Jun 21

Response May: ‘Modern’ Business Partnerships

Response May 2016When we finished posting the June issue of Response online yesterday, it was a rude awakening to realize I’d yet to recap our May issue here on the blog. With a cover story about e-commerce start-up Touch of Modern, the issue also includes a look at the business solutions space, the spring edition of our semi-annual media buying & planning guide, and our annual Cable Network Directory. Here’s some more on these and a few other items which you should note:

  • The cover story on Touch of Modern has its roots in a meeting during the eTail West trade show in Palm Desert, Calif., in late February. There, I connected with the company’s PR lead, Ashley Cummings, and one of its four founders, Jonathan Wu. Immediately intrigued by the 4-year old company’s focus on the online male shopping market and the back story of its four co-founders, I worked with Cummings to bring the company’s VP of marketing, Matt Gehring, to April’s Response Expo as a speaker. At the same time, Cummings was quick to jump on the opportunity when my original May cover story fell through, getting me on the phone quickly with not only Gehring, but two of the other co-founders, Jerry Hum and Dennis Liu. The resulting story touches on some of the most cutting-edge performance-based marketing tactics — and powerful results — that we’ve discussed in Response. If you missed it above, here’s the link: A Modern Flash
  • During the past 18 months, our coverage of the business solutions space has mirrored its ascent as a key group utilizing performance-based marketing — recall our cover features on such leaders as Vistaprint, Wix, Boingo Wireless, and Square. This month, freelancer Doug McPherson takes a look at the wider space and how it is reaching and servicing small businesses and consumers alike. Using online and offline media — and relying heavily on the data those interactions drive — business solutions marketers like Weebly and Pagemodo are carving out big time success. If you missed the link above but want to check out the story, click here: A Wiz at Biz
  • The spring edition of our ongoing media buying & planning guide feature usually includes thoughts from leaders on the network and MVPD side of the business. And it also includes our annual Cable Network Directory, which shares demographic and contact information from major national TV media outlets with our readers. This issue’s edition is no different. The feature story focuses heavily on changing how changing TV technology, as well as the ongoing presidential campaign, is affecting the media landscape. Meanwhile, this year’s Directory is our biggest ever — nearly 140 outlets are included. If you missed them above, here are links to the feature and to the directory:
  • This month’s Field Reports section is notable for its look back at April’s Response Expo. From the opening keynote by famed World Trade Center wire walker Philippe Petit to the closing night soiree at SeaWorld San Diego, we were thrilled to host more than 3,000 performance-based marketers once again for networking, education, and a lot of fun. (Also, don’t miss a chance to look back in the Expo in photos: a 2-page spread on the event makes up this month’s “But Wait, There’s More” seHaire Moderates at Response Expoction). While I do love holding that printed issue of Response in my hand at the end of each month, when it comes to job satisfaction, there’s nothing like the rush of receiving the personal thanks and congratulations we’ve been lucky to earn through these first 10 Expos. We look forward to returning to San Diego with everyone next April. If you missed the link to the news wrap above, here it is once again: Field Reports May 2016
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings return to the short-form DRTV space for fourth-quarter 2015 results. And — like many of you, I presume, when it comes to this market — I’m ready to kiss 2015 goodbye. Kantar Media‘s shift in measuring the Hispanic media space — and the major reduction in estimated Hispanic media spending it engendered — was the overwhelming reason that the year’s results for the short-form space showed a 26.3-percent decrease. In fact, more than $3 of every $4 lost in 2015 was attributed to a major rollback in Hispanic media spending. For a full look at 4Q 2015 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Kantar Measurement Shifts Push 2015 Short-Form DR Billings Off a Cliff
  • Finally, when I wrote my Editor’s Note piece for this issue, I was in a rather bad mood. Fortunately, aside from a single line referring cryptically to the reason for that mood in the story’s next-to-last paragraph, I was able to turn that negative feeling into a positive look at how partnerships can be a wonderful driving force in both our business and personal lives. If you’ve read this piece before reading this post, let me know if you had any idea that I actually was incredibly angry right before writing this column. I’d love to hear about it. If you missed the link above, click here to check it out: The Power of Partnership

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!

Dec 21

Response November: Winners, Travelers, and Home Shoppers

Response November 2015With travel and year-end projects taking precedence, I’ve fallen behind on my Response recaps. So, this is the first of two Response-filled blog posts during Christmas week — a look at Response‘s November issue. With our DRMA Marketer of the Year event shifting to early October, our cover story on the three finalists also shifted back one month to this issue. Additionally, we covered the travel and home shopping spaces, while adding a new feature on the business solutions market — a vertical that’s growing thanks to the combination of online and offline marketing. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the issue’s top pieces.

  • In an intriguing bit of timing, DraftKings‘ victory in the annual industry-wide vote for DRMA Marketer of the Year was announced in Las Vegas on Oct. 7 — the same week that initial stories of one of its employees winning $350,000 on competitor site FanDuel surfaced. Since then, the intrigue around the two daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites has continued to build, with legal challenges slowing the companies’ advertising, but fantasy sports players continuing to flock to the services in record numbers. DraftKings was a deserving winner in the competition, as voters responded to its overwhelming TV and online marketing efforts with a similarly overwhelming number of ballots. The trio of 2015 finalists — also including SharkNinja (formerly Euro-Pro) and TELEBrands — represents, one might say, the past, present, and future of the performance-based marketing world. If you missed the link above, and want to read more about the three finalists, click here: Crowning the New ‘Kings’
  • Travel marketers have been long-time believers in direct response — well before the transition into the omnichannel, performance-based efforts that dominate today’s landscape. For years, we’ve covered this space as it exhibited leadership in how best to combine online and offline methodologies that could be effective for marketers of all types of products and services. This feature is no different, as we’ve caught up with top-level travel marketers from the resort side (Atlantis Paradise) and from the local travel bureau perspective (Nassau Paradise Island Promotions Board and LasVegas.com). If you missed the link above, click here to read how performance-based methods are driving travelers to locations around the world: Leveraging the Power of ‘Book Now’
  • Perhaps no part of the old-school direct response universe has been forced to adjust as rapidly as the home shopping space. From the leaders — HSN and QVC — to smaller start-ups, the direct connection these networks have to their viewers and shoppers has changed immensely with the expansion of digital marketing. More impressively, their embrace of this change — celebrating innovation rather than cowering in fear — should be a model for all marketers. What’s new in the space? If you missed the link above, click here: Lights, Camera … Creativity
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings recap returns to short-form DRTV for second-quarter 2015 results, which — thanks to some measurement changes by Kantar Media — were a bit shocking. While the quarter shows a frightening 39-percent decrease from 2Q 2014 results, the bulk of that can be ascribed to a change in rate estimates for U.S. Hispanic space. So, where the other four TV media outlets showed a more palatable 9.2-percent decrease, the Hispanic space plummeted more than $330 million. For a more in-depth explanation from Kantar and a full look at 2Q 2015 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Kantar Methodology Shift Is the Culprit in 2Q Short-Form DRTV Decrease
  • Finally, you might have noticed a recent change to the magazine’s tagline. Response is now “The Magazine for Performance-Based Marketers.” Similar changes have been made to the DRMA (“The Alliance for Performance-Based Marketers”) and Response Expo (“The Event for Performance-Based Marketers”). Why? It’s all in this month’s Editor’s Note: Join the Performance-Based Marketing Evolution

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!