Moving the Sales Needle

There's a bunch of advertising messages out there that are funny and Sales Needlememorable.   

The question your business should be asking is this: "Am I spending my advertising to be memorable or to move the sales needle?"

We hope you want more...sales of whatever you you are selling be it product or service. Here's a great example of something memorable:

 

No matter if you loved it or hated it...you remembered it. The problem was shipping for KMart actually went...down that season and so too did sales. The ad was memorable, funny, it was shared and commented on but...in the end...it didn't work.

In fact this past year Sears Holdings (Who now owns KMart) shut down 234 store locations that were under-performing most of them were...you guessed it, KMart.

What went wrong?  KMart, over the years has lost its identity.  Add to it that people are shopping differently and most "big-box" stores are seeing that result.

The point of this post is that you not only need to be memorable but also you've got to sell stuff.  You need to ask for the sale.  You need to demonstrate how, whatever you are selling, can benefit the consumer and then you need to follow through.

Move the needle.

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I'm Not A Pulmonologist

We do some work with non-profits because non-profits also need help when Doctor Funny it comes to advertising and marketing. Why?  Because non-profits need to focus on their mission and have the ability to distill their message to attract donors and clients. Anyway...

Last week I had a meeting with a non-profit board of trustees that was made up of individuals from varied career paths.  Each a professional in their area. Here is how I started our presentation:

"Thank you for meeting with us.  We are grateful for the opportunity to share with you our expertise about your future marketing efforts. To be honest with you I am not a Pulmonologist, I have never been a Postmaster, nor have I ever made kitchen cabinets or owned a chain of McDonald's restaurants. Our craft is advertising and marketing.  I could never do, nor would I propose that I could do...what you do.  We are experts in our craft and what we are about to propose comes from decades of experience and success in this field."

It was the best presentation...ever...and in the end they made the decision to move forward with an agreement and our marketing plan.

So, why share this with you?  Because, and to borrow the lyrics from Cole Porter, "Do do that voodoo that you do so well." 

 

That's Marlene Dietrich...hot, hot, hot...(Smokin' too!)

We're in advertising and marketing.  We do that voodoo...well.

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DIY Can Be Brand Hara Kari

When it comes to marketing and advertising the Do It Yourself approach is fraught with danger.  Sometimes it can be "Brand Hara Kari" Here's an excellent case study:

Reliable Aftermarket Parts, based in Michigan, has been our client for some time. They were headed to Louisville for the National Farm Machinery Show this month...a first for them.  Every once in a while they get a "wild hair" and go outside of our creative, and have something done in-house or by a local printing company.

One of our long standing beliefs is "Can the Clutter" when it comes to everything.  People simply don't have time to...read.  And clutter can also be multiple images and fonts.  Here's a perfect example: (You can click on each image to enlarge.)

RAP NFMS First Look Jan 2015

It's the front and back of a hand-out that called attention to their booth and a special offer.

They sent it to us to see what we thought.  They agreed with our assessment and we, then, created this:

RAP NFMS Front Feb 2015

RAP NFMS Back Feb 2015

Point taken?

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Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel behind Insight on Business the News Hour.

Nah, We're 8 to 5 - Weekdays Only!

Over the past several weeks we've been following various brands (local, Woman 8 oclockregional and national) and surprised at the vast number of businesses that are posting to social media channels ONLY during the work day. Weekends? Crickets.

It's like their Social Media Ninjas are saying, "Hey, we work eight to five Monday through Friday.  If you wanna follow our brand engagement do so on our time."

Do they know something we don't or are they just doing what they get paid for?

So we did some digging around to learn who is connecting with social media channels and when.  Some interesting consumer trends:

  • Nearly half (47%) of smartphone users visit social media networks every day (Nielson);
  • Want Re-Tweets? Best time to Tweet is 5PM EST (KissMetrics);
  • Best days to Tweet - Midweek and Weekends (KissMetrics)
  • Facebook Shares - Best day is Saturday followed by Sunday (KissMetrics);

And, not every social media channel is the same.  For example posting on Pinterest outside of noon and the weekends isn't advised, "Pinterest is for daydreaming" says Fast Company.

Instagram users ages 18 - 29 make up 53% of all users and 49% of them use the channel daily (Pew Research Center)

LinkedIn users abandon the channel on the weekends and you'll get crickets between 10PM and 6AM (Fast Company).

We could go on and on but the POINT is that if your brand is failing to engage your consumer base when they are using social media...your brand...fails.  It all goes back to the central point of social media and using it correctly...wait for it:  You need to know your consumer; where they are, what they want and how to engage.  Oh, and HOW do you know where your prime demographic is...without spending tons on market research.

Ask them...

Finally, with all the social media tools available to you there is no reason why you can't match your engagement with consumers on...their time.

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Us?  Here is our advertising agency website, you can follow us on Twitter @InsightADV and Facebook?  Sure.  Also we are the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. (Here is our searchable/mobile friendly Podcast Page or you can download the business interviews from iTunes.  Nifty huh? 

 

Six Hours and Swag

On Friday I spent six hours with 125 others during an American Marketing Association - Iowa seminar on brand engagement and, all I got AMA Iowa Swag was a bag of...swag.

Not!

Look, I do marketing and advertising for a living.  It's my craft to engage, for and with our clients, consumers in the key demographics they wish to reach. So could I learn something from a bunch of thirty-somethings? (Well, then there was Mike Wagner...) Sure!  I love learning how others share their messages, build their brands and engage consumers. Perhaps I'll learn something new. Maybe pick up some new tips or confirm what we're doing for our clients is spot on.

And it was "Yes" to all three areas.  Some key take-a-way items:

  • Brand Engagement Requires Thought - It's not enough to simply post something and hope it will stick. You've got to know who your target demographic is and speak to their passion/interests;
  • Rifles Are Better Than Shotguns - Sure you can scatter your message on whatever media you like but that may not be where your demographic is hanging out. Just because you like the 10PM News doesn't mean that is where your consumer is.  Besides, shotgun marketing is very expensive;
  • Branding Is Everything - Here we go again...branding is not your logo. Branding is everything from how you answer the phone, the outgoing voice mail message you do daily (you do that...right?), the way in which you respond to email, how employees conduct their social media presence, how counter people engage the customer....and on and on and on;
  • Social Media Ain't Free - I do an entire seminar on this for businesses and the bottom line is it takes...work;
  • Skinny Budgets Require Collaboration - How can non-profits build a solid brand by engaging others?  Ask Steven King from the Des Moines Arts Festival;
  • Don't Forget Volunteers - The NASCAR Iowa Speedway has 17 employees but hundreds of volunteers who share a passion for racing. Make sure you train your brand warriors in customer centric engagement methods be they paid or volunteers.

So, you get the point right?  Even "old dogs" can learn.  Oh...and get some cool swag!  Thanks for the opportunity!

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How About A Little Help

Got a marketing/advertising question?  Man Questions

Our business is marketing and advertising and has been for years. Our goal is, and always has been, finding ways to help our clients sell more...stuff.  To be able to do that consumers need to know your business exists.

Not long ago we went out to area businesses and asked them to ask us a marketing question.  We filmed the question and then offered a possible solution.  Here is the first in a series from our friends at 515 Brewing based in Clive, Iowa:

  

This may not work for your business but we've seen it work for many new or re-emerging businesses that want their neighbors as customers.  Thanks for reading and for watching!

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Sure, We Can Do That...

Over the years I've "had coffee" with hundreds of individuals. The call or  Coffee Cu ps
the email comes in asking me, "Hey, can we meet for coffee? I'd like to (pick one) share a story, pick your brain, pitch you a project, catch up, offer my services."

I always say, "Sure, we can do that!"

I always look at this as an investment of time.  Who knows who might have the "magic bullet" that will solve an issue one of our clients might have. Who knows, "the pitch" might be just what we're looking for.  Who knows, maybe I can help him/her find a gig.

Who knows...

So we meet and have a cup and some conversation.

The other day I was visiting with Suku Radia the president of Bankers Trust here in Des Moines.  I said to him, "I understand that you often tell people, when they request a meeting with you, that you always grant the first one." He smiled and said, "Yes, everybody deserves to have a hearing."

I think we're on to something.  Perhaps the next time somebody calls and asks for a meeting you might grant that opportunity. Don't do as I do...but do as one of the most successful business people in the Des Moines Metro does.  If it's good enough for him...I'm in.

What do you think?

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You Had Me At "Welcome!"

I've just returned from a four day business trip to Memphis.  I stayed at the Memphis Downtown Sheraton (which at one time was a Marriott property). Sheraton Memphis

One word about the service:  Exceptional

From check in to check out everybody from the front desk the the valet to the bellmen to the folks that cleaned the rooms and served the food. It was the very best I've experienced.

Sure, most folks in the hospitality industry get it when it comes to customer service and they say, "Good morning!" and they say, "Yes sir!" but rarely have I run into so many people who simply opened up and...talked.  They talked about their jobs, their family their work, their church. They took time to have a conversation with a complete stranger.

One of the employees and I talked about the Memphis economy and how it feels like it's passing many by. "I'm not complaining but it's rough Michael. Really tough to make ends meet and I work two jobs."

I listened.  At the end of our brief conversation he said. "Mr. Libbie, thank you for listening and for caring. I really feel better."

People...really good people doing really good work, hard work.

It was great to meet every one of them.  It was great to move them out of "hospitalilty workers" and into...people.  Plain folks who are doing the best they can.

How about you?  Your thoughts?  Have you had the opportunity to experience amazing customer service and...at the same time...get a chance to look beyond the name tag?   Let me know?  I'm interested.

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Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the Daily Business News Broadcast.

I Forgot!

We are all guilty.  Sometimes the rush of getting back to work, the meetings Man oddthat are scheduled while we were out, the stack of mail on the desk.  I get it However, as a business person when we fail to alter our outgoing voice mail message from "I'm out of the office until the 5th..." and it's now the 9th of the month or we continue to have our email set with an automatic response a day or two past our return.  Well, it's not very professional.

So, a quick tip:

When you sent your voice mail or email notification telling folks you'll be gone place a Post-It Note on your computer screen with a note to yourself reminding you to adjust your messages.  That way the first thing you'll see when getting back to the office is your reminder to...change your message.

Simple...no and it helps solve the issue of being reminded by your boss...that your message is out of date.

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Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the Daily Business News Broadcast.

 

Giving Up Twitter!

This week I saw a Facebook Post about a friend who had "given up" on Twitter RejectedTwitter. "I have deleted my Twitter account but will continue Facebook for awhile."

That was followed by several others chiming in saying they "never really got or understood" Twitter.

I understand and that's OK. 

To explain Twitter and the power it holds for news and information doesn't much matter to folks who use social media for...being social. For those of us in business and/or the news world Twitter is a valuable asset.  Spending a few moments rolling through my Twitter TeletypeStream puts me in touch with other business professionals and allows me to digest lots of headline news.

Think of Twitter as an "old school" teletype that used to dominate every newsroom in the nation.  Every few seconds that teletype would spit out the news, weather, markets and more. Twitter is the same thing.  Sure it can be 100% social but it can also be a wonderful tool for business and for news. 

We're here to stay.  Your thoughts?

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Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communicaitions is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the Daily Business News Broadcast.