Field Reports1 Jan, 2011 By: Jackie Jones, Thomas Haire Response
DRMA Marketer of the Year Spotlight
Euro-Pro Steams to the Top of the Charts
By Thomas Haire ([email protected])
In its October 2010 issue, Response announced and spotlighted the three finalists and winner of the Second Annual Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Marketer of the Year Award. Beginning with the November issue, we are spotlighting the other seven top nominees in a monthly section. This month, we caught up with Mark Rosenzweig, Newton, Mass.-based CEO of Euro-Pro.
In mid-2009, the company introduced three new products — the Shark Steam Pocket mop, the Shark Navigator vacuum and the Shark Portable Steam Pocket — that have combined to sell more than 3.4 million units via DRTV, retail and online sales. The company attributes the success of these products — and others — to innovative design, superior performance, affordability, strong retail relationships and informative long-form DRTV advertising that effectively demonstrates each product’s features and benefits.
Q: What does it mean to you and your company to be one of the top 10 nominees for the DRMA Marketer of the Year Award?
A: Euro–Pro is honored to be among the nominees for the DRMA’s Marketer of the Year. The list includes some of the premier organizations in the industry, as well as some exciting newcomers. We are most delighted to share this honor with every team member across our rapidly expanding Euro-Pro family. Without our entire team’s tremendous dedication to produce innovative consumer products of the highest quality backed by world-class marketing, and to continually offer excellent customer service and retailer support, this nomination would not have been possible.
Q: What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for your company?
A: It has to be the sheer number of successful product launches in so short a time. Each Shark, Navigator or Ninja product was launched with heavy infomercial advertising support, generating consumer demand and direct response. At the same time, we supported our retail partners by driving consumer traffic to their locations. At one point in late 2010, Euro-Pro had five campaigns listed simultaneously on the IMS Retail Rankings of the top 25 infomercials. We are all extremely proud of this accomplishment.
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? If so, how?
A: During the past 12-18 months, Euro-Pro has shifted all development to product offerings that are truly innovative. We have systematically diversified away from lower-end, me-too products and focused all our resources against breakthrough, highly competitive products. During this period, we launched new to the world Pocket Steam Mops, which deliver better mopping; a revolutionary total floor care product in the Vac-then-Steam; and the Ninja Master Prep, which prepares snacks, drinks and whole meals faster, easier and better than traditional food prep appliances.
Q: Why do you think your business responded well during the recent economic downturn?
A: We are proud and encouraged that Euro-Pro has been able to grow in the midst of a very challenging economic environment. Our growth has come from our commitment to developing truly meaningful products that add value and solve very topical problems experienced by households on a daily basis. The second element of our strategy is to continually build brand and product awareness by being on-air 52 weeks of the year using a direct-to-consumer model.
Q: What is your outlook for the next 12 months? What are the top items in your pipeline?
A: Although there are encouraging economic indicators, the companies that will succeed in this environment are those that remain relevant to consumers’ needs. We see future growth opportunities in our steam cleaning portfolio and no-loss-of-suction, lightweight vacuums.
Q: What vertical markets do you believe are best equipped to survive current economic issues — and even thrive — in 2011? Why?
A: The key to success is to remain relevant in consumers’ lives by providing truly beneficial solutions to everyday challenges. One segment of the market that is poised for continual growth is in providing products that help consumers achieve a clean, healthy home. Our steam products thoroughly clean and sanitize most household surfaces, creating a healthy foundation. Our no-loss-suction vacuums address consumers’ desire to have a lightweight vac that doesn’t compromise on cleaning power.
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: While Euro-Pro’s current business model relies heavily on long-form advertising to build consumer demand, stimulate direct purchase and support our retail partners, short-form advertising has an important role to play as well. Long-form is still essential to build consumer interest and understanding of higher priced and more complex products, but it is becoming more and more difficult to capture and hold their attention. After the initial demand is established, the short-form strategy, with higher frequency and broader reach, can extend the campaign and further drive retail traffic. Solid online strategies are critical at this stage, as viewers will likely seek out further information on the product before they make their purchase decision. Other media, such as mobile, print, and radio can best support the short-form strategy especially with a strong Web-driving component.
American Red Cross Partners with mGive for Mobile Fundraiser
By Jackie Jones ([email protected])
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Red Cross partnered with mGive, a service provider for mobile donations in the U.S., to launch a mobile donation effort during the recently-passed holiday season.
The campaign ran through the end of 2010 and encouraged people to text GIFT to 90999 to donate to the American Red Cross to help raise funds to be used in disaster relief.
“We are honored to have been selected by the American Red Cross to provide the technology powering this industry changing campaign,” says Brian Leamy, executive vice president of mGive. “Through our partnership with The mGive Foundation and our innovative charitable partners selected to participate in this trial, we sought to expand the mobile donation industry by making larger mobile donations possible.”
The holiday campaign raised the minimum donation from $10 to $25, and was viewed as a trial run to see if donors would continue to contribute. “We’ve gotten lots of demand in the marketplace to move and expand the industry to something beyond the $10 price point. This was really a trial to see if donors are willing to participate at this level,” Leamy told DMNews, adding that the demand for text-based campaigns has soared in the last few years.
“It’s really the most straightforward and simple way to give. No need to write a check or enter credit card info,” he says. “Everyone knows how to text.”
Jim Speidel Joins Response Editorial Advisory Board
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Response Magazine, the only independent source of news and information for direct response marketers, welcomes longtime teleservices industry leader Jim Speidel of West Direct LLC to its Editorial Advisory Board.
Speidel is vice president of new business development for the Omaha, Neb.-based company, overseeing both sales and new business efforts across a wide variety of verticals for the West Direct business unit. He is also a key contributor in the design and implementation of new service offerings that West brings to market. Speidel is in his 15th year with West (he joined the company’s direct response division in 1996 as an account manager and has served in leadership positions in the company’s interactive and direct units since). He has also served various industry-related organizations and events as a panelist, speaker and featured presenter.
“I look forward to an exciting year of representing West on the Response Editorial Advisory Board,” Speidel says. “I’ve long admired the work of those on the
Response team and am excited to work with a diverse group of professionals across the vast direct response landscape.”
Thomas Haire, editor-in-chief of
Response, adds, “Jim brings years of expertise from the DR teleservices universe to our Editorial Advisory Board. With back-end services being so crucial on the current direct response marketing landscape, Jim’s addition to our esteemed board was an absolute necessity. Our now 15-member board now encompasses marketers, media outlets, agency experts, media buying leaders, back-end power brokers and industry legends — a group befitting of Response’s belief in the overall power of DR marketing.”
Where Mobile and Social Media Meet, Marketers Should Be
By Jackie Jones ([email protected])
KIRKLAND, Wash. — The increasing intersection of mobile devices and social networking is a key opportunity for brands to better connect with consumers, according to a new survey by Hipcricket Inc.
Fifty-seven percent of consumers reported that they would be interested in joining a marketer’s loyalty club via a mobile social-networking platform, such as the Facebook application for cell phones, the third annual Hipcricket Mobile Marketing Survey has found.
“The results of this year’s annual mobile marketing survey showed impressive growth in usage of the mobile Web and interest in mobile social networks,” said Eric Harber, president and COO of Hipcricket. “This further supports our view that consumers are eager to interact with brands on their mobile devices.”
The survey also found that interest and participation in mobile loyalty clubs remains constant at 35 percent and 9 percent, respectively, and that 90 percent of consumers who took part in mobile loyalty clubs found them valuable. Quite interestingly, 80 percent of survey respondents have said they haven’t yet been marketed to by their favorite brands via mobile.
Hipcricket cites its work with Arby’s as an example of a successful mobile loyalty program. The mobile effort used TV and in-store signage to encourage consumers to text a keyword for a free sandwich. Arby’s has since integrated mobile into many of its TV and radio commercials and print advertisements, according to Hipcricket.
“We continue to see the advancement of mobile CRM strategies and mobile loyalty clubs such as the one we have created for Arby’s that provides customers with relevant offers and information that meets their needs and interests,” Harber said.
Hipcricket’s study also found that 70 percent of mobile Web users access it at least once a day.