Mar 08

Response February: Lo-Tech Products to Hi-Tech Marketing

Response February 2018Following on the heels of my recap of the January issue, I’m back to share some inside info on Response‘s February Issue. Online for a couple weeks now, the issue’s cover feature focuses on a marketer you might not immediately identify as groundbreaking: ITW Welding. Our inaugural technology spotlight feature — as part of our new editorial calendar focus on quarterly updates on media, technology, and commerce — looks at cross-platform attribution, and we also present a look at what the FCC‘s recent repeal of net neutrality regulations could mean for marketers. We also lock in on 3Q 2017 short-form DRTV media billings, while three contributed columns contain some noteworthy thoughts. Let’s see how the issue came together.

  • If you’re a long-time reader of Response, our February cover boy might strike you as familiar. That’s because Rich Thompson, VP of marketing (North America) for ITW Welding, appeared on our cover in September 2006, then as part of his marketing efforts on behalf of DuPont’s Teflon brand. Rich has also spoken at Response Expo multiple times in the show’s existence, including in 2017. It was at that event — when he shared information about the company’s incredibly successful “We Build” campaign — that we began discussing the possibility of this feature. If you didn’t think the welding space was where you’d hear about some creative and powerful uses of online video to drive brand and response, well … you’re not alone. But the story is well worth the read. And you’ll be able to catch Rich on stage next month at MTC Expo to hear even more! If you missed the link above, click here: Removing the Masks
  • Freelancer Nicole Urso Reed takes the wheel for our first technology spotlight feature, which dives into the cross-platform attribution question that’s plaguing performance-based marketers of every stripe. What’s the best tech? How is it best used? Can you trust any attribution report provider 100 percent? In case you missed the link: Credit Where Credit Is Due
  • Our freelancer Doug McPherson handles our weekly e-newsletter — so he’s seen his share of reporting on the topic of net neutrality, especially in recent months. So when we needed to take a deeper dive into what to expect now that the FCC has overturned 2015 rules, he was the obvious choice. Doug touched base with a half-dozen experts on both sides of the debate, creating a well-rounded piece that you can find right here: Net Gain … or Loss?
  • Third-quarter 2017 short-form DRTV billings are highlighted in our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings research. Our partner Kantar Media says the short-form space rose for the fifth consecutive quarter, this time by 6.6 percent. Through the first nine months of 2017, short-form billings are up by more than $370 million compared to the same timeframe a year prior. For a full look at 3Q 2017 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Billings Continue Hot Streak
  • The February issue also offers a trio of solid column contributions:
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note column riffs off of a story that was shared with me by a number of our readers upon its appearance online in January: a millennial who recognizes the link between As Seen On TV marketing and Instagram marketing. In fact, that link remains apparent all the way through her experience. For my thoughts, click here: ‘The More Things Change, the More …’ Well, You Know the Rest

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Dec 15

Response November: Yellow Boots, the Travel Bug, and the Power of Experiences

Following closely on the heels of my (admittedly quite late) look back at our October issue, let’s take a gander at the November book, which is headlined by a cover feature on well-known shoe and apparel brand Timberland. Our second issue under our sleek new masthead and tagline also features our annual look at the travel marketing space and an update on the technological advances driving the expanding home shopping space. And, as usual, there’s the latest look at media billings statistics, as well as a trove of intriguing thoughts and opinions in our column well. Let’s take a look at the issue’s highlights and how the key stories came together.

  • In early June, I attended an educational session at the IRCE event in Chicago featuring Timberland’s Frank Hwang and representatives of Olapic, an agency specializing in maximizing the effects of user-generated content. Rightfully intrigued by the success of the company’s “We Built It, You Made It” campaign for its iconic Yellow Boot (yes, that’s Frank sporting a pair on the cover), I spoke with Frank and the Olapic team after the session. Upon returning home, I was connected with Nora Garrity, Timberland’s senior PR manager. With Nora’s tremendous assistance, we began to build what became this three-pronged cover feature, which includes interviews with Frank, Mike Isabella, the company’s consumer engagement director (also on the cover), and Jim Davey, Timberland’s vice president of marketing. If you missed the link above, click here for Timberland’s story of using performance-based marketing to promote such a strong brand in this consumer-centric era (and, yes, the headline indeed comes from the classic John Coltrane song/album): Giant Steps
  • One of our key freelancers, Nicole Urso Reed, says urges for one-stop shopping and personalized service are tweaking travel marketing in new and different ways. Yes, the power of the Expedias, Orbitzes, and other all-in-one discounters is here to stay. But discerning travelers are seeking more: more chances to check out reviews and book in the same place (think TripAdvisor); and more opportunities to create their own specialized itineraries with the help of local or demographic experts — think old-school travel agents, but better. Check out the story for more: All-Inclusive Adventures
  • As anyone who’s been around more than a few years knows, the home shopping TV networks are the (still living) ancestors of today’s e-commerce megasites. So, if you thought that QVC acquiring HSN and becoming the nation’s third-largest e-commerce player was the story of the year in home shopping, well … yea, you’re right. But, as usual, freelancer Bridget McCrea digs deeper to find that some of the smaller, more nimble players are driving advances in the home shopping space, particularly through the use of mobile apps and other digital technologies. Here’s that link again: Home Shopping’s Digital Evolution
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings research focuses on second-quarter 2017 short-form DRTV research provided by our partner Kantar Media. After ending a bit of a losing streak during the second-half of 2016, the short-form space has continued gaining ground in the first half of this year. As a matter of fact, 2Q results left the short-form market up by more than $327 million during 2017’s first six months compared to the same period of the year earlier. For a full look at 2Q 2017 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Billings Reach a Year’s Worth of Hikes
  • The November issue also features a trio of solid submissions in our column section:
    • In a strong Media Zone piece, Koeppel Direct‘s Peter Koeppel delivers five suggestions on how to reach the coveted millennial market.
    • In a timely Support Services column, Moulton LogisticsPatrick Moulton says a marketer’s job is only half done when they make it to a home shopping network. With more home shopping outlets now preferring drop-shipping, what do marketers need to know about this particular back-end service?
    • Barbara Kerry‘s Production House column tackles the other end of the generational spectrum, as Script to Screen‘s leader says that TV remains a powerful tool to reach Boomers, who still hold much of the nation’s spending power.
  • Finally, the inspiration for my Editor’s Note column about valuing the power of experiences over the accumulation of things (and what that might mean for marketers) came partly from an October spent attending the National League playoffs and World Series at Dodger Stadium. Though my childhood team (yes, the Dodgers) eventually lost Game 7 of a great World Series to the Houston Astros, the experience of attending all eight of L.A.’s 2017 home playoff games is one that will live with me forever. Reaching consumers’ indelible memories to create an emotional attachment to a brand is a strategy as old as advertising itself (just see the “Mad Men” clip I reference in the column). But what’s different about consumers today? That’s where the column has some thoughts you might carry ahead: Consumers Can Power Campaigns With Powerful Experiences

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 11

Response August: Financial, Fulfillment, Festivities

Hey all. Yes, it’s been a while. We got our October issue off to print late last week — and here I am blogging about our August issue?! Yep. September was a crazy month of personal and business travel, on top of working heavily on the rebrand of Response Expo as MTC Expo, and the brand refreshes of Response Magazine and the DRMA. Both the Response and DRMA sites should be brand new by early November. Finally, here’s a look back August, which is led by an intriguing cover interview with Jean Vernor, who leads MetLife‘s direct-to-consumer efforts. Other features in the issue include a look at how the wider financial services space is using direct methodologies and our annual look at the fulfillment and logistics space. How did these — and other — pieces come together? Let’s take a look.

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!