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October 2007
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December 2007

Blogging - A Thing of the Past?

Finger_delete So, I'm at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerece networking breakfast Tuesday morning.  These are the type of things where folks gather early in the morning to down a cup of coffee and introduce themselves around the room.

I'm glad I went because we hooked up with several folks who had moved to the Des Moines Area...that had been in my life years ago.

Folks like Lynn Schultz who at one time owned a construction company in NW Iowa.  He now heads up Central Iowa Appraisers.  It had been years since we've had the opportunity to visit and it was nice. There was Janet Tingwald a ranch rodeo buddy who owns Coaching Advantage Group and who just parted with her equine buddies. (That really sucks...I can relate.) And, Dr. Steven Koester who owns Koester Chiropratic Clinic. (Got to get him a Website!)  It was fun...

Michelle_durand_adams It was also an interesting look at Blogging.  I visited with well over a dozen people at random.  Most had heard about business blogging but none did it.  I did visit with Michelle Durand-Adams of WSI - Urbandale who told me she doesn't get many "takers".  "We've found that while many people have heard about Business Blogging not many want to invest the time it takes to get one up and running.  They may Blog for a couple of months and then just give it up."

My friend, Drew McLellan, had a post about this written by David Reich"Is Blogging Losing Steam?"  It's an insightful read.

Our Insight:  We've said it to hundreds of business people, "Blogging is NOT for everybody!"  It does take time...but it can also be a major factor in allowing your business to not only find your "voice" but also allow you to better communicate with your customers.  Like everything's a tradeout. 

But...there is, we sense, a negitive growth issue here.  Is it time?  Money?  Or a lack of value?

Your thoughts?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we learn something new...everyday!

Radio - Ain't What It Used To Be...

Old_radios_2 We love radio advertising.  Maybe because that's where I got my start in this crazy business of advertising...or maybe because it has such magic.

The beauty about radio is the reach and the ability for the listener to actually "see" what is being discussed.  But so much has changed.

We're doing some radio placement for our client The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship (Download eab_psa_60_moving_wood.mp3 )and I think they are glad we're doing the work. Go ahead...listen...and come on back.

You see, once upon a time, radio stations were owned by individuals rather than corporations.  While it's true there are still some single or family owned outfits...the majority of stations now belong to major communication corporations...and that can be a problem when advertisers attempt to place their own ads.

Let's say you want to reach a specific market segment in Illinois.  Your target is men who hunt and fish...and travel.  You're using radio...where do you go?  Who do you talk to? 

It's a job sifting through all the data and most companies just don't have the time...the material or understanding of the markets to make the buy from one station over the other.

Handshake_woman_and_man Local radio buys...may seem easier...but there are hidden traps here as well.  Just remember, EVERY radio station in the nation has SOMEBODY listening to it.  But...they may not be the people your product or service should hit.  And, sadly most radio sales people are great at "bending" the numbers in their favor. is a GREAT medium with it's reach, frequency and ability to engage the customer.  Go for it!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we enjoy creating the radio well as placing them.

You Work Today?

Copy_of_kunta_050We did...

OK...shameless plug for the bird but that is what he gets for demanding advertising insight on Thanksgiving Day.  "Come on Dad, now that you're full of my COUSIN..I know you've got a post rumbling around someplace up here!"

I am becoming less a fan of e-mail.

How is that for a starter?

Last week one of our clients sent us an e-mail and asked for a "sales sheet". In the past "sales sheet" has meant some sort of marketing piece used by company representatives to sell their product to dealers.  Business to Business sort of stuff.

The last time we did a "sales sheet" some members of the sales force thought it was "too pretty".  "I'm tellin' you we just don't need all this fluff.  Make it simple dang it.  Git them pictures off and give us the dang facts!"  Anyway, that's what we were told they said.  I suspect it was stronger language.

So we did...and then we started on this "sales sheet".  I got to thinking that maybe we might want to check and see if this is going to be used business to business or business to consumer. 

It was business to we had to make some pretty swift changes.

Phone_booth_g The story here is clarity.  Clarity is something that is often hard to achieve with e-mails.  But we get hooked by the speed, the quick connection and the ease.  Sometimes the old form of communication is so much better.

Our job is to be able to put our client products and services into the best possible light.  That's often hard to do from long distance...and by not paying attention to details. 

We learned something this week, thought we'd pass it along.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we even admit to being wrong...most of the time.

Happy Thanksgiving From Us...Turkeys?

Michael_turkey I can take a hint!  We're out shopping for some items for a holiday event and I'm asked to stand...for a photo, "We'll let them know you really support the staff!"

Seriously, thanks so much for reading The BLOG.  We started this adventure for our advertising agency in September of 2006.  Since then we've posted 280 articles about advertising, marketing, public relations, and pop-culture.  Some are memorable...others perhaps forgettable (depending on the topic & if I happened to be slamming conventional wisdom...)

We've called out some silly practices like using spokespeople nobody knows, "Who is Lauren Bishop?".  We've made solid suggestions about websites, getting noticed and using color in your print ads.

Candy_crowley_harkin_event We talked about video work and how it can make your trade show booth snap and what goes into the video effort.

We talked about the high price of fuel and how we got from one place to another.  We wrote about Iowa Stars Hockey, John Ratzenberger, FEMA and lousy service.  We talked about the rip-off of high priced hotels charging you for Internet Service.

Mom We gave tips about advertising and marketing...and a couple of times even talked about family.  We told you about the radio shows we host (Rural Lifestyle & The Iowa Sportsman) and we even got into politics a couple of times.  And, did that surprise us...people actually reacted.

Georgie_bday We showcased some of the places we've been and made comments about the service...or lack of service.  We featured a couple of items about folks who work here and what they do...actually they are the best.

280 just over a year.  We hope some of them have been helpful.  That you learned something about us...or about your existing marketing efforts.

Be safe this week if you are on the road.  If you are staying home...enjoy some time away.  Stay well and stay thankful for what we all have.

Most of all, we, again, thank you for reading.  Doing "The Blog" has helped people find us...and helped us find our voice.  Thanks for reading and your many comments.  Really.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we just like doing this stuff!

Rural Lifestyle Radio - On This Morning!

Hwy61_image Heads up...Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country the rural lifestyle radio show on 98.3 WOW-FM here in Des Moines hits the air at 8am!  (You can also listen in using your computer!)

We're the only hour long live program dedicated to living on small farms and acreages.

Here's the line up and what we talked about this morning!  Enjoy

Thanks for reading...and for listening.

Michael Libbie - Host and Acreage Owner

Rural Lifestyle Radio - This Sunday Morning

Hwy61_image For those of you who've never heard of The Rural Lifestyle...this program might not be a fit.  However, once you realize that the ONLY growth in rural population are these folks that live on small farms or acreages.  That might interest you.

In fact, here in Central Iowa, folks that live on small farms and acreages outnumber "traditional farmers" by...oh...500%!  No doubt you know somebody that lives on a small farm or acreage? Those are the folks we target with this only full hour live radio show in the nation that covers those issues.  Do us a favor and tell 'em about us?

We're Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country and you'll catch us on 98.3 WOW-FM each Sunday morning at 8.  Or, you can pick the show up online by going here and signing up.

Sophieface_2 This week, along with lots of news and information that impacts the rural lifestyle, we're going to visit with some folks from the Midwest Border Collie Rescue.  Frankly, I had no idea they existed and couldn't figure out why.  Until Karla Kurth from the association gave me the lesson.  She'll be in studio to talk about it.

And, we hope you're listening.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we specialize in rural lifestyle marketing and agriculture...hey, somebody has to!

So, Do You REALLY Know Agriculture?

Man_in_fieldWe have an advertising agency.  We tend to specialize in rural lifestyle and agriculture. 

Our agency is located in Des Moines, Iowa.  We know a little about agriculture here in Iowa.  We are the number one production state for corn, soy beans and eggs.  Yes..eggs!  And, we've helped dozens of clients bring new products to market both in and outside of ag.

We also know more about the stats than most folks.

So, when media types, who have little to no ag experience, try to sell us a way to reach farmers and ranchers they have to do their homework.  We just know the market...better than they.

That's why when a local radio group started to make noise that they wanted to "get into farm broadcasting" we cautioned them against such a move.

We had two major reasons:

First, the Central Iowa agricultural market is already "over served" and second, there simply are not enough "Class A" farmers in the Central Iowa listening area to go around.

Man_combine_2 There is a dominant farm station in the market.  They broadcast markets several times daily and devote a 90 minute "farm block" each weekday starting at 11:30am. In addition, every little station in a 60 mile radius has some sort of farm news and information program.  Lot's of "ag talk" going on in the radio market place already.

In the nine broadcast counties around Des Moines there are a total of 5,643 farmers.  Those are farms that have from ONE DOLLAR in gross sales to over one-million.  But, if you look at producers that have GROSS income of $100,000+ there are only 1,745 farmers in the Central Iowa Area.  By the way, gross farm income of $100,000 will net a farmer about $20,000 a year.  Hardly a "full time" farmer.

The dominant station and other outlying stations have about 80% of this market.   So...MAYBE this new farm market station will pick up 350 farmers.  At 5:30 in the morning?


Irish_meadows_alpacas_2 We thought we had a better answer for them:  The Rural Lifestyle Market.  Our figures indicate there are 150,000 such people in the same market area.  And, NOBODY is marketing to them using radio...other than us with our Sunday morning show, Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country.

It's the only growth segment of agriculture and rural population in the nation.

They were not buying the idea...I guess they know better.  Or they'll be able to talk a better line then me.  Or...they are praying for a quick buck.  We'll see.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications.  It's what we do...everyday.

Selling Your Grandfathers Label...With Some Sex

Cadillac_cts For an advertising guy...I don't watch much TV.  I know...  But, I'm really just too darn busy to spend lots of time in front of the tube.

However, this weekend I'm watching some football and this ad comes on for the Cadillac CTS"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

The first was with Martin Henderson.  "WOW...not bad!" I thought.  Not the traditional boring car ad.  What's the idea of Cadillac using a little sex selling grandfathers car or at least the grandfather label?  I even mentioned it to my wife.  "Honey, did you see that?"   Never mind...she doesn't like football.

Kate_walsh_2  Not ten minutes later the Cadillac CTS ad featuring Kate Walsh hits the air.  Ahhhh....   I didn't bother to ask my wife if she saw, or heard it.  Best to keep some things quiet.

Go ahead indulge yourself!  And here is the YouTube Version. (It loses a little video quality...but what the heck.)

Two things here:

  1. First...we get all the "images" of a traditional car commercial but we get the extra "pop" of a great line delivered so well it makes the commercial really ZING!
  2. Second...The ad is driving the advertising community nuts.  Professionals are panning it (no doubt because they didn't get the gig) while the target audience is loving it. (no doubt because they...get it.  And they are supposed to.)

So from our aspect...what's the point?   


Take a little.  Just because the "industry" says you should offer up "Image A" to the public...try to move the public with something totally different.  But...beware.  The images, timing, music and wording are all critical.

This time...nicely done.  Even this grand dad...liked it.

What do you think????

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where it's more than just a pretty face....better be...

Rural Lifestyle Radio - Sunday Morning 8am!

Hwy61_image Rural Lifestyle Radio - It's On...Sunday morning at 8 on 98.3 WOW-FM here in Des Moines or available on line by clicking here and registering.

Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country is this nations only live, hour long radio program dedicated to the rural lifestyle.  We talk about the issues that impact rural folks from education to health care.  From volunteering for your local county fair to tips on horses, cattle, dogs...

We know the lifestyle...and we're grateful you've come by for a peek...and maybe a listen.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications (acreage owner and host)

Rural Lifestyle Radio - This Sunday Morning

Hwy61_image Quick reminder:  The nations only full hour rural lifestyle radio show, Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country, comes to you on Sunday morning at 8 only on 98.3 WOW-FM (here in Des Moines) or on your PC by signing up and listening!

Each week we talk about the issues that effect folks living on small farms and acreages and this week is no different.

We'll visit with Tom Barns the executive director with the Association of Iowa Fairs.  His group oversees the 107 county and regional fairs that take place in Iowa...and impact the economy by over 200 million dollars!

We'll also talk about the most prosperous counties in Iowa and a host of other issues of rural concern.'s not a farm show...but a show built around people living on small farms and acreages.  The Rural Lifestyle! 

All that and more...catch the show on Sunday morning at 8. On 98.3 WOW-FM or on your PC by clicking here.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications - acreage owner and host.