At the 2016 D2C Convention last month, I was honored to assume the chairmanship of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA)—an organization that has done more to promote and protect the direct response marketing industry than any other. As ERA’s chair, I plan to use my experience with TeleBrands to enhance that legacy, expand membership, and prepare the industry for an international marketplace that no longer defines itself solely through television or bricks-and-mortar retail.
I’m proud to have been elected as ERA’s chair. Coincidentally, this is the first time that ERA and ERA Europe have been headed up by women simultaneously—and by the time you read this, the United States may have elected its first female president, as well. It has not always been easy for a woman to achieve the kind of heights a man can achieve in business or politics, but attitudes are changing and opportunities are expanding.
The marketplace is changing, too. The web has become a crucial aspect of marketing a product, not just another element of strategy. Amazon is making a big impact on the sales of many DRTV products, and marketers are rushing to take advantage of it and other digital outlets. Social media, too, has become an influential tool in spreading the word and satisfying the customer. TeleBrands is active on Amazon, for example, and uses Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms to support our products.
What the future will bring is an unknown. DR has survived multiple evolutions, moving quickly from print ads to television to retail to meet customers where they shop. Now, we’re already well into the digital era. The good news? Digital marketers often still seek to make an impression using television. They still use TV to say “Please come to our website,” and build recognition for their messages. Television is active, healthy, and alive, and ERA is the association that can show digital-first companies how to use it to produce ROI.
Together, we can make digital players see the value in ERA, attend our conventions, sponsor our events, and share the expertise that helps all members excel in each and every channel. Make plans now to attend the next Great Ideas Summit, which will have an incredible lineup of speakers and mark the first time ERA brings one of its shows to a Caribbean island. It’s an exciting time for the association, and I’m looking forward to leading the effort to build and strengthen ERA for the future.