Mar 07

Response January: Shiny and New for 2018

Response January 2018Yes, it’s March. And, yes, I’m just now getting to my recap of Response’s January Issue. My bad … there have been some crazy times as we close in on MTC Expo next month. However, with a moment to breathe this week, I’m hoping that I can get both this note and one about the February issue posted. January’s book features CMO Johanna Tzur on the cover. The story about the world’s fastest growing online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer is an intriguing look at the power of online video. January also finalized our shift to becoming “the magazine for media, technology, and commerce,” and with that, we offer the first of four quarterly features on the media space — this one about the expanding world of digital advertising. We also have a look at the digital goods market and a look back at one of 2017’s biggest editorial projects — one year later — the ever-evolving consumer journey. We also move into 3Q 2017 for our quarterly media billings research, as long-form DRTV takes the stage. I guess what I’m saying is that the January issue is a meaty one. Let’s take a bite out of it.

  • January’s cover interview with Tzur started with a conversation sitting on a pair of upholstered benches in Chicago’s McCormick Place at IRCE last June. Tzur was presenting at the event about’s (parent company: R2Net, until the business was bought by Signet Jewelers in September) digital efforts. Following up on that meeting, I worked with Diana Vicinanza of the company’s PR agency, Goldin Solutions, to keep the conversation going. By late summer, we’d agreed on this January spot for the cover feature. In the story, Tzur says, “Today, video is the format that projects greatest authenticity and allows high engagement with our viewers.” But that just scratches the surface of what is up to. If you missed the link above, click here: No Diamond in the Rough
  • Beginning with this issue, the No. 2 feature in the magazine will rotate among media, technology, and commerce topics each quarter. Leading off is this media spotlight on the power of digital advertising from long-time freelancer Bridget McCrea. Yes, the combined spend on all forms of digital marketing surpassed that of TV marketing spending for the first time in 2017 (or 2016, depending on who you listen to). But is there a single digital outlet that offers the scale of TV? The answer from our interviewees is a resounding “No!” But that’s not to say they’re not high on what digital opportunities — specifically mobile and social — are bringing to marketers. Once again, here’s the link to read more: The Expanse of Digital
  • As freelancer Pat Cauley notes in the second paragraph of his feature on the digital goods market, “From iTunes and Audible to Netflix and Tinder, digital goods represent one of the most diverse and thriving consumer segments.” Response just started giving the digital goods space an annual look three years ago, but it’s more than deserving of remaining on our editorial calendar in 2018 given both its overall growth and the innovative forms of marketing driving its success. In case you missed the link above, don’t miss it here: Service With a Smile
  • We kicked off 2017 with a four-month series of features on the Consumer Journey — a set of features written by former Response staffer and stellar freelancer Nicole Urso Reed that led directly into a six-session track on the topic at Response Expo last spring. With attention turning to the home stretch of planning this year’s rebranded MTC Expo, it seems only right that we get an update from Urso on what’s new for marketers trying to connect with consumers along that journey. The recurring answer: the growing importance of personalization. Here’s that link: The Personal Touch
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings research reaches third-quarter 2017, which means we once again turn our attention to the flagging long-form DRTV space. Long-form’s total of $169.3 million represented the lowest third-quarter total in 21 years and marked the sector’s sixth consecutive losing quarter. However, with pricing continuing to fall — especially in the cable space — the number of time slots purchased jumped nearly 7 percent. For a full look at 3Q 2017 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form Billings’ Misery Reaches 18 Months
  • The January issue also features a pair of solid column submissions:
  • Finally, my January Editor’s Note column allowed me the chance to neg on the idea of New Year’s Resolutions AND quote Yoda. Fun? You decide: Measurable Goals — Not Vague Resolutions — Create Success

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 23

20 Lines, 20 Songs … Name ‘Em

These 20 songs recently played in a row during an iTunes shuffle on my office computer. While I was sitting there, I wondered how many of them I could name with just a line or two of the lyrics as clues.

Sooooo … how many can you name with my hand-picked lyrics as clues? If you want to give it a shot, please do so in the Comments section below!

  1. “I have to celebrate you, baby …”
  2. “And I guess that I just don’t know …”
  3. “But my sorrows, they learned to swim …”
  4. “No shadow, no darkness, no tolling bell shall pierce your dreams this night …”
  5. “A teardrop fell in the deep crimson dew …”
  6. “And, man, we never had the real thing but sometimes we used to kiss …”
  7. “A notch in your bedpost, but you’re just a line in a song …”
  8. “He’s not too fancy, but his line is pretty clean …”
  9. “Get the money, dolla dolla bill, y’all …”
  10. “Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas …”
  11. “She came along to turn on everyone …”
  12. “Besides you ain’t got nothin’ better to do, and I’m bored …”
  13. “That part of me left yesterday, the heart of me is strong today …”
  14. “And this is not the racy race …”
  15. “Put me out with no shoes on my feet …”
  16. “This way is-a-waterslide-away-from-me-to-chase-her-fuller-everyday! Hey! …”
  17. “Friends, take control of me, stalking ‘cross the gallery …”
  18. “Broken bits of you and me …”
  19. “They’re the ones who’ll hate you when you think you’ve got the world all sussed out …”
  20. “I’m new in the city but I’m down for the night …”

UPDATE: The Answers

  1. Praise You – Fatboy Slim
  2. Heroin – The Velvet Underground
  3. Until The End Of The World – U2
  4. Jesus Was An Only Son – Bruce Springsteen
  5. Redemption – Johnny Cash
  6. The Best Of Everything – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  7. Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down – Fall Out Boy
  8. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
  9. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan
  10. Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye
  11. Sexy Sadie – The Beatles
  12. It’s So Easy – Guns ‘N’ Roses
  13. Dead And Gone – T.I. (with Justin Timberlake)
  14. Turn You Inside-Out – R.E.M.
  15. Beast Of Burden – The Rolling Stones
  16. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
  17. Club Foot – Kasabian
  18. Only A Memory – The Smithereens
  19. High And Dry – Radiohead
  20. Lost In The World – Kanye West and Bon Iver

Good work, those of you that played along!