Aug 30

Response August: Kiko, no! no!, and More Dough

Response August 2016About two weeks back, Response‘s August issue hit the web (and, since, most subscribers’ mailboxes). Yesterday, we wrapped up and sent our September issue to print. So today I’m taking a few minutes out of the day to get this post up and share some back story on the August pub, which is fronted by our cover story on global cosmetics brand Kiko Milano. The issue also features our annual look at the financial services marketplace, a story on how the marketers behind no! no! battled counterfeiters and won, and a feature touching on the latest trends affecting payment processing. Here’s more on each of those stories — and others:

  • I first met Igor Credali, New York-based e-commerce leader of Kiko Milano’s U.S. expansion efforts, at the eTail West event in Palm Desert, Calif., about six months ago. I’d received outreach from digital partner Linc for a meeting at the event, and during that meeting, the Linc team introduced me to Credali as one of its “star” clients. The story about Linc’s efforts to help Kiko build its brand in the U.S. — a brand that is extremely well known and regarded throughout Europe — was intriguing. When I returned to the office and started digging deeper on Kiko’s work in the U.S. — it’s online marketing efforts and rapid ascension in brick-and-mortar retail — I knew this was a story we wanted to tell. Fortunately, the crew at Linc and Credali himself were up for the idea. If you missed it above, here’s the link: A Beautiful Expansion
  • Another annual staple, our feature on the latest trends for financial services marketers takes a deeper look at the different variations of media — style, content, length, and more — that marketers in the banking, insurance, and finance worlds are using to reach consumers. For years now, financial services marketers have been pathfinders, leading the way for other verticals in showing how offline and online media can converge to drive response from consumers. That’s still true today. What are they up to now? If you missed the link above, click here to check out the story: The Dollars and Cents of Performance-Based Marketing
  • An interesting partnership between skin-care marketer Radiancy and leading e-commerce websites is at the heart of a feature that shines a spotlight on the ongoing problem of counterfeit products. At our DRMA Winter Bash last December in New York, I met Jaimee Given, Radiancy’s marketing manager, who shared openly about the struggles the company was facing with counterfeit versions of its popular no! no! product — especially on websites like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. She was working hard at solving the issue and had enlisted leaders from those e-retailers and more for help. The story you see in this issue talks about the incredible results Given and Co. have authored — as well as discussing the landscape going forward. Our Doug McPherson has the story: Beating the Bad Guys
  • The concepts behind processing consumer payments seem to be changing as quickly, at the least, as the outlets where consumers can buy marketers’ products and services. Along with growing e-commerce — and, perhaps more strikingly, m-commerce (mobile commerce) — marketers must continue to address customer concerns about security and privacy. And with new EMV chip cards becoming the norm, online fraud has become even more prevalent. What does it all mean? We asked a trio of payment processing experts about these items and more. Here’s what they had to say: Pay Day
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for first-quarter 2016 results. Once again — and hopefully for the fourth and final time since they were announced — Kantar Media’s changes to its Hispanic media measurements affect its reported results. Another slide — more than 25 percent — left short-form DR results at what we hope is a new 1Q baseline: $622.4 million. For a full look at 1Q 2016 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: No New Tale to Tell for Short-Form DRTV
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:2016 DRMA Summer Bash
  • Finally, sometimes when working on my Editor’s Note column, timing is everything. Just days before I sat down to write my monthly missive, two massive deals shook the performance-based marketing world: Unilever‘s $1 billion purchase of Dollar Shave Club; and Verizon‘s $4.8 billion deal to acquire Yahoo. Want to talk about a lay-up? These two deals — and how they each spoke to the growing importance of how marketers are quantifying spend and success — were prime fodder to write about. If you missed the link above, here you go: Verizon-Yahoo, Unilever-Dollar Shave Club Speak to Performance-Based Power

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Jun 23

Response June: A Series of Educated Gambles

Response June 2016Response‘s June issue hit the web (and mailboxes) this week. Headlined by a cover story on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the issue also features our second quarterly Advisors Forum feature of 2016, this time centered on the topic of attribution, a special case study on‘s solution to issues with credit card fraud, and a web-exclusive story on the pharmaceutical and healthcare space. Read on for background on some of the key facets of our first summer issue:

  • In a shocking turn, the headline for the cover story on the LVCVA echoes its most famous tagline: ‘What Happens in Vegas …’ The work on this story actually dates to late 2015, when I received a press release from the LVCVA’s Courtney Fitzgerald about a new digital offering from the group. By early January, we’d settled on a cover interview with Cathy Tull, the group’s senior vice president of marketing, as a cover story. But with a new TV campaign rolling out in June — and a series of mobile-focused digital offerings hitting in the interim — we agreed to push the feature until this particular issue. It was the right choice, because by the time I sat down for a phone call with Tull in early May, we had plenty to discuss. The LVCVA’s wide-ranging goals and ever-expanding online and offline marketing efforts make it a great story for anyone looking at any facet of performance-based marketing. If you missed it above, here’s the link: ‘What Happens in Vegas …’
  • Attribution may be the biggest buzzword in performance-based marketing today. Marketers, agencies, and other vendors are working constantly to find the right mix of data that will help them attribute each lead or sale back to the piece of media that prompted a consumer to act. But as consumers have gained more control over how and when they are reached — let alone how and when they respond — that attribution is harder and harder to nail down. Seven members of the Response Advisory Board responded to questions for this special roundtable on the topic of attribution — and the online version includes their full, unabridged answers. If you missed the link above but want to check out the story, click here: What’s the Attribution Solution?
  • When I met with Forter‘s Bill Zielke and’s Colin Sims at the eTail West event in Palm Desert, Calif., in February, I was intrigued by their story about the online retailer’s struggles with credit card fraud and Forter’s solution. Right then and there, I made an immediate decision that this story was worthy of a rare case study feature in the pages of Response. Four months later, freelancer Doug McPherson has the story for you: Fighting Fraud
  • The issue’s fourth feature — our look at the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets — is only available online. For marketers of healthcare services to health insurance to pharmaceuticals, an ever-changing regulatory environment is nothing new. How are these marketers dealing with the restrictions — and capitalizing on new opportunities in the age of Obamacare and expanded Medicare coverage? Don’t miss this web exclusive: Healthy Changes
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the DR radio space for outstanding fourth-quarter 2015 results. The radio space’s best 4Q performance in five years lifted its annual total to more than $58 million — a 7.9-percent rise over 2014, which itself was a big bounce-back year. What’s behind the recent success of the radio medium? For a full look at 4Q 2015 DR radio media billings, click here: DR Radio Doubles Down on Success
  • Response is very fortunate to have many of the brightest minds in the business as regular contributors to our column well. This month’s pieces display the breadth of that expertise, if you simply click on these links: Media Zone; Production House; Net Gains; and Legal Review. At the risk of sounding a little self-assured after more than 15 years running the magazine’s editorial, I’d like to think I’m in that group of “bright minds,” which means I always want to make sure my Editor’s Note column measures up. This month, I flip the attribution debate among marketers and agencies on its head and ask our readers to view attribution from a consumer’s perspective. Might this reversal help you better understand your attribution issues from a business perspective? That’s what I’d like to know. If you missed the link above, click here to read (and respond to) my latest: Thinking Like a Consumer Could Help Your Attribution Modeling

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Jun 21

Response May: ‘Modern’ Business Partnerships

Response May 2016When we finished posting the June issue of Response online yesterday, it was a rude awakening to realize I’d yet to recap our May issue here on the blog. With a cover story about e-commerce start-up Touch of Modern, the issue also includes a look at the business solutions space, the spring edition of our semi-annual media buying & planning guide, and our annual Cable Network Directory. Here’s some more on these and a few other items which you should note:

  • The cover story on Touch of Modern has its roots in a meeting during the eTail West trade show in Palm Desert, Calif., in late February. There, I connected with the company’s PR lead, Ashley Cummings, and one of its four founders, Jonathan Wu. Immediately intrigued by the 4-year old company’s focus on the online male shopping market and the back story of its four co-founders, I worked with Cummings to bring the company’s VP of marketing, Matt Gehring, to April’s Response Expo as a speaker. At the same time, Cummings was quick to jump on the opportunity when my original May cover story fell through, getting me on the phone quickly with not only Gehring, but two of the other co-founders, Jerry Hum and Dennis Liu. The resulting story touches on some of the most cutting-edge performance-based marketing tactics — and powerful results — that we’ve discussed in Response. If you missed it above, here’s the link: A Modern Flash
  • During the past 18 months, our coverage of the business solutions space has mirrored its ascent as a key group utilizing performance-based marketing — recall our cover features on such leaders as Vistaprint, Wix, Boingo Wireless, and Square. This month, freelancer Doug McPherson takes a look at the wider space and how it is reaching and servicing small businesses and consumers alike. Using online and offline media — and relying heavily on the data those interactions drive — business solutions marketers like Weebly and Pagemodo are carving out big time success. If you missed the link above but want to check out the story, click here: A Wiz at Biz
  • The spring edition of our ongoing media buying & planning guide feature usually includes thoughts from leaders on the network and MVPD side of the business. And it also includes our annual Cable Network Directory, which shares demographic and contact information from major national TV media outlets with our readers. This issue’s edition is no different. The feature story focuses heavily on changing how changing TV technology, as well as the ongoing presidential campaign, is affecting the media landscape. Meanwhile, this year’s Directory is our biggest ever — nearly 140 outlets are included. If you missed them above, here are links to the feature and to the directory:
  • This month’s Field Reports section is notable for its look back at April’s Response Expo. From the opening keynote by famed World Trade Center wire walker Philippe Petit to the closing night soiree at SeaWorld San Diego, we were thrilled to host more than 3,000 performance-based marketers once again for networking, education, and a lot of fun. (Also, don’t miss a chance to look back in the Expo in photos: a 2-page spread on the event makes up this month’s “But Wait, There’s More” seHaire Moderates at Response Expoction). While I do love holding that printed issue of Response in my hand at the end of each month, when it comes to job satisfaction, there’s nothing like the rush of receiving the personal thanks and congratulations we’ve been lucky to earn through these first 10 Expos. We look forward to returning to San Diego with everyone next April. If you missed the link to the news wrap above, here it is once again: Field Reports May 2016
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for fourth-quarter 2015 results. And — like many of you, I presume, when it comes to this market — I’m ready to kiss 2015 goodbye. Kantar Media‘s shift in measuring the Hispanic media space — and the major reduction in estimated Hispanic media spending it engendered — was the overwhelming reason that the year’s results for the short-form space showed a 26.3-percent decrease. In fact, more than $3 of every $4 lost in 2015 was attributed to a major rollback in Hispanic media spending. For a full look at 4Q 2015 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Kantar Measurement Shifts Push 2015 Short-Form DR Billings Off a Cliff
  • Finally, when I wrote my Editor’s Note piece for this issue, I was in a rather bad mood. Fortunately, aside from a single line referring cryptically to the reason for that mood in the story’s next-to-last paragraph, I was able to turn that negative feeling into a positive look at how partnerships can be a wonderful driving force in both our business and personal lives. If you’ve read this piece before reading this post, let me know if you had any idea that I actually was incredibly angry right before writing this column. I’d love to hear about it. If you missed the link above, click here to check it out: The Power of Partnership

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!