Feb 07

Response January: Brandman U., College Sports Marketing and Another Buzzword

RES0115_CV1A day after finalizing our February issue and sending it off to print, I finally have a free moment to take a look back at the January issue of Response. The issue went live online a couple of weeks back, but just in case you haven’t flipped it — either in print or online — I’m back with my regular look at some of the issue’s key stories.

  • My cover feature on Brandman University and Ramendra (Ram) Singh had an interesting genesis. Most refer to it as “seventh grade.” That’s right, a friend I met during junior high school — Steve Quis — pitched the story idea to me last summer in his role as PR director for the non-profit university. He’s since moved on to a similar role at Miramar College (in addition to his sports play-by-play career). The introduction to Ram was a fortuitous one. Ram is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I’ve interviewed during my 14 years at Response. His thoughts on omnichannel (yep, that word — and it’ll come up again later in this post) marketing in the education sector are ones that any marketer should consider. I’m very pleased to note that Ram will be part of an educational panel at Response Expo. If you’re one of our attendees, you shouldn’t miss it. So, thanks Steve. Who knew our time back at LVJHS and FUHS would evolve into this story! If you missed the link above, here it is again: Educating at Brandman University
  • Keeping the college theme going, our annual look at marketing in the sports & fitness category takes a deep dive into how major college athletics programs are finding new ways to commune with fans and sell game tickets and merchandise. The passion of sports fans makes them the perfect consumer to target via various direct response marketing methods, especially digital and social media. From coast to coast — quite literally from Oregon to Miami — what are the best marketers doing to reach those fans and make them consumers? If you didn’t click the link above, here’s your chance to find out: Inside the College Playbook
  • The January issue buzzword of the month: omnichannel. After touching on the “programmatic” frenzy in December, we took our questions about “omnichannel” marketing to the Response Advisory Board (RAB) for 2015’s first advisors roundtable feature. Seven of our board members took part in the conversation and — as usual — the online version carries the complete and unabridged answers from each leader (compared to the edited version that runs in the print magazine). Once again, if you missed the link above, click here: Response Advisors Forum: Entering the Omnichannel Era
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings update focuses on third-quarter 2014 long-form DRTV results. Once again, media billings in the half-hour advertising space stumbled, losing $20.3 million compared to the prior third quarter and leaving the total for the first nine months of the year off by more than $61 million. This is the second consecutive year of losses for the long-form space — unless fourth-quarter results are shockingly good. But there is some hope that long-form marketers are starting to understand the trends and restructuring how best to take advantage of long-form DRTV. To take a deeper look at 3Q 2014 long-form DRTV media billings, click here: Long-Form Media Billings Dip $20M … Again
  • A line I removed from January’s Editor’s Note column read (so far as I can recall): “And I am sure my fiancée rues the day she urged me to join Twitter.” If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are a Facebook friend, you may agree … wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, to read my take on using social media outlets — both personally and professionally — here’s the link once again: Finding — and Growing — Your Social Voice

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Sep 24

Response September: Telebrands at 30, I.Predictus at 1, and the State of the Industry

RES0913_CV1The 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!

Aug 23

Response August: Annuity.com, the ‘Super Feature’ and Short-Form Struggles

Response August 2013The August issue of Response has been available online for a couple of weeks now. 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 Annuity.com and Bill Broich, as well as a number of the other key pieces in the issue:

  • August’s cover feature on Annuity.com returns the magazine to one of the evergreen spaces in the new world of direct, digital and data-driven marketing: the financial services sector. Thanks to the team at Karlin+Pimsler — the creative agency that built Annuity.com’s short-form TV campaign — and its PR agent, Lauren de la Fuente, I was able to connect with Annuity.com’s co-founder Bill Broich. The company’s story of educating consumers about annuities and driving responses to the right agents is an intriguing one for any marketer interested in using direct response. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: A Safe Boom
  • Every August, we include a feature that, way back when, we used to refer to in-house as the “Support Services Super Feature.” Today, this compendium of information about the goings-on in the teleservices, fulfillment and payment processing corners of the marketing world is known as the “Annual Support Services Update.” I know, I think “Super Feature” sounds kind of awesome in retrospect, too! In any case, we canvassed some of the leaders in this space about what’s hot and new in 2013. As usual, for these oft-forgotten services, there is much to learn for marketers and front-end agencies alike. If you missed the link above, here it is: Powerful Triad Helps Create Successful Direct Campaigns
  • The bad news continued in our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results. Taking a look at short-form DRTV billings’ 1Q 2013 results, a $185 million loss (17.5 percent) from the same quarter a year previous is obviously not the way the market wanted to kick off the new year. Falling below $900 million in total billings, the short-form market finds itself in a spot it hasn’t since 2006. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: Short-Form DRTV Billings Crash in the First Quarter
  • My Editor’s Note circles back to the power financial services marketers are wielding in the direct, digital and data driven space. Beyond the Annuity.com cover story and the financial services market feature in this issue, Response has featured financial services marketers — like this one and this one and this one — on its cover time and again in recent years. What does it all mean? If you missed the link to my the column above, here it is once again: Financial Services Marketers Lead the Way Into New Era

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!