Mar 08

Response February: Building, Engaging, and Maintaining Responsibility

It’s been a little more than two weeks since the February issue of Response hit the web and began delivering to mailboxes. With a cover story on house-and-home e-tailer Build.com, part two of our four-part series on the consumer journey, and feature on the digital goods market, this compact issue packs a serious informational punch. For more on how we pulled it together, read on:

  • I was first introduced to Marshal Downey, our cover guy and interviewee for this feature on Build.com, during the run-up to Response Expo 2016. The first connection came from Hawthorne’s Karla Crawford Kerr — a valued ally in the business and now member of our DRMA Education Committee. Though we haven’t been able to nail Marshal down as a speaker for the Expo, we eventually locked him in for this interesting look at how the now-17-year-old e-tailer has grown its customer base via online and offline outreach — as well as impeccable customer service. One of the youngest cover subjects in years (all of 13 years old in 2001 — when I took the editorial helm of Response), Downey is wise beyond his years when it comes to omnichannel marketing. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Not Your Average Home Expansion
  • The second of our four-part “Consumer Journey” series leading into April’s Response Expo — which will feature a six-session track on the topic — focuses on engagement. My belief in the consumer journey as the centerpiece of the Expo was further confirmed last week when I attended the annual eTail West show in Palm Desert, Calif. Various facets of the consumer journey were the focus of nearly every conversation on the show floor, at the parties, and on the educational stage. Key freelancer Nicole Urso Reed is handling the series. In this issue, she caught up with representatives of 2016 DRMA Marketer of the Year finalists Nutrisystem and Vistaprint, Response Advisory Board member Peter Koeppel, and PR/social media expert (and DRMA Education Committee member) Lindsey Carnett. In case you skipped the link above: The Power of Attraction
  • Our annual look at the digital goods space explores the depth and the breadth of what “digital goods” can be: movies, gambling, eCards, meditation, books, Wi-Fi, web design, music, dating — and more. Our Pat Cauley spoke to leaders from JibJab, Wix, Boingo (all past Response cover subjects) and more for this in-depth piece on what’s working, what’s not, and what’s new in marketing in this young but exploding vertical. Here’s that story link again: The Digital Boomtown
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV sector for third-quarter 2016 results. After seven consecutive quarterly losses, short-form DRTV finally bounced back — if only slightly. A $4.3 million increase (less than 1 percent higher than 3Q 2015 results)  The network and spot TV markets continued to shine in short-form, helping make up for Hispanic’s continuing struggles. For a full look at 3Q 2016 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: A Ray of Light for Short-Form DR Billings
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:
  • Finally, in my Editor’s Note column, two moments inspired some thoughts on the ongoing — and perhaps growing — controversy surrounding consumer privacy and data security. One phone call and one intriguing article helped prompt this piece — one that includes references to Voltaire, Spider-Man, and the Bible (all in a single sentence)! If you missed the link above, here it is: Data and Targeting, and Power and Responsibility

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Dec 04

Response November: Doing Well by Doing Good

Response November 2016Response’s November issue hit the web and mailboxes during the past two weeks. Here’s something to consider: in our four feature stories, we cover the housewares market, the medical equipment space, the travel marketing world, and home shopping/e-retail. Even for our team, that’s some impressive breadth. That’s not to mention this month’s research and opinion pages. Suffice it to say, we packed a lot into a tight 52 pages. If you want to hear more about how it came together, read on:

  • If you are in the habit of listening to your car radio, there’s a high likelihood you’ve heard a Boll & Branch ad. I can’t remember the last time I was in my car heading to our Orange County office on a Monday morning and didn’t hear a B&B ad on one of Howard Stern’s SiriusXM channels. So when I went to the IRCE show in Chicago in June, I made sure to head to the educational session featuring Scott Tannen, co-founder and CEO of the company. In the days thereafter, I reached out to Tannen’s team to see if they would have any interest in a cover feature on their performance-based marketing efforts. Very quickly, the PR liaison for the company, Dillan Arrick, was on the job. Timing was the issue, which is how many of our cover stories — this one included — take five or more months from genesis to print. Scott, his wife Missy, the company’s co-founder and president, and Dillan could not have been easier to work with. And this story is not only a great testament to performance-based metrics building a huge housewares e-retailer, it’s also a feel-good piece about a company that does things the right way. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Balancing More Than Sheets
  • Think of your own needs and desires when you travel. Are they more about convenience or comfort? Service or luxury? Now, multiply those by the choices of billions of others and you’ll understand the challenges travel marketers face in today’s consumer-controlled marketing world. Make promises … at your own peril. Our Nicole Urso Reed dove into the space for this feature, chatting with marketers from across the travel spectrum to find out what’s working — and what isn’t. In case you skipped the link above: Total Immersion
  • Another key member of our team of contributors, Bridget McCrea delved into the rapidly changing world of home shopping. With the expansion of Amazon, long-time home shopping leaders like HSN and QVC have had to nimbly adjust their business plans. And, just as they’re gaining comfort as multichannel e-retailers, along comes Amazon again — now with its own online “home shopping” programming. What’s next in the home shopping world? Here’s that story link again: The ‘Amazon-ing’ of Home Shopping
  • Our Doug McPherson‘s outstanding case study on the truly intriguing birth and success of the HurryCane, is not your average “bring a hot new product to market” story. From the why and the when to the how and the who, the success of this medical equipment legend took many hands. If you missed the link above, click here: How a HurryCane Forms
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for second-quarter 2016 results. And though those results show the least-steep decline in more than a year, short-form DRTV — at least according to how Kantar Media measures it — continues to flounder. Is it an issue of what Kantar’s measuring — to wit, are its parameters for a direct response spot too narrow in today’s performance-based marketplace? We’ve heard rumblings from readers about this, and we’re not wholly unconvinced. For a full look at 2Q 2016 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Continue to Fade
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:
  • Finally, in my Editor’s Note column, I ask marketers and other leaders in our space to look ahead — at 2017 and beyond — after spending months spellbound by the most memorable and most embarrassing election cycle in modern U.S. history. We, as an industry, have plenty of challenges — and opportunities — to focus upon in the coming months and years. Let’s get to them! If you missed the link above, here it is: Now That That’s Over …

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Aug 30

Response August: Kiko, no! no!, and More Dough

Response August 2016About two weeks back, Response‘s August issue hit the web (and, since, most subscribers’ mailboxes). Yesterday, we wrapped up and sent our September issue to print. So today I’m taking a few minutes out of the day to get this post up and share some back story on the August pub, which is fronted by our cover story on global cosmetics brand Kiko Milano. The issue also features our annual look at the financial services marketplace, a story on how the marketers behind no! no! battled counterfeiters and won, and a feature touching on the latest trends affecting payment processing. Here’s more on each of those stories — and others:

  • I first met Igor Credali, New York-based e-commerce leader of Kiko Milano’s U.S. expansion efforts, at the eTail West event in Palm Desert, Calif., about six months ago. I’d received outreach from digital partner Linc for a meeting at the event, and during that meeting, the Linc team introduced me to Credali as one of its “star” clients. The story about Linc’s efforts to help Kiko build its brand in the U.S. — a brand that is extremely well known and regarded throughout Europe — was intriguing. When I returned to the office and started digging deeper on Kiko’s work in the U.S. — it’s online marketing efforts and rapid ascension in brick-and-mortar retail — I knew this was a story we wanted to tell. Fortunately, the crew at Linc and Credali himself were up for the idea. If you missed it above, here’s the link: A Beautiful Expansion
  • Another annual staple, our feature on the latest trends for financial services marketers takes a deeper look at the different variations of media — style, content, length, and more — that marketers in the banking, insurance, and finance worlds are using to reach consumers. For years now, financial services marketers have been pathfinders, leading the way for other verticals in showing how offline and online media can converge to drive response from consumers. That’s still true today. What are they up to now? If you missed the link above, click here to check out the story: The Dollars and Cents of Performance-Based Marketing
  • An interesting partnership between skin-care marketer Radiancy and leading e-commerce websites is at the heart of a feature that shines a spotlight on the ongoing problem of counterfeit products. At our DRMA Winter Bash last December in New York, I met Jaimee Given, Radiancy’s marketing manager, who shared openly about the struggles the company was facing with counterfeit versions of its popular no! no! product — especially on websites like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. She was working hard at solving the issue and had enlisted leaders from those e-retailers and more for help. The story you see in this issue talks about the incredible results Given and Co. have authored — as well as discussing the landscape going forward. Our Doug McPherson has the story: Beating the Bad Guys
  • The concepts behind processing consumer payments seem to be changing as quickly, at the least, as the outlets where consumers can buy marketers’ products and services. Along with growing e-commerce — and, perhaps more strikingly, m-commerce (mobile commerce) — marketers must continue to address customer concerns about security and privacy. And with new EMV chip cards becoming the norm, online fraud has become even more prevalent. What does it all mean? We asked a trio of payment processing experts about these items and more. Here’s what they had to say: Pay Day
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for first-quarter 2016 results. Once again — and hopefully for the fourth and final time since they were announced — Kantar Media’s changes to its Hispanic media measurements affect its reported results. Another slide — more than 25 percent — left short-form DR results at what we hope is a new 1Q baseline: $622.4 million. For a full look at 1Q 2016 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: No New Tale to Tell for Short-Form DRTV
  • Other key items in this month’s issue include:2016 DRMA Summer Bash
  • Finally, sometimes when working on my Editor’s Note column, timing is everything. Just days before I sat down to write my monthly missive, two massive deals shook the performance-based marketing world: Unilever‘s $1 billion purchase of Dollar Shave Club; and Verizon‘s $4.8 billion deal to acquire Yahoo. Want to talk about a lay-up? These two deals — and how they each spoke to the growing importance of how marketers are quantifying spend and success — were prime fodder to write about. If you missed the link above, here you go: Verizon-Yahoo, Unilever-Dollar Shave Club Speak to Performance-Based Power

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!