Jan 12

Response December: A Fitting Close to 2017

Response‘s December Issue dropped online and began hitting mailboxes the week before Christmas. While many of you have had a chance to flip through the pages or peruse the stories online, the holiday season (and catching up after it) got in the way of my monthly recap — until today. The issue is led by a cover feature on Colorado-based healthcare provider UCHealth. Features on the consumer electronics market and what’s new in the radio media space follow behind. We also take a look at 2Q 2017 DR radio media billings, and five contributed columns also give notable information from leaders in the performance-based marketing world. How did it come together? Let’s dive in.

  • The December cover interview with Manny Rodriguez, CMO of UCHealth, was a long time coming. The story of the story begins in March 2017, when Sallie Sangiorgio, a PR executive in Ogilvy‘s Denver office, sent a note asking if I’d like to connect with Manny during a visit to Southern California late that month. Though timing didn’t work out, I made clear our interest in a possible cover feature on what UCHealth — a nonprofit network of nine acute care hospitals and more than 100 clinics throughout Colorado, southern Wyoming, and western Nebraska — was doing to market its services. After an informational interview with Manny in April, it was clear this was a story we wanted to tell in Response. But at that point, we were locked in for covers through 3Q 2017. Sallie and I continued to stay in touch through the summer and finally settled on the December issue as the best timing for us and for UCHealth. My interview with Manny was one of my favorites of 2017. He’s forthcoming, funny, and focused — a rare combination. If you missed the link above, click here: ‘Extraordinary’ Marketing
  • Also in December, freelancer Bridget McCrea dug into the consumer electronics market just ahead of the annual CES event that took place in Las Vegas this week. What did she find? Perhaps the only thing growing and changing faster than the technology behind your favorite tech gadgets is the technology supporting the marketing programs that are placing those gadgets at the front of your mind. Check out the story for more: The Future Is Now
  • Speaking of marketing technology, our annual look at the radio media marketplace has a distinct focus on the use of artificial intelligence as a facet of the programmatic buying process — not to mention back-end analytics programs that are measuring creative effectiveness and audience response. If you missed the link above, freelancer Doug McPherson‘s story is a good one: Robotic Radio
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings research focuses on second-quarter 2017 DR radio research provided by our partner Kantar Media. After riding high through much of 2015 and 2016, DR radio suffered a second-consecutive quarterly decrease, dipping 18.1 percent compared to 2Q 2016 numbers. Still, it’s not all bad news: the total spend of $13.9 million is the third-best second-quarter total in the past decade. For a full look at 2Q 2017 DR radio media billings, click here: Radio Dials It Down Another Notch in 2Q 2017
  • The December issue also features five excellent column submissions:
  • Finally, my December Editor’s Note column touches on the changes we made in 2017 — not only in Response, but also with the DRMA and MTC Expo. But our work is far from done, though the calendar has flipped. What’s to come? Plenty: A Year Ends and an Evolution Continues

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Oct 13

Response September: 25 Years Down and a Transition to Come

Following on the heels of my August recap, here’s a look at Response‘s September issue — the last issue of our 25th year of publication and the final issue prior to the brand refresh we’ve been working on in recent weeks. Appropriately, then, the issue is led by a cover story about a traditional direct-to-consumer marketer also celebrating its 25th anniversary: Tristar Products. Beyond that, September’s book includes a look at marketing in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, a piece on the power of video marketing (no matter the medium) driving the convergence of media, technology, and commerce, and our 22nd annual State of the Industry report. Let’s take a look at how these — and other stories — came together to form this transitional issue.

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Aug 04

Response July: Digital (Focus). Digital (TV). Digital (Creative).

I decided to take a quick Friday break from working up the August and September issues of Response — summer can be a great time to catch up, after all — to recap our recently delivered (and posted) July issue. Along with this month’s cover story — an interview with Tumi/Samsonite C-level executive Charlie Cole — the issue includes features on the shifting market for entertainment content and our annual look at what’s new in the video production space. Let’s dig into how these stories — and other facets of the issue — came together.

  • July’s cover feature got its start in a conference room at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in February. There, at the eTail West event in Palm Desert, Calif., Charlie Cole — then merely chief digital offer for Tumi, who’s since added the title of global chief e-commerce officer for its parent company Samsonite — gave a presentation about his company’s digital marketing and measurement efforts during the past two years. His no-nonsense talk was impressive, and the story it told about Tumi’s efforts was one I wanted to know more about. I reached out to Cole after returning from the event to gauge his interest in a story — and he responded quickly. An open book throughout the process, Cole was one of the more refreshing cove subjects I’ve worked with in recent years. Unsurprisingly, then, the story — just a slice of how Tumi/Samsonite is tackling the great e-commerce revolution — feels like fresh air at a time when marketing and technology teams tend to find themselves at loggerheads more often than necessary. If you missed the link above, here it is once again: Digital Determination
  • What TV will look like three, five — or, god forbid, 10 — years from now is anyone’s guess. Our freelancer Nicole Urso Reed took the assignment for our annual look at marketing in the entertainment space and decided to poke around for answers to that question, as well as what those changes might mean for marketers who’ve long given TV the largest cut of their budgets. From mobile and online video to over-the-top (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD), the possibilities are exciting. Oh, and Nicole’s headline nod to one of my favorite Dr. Dre songs certainly doesn’t hurt. In case you skipped the link above: The Next Episode
  • Those different possibilities are also driving changes across the video production space, as our freelancer Bridget McCrea continued to learn in her latest look at the production and creative space. Speaking with a half-dozen experts, McCrea finds that different ad lengths — yes, all the way up to a half-hour — still work, depending on the product, the target, and the media outlet. How are producers changing how they do things based on these opportunities? Here’s that story link again: Creative Leverage
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings enter the 2017 calendar year with a look at first-quarter long-form DRTV results. A market that’s lost ground in nine of the past 10 years started 2017 in similar fashion, dropping nearly 12 percent in comparison to its 1Q 2016 totals. However, the problem doesn’t seem to be availability of half-hour spots but rather the gaining power of the lower-cost broadcast and satellite markets at the cost of the contracting cable network sector. As cable pricing continues to fall to compete, overall spending results continue to dip. For a full look at 1Q 2017 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form DRTV Billings Start 2017 on the Wrong Foot
  • The July issue also includes a number of strong submissions in our column well:
  • My Editor’s Note column got its first inspiration from the wide array of music I listen to each day at my desk (currently playing: The Hold Steady‘s “How a Resurrection Really Feels”) and how important great songs (and great songwriting) are in my everyday life. At its essence, great songwriting is great storytelling. Somehow, in fewer than 500 words — with a well-deserved (and, sure, gratuitous) shot at “bro country” included — I get from there to a brief exposition on Response‘s ongoing transition. If you missed the link above, here it is: A Change in Focus Doesn’t Mean a Change in How We Tell Stories

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!