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DRMA Spotlight: 'Commerce With a Conscience'

1 Apr, 2014 By: Thomas Haire Response

Peter Feinstein says Higher Power Marketing differentiates its services with personal commitment and groundbreaking technology.

Higher Power Marketing is a Phoenix-based per-inquiry (PI) advertising agency and Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) member. We caught up with Peter Feinstein, its founder, president and CEO, for this special Q&A.

Q: How did you come to lead Higher Power Marketing?

A: I’ve been a media guy since I was eight years old. My dad worked at ABC in New York. I met Dan Ingraham and Chuck Leonard, two of the hottest DJs on WABC-AM. Dan let me push a button on the control panel — and I was hooked!

I got my degree in political science, and took my first job as an overnight DJ on a station in New Jersey. I moved off air when they asked me to do production and traffic. Then I got into sales, moving up to larger markets, better gigs and into management. I landed back in sales in 1995 in Phoenix and left in June 1999. That’s when I started Higher Power.

Q: How has Higher Power Marketing grown since then?

A: We were not primarily focused on PI at the start. We were doing DR media buys for clients like JC Penney, the U.S. Postal Service and Oldsmobile. The response was really designed to get people to take action by doing things in store or on location.

When the downturn happened after 9/11, we were handling the entire southwest U.S. for a client that asked if we would be interested in going national. They let us know that they were only doing PI. I had experience with it as a radio rep and didn’t think highly of it. I hesitatingly accepted, and it worked! Today, thanks to PI, we have a staff of nine — and I stand in awe of my team’s work.

Q: What does Higher Power do for DR marketers that sets it apart?

A: We have a passion for doing the right thing. We call it “commerce with a conscience.” We have a “Path for Predictable Growth” (PPG) for both clients and media partners (MPs). We are about integrity, energy, conscience, growth, reliability, buying power, stability, and understanding our clients’ and MPs’ needs — and catering to them.

Q: What have been your most recent successful campaigns?

A: We helped a home warranty company evaluate everything from cost-per-call to cost-per-acquisition, and put together a campaign that’s financially smart for them and a windfall for some media partners. The client gets quality calls and is converting in line with its cash media results — which is unheard of in PI.

Recently, a nutritional supplement marketer came to us with some radio spots that, when I listened to them, I knew were big trouble — without even running them past legal. We couldn’t take the business the way it was. During the process, they read an article about regulatory groups cracking down on something similar. Everything we’d been giving them push back on, they finally agreed to. We ran a radio test for them, and it was a home run.

Q: What’s the company’s biggest accomplishment in the past year?

A: With the number of robot calls or pocket dials on mobile devices, we sat down with our IT folks, pulled this thing apart and found the flaws. We implemented “Press 5” IVRs when everybody said “Press 1” is fine or “Press #” is fine. Those are the buttons that get pressed most often in error and cause the biggest headaches.

This “Press 5” technology is so important — helping to legitimize “click-to-call” technology — we’ve given it to anybody who wants it.

Q: What are your plans for the next 3-5 years with the company?

A: We’re implementing a technology that re-energizes radio and TV advertisers’ results in today’s multi-screen reality. We’re making small tweaks to creative, encouraging people to use their mobile devices. We can, with 100-percent accuracy, attribute those mobile calls to the radio or TV spot that made the phone ring. ■

About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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