The April issue of Response has been available online since shortly before Response Expo, which took place about three weeks ago. But, with the craziness surrounding the Expo and some immediate deadlines for the upcoming May issue following closely on its heels, there hasn’t been much time for me to share an inside look at the issue. However, with the May issue now out the door (and on its way to our readers soon!), I had a moment today to catch up and take a deeper look at April’s book, including the cover feature highlighting Murad, our roundtable with the 2014 DR Hall of Fame inductees, two DRMA Spotlight stories and a rather pointed Editor’s Note column.
- In early 2007, I interviewed Dr. Howard Murad about his line of skin care products and how the brand had used direct response marketing to build its consumer base and recognition. Seven years later, with the brand still flourishing and a pair of its marketing executives set to speak at Response Expo, we decided it was time to see how Murad’s marketing has changed with the times. Unsurprisingly, Marina Randolph — executive vice president of direct for the Southern California-based company — and the rest of the Murad team have expanded the company’s marketing arsenal to work in today’s consumer-controlled landscape. Quite simply, it’s an omnichannel world and — as a marketer — Murad is representative not only of those in the beauty and personal care space, but all marketers who are combining direct, digital and data-driven efforts to keep pace. If you missed the link to the story above, here it is once again: Getting Better Every Day
- Again tying in with Response Expo, we were able to catch up with the nine living members of the second class of the DR Hall of Fame. The group, which also included posthumous inductee Billy Mays, is truly a who’s-who of direct response history, and each of them was saluted wonderfully by more than 400 attendees at the induction ceremony in San Diego on May 1. Don’t miss these legends thoughts — if you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance: The Pioneering Spirit!
- The growing influence of retail sales — be it in store or online — is the subject of this month’s edition of the Response Advisors Forum. Not only do the members of our vaunted Advisory Board kick around the challenges and opportunities that keep growing in the omnichannel marketplace, but the online version of the story is a Web exclusive: the full, unabridged answers from each member of the Board. If you missed the link above, here it is once again: An Old Foe Becomes a Best Friend
- The hits in this issue just keep coming as there are two DRMA Spotlight stories — a two-page feature on Maine-based Argo Marketing Group and a one-page Q&A with Phoenix-based Higher Power Marketing. The interview with Argo’s Jason Levesque actually took place in a cabana at the Loews South Beach Resort in Miami Beach in February. Argo’s growth during the past decade has been spectacular and Levesque has an understanding of where the market is headed. To read the story, click here: Growing Smiles on Customers’ Faces. To watch the video interview with Levesque, shot in Miami, click here: DRMA Spotlight Video — Argo Marketing Group. The genesis for the one-pager on Higher Power happened during a meeting for coffee in Scottsdale while the Response team was on a business trip in the Phoenix area. Peter Feinstein has a solid track record in the space and his thoughts about where his company and the business are going are intriguing. Take a look by clicking here: ‘Commerce With a Conscience’
As we closed in on the Expo, there was a big push for exposure in our monthly Field Reports news section. Along with some big industry news — Kevin Trudeau’s 10-year jail sentence; Twitter jumping into DR — three Q&As highlight the section. We were able to spend some time with Havas Edge‘s Jack Kirby about the consumer-centric marketing world (seeing a trend here, anyone?) and how marketers and agencies can best work together. We also had a chat with Top Dog Direct‘s Bill McAlister about the lifeblood of the business — product inventors. Finally, and most personally rewarding, I was able to sit down over a lunch with long-time media agency executive Barry Jacobs. Jacobs — a mentor and a friend — retired from full-time duty in the business (and from Mercury Media) following Response Expo. While he’s still taking on projects here and there, he’s doing so from the comforts of home after 55 years of helping shape the direct marketing world. Don’t miss these great Q&As and more — click here to take a look: Field Reports April
- Mercifully, we’ve reached the last quarter of direct response TV and radio media billings results. Fourth-quarter long-form DRTV billings results mirrored the entire year for the 28:30 marketplace: 4Q results were off 5.3 percent, leaving the year down 5.7 percent. For the first time since 2004, long-form DRTV cumulative media billings failed to top $1 billion as more and more marketers seem to have raised spending in the lower-cost satellite space at the cost of the higher-priced cable market. For more on 4Q long-form DRTV billings from Response, click here: 4Q 2013 Long-Form DRTV Media Results Round Out Somber Year
- Lastly, my Editor’s Note represents the difference between reporting and opinion journalism — a difference that the 24-hour news channels have sullied to the point of near invisibility. As noted above, we covered the facts of the sentencing of long-time DR industry burden Kevin Trudeau to 10 years in federal prison in the news section. But in this space (one designed specifically for opinion), I expressed the disdain of many in the business — based on many notes I received prior to this column’s publication and many more received after — for Trudeau’s continued negative influence on the good names of hundreds of marketers who have used direct response marketing in an ethical and successful way. Suffice it to say, I’m disappointed to see products using Trudeau the pitchman still on the air. And I’m not alone. To read my full take on the topic, here’s the link once again: Trudeau Story Points the Finger at ‘Self-Regulation’ … Again
Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!