May 12

Response April: Monsters, Makeup, and Memories

Just days before Response Expo late last month, the April issue of Response hit the web and mailboxes. Before it’s time for the May edition to drop, I finally found a window in the schedule to take a look back at the issue, which features a cover story on long-time job seeking/recruiting leader Monster Worldwide. Additionally, there’s the last installment of our four-part series on the consumer journey, our annual look at the beauty and personal care market, and an exclusive Q&A feature with the seven legends who were inducted to the Direct Response Hall of Fame on April 27 at the Expo. Suffice it to say, it’s a power-packed issue. Here’s more on how it came together:

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Dec 17

Response November: Holly Madison and eDiets; Second-Screen Challenges and Media’s Continuing Struggle

The November issue of Response has been available online since just prior to Thanksgiving. Hopefully, if you’re one of our readers, you’ve taken a look at it, but — if not — here’s some back story on the cover feature highlighting As Seen on TV Inc. CEO Ronald C. Pruett, Jr., and eDiets entrepreneur Holly Madison, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • The November cover story is a great combination of old friends and new relationships. Pruett was first featured on the cover of Response during his stint with Liberty Medical. He then went on to serve on our Advisory Board during his time at the helm of Mercury Media Holdings. Now, at ASTV, parent of online marketer eDiets, Pruett returns to the cover spotlight with former “Girls Next Door” star Madison, whose post-pregnancy diet plan is part of a new direction for eDiets. With the help of eDiets’ PR firm and some more social chats with Pruett, it feels as if I was able to wrangle this story at the perfect moment. Pruett’s vision for where eDiets is headed in the crowded online/TV diet space is intriguing. And how eDiets structured its deal and relationship with Madison is a new step in the world of celebrity “endorsers.” If you missed the link above, here it is once again: For eDiets, Mobile and Social Are No Fad
  • The multi-screen universe continues to play a bigger role in marketing plans, and with the holiday season upon us, we took the time to look deeper into strategies to best take advantage of consumers’ continuing use of second and third screens. One of Response’s most veteran freelancers, Bridget McCrea, spoke with some leading media agency insiders (representing Havas Edge, Cannella Response Television and Icon Media Direct) about how to make campaigns work in this new media environment. If you missed the link to their thoughts above, here it is: Screens, Screens … Everywhere Screens
  • The InterMedia Group of Companies returns to the DRMA Spotlight in this update. Company leader Bob Yallen was featured in the May issue DRMA Spotlight, and we doubled back with him to find out how 2013 has been for InterMedia and the rest of the DR industry. If you missed the link above to this special update, click here: Staying a Step Ahead. If you’d like to watch the original video interview from the May issue with Yallen, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — InterMedia
  • The lowlights kept on coming in this month’s quarterly media billings results, as the short-form DRTV market’s 2Q 2013 billings continued the year’s horror show. A massive 25-percent free fall sucked nearly $300 million away from the total’s registered in second-quarter 2012. When will the bad news end for 2013 DR media billings? For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: Short-Form DRTV Media Billings’ 2013 Tumble Continues
  • Speaking of media market issues, my Editor’s Note this month asks for answers to 2013’s media malaise? A year ago, in the same space, I raved about the power of the DR media marketplace. Well, what an unwelcome difference a year makes. How can the market get back on track as we head into 2014? Here’s the link: Media Malaise Presents Big Challenges

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Jan 17

Response January: Creative Genius, Media Matters and DRMA Leaders

Response January 2013The January issue of Response is now available online. It was a pleasure to kick off the new year with a lot of positive stories and great news for the DR industry  Let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to the issue!

  • Our cover feature on the extremely successful Baby Genius brand of children’s music and video (and more) products started percolating during a meeting with Response Advisory Board member Denise Kovac in September. A line of products that’s had fantastic retail success for well over a decade jumping into DRTV is always of interest to us, and this story came with a bonus — the eventual cover subject became Larry Balaban, the creative mind behind Baby Genius since its beginnings. Balaban is one of those folks that is easy to interview because he so genuinely believes in his products, loves what he does and feels that he’s making a difference for his audience: parents and their young children. When you’ve done as many cover interviews as I have, it’s always a wonderful breath of fresh air to pick up the phone and find a guy like Larry on the other end of the line. Hopefully, it comes across in the story. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: Hitting a Marketing High Note
  • Our first quarterly Response Advisors Forum touches on the continuing expansion of the DR media market since the second half of 2011 and what to expect as 2013 gets underway. The topic drew out a big number of advisors who bounced back and forth on the reasons why the market is thriving, what the biggest challenges are for 2013, and how TV technology like DVRs, VOD and OTT are going to continue to affect the business. Best of all, the version of this story online is a vast expansion of the piece that appears in the print magazine, allowing each answer from each respondent to appear. Check it out now: The Future’s So Bright?
  • On Dec. 11 in New York, we were happy to announce that Nancy Lazkani of Icon Media Direct in Van Nuys, Calif., had won an industry-wide vote of her peers to earn the 2012 Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Member of the Year award. Lazkani’s long history in the DRTV space is a well-known story to Response‘s readers, and her continuing commitment to bettering not only Icon’s fortunes but also that of the entire business does not go unnoticed. We caught up with the second winner of this prestigious honor for an exclusive interview. Don’t miss it: Lazkani Earns DRMA Member of the Year Honors
  • In other DRMA news, Temecula, Calif.-based OpenJar Concepts is the subject of this month’s DRMA Spotlight feature. We’ve known Adam Warren and Reno Renaldo, the team behind the three-year old company, for a number of years, and you’re not likely to meet a better duo — both as businessmen and people. Working with them on this story, especially while filming the video interview, was a complete pleasure, because not only are they good guys, but they have a damned good story to tell about a biz that’s crucial in our space. To watch the video interview, click this link: DRMA Spotlight Video on OpenJar Concepts or check out the print story here: They’re All the Buzz
  • Our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results circles back to long-form DRTV billings’ 3Q results. While third-quarter was by far the weakest quarter of 2012 so far, the results — which were essentially flat when compared with 3Q 2011 — remained promising for the year as a whole. Since DRTV media in 3Q faced a huge Summer Olympics, as well as a building presidential campaign, there was some fear of a big drop. Instead, should fourth-quarter results match 2011, the full-year 2012 will likely be long-form’s biggest since pre-crash 2008. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: Long-Form Media Billings Stay Flat in 3Q 2012
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note turns the idea of outlandish New Year’s resolutions on its head a bit by talking about setting reachable goals and how that can actually help make those resolutions stick. Before I share the link again, I want to thank those of you (and there were many more than normal) who responded to my December column about the new greed of Thanksgiving weekend. The feedback is much appreciated. If you missed the link to my January piece above, here’s my take: Making Resolutions That Stick

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!