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!

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 Delivery.com‘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 Delivery.com’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!