Jan 13

Response December: Christmas Trees, IMS’ Annual Rankings and a Little Bit of AP

Though the December issue of Response has been available online since prior to the holiday break, it’s time for a quick look back before we move along into 2014. Hopefully, if you’re one of our readers, you’ve taken a good look at the issue, but — if not — here’s some back story on the cover feature highlighting Balsam Brands entrepreneur Thomas Harman, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • THOR Associates’ Fern Lee, a member of our Response Advisory Board, can take great credit for the timeliness of our December cover story about Redwood City, Calif.-based Balsam Brands and its dip into the DRTV waters for its Balsam Hill line of high-end artificial Christmas trees. Harman, a business leader with a great entrepreneurial spirit and vision, founded Balsam Hill as an E-retailer in 2006 and saw the company grow exponentially in its early years. But after what might be called a slight misstep into DRTV in late 2012, the Balsam Brands team connected with THOR on a much more well prepared and researched campaign for the 2013 holiday season. If you missed the link above, here it is once again: ‘O, Christmas Tree …’
  • For the 12th consecutive year, IMS has provided its exclusive list of the top 50 long-form and top 50 short-form DRTV campaigns of the year to Response! Once again, health-and-fitness, housewares and beauty products are among the leaders in both categories. The IMS team also provides an intriguing look back at the top 5 long-form products for the past 10 years, and — for the first time — a look at the U.S. Hispanic market. Of course, you’re probably just asking yourself, “Who’s No. 1?” Well, if you missed the link above, click here to find out: The IMS Top 50 Infomercials and Spots of 2013
  • AP’s Bruce and Robin Stone.

    This month, the DRMA Spotlight is turned on Simi Valley, Calif., call center Applied Perceptions. Founded by husband-and-wife team Bruce and Robin Stone in 2001, AP — as they often call it — prides itself on being a profit center for clients, due to its powerfully specialized agent corps and ability to provide both sales and customer service capabilities for marketers of all shapes and sizes. If you missed the link above to this special update, click here: Built From the Ground Up. If you’d like to watch the video interview I conducted with Bruce Stone, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — Applied Perceptions

  • The 2Q 2013 DR radio media billings results, provided by Kantar Media, finally provided a small ray of hope to what’s been a troubled media landscape throughout much of the year. The market was up an impressive 22.8 percent for the quarter, which made it DR radio’s best second quarter in six years. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 2Q 2013 DR Radio Media Billings Rise 22.8 Percent
  • My final Editor’s Note of the year seeks to sound a call to marketers across the direct, digital and data-driven landscape to look ahead — not back — and use the power of their position to help drive the new marketing universe. It’s unimaginable to me how often I hear folks in our world yearn out loud for the simpler times of the past — the good old “As Seen On TV” days — rather than focusing on how they can best be positioned to not only take advantage of new technologies to improve their businesses, but actually take their experiences and become the leaders they should be in this new age of consumer-driven marketing. If you missed it above, here’s the link: DR Marketers Must Choose the Future

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Dec 17

Response November: Holly Madison and eDiets; Second-Screen Challenges and Media’s Continuing Struggle

The November issue of Response has been available online since just prior to Thanksgiving. 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 highlighting As Seen on TV Inc. CEO Ronald C. Pruett, Jr., and eDiets entrepreneur Holly Madison, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • The November cover story is a great combination of old friends and new relationships. Pruett was first featured on the cover of Response during his stint with Liberty Medical. He then went on to serve on our Advisory Board during his time at the helm of Mercury Media Holdings. Now, at ASTV, parent of online marketer eDiets, Pruett returns to the cover spotlight with former “Girls Next Door” star Madison, whose post-pregnancy diet plan is part of a new direction for eDiets. With the help of eDiets’ PR firm and some more social chats with Pruett, it feels as if I was able to wrangle this story at the perfect moment. Pruett’s vision for where eDiets is headed in the crowded online/TV diet space is intriguing. And how eDiets structured its deal and relationship with Madison is a new step in the world of celebrity “endorsers.” If you missed the link above, here it is once again: For eDiets, Mobile and Social Are No Fad
  • The multi-screen universe continues to play a bigger role in marketing plans, and with the holiday season upon us, we took the time to look deeper into strategies to best take advantage of consumers’ continuing use of second and third screens. One of Response’s most veteran freelancers, Bridget McCrea, spoke with some leading media agency insiders (representing Havas Edge, Cannella Response Television and Icon Media Direct) about how to make campaigns work in this new media environment. If you missed the link to their thoughts above, here it is: Screens, Screens … Everywhere Screens
  • The InterMedia Group of Companies returns to the DRMA Spotlight in this update. Company leader Bob Yallen was featured in the May issue DRMA Spotlight, and we doubled back with him to find out how 2013 has been for InterMedia and the rest of the DR industry. If you missed the link above to this special update, click here: Staying a Step Ahead. If you’d like to watch the original video interview from the May issue with Yallen, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — InterMedia
  • The lowlights kept on coming in this month’s quarterly media billings results, as the short-form DRTV market’s 2Q 2013 billings continued the year’s horror show. A massive 25-percent free fall sucked nearly $300 million away from the total’s registered in second-quarter 2012. When will the bad news end for 2013 DR media billings? For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: Short-Form DRTV Media Billings’ 2013 Tumble Continues
  • Speaking of media market issues, my Editor’s Note this month asks for answers to 2013’s media malaise? A year ago, in the same space, I raved about the power of the DR media marketplace. Well, what an unwelcome difference a year makes. How can the market get back on track as we head into 2014? Here’s the link: Media Malaise Presents Big Challenges

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 29

Response October: Euro-Pro Wins MOY, What’s up With Media Billings, and Cannella Returns to the DRMA Spotlight

Response OctoberThe October issue of Response has been available online since early last week. 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 the three finalists in the fifth annual DRMA Marketer of the Year competition — the winner, Euro-Pro, as well as Hampton Direct and Tristar Products — as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • The October cover story, as it has for the past five years now, features this year’s winner of the DRMA Marketer of the Year (or MOY, as we call it around the office) — Euro-Pro — and the other two finalist companies, Hampton Direct and Tristar Products. As usual, the MOY competition drew intense interest from our vast bloc of industry voters. After more than 1,400 votes, Euro-Pro edged now three-time finalist Hampton Direct for the honor! From pulling together the nominees (with our Response Advisory Board) to picking the right location in Vegas (this time, Vanity Nightclub in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) to making sure all of the key people are in attendance to holding the cover photo shoot on site at the big event, MOY is probably the Response team’s biggest single-night event. It all pays off, though, when we see more than 800 of our closest friends in attendance and register the joy on the winner’s face. To hear more from Euro-Pro, Hampton Direct and Tristar Products, if you missed the link above, here it is once again: Just the Right Blend
  • Our semi-annual Media Buying & Planning Guide returns in October, this time focusing on the thoughts of the agency side of the business. With a tough first two quarters of 2013 in the books, what would the buyers have to say about the state of media availability and pricing? We heard, as usual, from the network side in May (click here for a look back if you missed it). Buyers remain wary of pricing issues and say market fragmentation is worse than ever. If you missed the link to the rest of their thoughts above, here it is: Art & Science
  • Cannella Response Television returns to the DRMA Spotlight in this Q&A update. Company leaders Tony Besasie and Rob Medved were featured in the March issue DRMA Spotlight, and we doubled back with them to find out how 2013 has been for Cannella and the rest of the DR industry. If you missed the link above to this special update, click here: Believers in Video. If you’d like to watch the original video interview from the March issue with Besasie and Medved, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — Cannella Response Television
  • While things stabilized a bit in this month’s quarterly media billings results, the long-form DRTV market’s 2Q 2013 billings results still stumbled 3.7 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. The $10.2 million decrease left the market’s numbers for the April-June time period essentially in line with recent second quarters, but a steep drop in slots purchased begs the question: did high cable pricing keep more marketers off the air, or did it help salvage total spending for a floundering market? For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 2Q 2013 Long-Form Media Billings Stumble 3.7 Percent
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note this month once again salutes the finalists for the Marketer of the Year Award. What is one thing they have in common? The end goal of selling product from retail shelves — an idea that was seen as preposterous when I joined Response in 2001. Today, if you’re selling a product with a direct response facet to your marketing and you don’t have a retail plan in place, you’re likely doomed to failure. What a change! Here’s the link: The DR-to-Retail Model Reaches New Heights

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!