The February issue of Response debuted in print a couple of weeks ago and hit the Web last week. I’ve finally been able to clear some time today to give you my monthly glimpse at back story on the issue, including the cover feature highlighting Premera Blue Cross (and VP/GM Jim Havens), the new class of inductees for the DR Hall of Fame and more:
- About four months ago, we got a call from Sean Fay of Envision Response in Seattle. Sean’s been a long-time friend of Response, going back to his days with Cesari Direct. He was really excited about the work he’d just done with Premera Blue Cross, the Blue Cross health insurance organization serving Washington and Alaska, and believed they’d be interested in talking about their campaign for some newly tweaked Medicare offerings. After I was connected with Amy Carter, a key PR player for the insurer, the story came together without a hitch. Havens, who headed up the Medicare Advantage product launch, was open and forthright about the challenges Premera faced and the work that both Envision and agency DMW Direct did to help make its multi-channel campaign a success. If you missed the link above, here it is once again: A Direct Advantage
- Our Field Reports news section is a hearty one this month, led by the announcement of the 10 inductees selected to join the Direct Response Hall of Fame on May 1 at Response Expo in San Diego. With a nominating process headed by the Response Advisory Board, this group of inductees joins our inaugural group of nine who were inducted in 2013. Not only will the induction event happen at the Expo, but a very special panel discussion featuring six of the inductees will take place just prior to the ceremony. In sadder news, we say goodbye to one of the “As Seen On TV” industry’s founding fathers, Mike Ackerman, who passed away in January. If you missed the link above to these two big stories (and more), click here to take a look: Field Reports February
- When I received the initial 3Q 2013 short-form DRTV media billings information from Kantar Media, the decline was eye-opening. After all, the year’s first two quarters had been a struggle for all media billings areas we cover. But these were brutal. Fortunately, the Kantar team sent a note along, not too far after the initial E-mail, with an explanation for its change in methodology late in 2012 that is playing a role in the losses it’s reported so far in 2013. So, while short-form media billings are still down — and the market is mirroring the long-form space by moving more of its dollars away from the expensive cable space — the losses aren’t as horrifying as once believed. For more on 3Q short-form DRTV billings (and Kantar’s explanation), click here: Kantar Clarifies Dour 3Q Short-Form Results
- Finally, my Editor’s Note riffs on how healthcare marketers — forced to become more agile and more aggressive due to the new Affordable Care Act and an aging populace — are becoming the leaders in showing all vertical markets how best to become direct, digital, data-driven marketing experts. The timing couldn’t be better, coming along a month after the debut of Response‘s new look and new tagline. In addition to our cover feature on Premera Blue Cross, the issue also includes a feature on how an array of healthcare marketers are finding new ways to gain and maintain customers. For more of my thoughts, here’s the link once again: Healthcare Marketers Point the Way to Marketing’s Future
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!