Jun 02

Response May: Vitaquest’s Chemistry, Expo Recap and the Annual Cable Network Directory

RES0513_CV1The May issue of Response has been available online for a couple of weeks now. Hopefully, if you’re one of our readers, you’ve taken a look at it, but — if not — here’s some back story on the cover feature on Vitaquest and Charlie Mooney, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • Once again, a link with Response Expo was crucial in bringing the cover story on Vitaquest Intl., and its marketing leader, Charlie Mooney, to our readers. Mooney spoke on a panel at our event in early April, after some discussions with him about he could become more involved with the event and the magazine. His expertise in the supplement space — and not just in marketing, but also creating product — shone through during his panel appearance, and his excitement about the use of direct response was just as powerful. It became obvious that Mooney and Vitaquest should be immediately considered for the special opportunity that is a Response cover, and following up immediately on his appearance at the show made great sense. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: Just the Right Chemistry
  • Once again, the May issue means the reappearance of Response‘s annual Cable Network Directory. This is one of the magazine’s most popular pieces of research, and in 2013, we had more than 120 cable networks — an all-time high — respond to our requests for demo and sales contact information. If you have any role in the direct response media space, this list is crucial to your business. If you missed the link above, click here: 2013 Cable Network Directory
  • Our monthly Field Reports and But Wait, There’s More sections took a long look back at the news, networking and excitement of April’s Response Expo. From Bob Knight’s stellar opening keynote to Tone Loc’s exciting performance at the event’s closing night party, the 2013 Expo was packed more full of educational and networking experiences for our 3,000 attendees than any of the previous six events. To read about some of the event’s highlights, visit our Field Reports section and for a wide-ranging photo essay on the Expo, visit our But Wait, There’s More page. Additionally, the Expo’s full photo album can be reached on Flickr by clicking here: Response Expo in Pictures
  • In DRMA news, the Inter/Media Group of Companies returns to the Spotlight this month. Fresh of the posthumous induction of company founder Syd Yallen to the brand new Direct Response Hall of Fame, scion and current company leader Bob Yallen speaks about the growing influence of Inter/Media across the direct response advertising universe — from media to creative to breaking new ground in celebrity endorsements. As part of the package, I also worked on a video interview with Bob Yallen for a piece that was edited by the Inter/Media team. If you missed the links above here’s the print story link: A Vast Array of Capabilities. And here’s the video link: DRMA Spotlight Inter/Media Video
  • Our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results circles back to short-form DRTV billings’ 4Q 2012 results. Much like the prior month’s long-form report, the final 2012 numbers for short-form DRTV were cause for celebration, as the which were cause for excitement, as the quarter’s 3.4-percent increase solidified a 4.1-percent jump for the year as a whole. While some indicators suggested a further tightening of market testing, stronger pricing and the willingness of top marketers to double down on short-form spending for successful campaigns made 2012 the best year in a half-decade. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 4Q 2012 Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Rise $35.5M
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note wonders if 2013 can maintain the great media momentum shown in these media billings results. With economic indicators slowly moving in a positive direction — even with some troubling fits and starts, consumer confidence numbers are now at a five-year high — and marketers looking more and more at driving direct response from all media outlets (TV, E-commerce and more), I have high hopes. If you missed the link to my the column above, here it is once again: Can 2013 Carry 2012’s Media Billings Momentum Forward?

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Feb 22

Response February: Eyes on the Prize, Party Time in Chicago, and HOF Inductees

RES0213_CV1The February issue of Response is now available online. From an intriguing look at an old-school direct marketer that’s transitioned with the digital times to the announcement of the inaugural class of the DR Hall of Fame, let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to the issue!

  • Our cover feature on one of direct marketing’s longest running success stories — Publishers Clearing House — saw its genesis from a meeting request at last October’s DMA show in Las Vegas. Let this be a lesson, vendors and agencies (or PR reps of vendors and agencies): if your clients are willing to powerful success stories, Response is interested in helping tell them! Of course, most everyone knows PCH today from their legendary “Prize Patrol” TV spots, where a giant check and some crazy balloons are presented to an unsuspecting sweepstakes winner at his or her front door. What you may not know is that PCH has ridden its history in direct mail and DRTV to massive heights in the digital direct response space, thanks to the work of Josh Glantz and his team. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: PCH Wins All Day Long
  • There are two items of note in our Field Reports (aka, news) section this month. One is an exclusive Q&A with Mercury Media CEO John Barnes about his company’s recent addition of iMarketing, a full-service digital agency, under the Mercury umbrella. The other is the announcement of our annual DRMA Chicago Reception, during next month’s International Home + Housewares show. The event is slated for Monday, March 4, at the Vertigo Sky Lounge, and, yes, contrary to the printed information, there’s still time to RSVP. Check out these stories and more DR news here: Field Reports February
  • In other DRMA news, Los Angeles-based Dial800 is the subject of this month’s DRMA Spotlight feature. We’ve been working with Scott Richards and James Diorio, the powerful duo behind this DR technology leader, for a few years now. They combine wisdom, work ethic and passionate belief in the services they’re providing professionals in the DR industry. To watch the video Dial800 has provided to go along with the Spotlight story, click this link: DRMA Spotlight Video on Dial800 or check out the print story here: Cracking the Code
  • Our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results circles back to short-form DRTV billings’ 3Q results. Mirroring its long-form counterpart, while third-quarter was by far the weakest quarter of 2012 so far, the real story is that results stayed even with the same quarter of 2011, helping the overall outlook for 2012 remain solid. Since DRTV media in 3Q faced a huge Summer Olympics, as well as a building presidential campaign, there was some fear of a big drop. With a decent fourth-quarter performance, 2012 should end up as a second consecutive year of growth for direct response television media. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: Short-Form DRTV Billings Battle to Break Even
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note breaks the story of our newest addition to the Response family: the Direct Response Hall of Fame. With nine inductees in the initial class selected by the Response Advisory Board, myself and our publisher, John Yarrington, the group represents the best of the past, present and future of direct response marketing. You will have the chance to salute these industry greats on the afternoon of Thursday, April 4, at the Induction Ceremony on the Expo Hall Floor at Response Expo. Don’t miss it! And, if you missed the link to my the column above, here it is once again: Welcome to the Inaugural Inductees of the DR Hall of Fame

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Aug 22

Response August: Made in the Shade, Short-Form DRTV Billings and Olympian Examples

Here’s a look at some of the key pieces of Response‘s August issue.

Jonathan Hershberg and SunSetter headline this month’s issue.

  • Our cover story on SunSetter Products and its co-founder Jonathan Hershberg came to us via the team at DRM Partners and Pro Media Group. Fortunately, it came together much more quickly than planned, as we were looking at a late fall timeframe for this piece originally. But if you’ve spent any time in the media business, you know just how often things can fall through at the last minute. That happened to us with this issue, as our original cover bailed just before deadline. However, credit to the DRMP team and Hershberg for jumping at the opportunity with an intriguing story about a product not many would have thought would work in DRTV. Not only did SunSetter create a brand, it basically created its own home product category: retractable awnings. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is again: DR Shines Bright for SunSetter
  • With some staff shake-ups, it’s once again my full responsibility on the magazine to handle analysis of our quarterly media billings results. In the August issue, that means dissecting 1Q 2012 short-form DRTV results, courtesy of Kantar Media. Coming off a fantastic 2011 (especially in the second half, where year-on-year results were up nearly 10 percent on 2010), it was great to see that 1Q 2012 held strong, losing a microscopic 0.8 percent. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 1Q SF DRTV Billings Hold Steady
  • Finally, the London Olympics, NBC’s coverage and a powerful Twitter presence inspired my August Editor’s Note. NBC’s tape-delayed and heavily slanted coverage of the games roiled many early on, as the Twitter hashtag #NBCfail enjoyed a solid multi-day run trending worldwide. However, Twitter was also abuzz with overall Olympic discussion, and mobile usage of the social media tool was a key driver to NBC’s eventual ratings haul that broke viewership and ad sales records. Is this combination of TV, social and mobile something that DRTV marketers can learn a lesson from? If you missed the link above, here’s my take: Controversy Over NBC Olympics Coverage Gives Marketers a Golden Message

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!