Response Magazine Site Response Expo Site Direct Response Market Alliance Site Job Board


   Log in

Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports - August 2014

1 Aug, 2014 By: Doug McPherson, Thomas Haire Response

Renker Headlines ‘Titans of Direct Response’ Event, Sept. 11-12

By Thomas Haire (
STAMFORD, Conn. — The direct, digital and data-driven marketing space welcomes a new event to its landscape next month and, based on the names involved, it’s a whopper. The Titans of Direct Response — featuring speakers like DR Hall of Famer Greg Renker, Joe Sugarman of Blublocker sunglasses fame, and “No B.S.” series author Dan Kennedy — is slated for Sept. 11-12 at the Stamford Marriott. VIP events will also occur on Sept. 10 and Sept. 13.
Brian Kurtz, executive vice president of Boardroom Inc., the brainchild of direct marketing legend Marty Edelston — who passed away in October 2013 — decided to host the event to honor Edelston’s memory by bringing together some of the most brilliant thinkers in the direct response and marketing business. Inspired by a note from Kennedy after Edelston’s passing, Kurtz reached back to Kennedy asking for his help.
“This was certainly a bold request,” Kurtz says. “But I had history — and Marty — on my side. I also had a concept to help thousands of people in both Dan’s and my world. Dan agreed, and ‘Titans’ was born.”
Kurtz says the event is not “for DR beginners,” but rather for DR pros — business owners, CEOs, executives, consultants and copywriters. And with a registration fee of $3,500, he needed to fill the docket with some big names.
Who will attendees hear from at the event?
  • Kennedy, famous for his “No B.S.” books and newsletters that have influenced more than a million business owners per year. He earns fees of more than $75,000 plus royalties for his copywriting work in marketing.
  • Renker, co-founder of Guthy-Renker and a 2013 inductee into the DR Hall of Fame. A DRTV pioneer and world-leading direct response titan, he’s known for brands like Proactiv Solution, Tony Robbins Personal Power and Principal secret.
  • Sugarman, who sold more than 20 million Blublocker sunglasses.
  • Gary Bencivenga, hailed as “America’s Best Copywriter,” who has spoken publicly only once before — at his own retirement seminar. He’s making his first and only exception to retirement to honor the memory of Edelston.
Renker talked about his reasons for taking part in the event in an exclusive interview with Response. “I’ve been friends and colleagues for some time with Brian and with Marty, but when I got a call from Dan Kennedy — one of the most important DR gurus in the history of the industry — with a special request to take part, I couldn’t say no,” he said.
Renker added that he’s just as excited to speak at the event as he is to sit in on other sessions. “I’m going because I want to learn,” he said. “We are pushing our script writers and creative partners to attend because there will be so much knowledge on the stage. Dan Kennedy? Joe Sugarman? It will be great to be with them and hear from them.”
Others on the schedule include business thought leader Jay Abraham, online seminar giant Ken McCarthy, social media guru Perry Marshall and a who’s-who group of copywriters that Kurtz says is responsible for more than 600 million pieces of profitable direct mail during the past 20 years: Eric Betuel, David L. Deutsch, Arthur Johnson and Parris Lampropoulos.
For more information on the event and VIP packages, visit or call Beth Carpenter at (203) 973-6272.

Mobile E-commerce Hits $40 Billion

By Doug McPherson

NEW YORK — Consumers bought enough products from their phones to make mobile E-commerce a $40 billion market in 2013, doubling 2012 results — and it’s on track to hit $50 billion by year’s end, a new study finds.

The mobile E-commerce market soared from $2 billion in 2010 to $43 billion in 2013, according to the Custora E-Commerce Pulse. In the first quarter of this year, $12 billion in mobile E-commerce transactions were completed.

Other findings include:

  • A third (33 percent) of purchases on mobile phones came from consumers who went directly to the source, bypassing search engines, while about a quarter (27 percent) of sales came from E-mail marketing.
  • For tablets, paid search was the leading channel, driving 25 percent of sales.
  • Online purchases on desktops still rule, with most (76 percent) consumers making purchases only there, with only 12 percent buying from more than one device type.
  • Once consumers trust a retailer after their first desktop transaction, they’re more willing to make repeat purchases on a mobile device.
  • More mobile purchases occur on weekends.

In related mobile news, a CFI Group retail satisfaction barometer says the use of mobile apps for shopping purposes doubled in the past year, with 41 percent of consumers actively using mobile apps to hunt for information while shopping.

The report says 67 percent of 18-34-year-olds use mobile apps during their shopping experience. While millennials are typically the focus of retailers’ mobile efforts, most consumers of all ages indicated that they have two to four shopping apps installed, proving that mobile isn’t a generational-only trend.

Overall, 41 percent of consumers reported using mobile applications while shopping in stores, almost double the proportion (21 percent) from last year.

Terry Redding, vice president of sales and marketing at CFI Group, says because mobile devices are growing as a shopping tool, retailers need to know how to connect with them digitally.

Almost half of all participants reported that they would favor a store with advanced mobile capabilities, which would encourage them to shop with the retailer more, buy more per visit and even pay slightly more.

U.S. Ad Spending Sees Largest Spike in Decade

By Doug McPherson

NEW YORK — Total media ad spending in the United States this year will rise 5.3 percent to reach $180.1 billion, achieving 5-percent growth for the first time since 2004, when ad spending increased 6.7 percent, eMarketer predicts.

Analysts say gains in mobile and TV advertising will spur the spike. Mobile will lead this year’s rise in total media ad spending, and advertisers will spend 83 percent more on tablets and smartphones than they did in 2013 — an increase of more than $8 billion.

Before 2015, mobile will represent nearly 10 percent of all media ad spending, surpassing newspapers, magazines and radio for the first time to become the third-largest individual advertising venue, only trailing TV and desktops/laptops.

TV advertising will rise just 3.3 percent, but advertisers will spend $2.2 billion more on the medium than they did in 2013, making it the second-leading category in terms of year-over-year dollar growth.

The surge in mobile advertising is coming from consumers spending more time on their tablets and smartphones. eMarketer predicts U.S. adults will spend an average of 2 hours 51 minutes per day with mobile devices this year. In 2013, time on desktops and laptops totaled 2 hours 19 minutes, but this year, time with desktops and laptops will drop slightly to 2 hours 12 minutes, while mobile time will increase significantly.

Other findings include:

  • TV remains by far the largest beneficiary of adults’ media time, at 4 hours 28 minutes in 2014, hence its persistent lead as the top category for advertising spending.
  • Steady growth in mobile advertising will push digital ads to represent nearly 30 percent of all U.S. ad spending in 2014.
  • Advertisers will invest more than $50 billion in digital channels in 2014 for the first time, an increase of 17.7 percent over 2013. More than one-third of that will come from mobile, but by 2018, mobile will account for more than 70 percent of digital ad spending.
  • The faster rise in ad spending is being influenced in part by growing revenues from leading Internet media companies, particularly those capitalizing on mobile revenues.
  • Ad revenues for some of the top U.S. digital ad-selling companies will represent 18.2 percent of total media ad spending this year — led by Google and Facebook. Google alone already accounts for more than 10 percent of all advertising spending in the U.S., and in 2016, Google and Facebook together will take a 15-percent share of the $200 billion total media advertising market.
  • Mobile ads on Facebook will total 68 percent of its U.S. ad revenues this year, up from 46.7 percent last year.

While Google’s ad revenues in the U.S. won’t flip to majority-mobile until 2016, they’re shifting quickly. This year, Google’s U.S. mobile revenues will comprise only 36 percent of its overall ad revenues, but by 2016, the medium will account for 65.8 percent.

FTC Offers Easier Compliance for Child Privacy Regs

By Doug McPherson

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is making it easier for app developers to get parental approval for data collection, the Daily Online Examiner reports.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits app developers and website operators from knowingly collecting personal information — which now includes information like device identifiers and IP addresses — from children under the age of 13, without their parents’ consent.

In the past, businesses could ask for a credit card and then assess a small charge (which could later be refunded). But now the FTC says companies don’t necessarily need to actually engage in a monetary transaction to verify identity via a credit card. Instead, they could collect the financial information and pair it with other reliable data.

The FTC advises, “For example, you could supplement the request for credit card information with special questions to which only parents would know the answer and find supplemental ways to contact the parent.”

The FTC also said developers can use app stores like Apple’s or Amazon’s to get parental consent — if the app stores ensure children aren’t impersonating their parents.

The FTC adds, “The mere entry of an app store account number or password, without other indicia of reliability (e.g., knowledge-based authentication questions or verification of government identification), does not provide sufficient assurance that the person entering the account or password information is the parent, and not the child.”

Despite the restrictions, app developers approve of he FTC’s move. Morgan Reed, executive director of the developers’ group ACT|The App Association said in a statement, “The action by the FTC gives platforms and app makers more guidance in areas where confusion has persisted. We expect innovation and investment in children’s education apps to grow markedly.”

About the Author: Doug McPherson

About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

Add Comment

©2017 Questex, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Please send any technical comments or questions to our webmaster. Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Security Seals