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News Corner July 19, 2017

19 Jul, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

This year’s edition of Amazon’s “Prime Day” generates the biggest shopping day in the e-commerce giant’s history, eclipsing Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Amazon says sales grew 60 percent in the 30-hour “Prime Day” window last week compared to last year. The event generated the largest single-day jump in paid subscribers to Amazon’s “Prime” service in company history.

The streaming device and smart TV manufacturer, Roku, reaches 15 million monthly active accounts – marking 43 percent year-over-year user growth. All told, those accounts streamed roughly 7 billion hours of content in the first half of 2017, marking 61 percent growth over total hours streamed during the first half of 2016. Roku devices are available in 10 countries, though they were recently banned in Mexico due to widespread piracy.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opens a new inquiry into ways to curb unwanted robocalls to deter use of fake phone numbers – a tactic known as spoofing that has been a major factor in the current epidemic. Robocalls recently have run at a rate of more than 2.5 billion a month, according to some estimates, despite multiple efforts by the FCC and Congress to prevent them.

YuMe and Mediaocean partner to extend the reach of TV media buying by providing brands the ability to access premium digital video inventory through Mediaocean’s existing TV buying workflow. The move allows TV buyers to view YuMe’s inventory and local TV station avails side-by-side.

A survey from Bell + Howell of 530 random U.S. shoppers says 69 percent of consumers who used “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS) this past holiday season purchased additional items while picking up in a store. Additionally, 36 percent of shoppers using those types of services made another purchase in an adjacent store at the time of pickup. The survey finds that saving on shipping charges is the key driver (76 percent) for selecting the BOPIS option. Speed and convenience (the urgency of picking up an item on the same day) was next in importance.

Driven by a surge in mobile consumption, the online video advertising marketplace will become mobile first by 2018, says Publicis’ Zenith unit. The agency says most of the digital video ad spending will shift from “fixed devices” (PCs, connected TVs, gaming consoles, etc.) to mobile in 2018. “We estimate fixed video ad spend at $15.2 billion this year, compared to mobile video ad spend at $12 billion,” the report estimates, noting that the shift to mobile is not without consequence for video ad formats and experiences.

Zenith also reports that online video viewing will rise 20 percent in 2017, with global consumers spending an average of 47.4 minutes a day viewing videos online, up from 39.6 minutes in 2016. The increase is being driven by a 35-percent increase in viewing on mobile devices, while desktop, laptops and smart TVs will rise by 2 percent.

CenturyLink faces lawsuits from several states for alleged fraudulent billing practices. Trouble for the telco has mounted since a former employee, who claims she was fired for alerting company officials about over charging customers millions of dollars for services they never ordered. Among states bringing suits: Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado.

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) finds that direct marketing via magazine and newspaper inserts dropped by 12.5 percent in 2016. A full 70 percent of the decrease comes from a drop in newspaper inserts, while magazines stayed stable, and third-party sources increased. The figures mean the inserts industry has declined by 18.8 percent since 2014.

Retail sales slipped 0.1 percent in June after being unchanged in May. Sales were up 3.2 percent unadjusted from June 2016, and 3.9 percent on a three-month moving average year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. ”Deflating pricing in retail continues to aggravate measurements of spending in June,” said NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. “Consumers continue to make purchases, but total sales reflect depressed prices on the volume of goods purchased.”

A new survey from the Content Marketing Institute says 92 percent of content marketers say their organization views content as a business asset, yet fewer than half (46 percent) have a documented strategy for managing content as a business asset.

A new study by CareerCast finds that some of the best jobs in the advertising industry include account executive, data scientist, market research analyst, social media manager, and web developer. Data scientists, with a growth outlook of 16 percent and an annual median salary of $111,260, interpret and analyzes data. Account executives earn an annual median salary of $127,560, with a growth outlook of 9 percent.

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