Apr 13

Response March: Vistaprint’s Vision, Housewares Galore and a New Spotlight

Forgive me for my tardiness, but the March issue of ResponseResponse Digital March went live less than a week before my wedding and 2-week honeymoon to Fiji — so, honestly, getting this post up took a pretty deep back seat to all of that. When I returned to work a little more than a week ago, it was right into the teeth of planning for next week’s Response Expo. However, late this afternoon, I had a chance to dig into the issue for my regular look at some of the back story behind some key pieces in the issue.

  • This month’s cover feature on Vistaprint, the now well-known online business services provider, came to us via our link with media agency Havas Edge. For years, the presenting sponsor of Response Expo‘s keynote address, Edge and its leader, Steve Netzley (a member of Response‘s Advisory Board), are not only key partners for us but also one of the leading media agencies in the direct, digital and data-driven world. Netzley connected me directly with Peter Tardif, Vistaprint’s director of North American channels and markets, in fall 2014. His company’s story of utilizing offline media to drive response to Vistaprint’s website is one that’s becoming more and more familiar to readers of Response. Next week, Expo attendees interested in hearing more about Tardif’s work at Vistaprint will have the opportunity to see him as part of a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 22 at 3 p.m. If you missed the link above, here it is again: Getting Down to Business
  • As usual, our March issue was timed out to take part in bonus distribution opportunities at the International Home+Housewares Show in Chicago — as well as our very own DRMA reception during the event. With housewares continuing to be a crucial category for marketers and service providers in our world, we took our annual look at what’s hot and happening in the space — from both a product and a method standpoint. Not surprisingly, digital continues to expand its influence among housewares marketers big and small. If you didn’t click the link above, here’s another chance to read the story: Moving Housewares
  • The March issue also marks the return of our DRMA Spotlight section after a few months off, as DRMA member Swipe Payment Solutions joined us for a Spotlight Update Q&A. Now chief operations officer for the payment processing company, Curtis Kleinman is well-known in the direct response space for his tireless networking efforts. If you missed the link above and want to catch up with what’s new at Swipe, click here: DRMA Spotlight: Processing the Right Answers for Clients
  • Our monthly direct response TV and radio media billings update focuses on third-quarter 2014 DR radio results, which were shockingly good. With a 50-percent jump over 2013’s 3Q numbers — pushed mainly by the network radio outlet and the “Drug and Toiletry” category — these third-quarter results were the best in the DR radio market since the middle of the past decade. For a deeper dive into 3Q 2014 DR radio media billings, click here: 3Q 2014 DR Radio Media Billings Spike 50.3 Percent
  • As noted in last month’s blog post, February marked the debut of for our new exclusive research page provided via a partnership with DRMetrix. I’m of such a strong opinion on the power of this new research that I decided to cover it once again in my Editor’s Note column this month. For years, research in direct response television has been hampered by a number of blind spots and a lack of technology. DRMetrix truly takes some major strides in shining a light on some of those long-term dark spaces. In case you missed the link to the piece, here it is once again: Introducing the ‘Metrix’ System: New Research for All Marketers Using DR

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response!

Nov 18

Response November: Positec Wins, FTC Spins and Short-Form Media Grins

Positec’s Tom Duncan is a welcoming face for the November issue.

The November issue of Response is now available online, and there were some intriguing stories this month. Let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to the issue!

  • Positec Tool Corp. was a nominee for the 2012 DRMA Marketer of the Year thanks to the success of its DR-to-retail efforts for the WORX and Rockwell power tool brands. Our friends at Cannella Response Television linked me directly to Lindsay Hendricks, the company’s media manager, which resulted in the opportunity for an interview with Positec leader Tom Duncan, Rhonda Tate, the company’s head of DRTV, and Hendricks. The company’s first long-form campaign, for the WORX GT in 2007, drove more than $43 million in revenue in its first nine months, and Positec hasn’t looked back, finding success with nine other long-form DRTV efforts. Here’s the link again, if you missed it above: DR Gives Positec a Big Edge
  • Following up my October Editor’s Note regarding the recent FTC actions — with astoundingly big dollars attached — against some DR marketers, we opened up the topic to our Response Advisory Board with a series of questions about what this means for the present and future of DR advertising. The responses, as you can imagine, feature a mixed bag from those who believe it’s merely business as usual for the regulatory agency to those who want to sound the alarm for an industry under attack. If you missed the link above, here are our advisers’ thoughts: What Else Is Up the FTC’s Sleeve?
  • Our DRMA Spotlight updates the industry on Swipe Payment Solutions and Curtis Kleinman, the company’s face in the DR space and the 2011 DRMA Member of the Year. Swipe continues to make waves in the payment processing space and, according to Kleinman, has seen close to a 400-percent increase in new clients since the beginning of 2012. If you missed the link above and want read more about Swipe’s services, values and expertise, click here: At Your Service
  • Our latest analysis of the DR industry’s quarterly media billings results, this time in the short-form DRTV space. Second-quarter 2012 results — from Response‘s partnership with Kantar Media —  are great news for the business. The total of nearly $1.184 billion spent represents the highest total for any second quarter since Response teamed with Kantar to publish and analyze short-form DRTV media in 2005. For a full look at all the categorical and outlet results, here’s the link: 2Q Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Expand by $159M
  • Finally, my Editor’s Note leaps from those great media billings results to muse about how the industry will survive a second half of the year that saw the Summer Olympics and presidential election wreak some havoc on TV media availability. Do the great numbers in both long-form and short-form DR media from January-June mean that the business will weather those summer and fall storms? If you missed the link above, here’s my take: A November Surprise? 2Q DR Media Results Bode Well for Future

Thanks again for reading and interacting with Response! Happy Thanksgiving!