Thanksgiving week became Christmas time as I stuck around L.A. for another week near the end of 2013. Here’s the week that was Nov. 25-Dec. 1.
Response’s November issue has been available online since the week before Thanksgiving. Based on some feedback we’ve received, many folks have already taken a good, hard look at the issue. Nonetheless, let’s take a quick look behind the scenes of the book — from the cover story on ICTV Brands and Rich Ransom to a key piece on the expansion of the mobile marketplace, my Thanksgiving thoughts and more!
- During the summer, I had a conversation with Lindsey Carnett and Elizabeth Maxim of Southern California-based Marketing Maven PR, about their client base and hot topics in the industry. They mentioned the success story of ICTV Brands — a rare publicly traded marketer in the DR business best known for its DermaWand product — and talked about the company’s re-branding and plans to release a series of new products designed for a DR-to-retail rollout. I knew that the DermaWand folks had been through some ups and downs in recent years, but my interest was piqued. So we set a time for me to meet with Rich Ransom, ICTV’s president, for lunch in Santa Monica. What came of that meal you can read in these pages. Both Ransom’s personal history and that of ICTV Brands reads like a real underdog success story. The company’s willingness to push through the hard times, honestly tackle its problems and re-engage consumers is a great one. If you missed the link above, here it is again: Smoothing Out a Few Wrinkles
- I’m sure anyone involved in direct, digital and data-driven marketing — and even those who aren’t — have heard plenty about “mobile marketing” in recent years. Yes, as consumers rely more and more on their smartphones to keep them connected to the fast-moving world, marketers are finding it more important to figure out how to connect with them there. But, perhaps while marketers were trying to figure out how to connect, consumers’ growing desire to buy via their phones may have solved the riddle. Consumers want to buy via phones — and tech leaders are coming up with simplified ways for those consumers to pay for marketers products. This may be the real “mobile revolution.” If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: Buying — and Paying — in 1 Touch
- This month’s DRMA Spotlight revisits OpenJar Concepts. The media and technology agency, located in Temecula, Calif., is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2014. Co-founders Adam Warren and Reno Renaldo sat down to catch up with me regarding the company’s growth since first being featured in the DRMA Spotlight in January 2013 — including intriguing moves in technology, brand development and lead generation. To read the Spotlight story, click here: Technology and Teamwork.
- In our monthly look at direct response TV and radio media billings, we turn the spotlight on second-quarter 2014 short-form DRTV results. After an incredibly sluggish 2013, the space continues to bounce back strong in 2014, as the “Drug and Toiletry” category and the U.S. Hispanic market drove a 12.4-percent increase during the April-June period. Average spending per campaign not only leaped higher in the top 40, but also down the food chain as well, with smaller campaigns averaging a 5.1-percent average increase in spending. To take a deeper look at 2Q 2014 short-form DRTV media billings, click here: Short-Form DRTV Billings Continue 2014 Rebound
- Finally, my Editor’s Note column this month discusses my own personal efforts to provide leadership and expertise to the college students who will eventually take the mantle of this business. Between regular stops to lecture marketing students at San Diego State and my annual involvement in mentoring USC journalism students, perhaps the most rewarding part of gaining knowledge in my career has been the opportunity to share any bit of wisdom I can with the generations behind ours. To read the column, here’s the link once again: Giving Back Is the Best Way to Give Thanks
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!
The December issue of Response is now available online, and I’m happy to say we closed out the year with a strong book, hitting two key vertical markets — beauty and consumer electronics. Let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to the issue!
- The story behind celebrity make-up artist Mally Roncal’s incredible foray into home shopping and DRTV isn’t all glitz and glamour. Certainly, while Roncal parlayed her stellar work for such celebrities as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Angelina Jolie — among many others — into the now-powerful Mally Beauty brand of cosmetics, her background growing up in suburban New York City was far from glamorous. It did, however, prepare her to take the airwaves by storm from her first appearance on QVC in 2005. With the help of DRTV production veteran Bob Caudill, our story on Roncal and business partner Don Pettit showcases two people who truly love what they do. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: Looking Beautiful, Feeling Beautiful
- In a feature written by long-time Response contributor Bridget McCrea, we dig into the ways certain consumer electronics products are helping consumer electronics marketers utilize the tenets of direct response to sell their products. With the rise of smartphones and tablets as both marketing outlets and shopping devices, it’s our goal to continue to keep our readers abreast of the ever-changing technological landscape. If you missed the link above, here’s the story: CE Sells CE
- One of our most eagerly awaited stories every year is the IMS ranking of the top 50 DRTV spots and infomercials of the year. Put together by Sam Catanese and his crack research and analysis staff in Philadelphia, this is the best-known annual ranking of DRTV success — and it’s appearing exclusively in the pages of Response for the 11th consecutive year! You don’t want to miss it, so — again — here’s the link: IMS Top 50 Infomercials and Spots of 2012
- Our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results takes a look at the DR radio space. Second-quarter 2012 results — from Response‘s partnership with Kantar Media — continue the strikingly good news for 2012 thus far. The total of more than $11.2 million spent represents the best second quarter 2008. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 2Q 2012 DR Radio Media Billings Jump 15.1 Percent
- Finally, my Editor’s Note takes on a personal bent as I discuss my thoughts on the creeping shopping frenzy that’s become known as Black Friday. With the event spilling over into Thanksgiving night, the irony of watching retailers and consumers take part in a festival of greed on the day we’re supposed to be giving thanks for more important things was just a little too much to take. If you missed the link above, here’s my take: Giving Thanks … and Slowing Down Greed
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response! Wishing you all a very happy holiday season, and all the best in 2013!