Dec 13

Response October: New Look, New Feel, Same Strong Content

Brand, refreshed! Our first issue under our sleek new masthead and tagline — the magazine for media, technology, and commerce — the October 2017 cover features Boll & Branch, the winner of our ninth annual DRMA Marketer of the Year Award. And not only did the magazine get a facelift, so did our website, If you haven’t bounced around the site yet (let’s be honest, this recap’s a bit on the late side), I urge you to do so! The cover story itself includes interviews with the Boll & Branch team, as well as leaders from the other two finalists: Highmark Health and Monster Worldwide. The issue also features our annual look at the automotive marketing space, a dive into the domination of Google and Facebook in digital advertising, and the latest edition of our biannual media buying and planning guide. Want to get deeper into the first issue of Response 3.0 (our moniker for the rebrand project around the office)? Read on!

  • With each of our three nominees for the Marketer of the Year Award having been featured in a cover story during the preceding calendar year, the competition for the 2017 DRMA honor (and second cover feature in Response) was one of the fiercest in years. Of her company’s victory, Cally Everett, vice president of marketing for Boll & Branch, says, “We have always made decisions as a company based on what’s right for us, not what our competitors are doing, and it’s encouraging to see that our approach is resonating with consumers and other marketers alike.” If you missed the link above, read more from Everett, Monster’s Chris Owen, and Highmark Health’s Chris Zdanowski by clicking here: Blanketing the Competition
  • Freelancer Doug McPherson speeds directly into traffic — social media traffic — in his look at marketing in the automotive space. Manufacturers, dealers, and others involved in auto marketing are finding great success online — particularly using Facebook — to reach, groom, and eventually sell to new car buyers. Miss the link above? Here it is again: The Wheel Deal
  • Beyond the shocking stats — such as Facebook and Google owning 85-percent of digital advertising’s growth during the past year — just what is it about these two behemoths that’s drawing marketers to give them so much advertising budget? What can other digital ad outlets do to compete — as Amazon begins to flex its muscles, as well? And what can marketers expect from the digital advertising space in the coming year(s). Freelancer Bridget McCrea digs deep for a few answers that could help. Here’s that link again: The Gigantic Digital Ad Duopoly
  • Freelancer Nicole Urso Reed queries leaders of some of the industry’s key agencies in her latest edition of our ongoing media buying and planning guide. Expansion or consolidation? That is the question. The answer: Both? Neither? Check out the story to find out the latest: Consolidation Rules
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings enter second-quarter 2017 with Response’s own long-form DRTV research. To no one’s shock, the 28:30 space suffered yet another drop: a 4.5-percent decrease that represents the fifth consecutive losing period for the long-form market. Spending was up in the top 30 DMAs, while marketers also invested a bigger share of their pies in the lower-cost satellite and broadcast outlets. For a full look at 2Q 2017 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form DRTV Suffers Fifth Consecutive Down Quarter
  • Don’t miss October’s power-packed column submissions, as well:
  • Finally, as you might expect, my Editor’s Note column riffs on the changes represented by this issue of Response. What are we thinking by undertaking this refresh of the magazine and the DRMA and — in the case of our annual event, MTC Expo — full rebrand? How are we hoping our readers, members, and attendees respond? If you missed the link above, here it is: Response Refreshed — Here’s to the New World of Marketing!

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Feb 25

Response February: A Beauty Mask, E-Commerce Vision and Exciting New Research

Response February 2015The February issue of Response went live online early last week and started hitting mailboxes later in the week. Aside from an intriguing cover story on a new beauty product that’s running the DR-to-retail race in reverse, there are a number of other notable pieces in the latest issue. Let’s take a look!

  • My cover feature on illuMask and its founder Jay Tapper came to us from one of the most reliable sources on our Advisory Board — someone who has actually been a part of that group longer than the nearly 14 years I’ve been editor of the publication. R2C Group’s David Savage always seems to come through for us when we’re in an editorial pinch, but this time he actually pitched me the illuMask story well in advance — and it’s a good one. Tapper’s brainchild, the product gained big-time retail traction when it debuted about a year ago with a Facebook-driven campaign in conjunction with major retailers as its only real marketing effort. To expand on that success Tapper’s team at La Lumiere decided to create a short-form DRTV campaign around the product. It’s initial success and the DRTV concept drew a $20 million investment from the VC arm of Johnson & Johnson. It’s one heck of a story, and one that will continue to be told as part of a panel at Response Expo in April. If you missed the link above, here it is again: Behind the Mask
  • As the omnichannel universe continues to make marketing a near-constant effort, our coverage continues to expand and encompass more and more facets of the direct and digital world. This month, that means a feature story that looks at some recent e-commerce campaigns that have used old-school direct marketing tenets mixed with newfangled technology to maximize reach and ROI. These are marketers who are becoming more familiar to those who’ve grown up in the direct response space — Squarespace, MailChimp, Warby Parker and Bonobos — as well as one, Weight Watchers, that’s been a staple but has made some recent tweaks. Old ideas are new again — and new ideas find a home more easily in today’s marketing environment. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance to read the story: The Art of E-Commerce
  • DRMetrix LogoThe February issue is also the debut issue for our new exclusive research page provided via a partnership with DRMetrix. Based in Southern California, DRMetrix is attempting not only to fill a void in direct response television research but also to bring TV media research more closely in line with the digital research available in the market. Conversations about what the DRMetrix team was trying to accomplish and how Response could team with it began early last year, and we were intrigued by the possibilities of its technologies. With this introductory piece and DRMetrix’s first snapshot of its research, this month’s debut promises great things to come. Once again, if you missed the link above, click here: Introducing DRMetrix: The Next Generation in Direct Response Research
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings update focuses on third-quarter 2014 short-form DRTV results. While third-quarter’s 4-percent increase was a bit of a disappointment after the year’s first half — and with how dismal 3Q 2013 results were — it does mean that total 2014 results are up more than 8 percent over the first nine months of the previous year.. This is the second consecutive year of losses for the long-form space — unless fourth-quarter results are shockingly good. Additionally, marketers seemed more willing to expand spending on mid-level hits during 3Q 2014 than they have recently, a positive sign for confidence in the industry and the economy. To take a deeper look at 3Q 2014 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Billings Rise 4 Percent in 3Q 2014
  • As part of my other role in the Response Group — content director of Response Expo — I take notes every time I travel to other trade shows and/or networking events. There are times where events are so disappointingly and poorly conceived in comparison to the needs and desires of their targeted audiences that it truly boggles the mind. That’s the genesis of my Editor’s Note column this month. In it, I ask for reader/attendee feedback on what you’ve seen at Response Expo and other trade shows that works — and that doesn’t work. I’ll also ask the same here: let me know what you want out of an event. If we’re not listening to our customers, we’re not doing our job. In case you missed the link to the piece, here it is once again: Building Better Events Starts With Keeping Attendees Top of Mind

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Feb 07

Response January: Brandman U., College Sports Marketing and Another Buzzword

RES0115_CV1A day after finalizing our February issue and sending it off to print, I finally have a free moment to take a look back at the January issue of Response. The issue went live online a couple of weeks back, but just in case you haven’t flipped it — either in print or online — I’m back with my regular look at some of the issue’s key stories.

  • My cover feature on Brandman University and Ramendra (Ram) Singh had an interesting genesis. Most refer to it as “seventh grade.” That’s right, a friend I met during junior high school — Steve Quis — pitched the story idea to me last summer in his role as PR director for the non-profit university. He’s since moved on to a similar role at Miramar College (in addition to his sports play-by-play career). The introduction to Ram was a fortuitous one. Ram is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I’ve interviewed during my 14 years at Response. His thoughts on omnichannel (yep, that word — and it’ll come up again later in this post) marketing in the education sector are ones that any marketer should consider. I’m very pleased to note that Ram will be part of an educational panel at Response Expo. If you’re one of our attendees, you shouldn’t miss it. So, thanks Steve. Who knew our time back at LVJHS and FUHS would evolve into this story! If you missed the link above, here it is again: Educating at Brandman University
  • Keeping the college theme going, our annual look at marketing in the sports & fitness category takes a deep dive into how major college athletics programs are finding new ways to commune with fans and sell game tickets and merchandise. The passion of sports fans makes them the perfect consumer to target via various direct response marketing methods, especially digital and social media. From coast to coast — quite literally from Oregon to Miami — what are the best marketers doing to reach those fans and make them consumers? If you didn’t click the link above, here’s your chance to find out: Inside the College Playbook
  • The January issue buzzword of the month: omnichannel. After touching on the “programmatic” frenzy in December, we took our questions about “omnichannel” marketing to the Response Advisory Board (RAB) for 2015’s first advisors roundtable feature. Seven of our board members took part in the conversation and — as usual — the online version carries the complete and unabridged answers from each leader (compared to the edited version that runs in the print magazine). Once again, if you missed the link above, click here: Response Advisors Forum: Entering the Omnichannel Era
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings update focuses on third-quarter 2014 long-form DRTV results. Once again, media billings in the half-hour advertising space stumbled, losing $20.3 million compared to the prior third quarter and leaving the total for the first nine months of the year off by more than $61 million. This is the second consecutive year of losses for the long-form space — unless fourth-quarter results are shockingly good. But there is some hope that long-form marketers are starting to understand the trends and restructuring how best to take advantage of long-form DRTV. To take a deeper look at 3Q 2014 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form Media Billings Dip $20M … Again
  • A line I removed from January’s Editor’s Note column read (so far as I can recall): “And I am sure my fiancée rues the day she urged me to join Twitter.” If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are a Facebook friend, you may agree … wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, to read my take on using social media outlets — both personally and professionally — here’s the link once again: Finding — and Growing — Your Social Voice

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!