Response This Week will be on hiatus next week. Our next issue will deliver on Wednesday, March 6.
TELEBrands is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013 and will highlight its newest “As Seen on TV” products at the International Housewares Show 2013 on March 2-5 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Dial800 releases a new version of its call tracking software that will give marketers and their agencies complete data and call transparency. Dubbed “CallView360° 2.0,” the software lets marketers make decisions to optimize their campaigns. Dial800 CEO Scott Richards says the software is a “complete rebuild from the ground up. It begins by harmonizing call volume from multiple call centers, and then extends to every possible way an advertiser would want to slice and dice those calls.”
Roger Delaney, a 30-year veteran of the DRTV industry and long-time vice president of media at Evanston, Ill.-based Zephyr Media Group, has passed away of cancer at age 52. Delaney was as well known for his wit and enthusiasm nearly as much as his negotiating skills and business insight. Services are scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 23, in Maryland.
Thane Direct names Elizabeth Ridout to the newly created position of Chief Digital Marketing Officer, effective immediately. She will be responsible for developing and implementing Thane Direct’s E-commerce and global digital marketing strategy and operations, including all areas of personnel, site design, social and customer relationship management.
Direct Drive Inc., a New York-based direct response marketing and campaign management firm, expands its DirectWeb division, which creates, manages and markets specialized websites, to increase its capacity to attract and accommodate new business. DirectWeb can lead visitors who recently viewed a direct response TV, print or radio ads through the order process. Direct Drive also announces the hiring of Mark Sussman for the company’s campaign management operations.
Callzilla, a Hispanic-focused contact center, announces it has finalized an agreement with LiveOps Inc., a leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions, to offer their clients best-in-class Spanish speaking live agent services. With the deal, Callzilla is now offering LiveOps’ cloud-based contact center platform with Callzilla’s Spanish-speaking agents.
The Direct Access Group announces its new partnership with Mark Weishaar, proprietor of MMG LLC, based in Malvern, Pa. Weishaar will be vice president of business development responsible for the agency’s accelerated expansion in the U.S.
According to a new Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions survey, 65 percent of organizations pile social media on top of other duties, while only 27 percent employ someone who focuses exclusively on social media. The survey found that organizations are cautious about dedicating resources to social media, and adding social media to the list of tasks traditionally assigned to communicators.
A new eMarketer study finds that consumers in Latin America and Asia-Pacific are significantly more likely to say that they regularly checked in on brands’ social media presences than consumers in Western Europe and the United States. Of all countries studied, Internet users in India showed the highest engagement with brands.
Worldwide mobile phone sales declined slightly last year for the first time since 2009, the result of difficult economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and fierce competition. Total mobile sales to end users fell 1.7 percent to 1.7 billion units, as the growth in smartphone sales could not offset waning demand for feature phones, according to Gartner.
Despite the continued strength of E-commerce and retailers’ lamentations about online cannibalization, new data from consultants PwC shows that shoppers are actually spending more with their favorite multichannel retailers. The report, which included more than 11,000 shoppers in 11 countries, also debunks the threat of showrooming, and finds that while 23 percent of its respondents research consumer electronics online and then go to a store to buy the product, only 2 percent do it the other way around.
DirecTV plans to extend its surcharge for regional sports networks (RSNs) to all customers living in about 20 percent of the country. The satellite operator has been charging $3 a month to only new subscribers living in areas where more than one RSN is available. The plan goes into effect this spring. DirecTV CEO Mike White has been a vocal opponent of the costs of carrying RSNs, saying last week they’ve gotten so high the satellite operator’s “only alternative” is to pass some of the charges along to customers in certain markets. Verizon FiOS is following suit with an RSN surcharge.
Digital audiences for magazines are growing, with big increases in consumption via apps and websites. The sites for two major magazines, Forbes and Cooking Light, reported big increases in traffic in January. Forbes.com had a record January 2013, with 16 million unique visitors during the month according to comScore – an increase of 26 percent over January 2012, and a 67-percent increase since it was re-launched in June 2010. According to Forbes, site content – around 400-500 original pieces of content per day, produced by around 1,000 topic experts and a core group of full-time reporters – generates more than 100,000 social actions per day.