Trying to make the most of my dwindling time at home before yet another extended trip east, let’s follow Wednesday morning’s breakdown of Response’s August issue with this quick backgrounder of our jam-packed September issue. The issue hit first about two weeks ago, right around the time of our huge DRMA Marketer of the Year event in Las Vegas on Sept. 17. Let’s take a quick look at the issue, including a very special cover interview with Guthy-Renker co-founder Greg Renker.
- There’s no way to sugar coat this: after years of trying to work our way up the ladder inside the current iteration of Guthy-Renker — and Response has solid relationships with a number of the company’s leaders, including Elliott Segal, Dirk van de Bunt and Kendra Elliott — to secure a cover feature on the company, we’d simply hit one wall after another. So when we first spoke with Brian Kurtz of Boardroom Inc., who was organizing last month’s Titans of Direct Response event in Connecticut, I was wary of the idea that we could find a way to speak directly with Renker himself. But, the newsworthiness of Kurtz’s event — a true who’s who of DR leaders and top creatives — made it an easy call to write a news story about it for our August issue. So I asked Kurtz for the “big get” — could we interview Renker about the event for this news story and, if so, would he be interested in doing a more wide-ranging (and exclusive) interview about the past, present and future of both Guthy-Renker and the direct, digital and data-driven marketing world? Kurtz said he’d give it a shot, and later that afternoon, I received a calendar request from Renker’s executive assistant for a call at 10 a.m. the next morning. The call couldn’t have gone better — Renker was a fantastic interview, as you’d expect, and so gracious about both speaking with Response, as well as his induction into the Direct Response Hall of Fame last year. Most importantly, you want to read his insights. Trust me. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Personable, Proactive, Powerful
- For the 14th consecutive year, it was my honor and pleasure to put together our annual State of the Industry report, featuring the thoughts and insights of the members of our Response Advisory Board. Over the years, the topics have changed — and, crucially, expanded — as our focus has grown from DRTV to direct response marketing and now, as we all tackle this omnichannel universe, the behemoth we call “direct, digital and data-driven” marketing. While the story that appears in the print magazine is always solid thanks to our experts, the online version — featuring the complete and unabridged answers from each member of our Board that responded — provides one interesting take after another. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: 19th Annual State of the Industry Report
- This month’s DRMA Spotlight takes a look at O2 Media and its subsidiary, Incredible Discoveries. For the multi-faceted piece, I was able to speak with the business’ president and CEO, Dr. Thomas C. Deters, as well as George Bayer, vice president of direct response for Incredible Discoveries, and George O’Neill, director of studio operations for O2. The new team behind the business is keen on maximizing its production expertise, product experience and access to programming on various cable networks to create a new kind of direct response opportunity. For more on O2 Media, click here: O2 Media Seeks a New Level of Excellence
- In our monthly look at direct response TV and radio media billings, we focus on Kantar Media’s 1Q 2014 DR radio results, which were extremely positive. Pushed by a return to form from the local radio market and marketers’ expansion of the number of campaigns aired, DR radio enjoyed its best first quarter in three years, topping the $14 million mark. Led by two products — Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv Solution and the Rosetta Stone language line, each of which posted more than $2M in DR radio spending for the quarter — the DR radio market set a great tone for the year. To take a deeper look at 1Q 2014 DR radio billings, click here: 1Q 2014 DR Radio Billings Jump 28.5 Percent
- Finally, we return to Renker for my Editor’s Note column this month. Suffice it to say that interviewing Renker felt like a bit of a “full circle” moment for me. Additionally, you get a couple extra pearls of Renker’s wisdom. To read the column, here’s the link once again: Renker’s Message Resonates, Whether It’s 2001 or 2014
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!