Field Reports23 Nov, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response
In its October issue, Response announced and spotlighted the three finalists and winner of the inaugural Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Marketer of the Year Award. Beginning in this issue and in the coming months, the other top seven nominees will be highlighted. This month, we caught up with Jeff Aronson, founder and CEO of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Cash4Gold.com.
Since its launch in 2007, the company has completed nearly 1 million transactions in an entirely new industry — mail-in refining, monetizing consumers’ unwanted jewelry. The company began 2009 by advertising on the largest television stage in the U.S. — Super Bowl XLIII. As the only direct response representative included in the Super Bowl telecast, Cash4Gold became the first direct response product or service advertised during the Super Bowl since OxiClean.
Cash4Gold’s universal appeal has met with such great success in the U.S. that the company recently expanded internationally into the U.K. and three other countries.
A: It’s a huge accomplishment, and it speaks in spades about what Cash4Gold was able to accomplish as a one-product company, going against these powerhouse direct response companies. Through our DR marketing efforts, the service we provide became a mainstream service. It’s wonderful to be recognized by our peers for that.
Q:What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for your company?
A: Becoming part of the pop culture and the lexicon. We had the first DR commercial on Super Bowl in eight years, and numerous ad reviewers voted it in the top of the crowded Super Bowl advertising field. It was the highlight of the year — a fantastic moment in our history and for DR.
Q:How did the successful products you had over the past year fit within the overall concept behind your company? Were any of those products so successful that they changed the way you do business?
A: We stayed right according to plan. We’re planning on starting up a few different products as well. We want to become a full-fledged DR marketing agency, in terms of products. For us, it has always been stay the course and keep our eye on the ball. We know our product and its quality, and we ignore the many competitors who flooded the market. We stayed No. 1 and then began our global expansion. We’re now in Canada, England, the Netherlands and Germany.
Q:Why do you think your business responded well during the recent economic downturn?
A: I never viewed our business as a recessionary business. When I started, the economy was not near the state it’s in today, but our business grew like wildfire. My customer is not typically watching CNBC to find out the price of gold — they live paycheck to paycheck. No matter the economy, it’s never really a great time for them. Because of that, I’m not sure how much the recession had to do with our success. It didn’t hurt. Something interesting did come of it: as time went on, our consumers demanded that we open a line to sell high-end jewelry and watches — Rolexes, Cartier. We started TheEstateBuyer.com so people could send watches, diamonds and higher-priced items in. The insurance we gave these customers was higher and they got a complete quote. It worked well.
Q:What is your outlook for the next 12 months? What are the top items in your pipeline?
A: We have three new products hitting the marketplace in different areas, from healthcare to perhaps sports. Cash4Gold will remain our marquee brand.
Q:What vertical markets do you believe are best equipped to survive current economic issues — and even thrive — in 2010?
A: Low-cost home insurance and low-cost disability insurance — a lot of these industries have struggled. The payday loan industry is struggling with new regulations. Lower-tier financial and economic verticals will work well.
Q:Does today’s consumer respond better to short-form or long-form DRTV? Which of these two formats are best supported by other media, including online, mobile, print and radio?
A: We do all of it, except long-form TV. Online is fantastic, but in mobile, we have not had tremendous success. Print and radio are OK. Typically, TV is the catalyst that really helps drive all of the other media. TV is at the tip of the triangle — without it, it becomes more difficult to do anything.