Oct 13

Response September: 25 Years Down and a Transition to Come

Following on the heels of my August recap, here’s a look at Response‘s September issue — the last issue of our 25th year of publication and the final issue prior to the brand refresh we’ve been working on in recent weeks. Appropriately, then, the issue is led by a cover story about a traditional direct-to-consumer marketer also celebrating its 25th anniversary: Tristar Products. Beyond that, September’s book includes a look at marketing in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, a piece on the power of video marketing (no matter the medium) driving the convergence of media, technology, and commerce, and our 22nd annual State of the Industry report. Let’s take a look at how these — and other stories — came together to form this transitional issue.

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 11

Response August: Financial, Fulfillment, Festivities

Hey all. Yes, it’s been a while. We got our October issue off to print late last week — and here I am blogging about our August issue?! Yep. September was a crazy month of personal and business travel, on top of working heavily on the rebrand of Response Expo as MTC Expo, and the brand refreshes of Response Magazine and the DRMA. Both the Response and DRMA sites should be brand new by early November. Finally, here’s a look back August, which is led by an intriguing cover interview with Jean Vernor, who leads MetLife‘s direct-to-consumer efforts. Other features in the issue include a look at how the wider financial services space is using direct methodologies and our annual look at the fulfillment and logistics space. How did these — and other — pieces come together? Let’s take a look.

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 01

Response August: Art Dealers, Financial Feelers and Media Healers

Response AugustWith a travel schedule like ours lately, it’s been a bear just to get the actual work done, let alone share thoughts on the two most recent issues of Response! So here I am at 11:30 on a Tuesday night, typing away about the August issue of Response, nearly a month-and-a-half after it hit the Web and most mailboxes. Nonetheless, let’s take a quick look back at the issue, including the cover feature on the intriguing team behind New Era HD and Gallery Direct, our annual look at the financial services market and more.

  • Response Advisory Board member Fern Lee of THOR Associates deserves much credit for re-linking me with Mitch Bader, CEO of Austin, Texas-based New Era HD and Gallery Direct, an online leader in providing fine art solutions to businesses and consumers. I’d met Bader several years back when he worked closely with industry teleservices legend Steve Pittendrigh at InPulse Response Group. A financial wizard, Bader teamed in 2012 with art expert Nick Nichols, who co-founded New Era back in 2000 to expand the company’s consumer facing entity, Gallery Direct. Together, the duo has used various facets of direct response marketing — especially digitally — to build that consumer art business while, at the same time, strengthening the B-to-B efforts of New Era. Now, the team is looking to add DRTV to its mix to drive traffic to its E-commerce sites. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Marketing a Masterpiece
  • The financial services space has been one of the direct, digital and data-driven marketing world’s most reliable verticals for years. And with the continued growth of the serve-yourself consumer universe found on the Internet, marketers in the banking, insurance and investment spaces are continually doubling down on their use of direct metrics to drive new customers as well as remarket to existing clients. What’s new in the space? If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: Running With the Bulls
  • Just two years ago, product marketer Rob Albert and production whiz Frank Battisti formed Grand Slam Direct just outside San Diego. Though the soft-spoken and personable Battisti says his learning curve in helping to direct the new business has been steep, this month’s DRMA Spotlight shows that the duo is pushing all the right buttons. I recently was part of a group dinner that also included Albert and Battisti and when you listen to them speak about the business, as well as their hopes for the direct response industry as a whole, you understand pretty quickly where their long-term successes come from — and where their future direction may take them. For more on Grand Slam Direct, click here: Hitting a Marketing & Production Home Run
  • As the headline for this month’s direct response TV and radio media billings story reads: finally, a glimmer of hope! The short-form DRTV market expanded for the first time in more than a year in first-quarter 2014, gaining $80.1 million (9.2 percent) — earning back a huge chunk of 1Q 2013’s drastic losses. A key to the quarter’s success: the quickly expanding U.S. Hispanic marketplace, which surpassed one-quarter of all dollars spend in short-form DRTV. And marketers were happy to invest big dollars in winning products during 1Q 2014, as spending among the top 40 products for the quarter expanded more than 27 percent. To take a deeper look at 1Q 2014 short-form DRTV billings, click here: Finally, A Glimmer of Hope
  • Last but not least, the numbers keep rolling in on the power of the mobile consumer. While much has been discussed about how to reach consumers effectively with mobile marketing, the fact is that the key to mobile is its use as a consumer response tool. To that end, my Editor’s Note attempts to put some of the most recent research results about the mobile world into perspective. To read my full take, here’s the link once again: Reach + Responsiveness Will Make TV and Mobile a Dynamic Duo

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!