Day 1 of the 2016 ERA D2C Convention began with power meetings and Masters Series sessions. The Meet and Greet Lounge was the hot spot for closing lucrative business deals, while Petrus 2 was the place for expanding one’s marketing acumen.
ERA presented six 60-minute sessions covering such topics as direct response marketing basics, mobile, affiliate marketing, cross-channel attribution, omnichannel marketing.
Direct Response 101: Leveraging Offline & Online Marketing to Achieve Greater ROI kicked off the Tuesday sessions. Moderator Caitlin Haire (Cannella Response Television) and panelists James Diorio (Dial800, LLC), Fern Lee (THOR Associates), and Adrienne Vigilante (TouchPoint Integrated Communications) provided attendees with the offline and online fundamentals of direct response marketing. In addition, these seasoned experts tackled key questions like “Do I know who my customer is?” and “Do I have the proper infrastructure in place to deal with customer response?”
Next, Robin Shapiro (STiKi, Inc.), Bryon Colby (Cornerstone Brands), and Ed Deutscher (HSN) explained what retailers like HSN have done to optimize content across multiple distributed commerce platforms while ensuring the best possible customer experience using mobile technology in the session titled, Why Brands Are Putting Mobile in the Driver’s Seat.
The topic then shifted to government affairs with the session, D2R – It’s Hot and It’s Not What You Think, in which moderator Peter Marinello (ERSP) welcomed special guest speaker, Sean Reyes, state attorney general of Utah. The AG was joined by fellow panelists Jeff Knowles (Venable LLP), Bill Knowlton (Invictus Law P.C.), and Marc Roth (Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP). The panel showed attendees how to navigate this ever-expanding frontier as federal and state regulators track your every move. At one point, Attorney General Reyes praised the industry for its self-regulation efforts.
After the Networking Lunch, sessions resumed with 10 Innovative Ways Brands Are Leveraging Affiliate Marketing. Pepperjam’s Greg Shepard explained why performance marketing should be considered the preferred advertising payment model. He also touched on how the performance model can be leveraged to create efficiencies through e-commerce platform integration, to empower content creators and advertisers through programmatic dynamic matching, to resolve issues of channel overlap and attribution, and to protect brand integrity and improve traffic quality through specialized technologies.
Internet Marketing, Inc.’s Roman Bills followed with best practices for using multi-touch attribution during his session, Cross-Channel Attribution: Avoiding the Risks to Reap the Rewards. Bills stressed that in order to accurately measure the impact of online advertising and the effectiveness of your campaigns, it is crucial to have a holistic approach.
One of the highlights of Tuesday education was the final session, Success Stories: Who’s Moving the Needle in Today’s Omnichannel World? Roman Bills returned to moderate this very informative panel featuring Lindsay Hendricks (Positec USA) and Scott Reid (Oak Lawn Marketing), in which these experts revealed how their companies are utilizing traditional and digital marketing to reach a wider demographic, and how they’re able to successfully build brand awareness.
Another highlight of the day was The Industry Women’s Council, which held its first in-person meeting at the conference. Chair Debbie Skerly of a2b Fulfillment was joined by 50 council members. There was a great representation of C-level and other members who are relatively new to the direct response industry. The mood in the room was both positive and inspiring. One member even admitted that after four years in the direct response industry, she now feels like she belongs. Any woman ERA member can join the council. What’s more, it comprises a mixture of supplier and marketing members.
Attendees wrapped up the day’s events by heading over to Surrender Nightclub for the D2C Launch Party sponsored by TELEBrands. Guests spent the evening networking and unwinding with cocktails, friends, and good music.