Last October, what eventually became the cover story for the July issue of Response had a simple genesis — I wanted to rest my weary legs. For more of that story and additional background on other key parts of the issue that hit mailboxes and the Web a few weeks back, read on!
Weary legs? Well, yes. I was attending the annual DMA conference in San Diego, and it’d been a long day of walking from show floor to session and back (and forth, and back again). During one afternoon time frame, I’d noted two possible educational sessions to pop into, in order to listen to and meet the marketers who were speaking on stage — and those weary legs told me, “Just go to the closest one.” It was there that I saw Alessandra Souers, brand director for JibJab, as part of a group discussing the future of online marketing. For those of you familiar with Response Expo, you know that Souers eventually sat on a panel at our event this past April. She’s one of the brighter young minds in marketing — and pretty darned amusing on Twitter, I might add. After her appearance at the Expo, I tossed out the idea of a cover story on JibJab’s marketing efforts — long focused online, but in recent holiday seasons, also dipping a toe into the pool of direct response TV. Not only did she help bring this cover to life, she actually got me all the way to the top — an interview with the company’s co-founder and CEO, Gregg Spiridellis. Among the many “online-to-offline” marketers we’ve covered of late, JibJab’s story of going from viral-video groundbreaker to monetized marketing leader may be the most interesting. If you missed the link above, here it is again: More Than Just Talking Heads
As one who prefers the value of finding and enjoying great experiences over the concept of buying “things,” I enjoyed the angle our writer Nicole Urso Reed — a one-time staffer at both Response and JibJab, and one of my most versatile and talented long-time freelancers — took for our annual look at marketing in the entertainment space. The idea that a consumer is looking for a great experience from not only events, but actual hard products, shouldn’t be news today. This evolving consumer is ever-more-picky about what he or she desires from time, money — and gadgets. If you didn’t already click the link above — here it is: Selling the Good Vibes
Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings recap takes a look at the first long-form DRTV results of 2015 — and they continue what’s now a 2.5-year downward trend. Total spending in 1Q 2015 long-form billings was the lowest recorded in any first quarter by Response since 2001. If there is to be a rebound in the infomercial media space in the final nine months of 2015, it’s likely to be led by the market’s two biggest categories: beauty and fitness. However, while fitness had a strong first quarter, beauty remained mired in a slump that kicked in last year. For a more in-depth look at 1Q 2015 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Stabilization, No Rebound, for 1Q Long-Form DRTV Billings
One steamy day of meetings in New York City in late June is the jumping off point for my July Editor’s Note column. As we reached the halfway point of what’s been a year of transition for the direct, digital and data-driven marketing world — and our role in it — listening to the comments from the many agency and network leaders we met with during that visit prompted some reflection on the first six months, as well as an opportunity to look ahead to closing out 2015 strong. Here’s that link once again: The Summer Heat Provides Its Own Time for Reflection
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!
As we close out the year that was 2012, I began to read back on my Editor’s Note columns in the pages of Response for the past year. I do this annually, just to make sure that I maintain the most vital and balanced voice I can in support of the magazine’s goals, the DR industry’s goals and the individual business goals of our readers.
As I was reading through them, I figured that TomRants might be the perfect place to put an annual compendium of these columns at the end of each year. So, here you have them — all 12 of my personal opinion pieces from Response for 2012. As always, I’m open for feedback on any of my thoughts! Feel free to drop a line.
I’m back again with some links from this month’s edition of Response Magazine and some back story on each piece. Please click on any of the links to jump to the stories included within!
John Foley is the magazine’s May cover and the Expo’s keynote speaker.
The May cover features John Foley, former lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and holder of two master’s degrees from Stanford and another from the Naval War College — and Response Expo 2012‘s Keynote speaker (5:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 15 in San Diego). As in the past two years, with Sir Bob Geldof and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, it was a no-brainer to relate our cover to such a great keynoter for our Expo. And the 40 minutes I spent on the phone interviewing Foley were fantastic. He’s lively, engaging and has no hesitation in getting very personal. He really responded to every question with a full voice and didn’t shy away from broaching any topic. After the interview, I was more excited than ever to hear him speak in San Diego. If you missed the story link above, here it is again: Blue Angel John Foley
My monthly Editor’s Note column is centered on the Sixth Annual Response Expo. When John Yarrington and I started kicking around the idea six years ago to resuscitate the event (which had a good run in the 1990s with our predecessors), we never imagined just how amazing the response from this industry would be, year after year. It’s become the most gratifying week of the year for me personally, to see everyone in San Diego having such a great time doing business and getting the latest education. And the feedback we get from you all on site is truly breathtaking. Here’s hoping next week’s event is just as satisfying as the first five have been! Check out my take on it here: All Aboard for Response Expo!
Finally, our biggest issue of the year so far also includes my recap of our late March trip to Washington for the DMA in DC event, as well as my interview with Euro RSCG Edge‘s Steve Netzley, both found in our Field Reports news section. I spoke directly about the event in my April issue Editor’s Note, but this news piece gives you a more circumspect look at the entire event, with some attendee feedback. Meanwhile, talking with Netzley is always like listening to a great history of the DR world, while at the same time speaking to someone who is truly connected to what’s next. For these stories and more, visit our Field Reports section online now: DMA and Edge stories
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!