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April 2009
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June 2009

This "Innernet Radio Thingy" Pay Attention?

Nearly two weeks ago a new radio station popped up here in the Des Moines, Iowa market.  The station is on the air Monday - Friday from 9am til 6pm.  You can't get it RCA HiFi listening to "Grandpa's Hi-Fi", nor can everybody listen while driving to work.  Yet.  But...if you sit in your office or home and pop on your computer...there is is!  It's made up of about twenty different committed talk show hosts talking about what they are passionate about.  From business (us) to a rabbi talking about faith and Israel....

It's amazing...and pretty darn exciting.  But, as one person wrote:  "Seems like a time waste hobby for those involved."  Or as one sage said, "I don't think this 'Innernet Radio Thingy' will amount to more than a squeak."  (Somebody said that about television too...)

Maybe this might start you scratching your head...

Ando Media, on April 23, 2009, released it's first Webcast Metrics Audience Rankings.  They are using traditional radio terms like "Average Quarter Hour (AQH) Share" and "Cumulative Audience" (Cume) to report, which should be helpful for radio types and advertisers.  In a word...this first report is...WOW.

While "music" radio did much better than "talk" radio...the numbers are pretty impressive: 

  1. CBS - AQH:  434,914 and CUME: 4,143,666

    2.  Clear Channel Online Music:  AQH:  155,172 and CUME: 1,740,62

    3.  DII - AQH:  59,775 and CUME:  740,859

    4.  977 Music.Com - AQH: 57,733 and CUME: 717,265

You get the idea...and here is the entire report.

Purists will have plenty of questions and issues about how the measurement is calculated but...and this is big...have any land based radio station sales person or executive explain the Arbitron Ratings system.  Your head will swim in less than thirty-seconds after you realize that just a handfull of folks are responsible for a measuring the Retro microphone radio listening habits of a population of 493,000 people who all the Des Moines area, "home".  

The bottom line is this...if you are an advertiser and  not paying attention to this will be forced into figuring it out...sooner rather than later.  Internet Radio rates are very, very reasonable...but they will not stay that way.  And, here in Des Moines, Iowa there is now live, local talk...on the computer.  It may be like a group of pioneers but it's exciting and, guess what?  It's growing daily.

If you want more information, feel free to give me a shout.  We've decided NOT to make everything public at this point. for a major announcement very soon.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications a full service advertising agency always ready to help our clients catch the next 'big wave'...   Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and come by the website for more:


Consumer Confidence, Value & Shoes?????

This was a story we didn't get to in our new Radio Show - Insight on Business heard daily, Monday - Friday from 12:30p to 2:00p Central on Des Moines Local...Live.  So, we thought we'd share it here.

We're not sure you saw the Associated Press article on Consumer Confidence.  It Woman Shopping seems, according to the story, Americans are getting back in the mood to buy...even if they haven't yet opened their wallets.

The AP tells us the consumer confidence level rose to the highest point since September 2008 and that there are strong hopes that the worst of the recession is behind us.  But...will this translate into more sales for fancy shoes and big time furniture buys?

Not necessarily.

We think the past nine months have driven consumers toward value and away from flash.  In other words if you, as a seller of products or services, can convince the consumer that your offering gives real value you're likely to do better than if you simply push luxury. 

But, how to turn luxury into value?  Let's look at an example...aimed at men.

Let's say you are in the market for a new pair of business dress shoes.  You've got a choice.  You can buy a less expensive brand at say, $150 or you can step up to say a pair of Allen Edmonds for $370.  What do you do?

The obvious choice might be the less expensive pair of shoes.  But...what if the retailer took the time to tell you about not only the style and quality of Allen Edmonds but also Shoes share with you the fact these shoes will last fifteen to twenty plus years.  (I'm, not making this up...I have three pair I purchased in 1986...and they look great!  Here's proof.) does the consumer buy "Brand B" that he will have to replace in five years?  Where is the value in that?

Take charge of the conversation and prove value and worth...big words in any market.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertisng, Marketing & Communications where we help our clients do just that...everyday.  Learn more about us at and follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie



Gender Marketing & Live Research

This is something we touched on during our radio show, Insight on Business which airs Monday - Friday 12:30pm - 2:00pm Central on Macs World Live.  We're part of Des Moines Local...Live about twenty passionate people who talk about everything from advertising and marketing (us) to cage fighting.  It's the way radio used to be...before corporate take overs and investors.  It's live Internet Radio and a first here in the Midwest.  Go ahead, check us out.

So, who is buying your product or service and more important...why?  It's not only important that you know the answer to those's critical to success.  So, today let's visit about gender marketing.

Last week a client shared with me the on-line sales reports for a brand new productWoman Garden Ctr Use we're taking to the consumer market.  The item has only been marketed on-line.  We've done zero consumer media.  In a way, we're still in the research side of things.   Some of us were a little surprised that 67% of the on-line buyers were...women.  Until we did some further experiential research.

A group of us visited several garden centers.  We did this over a period of two days and trying not to be obvious took customer counts at various times of the day.  The vast majority of active shoppers were women but more importantly the decision making was almost exclusively done by females.  Oh sure...the men were there but mostly they were holding something and nodding while the carts were being filled by the women.

So, why would our advertising agency go to this much trouble for a client?  Because, as we guide their media we want to make sure we're telling the sales story to the right folks.  In this case we've adjusted the marketing materials just a bit to reflect what we're seeing in the orders.

Two quick lessons:  1) During the research period, before the final media is constructed, it's important to do some experiential events.  2)  Be flexable and ready to adjust for gender marketing.  It's as important as "age based marketing" but....we'll do that another day.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can learn more about us at and follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie. Thanks for reading!



Memorial Day & Summer - Colliding Events

It's Memorial Day 2009.  It is also the official start to Summer 2009.  The two events have so much in common but at the same time they are so different.  So...just a thought about the day...before we march off to the grill

Maybe it's my age...I remember growing up and calling this day, "Decoration Day".  I was born five years after World War II and the memories of parades, flags and decorated Kid soldier bikes are lasting.  My mother and father (He spent over three years in the Navy, Pacific Theater) always made sure we were part of Decoration Day.  They wanted to make sure we took part.

For the kids, it was popular back then to "Play War" with real looking weapons, pine cones as grenades and uniforms, purchased from Army/Navy Surplus Stores.  But on this day we would put away our toy guns, old steel helmets  scuffed boots and...remember. 

As a child it was difficult and a little confusing.  When we were busy "killing Germans" in the sandbox or in the woods near the house we all got back up to fight another day.  I often wonder what the veterans thought of us...or if it mattered.  I never remember a time when we were told not to continue our "war" because it wasn't politically correct.  Those that experienced the real horror of war, who where on the ships, in the fox holes and on the beaches didn't mind our games.  What a difference a generation makes.

Sailor_fish But, this isn't just about war and conflict and's also about summer and kids and enjoying the first holiday of the season. It's about grilling and laughing and fishing and having an extra beer on Sunday night...because on Monday we're "off duty". 

It's about the promise of a new season.  That carefree time of year when shorts, t-shirts (and less) become the fashion.  It's OK now to wear "white pants" and switch our hats to straw.  It's time to forget minus twenty degrees and winds that whip the snow into deep drifts...

It's summer.

And, it's Memorial Day.

It's a day when the horror of war collides with the freedom of a season.  Amazing when you stop to think about it...

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications a full service advertising agency.  Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or on our new Radio Show - Insight on Business heard daily (except today) at all part of Des Moines Local...Live!  Have a great day!

Television - Still Magic

Yesterday I was at the television studios for Iowa Public Television to tape a segment for The Iowa Journal with Paul Yeager (far right).  With me on the show, which will airMPL Mike and Paul May 21 on May 29th at 6:30PM Central, was Mike Templeton from the Iowa Hospital Association.  We were there to talk about Social Media and its impact on business.

I've posted a link for a sneak peak on our Radio Show Blog - Insight on Business.

I've spent time in television studios in three different states over the past thirty years...and I still get a rush about how magic it all is.  Not only that, but if you are an Iowan you can be enormously proud of the Iowa Public Television facilities.  They are amazing and first rate.  Not one AVID but...five.  The HD control rooms are first rate and the production studios the very best I've seen.  We all, should be proud.

Back to the "magic".  Even for "old hands" the difference between what you "see" when watching television vs. what it really looks like and what is really going on is like night and day.  And...frankly...there is a reason for that.  It's all about image and yes, the magic. 

Television is a powerful tool adn one we use for our clients.  Pricey?  Sure...but still powerful.  The KEY to a successful television campaign is understanding how to craft a great looking, attention getting solid video message along with great text.  And...then it is the edit that makes television sparkle.  Never forget that the editor is so vital in making the message work.  That...and knowing what to do and how to get it done.  Never forget...and never settle for second rate.

Our thanks to Paul Yeager the Host of The Iowa Journal for the opportunity to come on and talk about social media.  Again, that show will air on May 29th at 6:30PM Central.

Michael P. Libbie, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and check our work at


Rethinking Failure

The other day I had a conversation with a client.  What started out as a negative ended up very positive as we, together, re-thought failure.  Together, over the past year, we'veFailure brought a number of brand new products on-line.  It's been stressful for them...and us.  When I say..."brought on line" that includes everything from naming the products to building websites to media to new packaging to new retail displays. Five brand new products in less than a year.  And, we're still not done.

The conversation started like this:  "Well, the public event you suggested we attend turned out to be very slow.  I don't think we sold 50 units." 

He was right...but what did we learn?

Over the next twenty minutes we talked about what we learned from consumers and how we made inroads with companies that currently do not carry the product...but should.  We talked about connections we made and the feedback we heard from consumers.  We talked about the packaging and retail people who came by and were interested.

Far from being a failure it was a huge success.

Success can not always be measured in sales dollars...especially when we're talking about brand new products. The success here was in the ability to listen...and now act on what we learned.  What started as a negative conversation ended up to be very positive as we, together, learned more about the strategic placement and our target market.

What a great day...for everybody!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we look to the positive...everyday and help our clients win rather than fail.  Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and see what we've been up to on our website for those of you interested in following us on our new Internet Radio Show - Insight on is that link.



Internet Radio...Really?

Our advertising agency is all about connections.  Our clients come to us seeking answers:  "How can we better identify our target customer?"  "How can we then reach Man Hay Bale Microphone our target customer in the best possible way?"  "What are we not providing today...that our customer may want...tomorrow?"  

This is what Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications does for our clients...and ourselves, everyday.

To do that, effectively, we embrace new things and ideas...quickly.  That's why we started this blog, long before many folks knew what the word meant.  We took to Twitter right away with three different public profiles.  We've expanded our Social Media "footprint" to all sorts of outlets from LinkedIn to Plaxo.  At the same time, we employ traditional media like television, radio and print to help us get noticed. Every day we're working to build our brand and amplify our voice.

It's what we do for our clients...and this agency.

Today we start down another new path.  At 12:30PM Central a new Internet Radio Show, "Insight on Business" fires up as part of Des Moines Local Live which is part of Mac's World Live.  (Gosh, think we've got a "branding issue" already?)

Having been a broadcaster for nearly 30 years and having hosted Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country for three years and The Iowa Sportsman's Radio Hour for two.Microphone head set gold crop (both Des Moines based on terrestrial radio station 98.3 WOW-FM 983wowfm)  This seemed like an excellent way to, once again, embrace new technology to boost our brand and share marketing and advertising insights with folks who want to learn.

The first couple of days will be a hoot as we get settled in, learning new equipment, getting used to having folks actually "see us" while doing the show and setting out the guidelines for what we will accomplish...which is giving our insight into marketing, sales, advertising and getting noticed.

What we'll not be is a political stage to rant and rave about the "Left" or the "Right".  There are enough "talking heads" out there doing that...all with the same talking points all with the same legion of "head nodders" all with an axe to grind.

Not us...

We'll share our experiences with what works and what doesn't.  We'll talk about marketing plans, creative media, new technology, sales tools that work and how...even with all the technology...people still buy...from people.  We'll have regular guests that will share with our listeners their professional experiences and ways they've used to help their clients "get noticed". 

So...listen in.  You're sure to get a laugh or two as we try to figure out which button works what camera...and how to keep the show on the air.  Here is the link to the show page which is part of Mac's World Live.  At 12:30 Central...just click on my picture...handsome devil huh?  And let's kick this thing off...

Oh...and thanks J. Michael "Mac" McKoy.  When he and I started this discussion four months ago, after he was booted off local terrestrial radio, (not once but twice in 90 days) the obvious questions about the "unknown" came up.  "What if nobody listens?", "What if it doesn't catch on?"  "What if people just don't get the idea of Internet Radio?"   Like Marconi...we're asking those same questions...time will tell.  But, I can tell you...I'd much rather be part of the parade...than sit on the sidelines watching it go by.   So...thanks Mac for the invite and the opportunity.

Catch you on "The Net".

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we're what?  Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and our site



It's easy, given all of the new social media outlets we have available to us.  There is your Business Blog, a tool that you can use to communicate with your customers and find Sailor distracted out what folks are saying about your product or service.  There is Twitter, a "mirco-blogging" tool that uses short 140 word bursts that you can customize to your particular product or service and build community.  Facebook?  Sure.  It's a great way to keep in touch with others and have a low cost landing point for consmers and groups.  LinkedIn?  Yep.  This is a social networking site professionals use to ask questions, seek answers and connect with potential clients and each other.  Plaxo, ditto....

You get the idea lot's of ways to connect, to help you get found and promote your product and/or service.

And, lots of distractions if you're not careful.

We encourage every client we have to use the social media platform they are best suited for.  And...when we introduce the concept we demand they understand how critical it is to stick with it...and not give up in just a couple of weeks.  Here are a couple of ground rules:

  • You MUST blog three times a week, every week for three months;
  • Your blog must be short, conversational and on point;
  • Your Twitter Profile and "tweets" need to be informative and fun;
  • You don't need to sit in front of the screen for 8 hours a day;
  • Comment and share with others in your blog and on Twitter;
  • Search and find subjects and topics that augment your business;

One other thing...we recognize you have a business to run so we suggest that you budget your social media time like you do anything else.  If you are creative in the then.  If you want to skip the "water cooler" chat, spend that time on Twitter expanding your universe.  Stay connected on your time...but keep at it.

Most important...remember that social media is NOT the complete answer to your marketing and advertising program.  And, if somebody tells you that's the, do not walk away.  Social Media is an enhancement and a great way to project your personality...remember, people still buy from...people.

Stay focused...and win.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and our site,



Oh...The Pain!!!

This week I sat in a room of men and women attending a free Business Seminar hosted by a local business group and sponsored by Congressman Leonard Boswell.  The focus of the event was staying in or creating a new business.  The panel members each made an opening statement about their respective areas of expertise and later the attendeesMan Pain were allowed to ask questions.  In all, it was a nice attempt at helping individuals learn more about what goes into the creation of a small or mid-size business.  My critique isn't aimed at any sponsor, person or group.  I think you'll get it as you read on.

The first speaker introduced herself and told about her business that she has owned for 25 years.  Then she dropped this bomb:  "My biggest source of competition and frustration is the Internet."  I perked right up...  "When you search for my business we come up on the third page and people don't go that far down looking for me."  (She is right.)  "And, because I don't have control over my Internet site (It's a page hosted by a national company.) I can't change things and add my own flair.  I'm wanting to change it...."

The next person who spoke talked about "professionals" that every business should consult with.  "You need an attorney to help you set up the company.  You'll need an accountant to help you with the books or at least understand how to better run the software.  And you also need...." (I thought to it comes.  She is going to say you need to visit with an advertising and marketing professional.  Somebody to help these fresh faces 'get found'...see above.)

But it never came.

Fifty minutes later after hearing about the SBA, USDA, SCORE, and other letters....a young woman in the audience said, "I can help you get your business found!"

All eyes went to her.  "Have you heard of Twitter, Facebook or YouTube?"  (Social media that we embrace and have our clients use..)

Blank stares...

"And, for your Internet.  Why you can throw up a free site by using a template it doesn't cost a thing.  Why, you can do it all yourself."

Smiling faces....

Except mine.  I just shook my head wishing the pain would go away.

Sure, you can do it yourself and depending on what you are might work.  Might.  But is that what you want?  Do it yourself attorney, do it yourself accounting, do it yourself market research, do it yourself advertising...really?

In the end I did not approach the business person struggling to get found.  I didn't visit with the lady who loves professionals, well...the important ones.  I left because...I'm not sure they would have understood.

My rates were already out of line...because I'm not free.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communicationsyou can follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and our site



SpotGone! & NatraTurf - First Public Event - K9 Karnival

OK, it's not opening in New York's not even opening in Kansas City...but it is a first.   SpotGone! by NatraTurf will debut to the general public on Saturday May 9th inSpotGone_shakerFRONT Urbandale, Iowa at the Annual K-9 Karnival sponsored by Citadel Communications of Des Moines.

According to Jim Milam of NatraTurf this is exactly what they were looking for.  "We released SpotGone! for Online sales only about four weeks ago and people from New York to California have been buying the product.  And, while we've done some product samples this will be the first time we'll interact with groups of people at a trade show.  We'll use this experience to better position our product and our message."

Well said, Jim.

We're looking forward to listening to shoppers and dog owners and help guide SpotGone into the general consumer market. 

So, what is this SpotGone! stuff?  It's an all natural, organic way to rid your lawn of pet urine spots and damage from "winter kill", salts and de-icers.  There are no chemicals, no dyes and no foreign grass seed in SpotGone!.  It works to correct the soil, first, and allows the original grass to take root and naturally cover the spot.  It's simple soil science meeting a need for people who are tired of cutting, patching or spraying color on their lawns.  In other works.

We hope to see many of you at the Seven Flags Event Center in Urbandale.  Oh...and bring your dog!  Like they say, with SpotGone! You can keep the dog...and lose the spots.

See you at the show....

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we always go the extra mile for our clients.  Everyday! and follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie