Rick Petry

Rick Petry is a freelance writer who specializes in direct marketing and is a past chairman of ERA. He can be reached at (503) 740-9065 or online at rickpetry.com and @thepetrydish on Twitter.
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Recent Posts

Friday Forecast: Five Powerful Reasons Why Direct Response Television Remains Relevant Today

by Rick Petry on May 25, 2018 3:00:00 AM DRTV, Direct Response, Marketing

Celebrity fitness trainer Gillian Michaels promotes SodaStream, a healthier alternative to sugary soft drinks. Photo: Bluewater Media.


Direct response television (DRTV) remains a powerful weapon that every marketer should consider in their arsenal. Despite increasing media fragmentation, increased competition for advertiser dollars and a general sense that traditional linear TV is in decline, DRTV still leverages the most mass of mass media and has powerful advantages that other forms of marketing simply do not enjoy. Here are five compelling reasons why DRTV remains relevant and worthy of any marketer’s attention:

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Friday Forecast: It’s Time to Rethink Ageism in Advertising

by Rick Petry on May 18, 2018 12:00:00 AM DRTV, Direct Response, Marketing


Swim cap and sarong courtesy of an art director who doesn’t have a clue.

This past week, an article in the New York Times, titled “Why Traditional TV Is in Trouble,” outlined in rather stark terms how aged the audience for the top 10 network television shows is, in advance of the annual upfront TV advertising derby. The median age for the top 10 network entertainment shows, according to Nielsen and as reported by the Times, is as follows:

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Flashback Friday: With Summer Looming, Is It Time for Reinvention?

by Rick Petry on May 11, 2018 3:35:34 PM DRTV, Direct Response, Marketing


This week, your Friday Forecaster goes into the archives to offer “Under Construction,” a DISH column that first appeared in Electronic Retailer magazine's December 2014 issue. Its topic is just as relevant today, as it asks readers to consider their professional and personal life’s course, and whether it is aligned with their true purpose.

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Friday Forecast: Kitchen Influential – How Bluewater Media Is Helping Cook Up Audiences and Profits for Food Bloggers

by Rick Petry on May 4, 2018 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, Direct Response, Marketing

A rendering of the “Country Square” kitchen set, currently under construction at Bluewater Media.

In the 1980s, during the nascent days of cable television when your Friday Forecaster was first starting in the advertising business, audiences were tiny, unrated and easy to dismiss by the dominant, big-three broadcast networks. In time, combined cable ratings surpassed those three networks — and in recent years, viewership for Netflix has also eclipsed audiences for those same once-dominant broadcasters. Today, the marketplace is at a similar nexus, as media usage habits shift, and bloggers and social media influencers begin to attract audiences in sizes that range from those requiring micro-measurement, to aggregated audiences that offer numbers rivaling TV’s reach. As of September 2017, it was estimated that there are more than 440 million blogs worldwide, according to mediakix, a number that has surely surpassed a half a billion by now. Food bloggers comprise one of the largest categories, with top influencers attracting audiences that number in the millions, drawn to their websites and social media hubs that include Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter. Enter Bluewater Media, a converged marketing agency based in Clearwater, Florida, that is helping influencers generate and monetize their content.

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Friday Forecast: DRMETRIX — The Ultimate Media Transparency Tool

by Rick Petry on Apr 27, 2018 3:00:00 AM DRTV, Direct Response, Marketing

DRMetrix has created the most advanced relational database for tracking and analyzing performance-based television advertisements the industry has ever seen and, in the process, is ushering in a new age of media transparency. A demo of the platform impressed your Friday Forecaster to such a degree, that the best way to compare it to previous attempts to track infomercial and DR spot frequency and ad spend is to say that it is like comparing an abacus to a super-computer.

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Friday Forecast: Media Attribution Innovators Share Key Insights

by Rick Petry on Apr 20, 2018 4:50:07 PM Digital Marketing, Direct Response, Marketing

 

Media attribution is the art and science of determining which marketing efforts are driving consumer behavior that results in online and offline traffic, lead capture and actual sales. Of course, in the pre-internet days, marketers had the ability to allocate unique toll-free numbers to different advertisements and the corresponding media they were running in or on, so there was precision in knowing how effective any given airing or listing was. There was effectively a direct cause and effect — call it a straight line — that could be drawn between an ad and its corresponding response. Enter digital marketing and smartphones and now consumers can interact with marketers when, how and where they like.

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[OPINION] Friday Forecast: What’s Behind Trump’s Amazon Harrumphs?

by Rick Petry on Apr 13, 2018 11:49:49 AM e-Commerce, Retail, Social Media, Marketing, Consumer

One of the more bizarre aspects of the Donald Trump Administration, amid a carnival of oddities, has been the President’s penchant for excoriating publicly traded companies and their leaders by way of Twitter. No single company has drawn the ire of the Donald more than e-commerce giant Amazon and its chairman, Jeff Bezos.

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Friday Forecast: Marketers — Hug It Out with Consumers Using Social Media

by Rick Petry on Apr 6, 2018 5:37:46 PM Consumer Behavior, Social Media, Direct Response, Marketing

This week’s Friday Forecast comes by way of DirectAvenue’s DirectConnect quarterly newsletter and examines the secret to why social media is so addictive and how marketers can leverage its power to foster community, and lasting brand loyalty and affinity.

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Friday Forecast: Allstar Products’ Scott Boilen Reveals What It Takes to Make a Product Rock & Roll

by Rick Petry on Mar 30, 2018 8:22:34 PM DRTV, Consumer Behavior, Direct Response, Marketing

It isn’t every day that a leader in the direct marketing industry receives recognition from a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. But in a recent interview with CNBC’s Make It, musician, actor and entrepreneur Jon Bon Jovi cited the story of Allstar Products Group Founder Scott Boilen as an example of why success in business isn’t about chasing “fads or fashions.” Bon Jovi remarked, "The guy that created the Snuggie showed that that was his creation. Don’t try to create the Snuggie 2 because you saw someone be successful at it." As Boilen recounts, “Blankets with sleeves had been around, but nobody knew about them — they were buried in the back of catalogs or the bottom rung of store shelves.” It took a clever name, the right problem/solution positioning, and a whimsical commercial that went viral organically to launch a new category of household item that has, ahem, blanketed pop culture, selling well over 30 million units.

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Friday Forecast: The Bees in Her Bonnet — 5 Fast Takeaways from Avalanche Creative’s Queen Bee Ava Seavey

by Rick Petry on Mar 23, 2018 3:00:00 AM DRTV, Social Media, Direct Response, Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising. This week, your Friday Forecaster met up with Ava Seavey, Queen Bee of Avalanche Creative Services, Inc., a cost-effective alternative to traditional Madison Avenue agencies that she founded in 2001.

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Friday Forecast: Mitt Happens – How a Disposable Wipe Went Viral and Cleaned Up

by Rick Petry on Mar 16, 2018 4:22:39 PM Digital Marketing, DRTV, Social Media, Direct Response, Marketing, Consumer, As Seen on TV

Just about everyone in advertising or marketing who isn’t already a marketer has dreamed of having that winning product that will allow them to reap the fruit of their expertise from the client side of the desk, as opposed to that of a vendor. Such was the case back in 2013 when Michael Weinstein was driving across New York’s Westchester County, listening to shock jock Howard Stern on the radio. Weinstein, who today is Chief Marketing Officer for Allstar Products Group, was running a digital agency at the time. Stern had billionaire Mark Cuban as his guest and had thrown down a challenge to his staff: each of them took a turn pitching a product idea to Cuban to see if they could pique the businessman and investor’s interest. When it came time for producer Richie Wilson to pitch, he was flush with an idea: a disposal wet wipe in the shape of a mitten called, Shittens. The entire studio, not to mention the listening audience, was in stitches. Cuban’s response: “Shittens! Everyone needs one!”

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Friday Forecast: Blue Chip Marketer Peggy Bell Joins ERA

by Rick Petry on Mar 9, 2018 2:28:02 PM Marketing

Senior marketing veteran Peggy Bell recently joined ERA as vice president, marketing. Rather than having an association background, which has been typical of recent ERA executives, Peggy has a diverse background that includes working in advertising and marketing within best-of-class corporations, such as Sprint and Capital One to Cigna Healthcare, Redbox Instant by Verizon, AT&T and Comcast. Your Friday Forecaster recently sat down with her for a free-wheeling conversation about her background and her initial perspectives on ERA’s challenges, and some of her initial ideas on how it might thrive and grow.

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Friday Forecast: When Customer Service Does a Disservice

by Rick Petry on Feb 16, 2018 11:50:20 AM Customer Service

Have you ever wanted to do business with a company, but they made it so difficult you finally just gave up? Such was my experience recently when, in the hunt for a new desk, I encountered Restoration Hardware, now known by the acronym RH which, based upon my experience might as well stand for “Really Hard [to do business with].” While I’m sure recounting my travails will be cathartic, my real purpose here is to draw invaluable lessons that any marketer can apply, including the aforementioned purveyor of designer goods.

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Friday Forecast: Super Bowl Ads' Mixed Bag of 'Super Duper' Tactics

by Rick Petry on Feb 2, 2018 9:01:00 AM Advertisements

Happy Groundhog Day! Not to be confused with the other Groundhog Day coming this Superbowl Sunday. No, I’m not talking about the New England Patriots' uncanny ability to pull out the win no matter the odds. I’m referring to the annual (and typically predictable) advertising derby which many speculate is half the reason why an audience of over 100 million are expected to tune in.

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Friday Forecast: Meltzer Media's Petra Gopfert Shares 5 Fast Takeaways Regarding the Impact of Social Media

by Rick Petry on Jan 29, 2018 1:19:14 PM Social Media

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising. Recently your Friday Forecaster sat down with Petra Gopfert, VP of Retail Operations for New York-based Meltzer Media.

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Friday Forecast: Koeppel Study Proves DRTV's Power to Drive Web Traffic

by Rick Petry on Jan 19, 2018 10:52:39 AM Marketing

Direct marketing agency leader Peter Koeppel of Dallas-based Koeppel Direct has published a rather remarkable article in Forbes entitled “Measuring TV Advertising’s Impact On Website Traffic” that makes a definitive case for DRTV’s unmatched ability to drive traffic to an advertiser’s website.

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Friday Forecast: Mad Men, Brave Women, and the Shame of a Nation

by Rick Petry on Dec 15, 2017 9:25:06 AM Marketing

The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.

Seemingly every day now, news of another man’s sexual misdeeds is exposed in the media by women finally emboldened to come forth and tell their truth. The result is swift justice, as reputations, careers, and marriages are flushed down the toilet in the blink of a 24-hour news cycle.

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Friday Forecast: One of Our Own Captures the Spirit of the Holidays

by Rick Petry on Dec 8, 2017 1:48:07 PM Marketing

This week your Friday Forecaster takes a slight departure from his regular blog to share a video featuring one of ERA’s own. Pitchman extraordinaire Anthony “Sully” Sullivan is part of an initiative called “Layaway Angels.”

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Friday Forecast: Pitch Perfect: 5 Key Takeaways from Boardwalk Brand's Lindsey Brooks

by Rick Petry on Dec 1, 2017 3:08:42 PM Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

This week your Friday Forecaster engaged Lindsey Brooks, product sourcing guru and CEO of Boardwalk Brand in a discussion about marketing products amid an era dominated by social media and persistent change. Lindsey’s wide-ranging career began pitching products at fairs, trade shows, and on TV. 

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Friday Forecast: Which is More Effective at Pumping Up Marketplace Sales: Amazon Advertising or TV?

by Rick Petry on Nov 17, 2017 9:47:52 AM Advertisements, Marketing

The power and dominance of the Amazon marketplace continues to build unabated. According to a survey of 2,000 consumers by BloomReach conducted last year, 55 percent of users begin their product search on the e-commerce website, up 11 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers that use a search engine such as Google to begin such a journey has dropped from 34 to 28 percent according to the same study. Furthermore, according to Business Insider, Morgan Stanley forecasts that Amazon single-handedly will account for over half of all U.S. retail growth between 2016 and 2018. With that many eyeballs hitting the e-tailing giant’s site then, it begs the question: would you be better off taking ad dollars from another medium such as television and spending heavily to advertise on Amazon if that is where the audience is? I recently sat down with Andy Latimer, CEO of Bluewater Media, a converged marketing agency focused on selling, who shared a case study examining this very question. The results may surprise you.

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Friday Forecast: Newman's Own: 5 Fast Takeaways from NEWTHYNK's Geraldine Newman

by Rick Petry on Nov 10, 2017 10:39:12 AM Advertisements, Marketing

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

This week your Friday Forecaster spoke with Geraldine Newman, CEO & Creative Director of NEWTHYNK/Geraldine Newman Communications, a New York based creative agency that blends branding and selling for Fortune 1000 companies as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups.

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Friday Forecast: Principles of Influence Part 6: Social Proof is Positive Proof

by Rick Petry on Nov 3, 2017 1:28:30 PM Consumer Behavior

Note: This is the sixth and final in a series of blog posts devoted to principles of influence found in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s seminal psychology book entitled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It is essential reading for any marketer.

For our last principle of influence, we have left perhaps the most important and potent one: social proof.

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Friday Forecast: Media Matters: 5 Key Takeaways From Bluewater Media's Gina Pomponi

by Rick Petry on Oct 27, 2017 10:19:26 AM Digital Marketing, Direct Response

This is one of an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

This week your Friday Forecaster visited Gina Pomponi, President of Bluewater Media’s Media Division. Bluewater Media is a fully integrated results-oriented marketing agency that manages Omni-Channel campaigns for a wide variety of product categories and brands. Gina, who started her career in 1990 at Direct Response Media under the tutelage of Maria Eden, created her media department at Bluewater from the ground up, allowing the agency to round out its full suite of services.

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Friday Forecast: Principles of Influence Part 5: Consistency: Our Tendency to Double Down on Decisions

by Rick Petry on Oct 20, 2017 10:14:10 AM Consumer Behavior

Note: This is the fifth in a series of six blog posts being featured based on principles found in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s seminal psychology book entitled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It is essential reading for any marketer. Previous blog posts in this series can be located by clicking on the author’s name.

The principle of consistency suggests that once someone makes a decision, they will tend to make similar, complimentary choices that reinforce their original decision. To prove the point, Dr. Cialdini sites a study where homeowners were asked if they would be willing to put a sign in their front lawn asking drivers passing by to “Drive Safely.”

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Friday Forecast: But Wait...There Really is More...5 Fast Takeaways From Lipstick's Francine Bergman

by Rick Petry on Oct 13, 2017 10:14:22 AM Digital Marketing, Advertisements

This is the third in an occasional series featuring direct marketing leaders who will share five key insights they have learned from their career in marketing and advertising.

Recently your Friday Forecaster sat down with Francine Bergman, the president and producer extraordinaire behind Lipstick, Inc., a premier Los Angeles-based production and marketing company that specializes in direct response television (DRTV).

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Editorial Disclaimer

The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.