What was the most significant
accomplishment in the past year for
the DR industry?
Stan Bruckheim, Latino Media Services: In
Latin America, there has been a significant growth in sales generated from the
use of previously peripheral means of distribution, including retail, print, catalog,
Internet and even some radio.
Brian Fays, MTV Networks: Overall, the
economy was a tremendous challenge for
all DR in 2008. Inventory is always the
name of the game, and all cable networks
have done a better job recognizing where
the inventory is and placing it in the client’s hands at the best price to maintain
an efficient ROI.
Doug Garnett, Atomic Direct: This one is really tough. After all, it was a year when
the infomercial airwaves were filled with
“get-rich-quick” schemes and programs
for buying repossessed homes. Perhaps
the most significant thing to learn from
the past year is that the traditional industry is still all-too-alive — with its focus
on taking consumer money while giving
little (or nothing) in return.
Tim Hawthorne, Hawthorne Direct: DR is
strong and a haven in a rough economy.
Despite all signs pointing to recession,
DR expenses continue to grow. In fact,
more traditional image advertisers are
using accountable DRTV now than
ever. The Direct Marketing Association
(DMA) reported in late 2007 that direct
marketing ad expenditures topped 50
percent of all ad dollars spent for the first
Toni Knight, WorldLink: Despite the soft
market, our industry’s greatest accomplishment has been its ability to weather
the current economic storm. Similar to
every marketing area, DR certainly has
been impacted by market conditions.
However, thanks to the growth of new
media’s role in reaching consumers, it
was able to hold up well. New technology’s seamless fit with the DR model has
made what could’ve been a horrible year
into a respectable one.
Fern Lee, DRTV consultant: The two biggest
stories are mobile marketing taking steps
forward and online marketing taking a
bigger piece of the pie from DRTV.
Mike Medico, E&M Advertising: The continued growth of online as it applies to
direct response is a major move forward.
Digby Orsmond, ARM Direct Ltd.: In the United Kingdom, the growth of infomercial
airtime across an increasing number of
cable and satellite TV channels remains
the big story. This could increase further
if OFCOM (the British Office of Communications, which regulates broadcasting) changes the existing rules and allows
advertisers to use infomercials for generating leads instead of just home shopping.
While relatively few U.K. marketers have
discovered the power of the half-hour
show, U.S. companies, such as Guthy-Renker, Thane, JML and Time-Life now
dominate the long-form sector in Britain.
David Savage, Cmedia: The continued
growth of truly integrated and cross-channel media campaigns undertaken
by DR marketers is the big story. More
and more companies are maximizing the
efficiencies that can come with optimizing the opportunities that come from
simultaneously investing in DRTV, online, DR radio, direct mail, DR print and
alternative print media.
What do you believe the hottest
topic will be in the coming 12
Maria Eden, Direct Response Media Inc.: For
the balance of 2008, the political environment will dramatically impact short-form DRTV efforts through Election Day
and possibly mid-November. The No. 1
factor impacting the next year is the state
of the economy. Consumers’ disposable
income has been dramatically reduced by
increased gas prices, mortgage rates and
Bruckheim: The competition for pan-regional cable media in Latin America
seems to be a concern to many — local