It was in the early 1990s when the first National Infomercial Marketing Association (NIMA) annual convention descended on the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Like the manmade volcano that erupted in front of the resort drawing awestruck tourists, Marianna Morello, having recently launched her agency Manhattan Media, was white hot. Word had circulated that she was behind the success of the first print campaign for product marketer A.J. Khubani and Telebrands. Because of this huge success, the direct response television (DRTV) industry was eager to hear more.
This week our Friday Forecast appears on Tuesday so that we can dive into the water cooler talk du jour: the annual battle for supremacy known as the Super Bowl and its attendant commercial advertising.
Politics took center stage this year, yet amid our national disunity, the focus was on themes of inclusion, diversity, and commonality. These motifs were delivered with a range of approaches that varied from broad humor to thought provoking poignancy. From immigration to pot legalization, gender politics to religious differences, the full gamut of our political zeitgeist was on display. And yet for all of it, nothing was overtly controversial, mirroring halftime entertainer Lady Gaga’s decision to play it down the middle. While some might consider the approach largely bland or uninspired, we would argue that it was just the kind of feel good balm this country needed as it took a break from ceaseless infighting to gather together and applaud what has become the quintessential American unofficial holiday and celebration (smarting Falcon fans aside).
In 2002, psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. As Michael Lewis writes in his new book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, this was unprecedented because “how on earth does a psychologist win a Nobel Prize in economics?” The answer is that Kahenman was a pioneer in the field now known as “behavioral economics.” Specifically, his work focused on the psychology of judgment and decision-making.
Kahneman would surely have shared his Nobel with Amos Tversky, his lifelong collaborator, had Tversky not died of cancer in 1996. (The award is not given posthumously.) Kahneman and Tversky spent decades disproving the idea that humans are rational decision-makers. They initially identified three mental shortcuts, or “heuristics,” people use in place of logic and reason. Many more have since been discovered.
In my August Field Report (“The Commoditization of DRTV”), I argued that only two things truly differentiate DRTV companies these days: superior strategy and expert execution. Since then, several conversations in the field have caused me to think more specifically about what I meant. Someday, I’ll think of a way to write about what’s happening with strategy, but until then let’s focus on execution.
What does expert execution look like? As I see it, it involves a high degree of competence in the five key areas.
There are some eye-opening stats out there about loyalty program engagement: Consumers on average are enrolled in 29 loyalty programs, yet are only active in 12. Six out of 10 customers believe that companies only offer rewards programs to get them to buy more. And 74 percent of U.S. retailers reveal that customer engagement is their number one concern.
Some people might be surprised why so many direct response companies are based in the great state of Maine. I traveled to Maine recently (It was my first trip and won’t be my last) to find out.
NJ.com reports that FBI agents on October 13 arrested Ralph Mandil, a 37-year-old employee of an unnamed manufacturer of “As Seen On TV” products, charging him with stealing trade secrets and offering to sell the information for $197,500. According to prosecutors, the arrest was the result of a two-month sting operation.
On Wednesday, September 14, at the D2C Convention, marketing professionals attended the Masters Series session, Game of Fives: How to Win on TV and Digital in 5 Minutes led by moderator Ava Seavey, Avalanche Creative Services. During this very informative hour, Seavey and panelists Maria Kennedy (Discovery Communications), Kate Malevich (Mercury Media), and Susan McKenna (Hairclub and Bosley) discussed a little-known alternate-length spot in DRTV and Digital: the five-minute format.
Want to learn how these leading industry experts have been able to use this alternate-length format—or “mini-mercials”—to generate greater response?
The holiday season is right around the corner, and everyone will be in a festive, gift-giving mood. People are ready to spend money, and your product is going to be a high-demand hit. Media, call center, and other vendor services are paid in full, and orders are streaming in.
The holiday season is your company’s own Super Bowl—a chance to win big. Nothing would be worse than to lose the ability to process payments in the middle of it.
At the recent D2C Convention, I presented a Masters Series session entitled, Trend Spotting: Benchmarking the Present and Predicting the Future of Marketing. My intention was a simple one: to synthesize the latest statistics, forecasts, and best practices in marketing from over 100 different sources to save my audience time and to provide insight that will help you today and in the future. Over the next six weeks on consecutive Tuesdays, I will be blogging about each of a half-dozen marketing channels and topics.
During my 14 years in the field, I’ve worked with just about every company on the short-form side of the business. That has allowed me to observe the inner workings of DRTV from a unique vantage point. While I’ve learned a lot about how to succeed, I’ve learned a lot more about how to fail. The trick is not losing your shirt doing it—although I’ve observed how to do that, too. Below are the top five ways:
During the 1990s, Media Arts International presented an infomercial series, “Amazing Discoveries,” hosted by Mike Levey. In this classic episode, Levey and his pal Ian Long, along with the "Princess of Pressing," Sandy Bradley, show how you can iron your laundry with ease using the Power Steamer. The show originally aired in spring 1991 on TNN in the overnight infomercial block.
Tracy and Renny Tenney, and their invention, The Flat-Out Backen’®, earned the coveted honor of the 2016 Inventor of the Year during the InventHelp-INPEX® New Product Showcase, which took place at the 2016 ERA D2C Convention last month.
There was a lot of interesting dialogue regarding advertising self-regulation at the ERA D2C Convention in Las Vegas earlier this month. ERSP Director Peter Marinello moderated a Masters Series panel entitled, "D2R - It's Hot and It's Not What You Think." It featured Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Venable’s Jeffrey Knowles, Invictus’s Bill Knowlton, and Manatt’s Marc Roth.
With the presidential election competing for television airtime, the environment has so far created several unusual challenges for marketers and media buyers. At the same time, companies disenchanted with the results of their digital campaigns and brand awareness continued a migration back to TV.
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.
The Think Tank hosted five Masters Series sessions, with the first one focusing on Game of Fives: How to Win on TV and Digital in 5 Minutes.
ERA presented six 60-minute sessions covering such topics as direct response marketing basics, mobile, affiliate marketing, cross-channel attribution, omnichannel marketing.
With marketing changing at breakneck speed, the industry faces a new challenge: how do you keep up with the latest trends, separate what is meaningful, and plan for today and for the future?
On Thursday, September 15, Koeppel Direct’s Peter Koeppel will present this special 45-minute Masters Series session, culling insights from over 100 of the latest studies and articles to identify the key trends that are helping innovative marketers leverage success.
On Thursday, September 15, ERA will honor Marketing Maven CEO and President Lindsey Carnett with its ERA Volunteer of the Year Award. Carnett will receive the recognition as part of the 2016 ERA D2C Convention’s Moxie Awards Gala at the Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas.
The ERA Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes members for their extraordinary contributions to the association.
In March, a new federal law took effect that places additional pressure on importers to develop compliance systems for their supply chains, including identification of items potentially made with forced labor. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (Trade Act) prohibits the import into the United States of goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured in a foreign country by convict, forced, or indentured labor. The new law comes at a time when federal and state regulators are turning their focus to supply chain management as a way to combat forced labor overseas.