Oct 05

Response September: Supplements and Subscription Boxes Shed Light on Shifting Marketing Philosophies

Response September 2016Two weeks ago, Response’s September issue hit the web — after initially debuting, in print, at our DRMA Marketer of the Year event in Las Vegas on Sept. 14. Today seems like a good time to look back on the issue and dig into the particulars surrounding some of the key stories. The issue is led by a cover feature on health-and-wellness supplement marketer NutraClick and its Harvard-educated CMO, Patrick Carroll. The issue also features our annual look at the consumer packaged goods market, our 21st Annual State of the Industry report — featuring insight from members of the Response Advisory Board, and a feature touching on the latest trends affecting teleservices providers. Read on for more:

  • The name Patrick Carroll first popped into my consciousness in late 2015, on a call with Rus Sarnoff of Integrated Marketing. Rus has been a huge help for the Response team in planning and prepping our educational sessions at Response Expo for most of the past decade — in fact, along with Greg Sarnow, he’s the co-chair of our new DRMA Education Committee. Rus mentioned NutraClick and Patrick during a planning call for this past April’s Expo, and he was very passionate about Patrick’s capabilities both as CMO of NutraClick and as a possible speaker. I spoke with Patrick and Shannon Costello, the PR contact at NutraClick in early 2016, and though we didn’t have a fit for him on our main educational stage, we were able to place him on our sponsored Pre-Show Intensive panel. And, I must say, Rus was right — Patrick is as knowledgeable and thoughtful as they come. Once the Expo was over, it was just a matter of time before we slated NutraClick for a cover feature on its outstanding omnichannel marketing efforts for its successful products like Force Factor and ProbioSlim. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Tipping the Scales
  • Another annual staple, our feature what’s new in the consumer packaged goods space jumps full speed ahead into the burgeoning “subscription box” space. From cosmetics to razors to baby supplies — and more — delivered-monthly subscription boxes are changing the game in the CPG space more than just about any other vertical. Our Nicole Urso Reed focuses on three key marketers having success in these new models. Here’s that story link again: Delivering a Brand New Package
  • In our 21st Annual State of the Industry Report, 10 members of our Advisory Board took part in answering more than 15 questions about the present and future of performance-based marketing. The new realities of an omnichannel marketing world, expanding consumer control of the marketing funnel, how marketers can attribute sales to a specific marketing outreach, and the future of TV/video content — and advertising’s place in it — are just a few of the topics tackled. Bonus: the online version includes the full and unabridged answers from all of our board members who took part — an impossibility in our limited print pages. Just in case you skipped the link above: Response Magazine’s 21st Annual State of the Industry Report
  • In the second of our series of features on the back-end vendor services space (last month, we touched on payment processing, with a fulfillment feature slated for October), our Doug McPherson spoke with a trio of leaders on the teleservices side of the business. With how consumers can respond to marketing messages shifting heavily toward the web, teleservices providers are getting more specialized when it comes to serving as order centers, while — at the same time — expanding their customer service capabilities to respond to the growing “click-to-call” mobile response universe. Read more about the current state of teleservices here: Getting the Call
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the DR radio space for first-quarter 2016 results. For the sixth time in the past seven quarters, radio dialed in for success. In fact, the total DR radio spend in 1Q 2016 — $18,344,000 — represents the best first-quarter result in the medium in 12 years. Why is radio continuing to grow at such an incredible pace? For a full look at 1Q 2016 DR radio media billings, click here: DR Radio Rocks Out in 1Q 2016
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:
  • Finally, I use my side gig as an in-season online college football columnist for an angle to kick off this month’s Editor’s Note column. Right before I sat down to write this month’s column, I’d just wrapped up my wide-ranging preview of the Pac-12 football season (side note: through five weeks, I’ve picked 39 of 45 results correctly) and it got me thinking: what if marketers had to wait weeks — or even months — to find out the results of their hard work? Far-fetched? Take a look and let me know: Measuring Success? There’s Not a Second to Lose

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Aug 04

Response July: Don’t Call Them Comebacks

Response July 2016It’s been about 10 days since Response‘s July issue hit the web (and mailboxes). Earlier this week, we wrapped up and sent off our August issue to print. So I’m now able to share a bit about the issue, which is led by  a cover story on long-time performance-based marketing leader Nutrisystem. The issue also features our annual look at production and creative work in the TV/video sector and a feature touching on the latest news in the entertainment market. Read on for some back story on the key facets of the July issue:

  • We at Response have a lengthy knowledge of and history with Nutrisystem and its marketing efforts. The 44-year-old company has been a long-time leader in utilizing performance-based efforts — both offline and online — that have merited our coverage in the past. Additionally, we’ve known, personally, a number of the company’s media strategy leaders over the years. But, while prepping for Response Expo 2016 last winter, we reconnected with the company’s PR head, Robin Shallow, thanks to another old friend of the magazine, Karla Crawford Kerr of ad agency Hawthorne Direct. And though the company’s CMO, Keira Krausz, wasn’t able to swing her schedule to speak at the Expo, we were able to grab this cover story. And what great timing, as Nutrisystem is on a three-year hot streak after some lean years — thanks to Krausz’s leadership and its team’s knowledge of omnichannel marketing. At the same time, the company made a key acquisition while also debuting a brand new campaign in late 2015. If you missed it above, here’s the link: All Systems Go!
  • An annual staple, our feature on the production/creative end of the business, used to be centered fully around DRTV production. But with the expansion of new screens, digital media, and more, the story has expanded to include a deeper dive into the wider world of what might now be called video production. It’s clear that video assets are among the most desired by online marketers — and the experience with the success of video in different facets of online marketing is driving many of these marketers to look at linear TV as an advertising option. Don’t worry — even though we have updated how we look at this feature, our annual “cost of” spot and infomercial production charts remain a major part of the piece. If you missed the link above but want to check out the story, click here: Harnessing the Ever-Shrinking Screen
  • If you didn’t get enough about the power of new screens in the production story, well, the entertainment feature has some more for you. Between the growing power of subscriber video-on-demand (SVOD) and over-the-top (OTT) options and the technological breakthrough of 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) televisions, performance-based marketers have a lot to consider these days. Our Nicole Urso Reed, a one-time senior editor for Response and long-time freelancer, has more in her story: Ready for the Next Big Thing
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the long-form DRTV space for first-quarter 2016 results that continue the sector’s recent run of good fortune. After a three-year losing streak was finally broken in 3Q 2015, results reported in this issue make 1Q 2016 the third consecutive winning quarter. Total time slots purchased rose more than 22 percent, and only fading cable media pricing — which, actually, is a relief to buyers and perhaps a major key to recent success — kept the quarter’s dollar-on-dollar rise below 16 percent. For a full look at 1Q 2016 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form DRTV Billings Continue Rising in 1Q 2016
  • I wasn’t all that happy with my Editor’s Note column this month. When you’re tasked with writing a monthly column for 15 years, things can get … stale. And, sometimes — when you’re blocked — the writing gets rather clunky. Anyway, the thing you probably want to take from this piece is that we are working hard — at all times — to build our community of readers and advertisers. One recent development in that is the formation of DRMA Committees. While nearly four-dozen industry executives have joined the committees, there’s still room for more volunteers. Get more info on the committees here: DRMA Committees. And if you missed the link above, click here (if you must) to read my latest: Banding Together Can Create Business Freedom

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Mar 02

Response February: Marketing Adored, an e-Commerce Reward, and Politics Deplored

Response February 2016Response‘s February issue has been live online for about two weeks. With the March issue coming soon— due to some tight deadlines in order for it to reach next week’s Housewares show and DRMA reception in Chicago — now’s the time for a deeper look. With a cover feature on online lingerie challenger brand Adore Me, and additional features diving into e-commerce success, the focus in February clearly was digital marketing. Here are some of the key pieces you should consider taking a look at:

  • My cover story on Adore Me, featuring impressive young COO Romain Liot, grew its roots during some e-mail back and forth with Adrienne Scordato, CEO and founder of Atrium PR, about one of her agency clients. That agency, R2C Group, had been crucial in bringing the online lingerie retailer into offline direct response television. The short-form DR campaign played a great role in Adore Me reaching No. 14 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America. Adore Me has its sights set on market leader Victoria’s Secret — even hiring one of VS’ top designers to lead its own design department. How did this e-retailer explode on the scene in less than five years? If you missed the link above, click here: Adore Me’s Rapid Rise
  • Following up on our initial foray into the Digital Goods marketplace — those services sold, bought, and used online — last summer, Nicole Urso Reed took an intriguing angle in this update: looking at health and happiness services and apps. From meditation and therapy services to emotional support apps, there is a surprising and burgeoning marketplace of online services available to consumers. If you missed the link above but want to check it out, click here: Health, Wealth & Happiness
  • Global e-Commerce sales are expected to reach $3.5 trillion by 2019 — one of many interesting tidbits that can be found in Bridget McCrea‘s look at the latest in e-Commerce. As consumers become more savvy and more comfortable transacting online — most especially in today’s environment, via mobile — marketers and e-retailers are faced with this fact: if you don’t meet your consumer where they want to meet you, you’re not selling them anything. If you missed the link above, here you go: Global Reach, Local Feel
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for third-quarter 2015 results. As the numbers continue to reset and rebound from Kantar Media’s early 2015 methodology change in the U.S. Hispanic market, those results were predictably off — a 24.3-percent overall decrease. But, when you remove the Hispanic space from the mix, the dip among the other four outlets (network, spot, cable, and syndication) was a much more palatable 8.1 percent. For a full look at 3Q 2015 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: 3Q 2015 Short-Form DR Billings Continue Reset After Kantar Shift
  • Finally, in my Editor’s Note, I take a first glance at the 2016 political races and their effects on the media marketplace. With a campaign that already seems interminable — with more than eight months to go until election day on Nov. 9 — it’s hard to imagine that the bulk of what could be anywhere from $6 billion to $11 billion in political advertising is yet to come. If you missed the link above, here’s my take on the topic: Enjoy the Silence? Not Until November 9

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!