The May issue of Response went live online just before Memorial Day weekend. With a full recap of late April’s Response Expo a key facet of the issue, we’ve pushed back our print and mail dates closer to mid-month, keeping content slightly more fresh for our readers. After some recent Response travel to San Francisco and Las Vegas, as well as tying up loose ends on the coming June issue, I finally have some time to glance back at how the pieces fit into our May issue puzzle.
- Shortly after the calendar flipped to 2015, I was reading a different trade pub on a flight and came across a small blurb about Beyond the Rack, an online private shopping club based in Montreal. Digging deeper, I found that its vice president of marketing, Richard Cohene, was a regular on the speaking circuit and popped up often as a source in various stories online. Intrigued by the direct and digital aspects of operating a business like BTR’s, I dropped a line to the company. After a couple of stops and starts, due mainly to conflicting travel schedules, I got on the line with Cohene — who was not only personable, but extremely knowledgeable about today’s “direct response marketing,” as he repeatedly called it. Within a couple of calls, he’d agreed for the company to be featured in our May issue — and, just last week after the issue debuted, he agreed to be the first slated speaker for Response Expo 2016. If you missed the link above, here it is again: Where Marketing’s Always in Fashion
- The May issue is home to our first Media Buying & Planning Guide for the year. With the mag’s history based in DRTV, it’s always great to dig deeper on the state of media, and in the spring we usually seek out the perspective of TV/cable network sales leaders. Hence, it’s a natural fit to publish the annual Cable Network Directory in that same issue. One of the relationships I’m most proud of helping build in my 14 years at Response is the relationship we have — and have helped leaders of other sectors of the industry gain — with TV sales leaders. During the past decade, I’m happy to say that Response has done unprecedented things in bringing together the sales and buying sides of the DRTV media business thanks to an investment in our relationships with the network groups. If you didn’t already click the links above — here they are: Connecting With All Screens and the 2015 Cable Network Directory.
- The news pages of our May Field Reports section focus heavily on a recap of Response Expo 2015. From Peter Guber’s stellar keynote through the Closing Night Party, if you missed any of Response Expo in April, these stories will help you feel like you were there and let you know what you missed! Here’s that link again: Field Reports — Response Expo Recap
- Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings recap takes one last look at 2014 short-form DRTV results. And while the sector ended the full year with a minor 2.8-percent rise, struggles in the second half of the year prevented what could have been a full return to form after a dismal 2013. Fourth-quarter results — the focus in this month’s story — were particularly concerning, as overall spending in the final three months of the year hasn’t been this lackluster since 2005. For a deeper dive into 4Q 2014 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Total 2014 Short-Form DRTV Billings Rise 2.8 Percent
- My May Editor’s Note column starts by referring to my interview with Cohene for this month’s cover story and his repeated references to BTR’s use of “direct response marketing.” As you can imagine, with the magazine’s — and my — stated goal in recent years being to foster the combination of direct, digital and data-driven marketing, this gave me plenty of food for thought considering BTR’s almost-100-percent digital marketing budget. Want to read on? Here’s that link once again: Direct Response Is Today’s Marketing … and Tomorrow’s
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