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

"The Influencers:" A 60 Minutes’ Segment All Marketers Must See

by Rick Petry on Nov 9, 2016 3:00:00 PM Digital Marketing

 

CBS news magazine 60 Minutes ran a segment entitled “The Influencers”. This must see segment is about 20-somethings who are currently making hundreds of thousands of dollars by leveraging the power of their social media presence to endorse products for some of the world’s largest brands. It is an eye-opening segment that every marketer needs to see. 

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ERA is a Participatory Sport

by Rick Petry on Sep 30, 2016 12:00:00 AM ERA News

Whether you’re new to the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) or a veteran, the question of how to make the most of one’s membership is always pertinent. And as the association enters its second quarter-century, the industry faces a paradoxical conundrum: On the one hand, direct response television (DRTV), the advertising strategy that has long defined the group, has reached such a level of maturity that it is now embraced well beyond the confines of the association and the practitioners within it. Meanwhile, the digital age that dominates most of today’s marketing conversations remains in a constant state of change.

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One Thing Leads to Another

by Rick Petry on Sep 19, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, DRTV, Consumer Behavior

At the tender age of 16 I took my first job: pumping gas at a service station. While the adjoining carwash was already automated, the idea that I might no longer be needed came as a surprise. My initial response was, “No way are people going to pump their own gas and stick a credit card in a machine.”

Fast-forward to today, and it’s a shock there isn’t a sketch of my adolescent self in the dictionary next to the word naïve.

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Trigger Happy

by Rick Petry on Jun 15, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV

Good advertising engages its audience on both a rational and emotional level, using a series of levers—or triggers—in an attempt to persuade prospects to buy a product or service. Tactics run the gamut, from the formulaic approach of many “As Seen On TV” pitches to Super Bowl commercials that rely on creative ploys that are often completely tangential to what’s being sold in an effort to arrest attention by any means necessary.

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Strike a Chord

by Rick Petry on Feb 16, 2016 1:09:11 PM DRTV

You’ve dialed in your commercial script and honed your message. You’ve crafted the ideal positioning to support product differentiation, harnessed the perfect talent, and created graphics to support your brand’s unique look and feel. What’s left? Music.

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DRTV: Made to Measure

by Rick Petry on Nov 18, 2015 2:13:46 PM DRTV

Prior to the arrival of the Internet, direct response television (DRTV) marketers and their agencies could measure response and sales with reasonable certainty. With dedicated toll-free numbers, advertisers could accurately gauge the number of calls and revenue resulting from individual airings. DRTV was accountable advertising with measurable ROI, as opposed to impression-based advertising, where the metrics were much more squishy.

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[OPINION] That Damned ERA

by Rick Petry on Nov 2, 2015 8:30:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

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.

At the recent D2C convention, I was humbled and grateful to receive the ERA Volunteer of the Year award at the Moxie Awards Gala on the conference’s final night. Amid the various congratulations and well wishes, I heard another kind of rumble: that ERA was not doing its job, as if the organizational part of ERA somehow defined the association in its totality.

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Labor of Love: A Look at DRTV Families

by Rick Petry on Oct 27, 2015 5:30:00 PM DRTV

There’s an expression that says, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” And while the business leaders you’re about to meet have built substantive enterprises that are a testament to economic success, this article is about a different kind of love—the kind that combines a passion for work and a foundation of trust and tenderness unique to families.

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[Session Spotlight] Scale Your Digital Business Without Blowing Your Budget

by Rick Petry on Sep 27, 2015 3:00:00 PM D2C Convention, Digital Marketing, Masters Series

Would you like to discover how leading brands such as Dollar Shave Club, eHarmony, Nutrisystem, and TemperPedic have used a combination of digital marketing and DRTV to scale their business? Attend the Masters Series session, Scale Your Digital Business Without Blowing Your Budget, at this year’s D2C Convention, and you will gain real insights from marketers who are in the trenches helping to build category leaders.

You won’t just get war stories, but real, actionable information about what it takes to succeed in a hyper-competitive omnichannel world.

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[OPINION] A Marketer’s View of Donald Trump and the Republican Presidential Field

by Rick Petry on Sep 16, 2015 12:07:20 PM DRTV

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.

Tonight the second Republican Presidential debate will unfold on CNN. Given that the first debate broadcast on Fox News garnered a national audience of 24 million viewers, the largest viewership for a non-sporting event in cable history, there is much anticipation and excitement in advance of this evening’s event. Of course there is one, forgive the term, primary reason why: reality star Donald Trump, aka the Teflon Don.

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[OPINION] Subway’s Jared Fogle: A Cautionary Tale for Advertisers

by Rick Petry on Aug 20, 2015 5:53:38 PM DRTV

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.

The stunning downfall of “the Subway Guy” — aka Jared Fogle — is a cautionary tale for advertisers who employ spokespeople as endorsers for their products or services. In a recent Dish column in ER magazine entitled “Pitch Perfect,” I explored the debate of whether to use a celebrity or a professional pitch person.

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Gone in 60 Seconds: Rethinking DRTV Ad Lengths

by Rick Petry on Jul 26, 2015 3:00:00 PM DRTV

For years, just two lengths, :120 and :60, have dominated short-form direct response television (DRTV) commercials. This is how long it takes to outline a problem and a solution, articulate a product’s benefits and features, make a direct offer, and (hopefully) close the sale—or so goes the prevailing wisdom.

The exceptions have been lead-generating spots, which easily make their proposition in 60 or 30 seconds.

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Video on Command: Engaging Today's Consumer

by Rick Petry on May 29, 2015 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing

One of the reasons the direct marketing game is so much fun is that it provides instant gratification. A marketer puts up an ad and an offer, then waits for the phone to ring and the shopping carts to fill. But with the predominance of the Internet, that equation has changed. Once a consumer’s curiosity is piqued, they will often go on the hunt, armed with a second screen, to seek more information that empowers them to make an informed purchase decision. It is no longer adequate to simply ask for the order by posting one’s call to action on a microsite.

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[OPINION] Marketing’s Profound Role in the War With ISIS

by Rick Petry on Apr 1, 2015 3:00:00 AM Digital 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.

Another day, a new atrocity. Every day amid these dark days, the world awakens to another cruel affront to humanity by way of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also known as ISIS or ISIL. A byproduct of the ceaseless flow of bloodshed is the steady stream of recruits joining their army of terror from all corners of the world. While conventional marketers have wondered if social media can be used to sell a message, ISIS is effectively leveraging social to not only recruit, but to “close the sale.”
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OPINION - GEICO Reimagines the Pre-Roll Ad as Voyeuristic Delight

by Rick Petry on Mar 10, 2015 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing

As mentioned in a previous blog post Nationwide's Super Bowl Ad Fumbles, nobody knows how to serve up advertising reliant on the concept of “borrowed interest” quite like GEICO. From cavemen to talking geckos, advertisers will use any humorous means at their disposal to get their name in front of you. But now the insurance advertiser, which spends a reported $1 billion per year, may have outdone itself with a new series of online pre-roll ads that subvert expectations and surprise and delight.

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OPINION - Nationwide's Super Bowl Ad Fumbles

by Rick Petry on Feb 4, 2015 4:19:54 PM Brand Marketing

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.

“There is no such thing as bad publicity,” a quote often attributed to the supreme American huckster P.T. Barnum, appears to be the third rail that Nationwide Insurance held onto firmly while rationalizing their now infamous and ill-advised Super Bowl XLIX commercial entitled “Make Safe Happen.”

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OPINION: Why the Cut Rate Business Is Bad for Business

by Rick Petry on Dec 23, 2014 4:00:53 PM DRTV

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.

In the wake of Black Friday we now have Gray Thursday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, Free Shipping Day, and a host of other discount-driven extravaganzas designed to entice holiday consumers. Knowing that buyers are always after a bargain one would think such cut-rate gambits would be music to their ears. However, the ubiquity of such offers has formed a cacophony that threatens to reduce them to so much white noise, as retailers seem to be deaf to the old adage ‘familiarity breeds contempt.’
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Dish: Under Construction

by Rick Petry on Dec 19, 2014 12:36:28 AM ER Magazine, Digital Marketing, DRTV

Dish_Under_Contruction-812945-edited-839285-edited-052574-editedThe average person will have seven careers over the course of his or her life. Most people start out with good intentions, degree in hand, and either find a career in their chosen field or fall into something that pays the bills. Advertising and marketing seem to attract a significant number of the latter. But here are two pieces of fantastic news: (1) The industry offers a broad and multifaceted canvas that opens up loads of opportunities for reinvention; and (2) it is never too late to reinvent yourself.
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That Was Then, This Is Now

by Rick Petry on Nov 24, 2014 8:00:00 PM ER Magazine, DRTV

Infomercial buyers are insomniac little old ladies who live in trailer parks and shop while wearing oversized hair curlers and eating bonbons, right? Not according to an independent study of infomercial buyers conducted by Cannella Response Television, Script to Screen, and M2 Marketing & Management Services. A survey of more than 1,500 infomercial buyer and nonbuyer respondents suggests that today’s infomercial purchasers skew younger than their TV-viewing, nonbuying counterparts, have higher household incomes, are more ethnically diverse, and are no more or less likely to be female. Which got me to wondering: Why is there a disparity between the prevailing stereotype and the reality portrayed in this study?

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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.