Oct 19

Response October: DRMA’s Big Winners, FTC’s Big Losers and Some Hope for Long-Form

The October issue of Response was another busy one for me and the team. Let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to the issue!

Response October

The Marketer of the Year Finalists graced Response’s October cover.

  • The 2012 DRMA Marketer of the Year race was a runaway for SENSA Products, but the battle for the other two finalist spots was tight, with Space Bag, recently purchased by consumer package goods behemoth SC Johnson, and Hampton Direct edging a slew of other competitors. What made these companies so strong in 20120? Find out in the cover feature, where SENSA’s Jeff Campbell, Space Bag’s Betty Jamieson-Dunne and Hampton’s Steve Heroux discuss the reasons for their products’ successes. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: A Taste of Victory
  • The fourth annual MOY (as we call it internally at Response) event was also a big success, drawing around 900 DR industry folks to the Chateau Rooftop in Vegas. See a few pix of who was there in our monthly “But Wait, There’s More” section here: MOY Party a Who’s Who in Vegas!


    Transpromo agency Zadspace is featured in this month’s DRMA Spotlight.

  • Our DRMA Spotlight focuses this month on a new player in the traditional direct marketing space: Zadspace. The company, which plays in the transpromotional sector of direct, features a familiar face at the helm to long-time DR insiders: Jeff Giordano, who served as chairman of the Electronic Retailing Association in its earlier days. Zadspace’s patented technology and methodology allows companies to place targeted promotions on the outside of DTC packages sent by E-tailers and catalogs. During a summer trip to New York, we were lucky enough to sit down with Jeff both for the print interview that’s featured in the magazine and for a video interview that can be found on our DRMA website. For the print story, once again, click here: Zadspace Turns the Box Upside Down For the video interview, in case you missed the link above, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video with Jeff Giordano
  • MB Chart

    Long-Form Media Bounced Back Big in 2Q 2012.

    The October issue also featured our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results, this time in the long-form DRTV space. Second-quarter 2012 results — from Response‘s exclusive in-house research —  have the year off to its best six month start in quite a while. The $32 million leap in 2Q 2012 means that long-form DRTV media billings are up more than $40 million total in the year’s first half. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 2Q 2012 Long-Form Media Billings Leap $32 Million

  • Finally, my October Editor’s Note tackles the recent FTC actions — with astoundingly big dollars attached — against some DR marketers. These actions, and their financial aspects, were all the buzz in Las Vegas last month, as many of the members of our Advisory Board are curious to see how the FTC proceeds from here. Is there not a better way to protect consumers than tackling products five years down the line? There will be more on this topic in coming issues of Response. If you missed the link above, here’s my take: The FTC Leans Hard on the DR Business … Again

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Sep 19

Response September: Spyders, PajamaJeans and Advisors … Oh My!

Response‘s September issue was a busy one for me. Lots and lots of “By Thomas Haire” to be found in this month’s issue. Let’s take a look!

Ryan Campbell of hardware products leader Spyder Products graced the September cover.

  • Our cover story on Spyder Products and its general manager, Ryan Campbell, came to us via one of the magazine’s longest-term friends and advisors, Doug Garnett of Atomic Direct. Doug’s expertise in producing quality DR work for top-shelf hardware brands is no secret, and the work he’s done for Spyder, which is a pure DR-to-retail play involving mega-retailer Lowe’s, is no different. Spyder is a young company, but has had great success with its power tool accessories, and Campbell could not speak more highly of the importance of DRTV to that success. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is again: Spinning a Winning Web
  • September means it’s time, once again, for Response‘s Annual State of the Industry Report. For the 17th consecutive year (and my 11th since joining the magazine), we surveyed our esteemed Advisory Board with more than a dozen questions about the DRTV space — past, present and future. We got some great input this year and, as always, we extended the piece that appeared in print into the full set of unabridged answers online. This story is always one of our most intriguing and most read. Here’s the link, again: State of the Industry 2012
  • Our DRMA Spotlight returned after a short hiatus and features one of the hottest DRTV marketers around: Hampton Direct. With its founder Steve Heroux at the helm, Hampton’s product winning streak over the past 4-5 years has been stunning: Twin Draft Guard, Total Pillow, PajamaJeans, Wonder Hanger, InstaHang … the list goes on and on. We were lucky enough to sit down with Steve both for the print interview that’s featured in the magazine and for a video interview that can be found on our DRMA website. For the print story, once again, click here: Extending a Long Winning Streak For the video interview, in case you missed the link above, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video with Steve Heroux
  • The September issue also featured our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results, this time in the DR radio space. With numbers courtesy of Kantar Media, first-quarter 2012 showed a 7.7-percent slide from the same quarter in 2011 — which was a spectacular quarter. The good news is that these billings mirror the pre-recession numbers of 1Q 2008, which hopefully tells us that radio has finally bounced back from a prolonged slide. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 1Q DR Radio Billings Slip 7.7 Percent
  • Finally, my September Editor’s Note discusses the continuing commitment of the DRMA and Response team to drive unity across the DR community. With our DRMA Marketer of the Year event last week in Las Vegas again setting the industry abuzz, we’re proud to be the industry’s partner, and proud of our status as a for-profit business working for the sake of other for-profit businesses. It’s a heady time to be involved in direct response, and we’re excited to have been a part of the growth for the past decade and look forward to being a part of it for at least the next decade! If you missed the link above, here’s my take: A Commitment to Marketers and Service Providers Drives Our Business

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Feb 22

Response February: Growing Hair, Inside Jerry’s ‘Circus’ and a Rant on the DRMA’s 5th

Once again this month, rather than just putting links on Facebook and Twitter with my Response Magazine stories, I figured I’d transition the links to a single blog post that I could then link to said social media. Plus, this forum gives me a little space to expand on each story and give you some deeper background.

  • The February cover features Bosley’s Rob Spurrell. The story actually grew out of an initial call with Steven Aquavia, the director of marketing for the Beverly Hills-based leader in hair-loss solutions and medical hair restoration. Steven will be a featured speaker at Response Expo 2012 in San Diego this May. I was intrigued by the 37-year old company’s marketing story, and Steven kindly linked me to Rob, a 15-year veteran at Bosley. Rob was an intriguing interview, especially when discussing the company’s huge success the past two years, despite marketing a high-priced “vanity” service in a down economy. If you missed the story link above, here it is again: “No Splitting Hairs”

    Bosley, Jerry and a rant.

    Bosley's Rob Spurrell leads the way into the latest issue of Response.

  • Our February issue also includes an exclusive interview with TV talk legend Jerry Springer. Why Jerry? Well, aside from the obvious comedy of his over-the-top talk show that’s now in its 21st syndicated season, “Jerry” is a haven for DRTV advertisers. As NBC Universal’s Brian Levy, who pitched this story to me in autumn 2011, knows from his experience with that company’s syndicated program media offerings, “The Jerry Springer Show” has brought tremendous success to its advertiser base. Even more impressive than Springer’s self-deprecating sense of humor over the phone, however, was his own clear knowledge of why his show works for DRTV advertisers. Once again, if you missed that first link, here’s your second chance to read my one-on-one with Jerry Springer: “Springer’s ‘Circus'”
  • Finally, my monthly Editor’s Note column touches upon the fifth anniversary of the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA), the magazine’s associated networking group that I helped found. We’re happy that the DRMA has, to this point, fulfilled its mission, and clearly our members and the leaders of our business deserve the lions’ share of the credit for that. However, we’ve experienced — first hand, time and time again — the high costs, the red tape and the petty politics most people experience when dealing with less-effective industry trade groups. There’s no doubt that the avoidance of these things has been a boon to the DRMA’s success thus far. Again, here’s the link if you missed it above: The DRMA at 5

Once again, thanks for reading and interacting with Response!