Here's what we think you need to do NOW in advance of October 1st:
The Social Media Angle- If you are not using some form of social media in your marketing plan you're...going to lose. It's that simple. Social Media is a tool that helps you build a tribe, a following, helps you learn consumer trends and builds sales. There are many roads in SM, our favorites include the Business Blog, Twitter and YouTube. If you don't know how ask somebody but get started...today. If you don't want to ask me...contact my friend Mike Sansone or Nathan Wright...but DO IT.
Review Your 4th Quarter Ad Spend - And then double it- I know, "But, Michael YOU'RE not writing the checks." I realize that however to get noticed and to boost sales you are going to have to be more aggressive. As you can tell by the research, shoppers are making fewer shopping trips it's your job to make sure they plan a trip to see you and if they don't know about you...guess what? Remember it takes money to make money. It's still true.
Listen to Your Consumer Base - Where are they? What draws them to your product or service? Do you know? Do you ask them? If you don't honestly know where your consumer/customer is how in the world do you find them? Better yet how do you know you've got a product or service anybody wants or needs? Starting today...make it a point to dig into the shopping habits of your customers. These existing customers are just a fraction of the folks you could impact...if you knew where they are. Ask.
Review Your On-Line Experience - While you might think you've got a snazzy website what does it do for consumers. Read the research, "Consumers with incomes between $70,000 to $100,000 will shop on-line more this year." If their digital experience with your product or service sucks...you will not get the sale. Get some help...today. Again, ask a professional about your site and the digital experience it offers consumers.
Bonus Tip - "Trust & Value" - These are the two biggest words you need to include in your marketing and in what you do. Take that to the consumer and you'll win.
That's it. Now, stop reading and get to work. Four things...just four things you need to focus on today to make sure we can have a great conversation in the Second Quarter of 2011.
Got time for a cup? Sunday Morning Coffee isn't so much about business as it is a collection of scattered thoughts...from a cluttered mind. It's a look at the week gone by and a peek at the week we've started. We'll get back to business tomorrow with the Metro Monday Edition of Insight on Business with Michael Libbie, seen and heard on Webcast One LIVE. But...for now...because I'm interested in your comments feel free to leave one, send me an e-mail or let's carry on the conversation at Twitter: @MichaelLibbie. Let's get started...
The Iowa Farm Bureau, the agricultural wing of the Iowa Republican Party, endorsed three Democrats or 4% of the folks running for office this fall. I was shocked. What the heck are they thinking? Three Democrats from a field of 133 state and local candidates! Watch, those "commie libs" will take over the Farm Bureau if we don't protect it. That's the way they work...little by little. They weasel themselves into power and before you know it...collective farms! Here is the story from The Des Moines Register.
I see where Lindsey Lohan was arrested (again), posted bail (again) and can now go out drinking (again). You or me? Slammer for years.
Speaking of "slammer" this is a no-win deal. The young man from Nebraska who swerved into oncoming traffic, struck and killed four motorcycle riders and who had a blood alcohol level of 0.37 (four times the legal limit) could get 100 years. The entire story is a sad and tragic end to five lives.
On a much more positive note: My friends Marsha and Jeff Levitt along with their children Ari and Rafi just opened up The Oasis (Mediterranean inspired food) a very cool, intimate restaurant on 4th Street in the Court Avenue District of Des Moines. Wanna see? Go ahead...I'll wait.
Not wanting to get to giddy...but the weather forecast for the Des Moines, Iowa area says SUNNY for the next five days. After the rain we've had this summer even three days of sun is neat. But FIVE?
By the way, if you live in Des Moines you might be interested in www.DSMWeather.com a hyper-local weather station from Meteorologist, Jason Parkin. Jason worked (sometimes still does) at WHO-TV13 and KCCI-TVB. We recently met up and he'll be my guest tomorrow for the Metro Edition of Insight on Business with Michael Libbie. We'll find out how much he really owes the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. Jason Parkin on hyper-local tomorrow at Noon Central.
Speaking of KCCI - Rates Card Price (after the elections) for a thirty-second ad in the 10:00PM News: $700Yes, they really liked the recent Nielsen Media Survey that ranked them as Number One (17/37) in the 10:00PM "news race". (There are 432,310 TV Households in the Des Moines/Ames DMA.) If you use broadcast TV and you've paid attention we told you prices would be stiff, before and after the election...we were a little surprised at HOW stiff...but, that's business.
Mostly negative. That's the buzz going on regarding the recent congregional hearing centered on salmonilia tainted eggs coming out of Jack DeKoster's Wright County Egg Farm. Mr. Dekoster didn't do much for himself in his testimony to the Bruce Braley(D-IA) vice-chaired committee. It was "classic" DeKoster, "I'm sorry, we'll work on it and I prayed about it." Please...
Looking ahead - This week I get to speak to small business students at Simpson College. The focus will be on media planning, new media opportunities and branding. Looking forward to it. Next week it's on to Denison, Iowa for an Economic Development Breakfast with the Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County. I'll be talking about advertising and why adding social media to traditional media is critical for small business and hyper-local attention. Thank you Don Luensmann for the invite!
OK...going to put this out...it's already 7:15AM on Sunday Morning! Did I mention SUNSHINE!??!?!??!!! Thanks for reading...
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Actually, using video for any business is a great idea to help spread the word. But, usually non-profits don't have the time or resources to have somebody come in and create content for their website or for their blog. (If you have a non-profit you are blogging...right?) Here is an example of showing a good time and getting out a message using some high profile people in a community. This is Sample Urbandale a fund raising program of the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce.
It's quick, gets across the fact that people who belong to the Urbandale Chamber have a good time....and it's inexpensive. The entire edit and posting took less than an hour. Non-Profit Groups...use it...and then post it on your Blog, Facebook and link out on Twitter.
Speaking of Twitter, you can join me for the conversation there as well: @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV - Thanks for coming by, watching and reading.
Early in the evening on September 20th the Windsor Heights, Iowa (pop. 5,000) City Council held their monthly meeting...in front of our home. Business could learn a bunch from what these folks are doing. Check it out:
A note to my friends who own or run a business: This is the kind of thing you should be doing on a regular basis. Get out from behind the counter, get out of the office and go talk, better yet listen, to your customers. What is it they need, how can you improve service, what do they not know about your operation that they should? And you thought government was a bad thing;-).
Join me on our daily (Monday - Thursday) business show: Insight on Business with Michael Libbie...Noon Central at Webcast One LIVE!
Hey, and welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly collection of scattered thoughts from a cluttered mind. We'll get back to business tomorrow but in the meantime...let's visit over a hot cup of "Joe"...and because it's a conversation, I'm interested in your thoughts. You can leave a comment, send me an e-mail or we can connect on Twitter: @MichaelLibbie...fair?
It's the "Morning After". Last night the tiny congregation that I've worked with for over two decades concluded Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish Calendar. (Here is a shot of the "Break-Fast" table.) Adas Israel is in Mason City, Iowa and the home to about 10 families. Large it isn't...but they have wonderful leadership and I look for some BOLD moves as they reach out to increase their membership. Mason City is a neat little city...perfect for folks wanting to get out of the "big city" and "get a life". Yesterday I spoke to the members about their history and being bold with the future. Six days and 100 years ago 14 men gathered to raise money, "For a house where we can hold public services to celebrate our faith". They pledged a total of $175...and that start served families for over a century. It's time to begin dreaming again. With Sam Sofer at the helm...they will. I'll keep you posted.
Yep, still moving...actually now we're "looking" for everything that once was in its place. Grumble....
I love people who go out on a limb, believe in themselves and create. Last week I stumbled on Doherty'sa family owned flower, plant and gift shop on 2nd Avenue in Des Moines. The business, that's been around for over 60 years, was recently purchased by Robyn Sloan who is making major renovations in the look, the brand and the outreach. We visited briefly about her dream and where she is headed. Just wanted to share with you that not all business people are filled with "doom and gloom". Some are excited about their opportunity to offer "new and different". Very cool! And thanks the the personal service that was fast, fair and...well... beautiful.
On the drive home last night I was listening to the Iowa Hawkeye game. They were playing the Wildcats of Arizona and lost 34 - 27. The "Special Teams" for Iowa forgot to show up and gave up three touchdowns in the first quarter. The much vaunted defense? Ahhh....??? Meanwhile Iowa State lost to Kansas State 27 -20. Not a happy Saturday for fans here...
The drive home: 47 degrees and a mega-thunderstorm...WTH?
The "Tea Party" is excited...and so are the Democrats. While the "talking points" seem to hit home with the Tea Party Faithful the depth of many of the candidates who won Republican Primaries last week...is...shallow. Come on, paying for rent and mattresses from campaign contributions? And...witchcraft? Really? You honestly think that will fly in November? Two words for the GOP: Brand Problems.
Speaking of elected officials: I received the nicest New Year Card (Rosh Hashannah) from a state-wide elected official. Thank you Mr. Secretary. Your honestly your dedication to Iowa, your faith and your ability to touch people of all parties makes me...hope.
Ever heard of blue-box? I think you will...soon. Neat concept...and matches the consumer need for convenience and value.
Tomorrow is the Metro Monday Edition of Insight on Business with Michael Libbie. Once a week we leave the global world of marketing and consumer trends and focus on what the heck is going on in our own back yard. Our guest tomorrow at Noon is Vicki Comegys from the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. We'll talk about how marketing for the CVB has changed since she first signed on 24 years ago. It's not only the message but also how it is broadcast. Good stuff...even if you are not in the convention and visitors or hospitality industry. The truth...works in any industry and we'll offer up all kinds of tips...tomorrow at Noon Central.
Speaking of Back Yard: The City Council for Windsor Heights is holding their monthly City Council Meeting...in front of our new house. I'm not making this up. We received a letter from the city informing us that they are "Taking It To The Streets" and holding meetings in neighborhoods. WOW...what a welcome and what a cool idea to get more folks involved in local, local, local. Urbandale...I love you and we'll not say "good-bye" but, you've got to admit, this is neat.
OK...gotta put a cap on this for today..it's late already, like...nearly 8:30! Thanks for coming by and for your thoughts. Catch you later?
We all know that the number one search engine is...Google. Number two is, YouTube. And, business is noticing, reacting and taking advantage of not only YouTube but also Vimeo and a host of other video posting sites where they can build brand image.
Here are three examples of viral video, that go beyond the traditional thirty-second ad:
Remember when we were raving about the Toyota "Swagger Wagon" long length commercial? We told you then, according to a number of studies, that consumers enjoyed longer length commercials as long as they were entertaining and offered some information. YouTube views alone, well over 1,000,000.
Another example: The Old Spice series of social media response ads created a number one brand for Old Spice Body Wash...even though the majority of ads were available on YouTubeand NEVER made it to broadcast media. But, on YouTube they were not only seen...but shared by thousands. Side note: Even after the campaign, Old Spice Body Wash sales soared in July...by 30%.
The message here is: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO PRODUCE THOUGHTFUL, ENTERTAINING COMMERCIAL MESSAGES THAT DO NOT RESTRICT YOU TO THIRTY-SECONDS? Here is yet another example of what we're talking about, it is the RE/MAX "Side Job" piece that runs about 1:45. Comments below:
Why do all of these work so well? Because each is well scripted, well acted, well shot, well timed and each boosts the brand message.
But, day after day, we see local and regional business make the poor decision to air lousy commercials that don't take into consideration the message, brand or the entertainment value. Thankfully many don't post the ads on YouTube or Viemo so they spare themselves the embarrassment of having thousands more see the junk they're using.
Building thoughtful, well scripted, entertaining, well acted video isn't cheap but...it is effective. The next time you're considering breaking into video think about this: "Is my product or service worth the effort to showcase the message well or should I stick with cheep and trashy?"
I'm convinced that professional speakers need to listen more. Yesterday I had the opportunity to engage Des Moines Metro Real Estate Agents from RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts on the power of personal branding using traditional and non-traditional media.
I learned a bunch...
I learned that to be successful a real estate agent needs to have between ten to twenty listings. I had no idea.
I learned that real estate agents are really Independent Contractors so their personal brand is as critical as the brand they work with. Did you know that?
I learned about "short sales", banks and foreclosure and new ways to stop a foreclosure and work with the system, if you have a good real estate lawyer who is working with your agent.
I hope the group I spoke to learned as much I did. It's not always talking...it's also listening.
Thanks for the invite Robb Spearman...and thanks for giving me more knowledge than I had BEFORE I was honored to address your company.
Sunday Morning Coffee is a chance for you and I to visit about things other than business, I'll get back to that tomorrow. In the meantime, and because it's a conversation, I'm interested in your take on my scattered thoughts...so feel free to comment below, send me an e-mail or engage me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie. So, what's been rolling around in my cluttered mind? Here's a little Sunday Morning Coffee:
9/11 snuck up on me. Between Labor Day two days of Rosh Hashanna and the Sabbath it was suddenly here. When I was a kid I remember December 7th was a major day of remembrance around our home. Yesterday was a bit like that. A day that has changed us all.
I suspect most of us remember where we were and what we saw nine years ago. I'll never forget the confusion as I watched the horror take place live on ABC - Good Morning America. Nobody knew and everybody was guessing, "There is one report, as yet unconfirmed, that a plane has hit the World Trade Center.", said Charlie Gibson. Here is the video from that morning. And then we all watched the second strike and most of us were glued to the news for days. It's good to remember...
Some other thoughts...
I didn't get to see it but the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game was a bit one-sided as the Hawkeyes routed the Cyclones 35 to 7. Next year.
If you read much of this, you know we've been moving into our new home. Along with more space comes...more work. I had never been to the Habitat for Humanity ReStorebefore...but WOW! I have a new best friend. Fixtures, paint, shutters, doors...what a place. If you are in the Des Moines Area that is the link to their website and location. If you are in another city, here is the link to their Store Finder. Go...it's amazing. Nearly new toilet, to replace the "pink" one in a bath...$25! And, the funds go to a good cause. Check it out...
Moving also creates..."The Search". Everything is hard to find, no matter how good we were with labels on boxes. Grumble....
Farm Crawl 2010 - A Heads Up: If you've never been...you must go. This is the 4th Annual Farm Crawl, a rural experience that's great for you and your family. This celebrationof small farming goes on in Marion and Lucas counties (South and East of Des Moines) on Sunday, October 3. Here is the Farm Crawl LINK... Sponsors are an unlikely pair: Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Marion Farm Bureau. The seven farm tour is free and fun. Just go...K?
I'm excited. Tomorrow Insight on Business with Michael Libbie has as our Metro Monday Edition guest Jonnie Wright, The (Un) Secret Shopper. Jonnie is the Metro's most feared shopper and consumer advocate. His "shopping trips" are a great read for those of you who are concerned with customer service and what goes on...when somebody is watching. Join us Monday at Noon Central as we find out the good, bad and downright ugly about Metro Shopping and Customer Servicewith Jonnie Wright...this will be good stuff. Watch, listen and chat only on Webcast One LIVE!
OK...that's it for today. Sorry, it's just a half-a-cup. My bride has a "To Do List" that's a mile long and it's already 7:30AM! Gotta go... Again, comment below, or on Facebook or catch me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie. Thanks for coming by and thanks for reading!
9/11, ABC News, agriculture, Charlie Gibson, consumers, Des Moines, Des Moines Register, Des Moines Register, Farm Crawl 2010, Good Morning America, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Humboldt, Hy-Capacity, Insight on Business, Iowa, Iowa State, Jonnie Wright, Michael Libbie, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Steve Olson, Sunday Morning Coffee, UnSecret Shopper, Webcast One LIVE, World Trade Center
Because our office is closed Thursday and Friday we thought you might like to see what we've been up to with our business program, Insight on Business with Michael Libbie. It's loaded with information and tips to help your business in these economic times...or any. Enjoy... Catch you on Sunday with Sunday Morning Coffee.
Insight on Business with Michael Libbie is our walk through the world of advertising, marketing and consumer trends. We do this show Monday - Thursday LIVE only on Webcast One LIVE. You can catch the re-broadcasts here following the show at Noon Central. Our goal is to shed some light on business marketing, offer up some solid tips and help your business...thrive. Here is the show from today, links follow after the video.
I want to revisit our closing moments from yesterday...it's that important as we go into the Fourth Quarter. Why? Because if you listen to what I'm telling you your business just might survive and you'll still have the "Open" sign on your door in the Second Quarter of 2011.
Two experiences last night forced me into thinking about location, habits and where we do business. I met David and VivianHoward the new owners of Bennigans (on Twitter it's @BennigansDSM) of Des Moines (Army Post Road) and the Best Western, same location. Remember when WBBM-TV a Chicago CBS affiliate told the nation all the Bennigans were closing? Me too. What one story did and...that story is two years old. That and a quick story about Jasper Winery and the surprise they had for me. No it wasn't Katie Bradshaw...but that was nice too.
OK...so what else is happening?
Are you a manager? Are you a good manager? Do you worry about being a good manager? If you answered "Yes" to the third question you very well might be a good manager. Today we'll share with you the 7 Signs You May Be a Bad Manager and what to do about it. Ready? Here is the article from Steve Tobak for reference.
A related question for you: "How often do you review your own development and performance as a leader?" We'll share the results of a recent poll and give you a couple of tips that you can use...today to get started.
We're not in for our "Worst Ad of the Week" tomorrow so we thought we'd let you see our pick for this week. It is a national ad for the fragrance "The One Gentleman" by Dolce & Gabbana. For years we've had to endure air-brushed photos of beautiful women, who were beautiful BEFORE the air-brushing. Now Matthew McConaughey has been...ahhhh....made thinner? Really...he's already a good looking guy but just not thin enough for the brand? A pleasure to bring you the WORST AD OF THE WEEK!
Think your advertising budget is...large? How about the news that Campell's Soup is rolling out a new $100 million campaign focused on the tag: "It's Amazing What Soup Can Do." Now, consider this: Here we have a huge company and a well known brand that has been around FOREVER...and THEY are spending $100 million on the creative for TV, Print and radio without touching the actual ad buys. Now, let's visit again about how important it is for your small or medium size business to advertise and market a nearly obscure product or service. Am I asking for $100 million? No...but let's be reasonable about the effort you're going to have to make to make it...work. Oh, one other nugget - The voice for the new campaign...Tim Allen is back again today!! Yesterday it was Chevy, today Soup! And, because we don't want you to WAIT to see the ad, here you go:
Amazing huh? Which brings to mind: Are you placing your TV ads on YouTube? Why not?
The pot is on! Sunday Morning Coffee is a collection of scattered thoughts from my cluttered mind. Some business but mostly short musings on the happenings of last week...and a peek at the coming week. Sunday Morning...a great time to visit. And, because it's a conversation I'm interested in your take. You can leave a comment here or send me an e-mail or visit me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie. Grab your cup...let's go!
Labor Day Weekend - I got to thinking about this while putting up the American Flag late Friday afternoon. It's the holiday that, today, seems to have lost it's meaning. My Grandfather wouldn't be pleased. Frank Gausche (OBM) was a union organizer for the Congress of Industrial Organizations(CIO) in the 1930's and 1940's. Those, according to my Mother, were the "tough years". "He would come back from Chicago battered and bruised but determined to fight for the working man and woman." I don't remember my Grandfather, he died the year I was born...but oh the stories. Today Unions are, to many, the enemy, the picture of graft and corruption...and that's sad. If it were not for folks like my Grandfather you would be working 60 - 70 hours a week for peanuts, no weekends or holidays off...and benefits? Forget it. Labor Day...thanks Zaydee for your efforts and for helping to improve the lives of millions.
I love it when employees of any business go out of there way to serve. Friday, after being at the Farm Progress Show, I took "Pearl" to Mister Car Washat 86th and University in Clive. This is a photo of Neris, the guy who greets customers and asks which wash you want to buy. After making my selection Neris said, "Thank you sir. Is there anything else that I can do to help or assist you?" I was...amazed. An employee asking a customer if he could do...more than his job?Memo to the suits: You STILL think that YOU are in control of your BRAND? Nah... it's the workers. When you "get that" you'll drive business and your brand to new highs.
Speaking of the Farm Progress Show -
I know...silly and stupid. (But at least I am willing to share.) We did make it out of the parking lot, thanks to a golf cart shuttle worker roaming the isles with us, but were late to our next shoot by ten minutes. Memo to self - Write down the Parking Row Number!
I feel like a Bedouin - without the goats. "The Move" is over. We recently purchased a home 1.2 miles from our other home. "The Move" took nearly four days mostly AFTER working hours. Thursday morning at 4:30AM we packed the last load. My bride decided it was best to stay up and go to work. I got three hours of sleep before heading to the Farm Progress Show where I had to appear "bright". Key word...appear. I do not want to do this...again...ever. Now, if I could just find my underwear...
Of course there are other things missing that I might find in January...like my reading glasses. I stopped at Target in Urbandale to pick up a pair so I could...SEE. The Foster Grant glasses are nice however, somebody at Foster Grant failed to understand packaging and their core customer. Watch this:
I've seen this dozens of times. What happens is that business focuses on the look, the ease of display, the "bright and shinny" and forgets about the consumer. You have a story like that? Send it to me...love to hear from you.
Tip of the Hat to our producer Maxwell Crabb for guest hosting my show, Insight on Business with Michael Libbie over at Webcast One LIVE. Hard to be in several places at the same time and...because the show is...LIVE it's difficult to be gone. His guest was Cortney Tompkins and I'm sure the two of them caused our ratings to go way up! Thanks Max...you rock!
I'll be calling on Max or another host for this Thursday. It's Rosh Hashana the Jewish New Year (nope...no party hats and horns - to some that will be very funny...). It is one of the holiest days of the Jewish Calendar and I'll be in Mason City at Adas Israel where I've done monthly services for the past 26 years. For those of you marking and observing the New Year... L'shana Tova! For those of you wanting to know more...ask...or you can read this.
My friend Ed Weintrob from Coney Media in Brooklyn (New York) will enjoy this piece of news out of Des Moines. Seems his favorite t-shirt maker Raygun, who produces humor oriented t-shirts with an "Iowa theme" got in some hot water with the city of Waterloo. City officials and critics said they went "too far". The shirt that was printed with, "Waterloo - You may recognize us from COPS." City leaders said it was offensive, Raygun said OK and pulled the shirts after printing only 24. Here is the complete story from the Des Moines Register. That's Ed with his daughter on a recent Iowa trip wearing some shirts from Raygun. Told you he was a fan.
Our granddaughter, Taylor, came over to do a "sleep over" last night. Shhhhh...she's still sleeping! I thought with all the boxes, and stuff all over the place from "The Move" she would freak...but then again her Mom and Dad just moved....too. Bedouins I tell you. But, she does have this really neat baby monitor that makes "wave" sounds like at a beach complete with birds. Gotta get me one....
Remember when I wrote about my friend, Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and the Iowa Egg Issue? I said this would land, somehow, at his feet. Yep. Bloggers are all over it with some scathing editorial. Here is a sample from Bleeding Heartland. Contrary to the editorial Secretary Northey has spoken at length about the issue and soon after it happened. I spoke directly to Dustin Vande Hoef and then listened in as Mr. Northey explained the facts of the case. We're trying to re-book the Secretary for an upcoming program...keep you in the loop.
Going to put this out....before Sunday Morning gets away. As always, interested in your comments so you can leave one here, send me an e-mail or we can do this on Twitter: @MichaelLibbie. Thanks for reading and have a fantastic Labor Day Weekend!!