Timing Is Everything...Almost

For those of you who follow our work you know that our advertising agency is the fuel that powers the only hour-long business news broadcast in the region, Insight on Business the News Hour.  To that end we do a IOB Newsletter Sept 2015
weekly email newsletter using My Emma.  That newsletter takes a peek our business interviews of the prior week and then lists our our studio guests for the upcoming week.  

The open rate for the newsletter runs about 30% and the click-through rate (people clicking on various linked podcasts, urls, etc.) runs about 8%.  As the industry goes we're pretty much ahead of the curve.

When we send it out on time.

The newsletter goes out each Monday morning just prior to 9AM. This past week we had some "issues" and did not get it out until the afternoon. The result was dramatic

  • The Open Rate dropped to 25%
  • The Click-Through Rate dropped to 4.6%

Some other interesting aspects of newsletter metrics:

  • Engagement - Those individuals whom we interview that have a strong social media presence receive the most clicks;
  • Sharing - Social Media Natives will also share the content more quickly;
  • Gender - Women tend to open more of the podcasts than men;
  • Images Matter - When we post an image of a sponsor vs. their logo the image receives many more clicks. 

We've been at this for over two years and the numbers are pretty consistent.  We thought we'd share with you just in case you are considering some newsletter marketing.

Thanks for reading!





The Eyes Have It

We're asked all the time about what makes the most effective Content Marketing Effectiveadvertising/marketing content. In other words...what works best.  The simple answer is "it depends on your target demographic" but that takes time and talent to figure out so let's cut to the most recent study.

We realize this is for B to B however, we think it holds well for B to C marketing as well.

According to the North American Content Marketing Institute the most effective tool is person-to-person contact. It figures, "People like to do business with people they know and trust" right?  But directly equal to that is content in video form.


And the very cool thing about video is that it crosses nearly all the other platforms and can be used in each:

  • Video for Social Media Content
  • Video for Case Studies, White Papers
  • Video for your Website
  • Video for your Nearly Everything...

Of course it has to be done well and connect with the audience and you can't drone on and on...

Get Video and Get Noticed!



The Restaurant Industry - Needs a New Brand

There's some major trouble brewing in the restaurant industry and it's Servergoing to take some time to get it fixed. Let me set this up for you...here in the Des Moines Metro there isn't a week that goes by where we don't learn of yet another restaurant opening its doors.  While that may seem like progress there is something else going on: No workers.

I know of two owners who have put restaurant openings on hold because they cannot find help.  There is a lack of servers, cooks, chefs, dishwashers...and those two owners know the market.

Meanwhile corporations are draining the market dry.  After all...Hy-Vee might pay a lower salary for cooks...but they offer benefits.

If it is true that consumers control the brand then the restaurant industry needs to up their game and share with consumers what a great career food service can be. But it is going to take time and money.

In Europe a server is more highly treasured than a banker or attorney. Why? Because the industry there has built a brand on high quality, low turnover and knowledge.  Servers in Europe are...professional. Here they are often looked down on.

I've been told that the Iowa Restaurant Association has a plan to move this forward...they can't start soon enough...we're hungry.



I'm Trying To Help But...

The small business owner sat across the table and said, "You know, we Woman Yawnhave all of this collateral to give to our retail clients to help them sell more; but they don't use it. Why?"

The answer hinges on time and talent.

We flipped through the various print pieces and while they were colorful and printed on great stock there was simply...too much. Too much detail, too many offerings, too many pages...too much.

Here's something for you to remember. The average human has an attention span that is below a goldfish. It's true.  If you don't capture somebody's attention in under eight seconds...forget about it.  And, while this business has had a great run, much of what they were producing and sending out seemed old...and a bit tired.

Time & Talent

If you need to capture time...you need to have some amazing talent at creating the brochure/print ad/television commercial/radio ad/video that connects with the right audience. That means you better KNOW who your audience and HOW they want to be reached. 

Be bold and get noticed!

So, what do you think?





Are You Free?

Years ago, when we started the advertising agency, I did lots of things for FREEfree.  I still love to meet with people for coffee so they can pitch an idea or a concept but (other than helping out some local chamber types with my public speaking) I quit delivering my work for...free.

If your business is a real business and it counts on you to do what you do...why would you offer your services for free?  Here is what that says about your brand:

  • We are not valuable;
  • What we offer isn't worth it;
  • We're desperate!

Go ahead and help out your local non-profit (once or twice) but other than that being "free" tends to cheapen your brand.

So, what do you think?  Am I right or...just mean?


Big Getting Little

Grocery store chains across the country are consolidating or simply calling HyVee Local Produce Two it quits. Last week legendary A&P filed for bankruptcy protection...for the second time. Kroger announced they are buying Harris Teeter and one of the oldest chains, Albertson's was swallowed up. Locally, family owned Dahls threw in the towel.

Today there are only a handful of regional grocery store chains in the nation. 

The grocery industry is vastly different today than just 10 years ago because there is more competition and the changing habits of consumers. Natural, local and fresh rate high on the expectation list of consumers. So, how does a regional chain compete against the likes of Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and others?

Bring on the LOCAL feel and flavor of a time gone by.

HyVee LocalA couple of years ago HyVee, a Midwest regional chain, had a pretty successful run at calling attention to locally sourced produce. (Photo at left and you can click to enlarge.) While it all worked the effort was small compared to what they've recently rolled out.

Here (above and to the right) is the new roll-out of how big can go little all in an effort to boost a little nostalgia while calling attention to the fact that they sell what comes from your neighbor. 

The entire "feel" of the brand says, "Hey, we remember what it was HyVee Local Produce Onelike...shop here for local produce!" And then they go to great lengths to tell you how "local".

We love the graphics, the look and the feel of the campaign.  Good stuff HyVee! 

Thanks for reading!


Anger and Social Media

Over the years I've heard more than one business person tell me they Man Anger"stay out of social media" because they fear the danger of something that may cause stress to their brand and business.  However, here is proof that NOT being on social media can be worse.

The case revolves around mistaken identity and a person who, for his own reasons, made the choice to go after our company because he thought one of our staffers had written an "anti-gay" letter to the editor of the Iowa Press Citizen.  Here is the story, in podcast form, from our broadcast on The Business News Hour: 

 While social media is a fantastic method of communication and marketing there is a dark side that, when entered, can shatter reputations and brands. Had we NOT been in the social media space we may never have been able to act so quickly to repair our business name.

Have you got some thoughts?




Working Together

Every so often we run up on a promotion that we really like, appreciate and Passport USE 2015 hope others pick up make it their own. As many of you know, July can be a slow month in the restaurant business. To boost awareness and business three independently owned fine, European Themed eateries joined together to promote their cuisine through the Gourmet Passport.

Here is how it works: Consumers go to one of the three restaurants, Baru 66 of Windsor Heights, Bistro Montage of Des Moines or The Strudl Haus of Des Moines and order the specialty priced meal designed for the Gourmet Passport. Upon leaving the restaurant your "passport" is stamped. You then make reservations at the next eatery and repeat the process until you have visited all three.

David Enosh MichaelWhen the Gourmet Passport is stamped by each restaurant the diners put
their contact information inside the front cover and leave them with the restaurant owner.  All of the completed "passports" are collected and a drawing is held with the winner receiving a free full course meal for six prepared by Chef David Baruthio, Chef Enosh Kelly and Chef Michael Leo.

Because the promotion runs the entire month of July there is plenty of time to make reservations at each establishment.

Brilliant!  And, yes...we're going! 


Networking Groups - So You Are Hoping For....

Over the years I've been asked to become a member of several networking Networking Groupgroups and I've also had the pleasure of speaking at some.  I've declined the invitation to join because, frankly, I've wondered how effective they might be. 

Consider that the hope of a networking group is designed to do business with somebody else in that group. But, if what you are selling is valuable, responsive, established and on target...why would you join?

Last week my friend Jim Connolly posted his thoughts on Networking Groups and I pass it on to you for your consideration.

So are we right or are we all wet?  Maybe a little...damp?  



Marketing: B to C or B to B - Emotion Still Rules

Last week I had the opportunity to present "Five in 24" for the Iowa B to B and B to C MarketingAssociation of Business and Industry. If you want more on what "Five in 24" is and want me to come and share with your group...here's a link.

One of the segments in the presentation deals with "Creating Advertising that is Effective". It's our opinion that creating messages using emotion is far more effective than "fact based" creative. One of the attendees asked a great question: "How about business to business advertising? Your thoughts seem to pertain to business to consumer advertising."

Using emotion in B to B advertising works just as well as B to C.  Why? Because no matter what you are selling; people still (and I know this is wacky talk) buy from people.  And because that's still the way we conduct our business, building on those relationships buy using emotion works...every time.

It's how you build the creative that is important.  

While that was a great question it is also a prime example as to why internal marketing departments of corporations could use some professional outside help. Here's why: If your business is focused on how technologically superior your product is the marketing will often focus on the hard-core nuts and bolts of your "Frapinstat" and not on the human outcomes of actually using it.

Yet your "Frapinstat" might change lives, might save lives, might make work easier, might change the way people live, might alter production, might save money so that going about life is easier.

Get it?

And, this doesn't mean you scrap all the "high-tech" jargon but you should use a mix that is effective.  It doesn't mean your message has to be tearful or sappy but it should move something in the viewer that connects with the human vs. the cold, hard facts of why you think your company is...superior.

Hope that helps and thanks for reading!