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Direct Response Marketing

Editor’s Note: A Moment to Look Back, but a Month to Look Ahead

9 Dec, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response

Thomas Haire, Editor-in-ChiefEditor’s Note Every December, it seems like media outlets spend much of their time looking back at the year that was, while spending a mere fraction looking forward at the year to come. It’s an understandable decision, as consumers of media — no matter whether it’s general news, entertainment or sports reporting or trade media — doubtlessly enjoy a simple retrospective of the events that were important during the prior 12 months. At the same time, a retrospective is pretty easy for any media outlet to put together when many people — journalists included — find themselves busy with holiday events.

Still, whether it’s a set of annual rankings or a wistful look back at an especially emotional moment, there’s certainly nothing wrong with putting a nice, neat bow on the year that was. Even here, in this issue of Response, we’ve joined the fray by sharing IMS’ annual ranking of the top 50 DRTV ads — in both short and long form — of 2009.

However, I’ve always thought it more important to look ahead at the year’s end. The prepared journalist (or marketer or media buyer or payment processor) is always well served by looking briefly at the past — but better served by applying the lessons learned by that quick look back to expectations of the future.

That’s just one reason why, in this final issue of 2009, Response is tackling a series of topics that promise to be important in 2010.

Yes, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) new testimonial and endorsement guidelines provided 2009 with one of its biggest stories — but they promise to be an even bigger story in the coming year as the FTC swings into action in an attempt to enforce these guidelines. What do you — the marketer — absolutely need to know about these new guidelines? Simply turn to page 30 to hear from DR’s top legal minds on this crucial topic.

At the same time, the consumer electronics market (see page 36) is affecting the direct response space from both directions — both by offering DR experts an opportunity to show the method’s effectiveness to electronics marketers looking to increase ROI, as well as consistently introducing new technology that is changing the types of outlets DR marketers use to advertise their products or services.

Two of those outlets — online video and mobile marketing — promise to expand their influence in the direct response space in 2010. While both markets are growing and drawing new consumers by the millions, DR marketers are still trying to figure out the best ways to monetize these media (see pages 50 and 51). Could 2010 finally be the year that both of these outlets finally become major players in every marketer’s arsenal? If so, expect direct response expertise to be crucial to any success in these still largely untapped areas.

I — and the entire Response team — wish you a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2010.

About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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