Engaging, and Maintaining Responsibility

It’s been a little more than two weeks since the February issue of Response hit the web and began delivering to mailboxes. With a cover story on house-and-home e-tailer Build.com, part two of our four-part series on the consumer journey, and feature on the digital goods market, this compact issue packs a serious informational punch. For more on how we pulled it together, read on:

  • I was first introduced to Marshal Downey, our cover guy and interviewee for this feature on Build.com, during the run-up to Response Expo 2016. The first connection came from Hawthorne’s Karla Crawford Kerr — a valued ally in the business and now member of our DRMA Education Committee. Though we haven’t been able to nail Marshal down as a speaker for the Expo, we eventually locked him in for this interesting look at how the now-17-year-old e-tailer has grown its customer base via online and offline outreach — as well as impeccable customer service. One of the youngest cover subjects in years (all of 13 years old in 2001 — when I took the editorial helm of Response), Downey is wise beyond his years when it comes to omnichannel marketing. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Not Your Average Home Expansion
  • The second of our four-part “Consumer Journey” series leading into April’s Response Expo — which will feature a six-session track on the topic — focuses on engagement. My belief in the consumer journey as the centerpiece of the Expo was further confirmed last week when I attended the annual eTail West show in Palm Desert, Calif. Various facets of the consumer journey were the focus of nearly every conversation on the show floor, at the parties, and on the educational stage. Key freelancer Nicole Urso Reed is handling the series. In this issue, she caught up with representatives of 2016 DRMA Marketer of the Year finalists Nutrisystem and Vistaprint, Response Advisory Board member Peter Koeppel, and PR/social media expert (and DRMA Education Committee member) Lindsey Carnett. In case you skipped the link above: The Power of Attraction
  • Our annual look at the digital goods space explores the depth and the breadth of what “digital goods” can be: movies, gambling, eCards, meditation, books, Wi-Fi, web design, music, dating — and more. Our Pat Cauley spoke to leaders from JibJab, Wix, Boingo (all past Response cover subjects) and more for this in-depth piece on what’s working, what’s not, and what’s new in marketing in this young but exploding vertical. Here’s that story link again: The Digital Boomtown
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV sector for third-quarter 2016 results. After seven consecutive quarterly losses, short-form DRTV finally bounced back — if only slightly. A $4.3 million increase (less than 1 percent higher than 3Q 2015 results)  The network and spot TV markets continued to shine in short-form, helping make up for Hispanic’s continuing struggles. For a full look at 3Q 2016 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: A Ray of Light for Short-Form DR Billings
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:
  • Finally, in my Editor’s Note column, two moments inspired some thoughts on the ongoing — and perhaps growing — controversy surrounding consumer privacy and data security. One phone call and one intriguing article helped prompt this piece — one that includes references to Voltaire, Spider-Man, and the Bible (all in a single sentence)! If you missed the link above, here it is: Data and Targeting, and Power and Responsibility

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!

Oct 02

Response September: Performance-Based or Bust

Response September 2015With Response‘s October issue wrapped and off to the printer today — and a biz trip to Vegas in the cards for next week — today’s the perfect time to put together my personal recap of the magazine’s September issue. Always one of our bigger issues of the year, September is led by a piece on the multifaceted integrated marketing programs at Bridgestone Americas, the world’s largest tire company, and includes the annual State of the Industry Report, as well as a series of solid contributed columns — all speaking to the expansion of the performance-based marketing universe. The expansion is so rapid and diverse, honestly, that we decided to update our cover tagline beginning with this issue. Yes, Response is now “The Magazine for Performance-Based Marketers.”

  • In May, I received a press release from Cassie Jones, a senior account executive at PadillaCRT, the public relations agency for Bridgestone. The release touted a then-upcoming TV campaign for its new DriveGuard tires that starred actor/comedian Will Arnett, perhaps best known for his character Gob Bluth on the hit TV show “Arrested Development.” I responded to Cassie, inquiring about the campaign and its overall fit in any direct, digital, or data-driven efforts underway by the Bridgestone marketing team. All credit goes to Cassie for listening to what our readers want from Response and producing an interview in late June with Amber Holm and Scott Palubinsky, talking about how performance-based metrics are becoming crucial to not only Bridgestone’s tire sales, but also for its 2,200 retail stores under the Tires Plus, Wheel Works, and Firestone Complete Auto Care brands. If you missed the link to the cover story above, here it is again: The Rubber Meets the Road
  • In the print and digital pages of Response, readers were able to hear a cross-section of answers from members of our Advisory Board as part of the magazine’s 20th annual State of the Industry Report. However, one of the best parts of our online edition is the opportunity to expand on such stories. For years now, we’ve been able to present the full, unabridged answers from all of our Advisory Board members who choose to take part in the story to each question. This version is no different. So, if you’ve read the print version and were left wanting more, click the link now to read the extended, Web-exclusive version of the story: Response Magazine’s 20th Annual State of the Industry Report
  • On a monthly basis, we run somewhere between two and six submitted columns from experts in the industry. These pieces are designed to share thought leadership from those who do the work of the performance-based marketing world on a daily basis, touching on hot topics and providing crucial tips and tricks for our readers. The September issue was no different — other than the fact that, from my perspective as the person who assigns and edits each and every one of these submissions, we were lucky to have a couple of exceedingly strong viewpoints. Doug Garnett of Portland, Ore.-based Atomic Direct (and a long-time Advisory Board member) touched on how DRTV is a boon for online businesses, while Venable LLP‘s Jeff Knowles and Ellen Berge gave readers the lowdown on new EMV credit card technology and how it could cause a burst of fraudulent activity in card-not-present processing. (Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a shout to the Washington, D.C., law firm’s practice group development manager Chuck Wilkins, whose help has been invaluable to Response‘s editorial efforts over the years).
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings recap takes a look at the first DR radio results of 2015. Those results maintained a recently positive trend for the market, showing a minor 1.6-percent increase over results from the same time frame in 2014. Lately, with recent DRTV billings struggling, it’s been refreshing to get around to the radio results each quarter. This quarter is no different, as a small jump in the total number of radio campaigns and increased spending on small-to-mid-level campaigns point to a strengthening marketplace. For a more in-depth look at 1Q 2015 DR radio media billings, click here: 1Q 2015 DR Radio Media Billings Stay Positive
  • Last but not least: not only do I own up to playing fantasy football for the past two decades in my September Editor’s Note column, I’m able to link that to the incredible expansion of weekly fantasy sports, brought to you on your TV nightly by businesses like DraftKings and FanDuel. What do these recently valued billion-dollar entities see in the combination of short-form DRTV and their fully digital product? And what does their ubiquitous advertising mean for the performance-based marketing business? If you missed the link to the column above, here it is once again: Fantasy-Level Media Investments Signal Huge Opportunities

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!