It was time to hit the road again during the week of Sept. 23-29, with a week-long work trip to Las Vegas followed by a quick hop to Phoenix to hang with some friends and go to the USC-ASU game in Tempe. It was a fun week with a lot of variation in the images I captured. Let’s take a look — and remember, to see any image full-size, simply click on it!
The 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!
The September issue of Response has been available online since Friday. 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 TELEBrands and AJ Khubani, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:
- September’s cover feature on TELEBrands takes an inside look at the direct response and retail giant that’s celebrating 30 years in business in 2013. In June, I sat down for a breakfast interview in New York with Khubani, who spoke eloquently and at length about the past, present and future of the business. His expertise and experience are unparalleled, as his company has helped drive the “As Seen On TV” category into a retail giant. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: It Was 30 Years Ago Today …
- Every September, we bring you our annual State of the Industry Report feature, where we query the esteemed Response Advisory Board regarding what’s happening right now — and what’s to come — across the direct, digital and data-driven marketplace. We’ve been fortunate, in recent years, to take advantage of technology to overcome the space limitations in print media by using our website to publish the full and unabridged answers of our contributors. So, even if you’ve already read the print version, I’d urge you to click on the following link now to get the rest of the story: 18th Annual State of the Industry Report
- For the first time since our May issue, the DRMA Spotlight is back! This month, the spotlight falls on Direct Response Marketing Alliance member I.Predictus, a technology company looking to revolutionize the media buying business with high-end algorithms that could maximize the measurability of direct response media. I sat with the company’s founder, Monica C. Smith (who also founded Marketsmith, another well-known company in the DR space), in San Diego in August to hear more about I.Predictus’ technology and Smith’s vision. If you missed the link above to the written feature, click here: I.Predictus Takes the Gamble out of Media. If you’d like to watch the video interview with Smith, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — I.Predictus
- There was more tough news in our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results. Taking a look at DR radio’s 1Q 2013 billings results, a $2.1 million loss (15.9 percent) from the same quarter a year prior continued the troubled story started by 1Q DRTV results. The $11.2 million total was the second-lowest result in a first quarter since 2005. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 1Q 2013 DR Radio Media Billings Fade by $2.1M
- My Editor’s Note makes a link between the voting for the DRMA Marketer of the Year (the winner of which will be revealed on Sept. 25 in Las Vegas) and the voting that also has a major hand in deciding the champion of one of my favorite sports, college football. See for yourself if I drew a clear enough parallel before joining about 900 of your closest friends at Vanity at the Hard Rock in Vegas tomorrow night! Here’s the link: All Polls Are Not Created Equal!
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!