Road to Riches


As I get up to speed on the inner workings of ERA, familiarize myself with members’ goals, and start to create a plan for the association’s growth, I’m often struck by how vast the opportunity is for direct response marketers today. Never before have there been so many outlets for companies to sell through; from Amazon to Zulily, marketers have almost as many platforms from which to choose as consumers have options in what to buy.

But this bounty carries with it multiple challenges. Having so many channels at one’s disposal can be baffling to marketers accustomed to using what continues to be the biggest awareness driver throughout the world—television. And even those skilled marketers that have built successful omnichannel strategies face the ongoing question of which channels to use and when.

The struggle is not unique to DRTV marketers, though. Any company selling quantities of anything today must design a strategy to meet, convert, and nurture customers on several or all of the broadcast, print, digital, and social channels at its disposal. And within each of those channels, there’s an added level of complexity in choosing which tools to use to communicate a message. Wherever a marketer begins, each new option presents a steep learning curve.

By bringing ERA to the digital community, we can encourage collaboration.

That’s why ERA has launched its new, invitation-only Digital Roadshow seminar series. Targeted to digital-first companies, roadshows will allow DRTV practitioners to share their considerable knowledge on topics such as attribution, media buying, fulfillment, payment processing, and regulations with digital marketers nationwide. Such topics are relevant to digital marketers and seasoned DR marketers alike, and by bringing ERA to the digital community, we can encourage collaboration.

ERA staged its first roadshow in Austin, Texas, in May, with speakers from member companies such as EvTech Media, Lockard & Wechsler Direct, Vantiv, and Venable LLP. The association will stage up to four roadshows in America’s Silicon Valleys and Silicon Alleys during the next year to attract more digital-first companies into the ERA fold.

They want to know how TV can drive online sales, and longtime ERA members want to do better in digital—roadshows can help bridge that gap. By “leaning in” with our specialized expertise and intellectual property, ERA can offer digital-first marketers valuable insights into product marketing—and continue to survive and thrive in the omnichannel marketplace.

Chris Reinmuth
Electronic Retailing Association