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November 2011
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January 2012

It's Fun Too...

Every chance we get we encourage our clients to engage consumers,GL Christmas Card friends and family with social media.  But, let's be clear.  Much of the time this isn't can be fun.  And often, fun...rules.  As a matter of fact, the fun stuff usually gets the most views.  (you can click on the photo to enlarge)

Here is our Family Holiday Greeting Photo sent with the "Annual Update" written by my bride.  We "borrowed" the look from "A Christmas Story" and had our critters involved with a little "tongue sticking". 

It could have ended there but we also created this video regarding the "back-story" to making the card. 


In the written annual update we included a QR Code so folks could read the letter and then watch the video right away.  No having to go someplace's mobile

Your business can learn much from this brief story:

  • Be Creative
  • Be Real
  • Be Fun

Those three things can help you gain more traction when you use social media to reach out.  Have a little fun already!




If you would like to connect, feel free to leave a comment here our join us on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Have a great New Year!

Too Big to Fail?

Late last evening I was flipping through the pages of the Sunday Des Ad oneMoines Register inserts.  Yes Virginia, even on Christmas there are newspaper ads telling us we can save hundreds more on the stuff we already bought.  Anyway...

I came on this ad sheet for televisions and stuff.  (If you click on the image it gets larger.) As you can see, there is deal after deal after deal.  Seems it had been separated from the main body of the flier.  That...happens. 

So, I'm interested... "Where might one BUY one of these?"

I look but, no mention of the company name or what "Big Box" you might buy them from.  Nothing...  No logo, no footer.  Nada...

Ad 2 useThen, I see it...located on the bottom of a placement piece...the word "American".  But, I had to...scan, look, search.

Your tip is to make it clear where somebody can buy your product or service.  Sure, you may not have the big budget these guys do for multiple newspaper fliers...but you can be smarter then them and make sure you make it easy for the consumer to find you.  That goes for all forms of advertising...all.

Thanks for coming by the "Day After"...hope your holidays are going well.  For those of you celebrating Chanukah, today is Day Six.  And for those of you celebrating Kwanzaa it is Day One.  If you wish to connect: @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.



Eagles' Wings Retreat Center - Des Moines

Every once in a while we find something in our city that is really amazing.  This is one of those.  Eagles' Wings River Retreat Center is just blocks away from downtown...but once you're there the concrete and glass is gone, replaced with a beautiful, comforting, relaxing home with a view.  Here, let me take you on a quick tour.


Eagles' Wings River Retreat Centeris available for corporate events, non-profit groups or for any reason you want to "get away".  Secluded and cozy Eagles' Wings River Retreat Center is part of In The Bag and owned by our friend Mike Taylor.   So you know, Mike didn't pay our advertising agency a dime for this...we just think it'   

Thanks for coming by...if you want to connect we can do that with a comment here or Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page or...if you want to get personal: @MichaelLibbie on Twitter.  All the best! - Michael


Fixing Stuff We Hate

Which do you dislike more?Woman Angry 

  • Paying ATM fees when using an ATM not associated with your bank;
  • Watching thirty-second commercials on the ATM screen.

Twenty-Five year old Clinton Townsend of New York is betting that you would rather watch a short commercial before, during and/or after your transaction rather than pay non-bank ATM fees.  He is so convinced that in 2012 he'll rolling out several thousand advertising funded ATM's across the country.  Here is the story from our friends at KCCI-TV 8 Des Moines.

It's said that "Necessity is the Mother of Invention"...but so is fixing things that drive us...crazy.  The smart money is on hyper-listening to consumers, finding out what angers them and going to work to build something...better.

That's the case with Des Moines based Dwolla.  Ben Milne took the frustration of thousands of businesses who are being charged 2% to 4% for transaction fees, lowered those costs to $.25 and has a winner.

Sometimes we'll even be willing to pay more for something...if it works.  In our case we hooked my 91 year old mother to Mediacom for Internet and telephone.  Heck, it was only going to cost $9.95 for each and because she watches her funds carefully, it seemed like a good idea.  However, it didn't work.  In the end we figured that having phone service she could count on was worth spending more.

People hate paying interest on their charge accounts.  Decades ago our friends at Von Maur understood we would pay more for high quality items so they got rid of interest charges and coined the tag line, "Our only interest"  Folks, love it.

So, the next time you're considering the "next big idea" make sure it fixes something consumers hate...really hate.  Bet you'll have a winner.




If you want to connect and leave a comment here, feel free. Or we can get together on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is Thanks for reading. - Michael




Sunday Morning Coffee - Grab a Cup

It's Sunday...time for coffee?  We'll take the day off of business and getCoffee Cu ps you into the holiday spirit with a story about Governor Branstad being an...elitist?  How Macy's forgot Miracle on 34th Street.  Iowa's Economy and the GOP.  Des Moines Buc's Hockey and Beer. Sexy Newscasters (Hey Erin!). The MUST go Holiday Concert today with Max Wellman.  Week #44 without my Chris Hagenow Newsletter.  Why I'm working with Desmund Adams for Iowa State Senate and so much more.  But, as careful.  The coffee is...HOT!

Sunday Morning Coffee is



Social Media - Return On Investment...

We love talking with companies...large and small about the power of social media and their business.  Many times the decision makers scoff and say something like, "Who cares if I had a cup of coffee?  Talk to me when I can truly measure the ROI of this social media stuff." about if I let my friend Gary Vaynerchuk do it for me?  Got less than a minute?


The point is...the real ROI is about staying in business and failing to embrace the technology now could mean disaster in the future.  Thanks for reading and if you want to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or we can connect on Twitter @InsightADV or @MichaelLibbie and there is always our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Michael



Got A Business Idea?

I'm working on a story line with a CNN producer who lives in New York.Iowa Sign  During yesterday's conversation I had the opportunity to answer some questions she had about Iowa.  We talked about the business climate here, the opportunity that exists and how Iowa has been spared much of the recent recession...pain.  While there are still many folks seeking work some have turned their time and attention to building their own startup.

And now there is

Proof that there are creative people seeking a way to promote ideas and small business is this piece from CBS News regarding StartupIowa.  My friend Christian Renaud is a tireless worker who promotes loads of solid ideas.  That's the stuff that comes out of our "fly-over state".  Exciting...No?

If you wish to leave a comment here...that's great.  Or we can connect on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is Thanks for reading!


Steve Farber - Leaping to Help

The business of business hinges on so many things; willing consumers, a solid brand, selling something folks really want/need and...leadership to pull everything together.  That's where my friend Steve Farber comes in.

Steve made contact with me this weekend to help get the word out about his new project: The Radical Leap - Re-Energized: Doing What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do.  (I gotta talk to him about long book titles)  No sense in me talking about how he marries his project with education and teachers when he can do it himself.  Steve....


Thought you might like that.  Steve nails it when he talks about the education system, teachers and how, positive change can start right now in classrooms without having to wait for the gears to grind.  Looking forward to sharing this with my friends who wrestle with education issues...daily.

If you want to leave a comment here, feel free or we can connect on Twitter @InsightADV or here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for coming by! - Michael


What Is "Buying Local"?

Over the past few years you and I have watched as hundreds of localOpen Sign "Mom & Pop" businesses have shuttered their doors.  Because of the dense population in our Iowa Metro Areas you don't notice much.  However, take a drive into some to some of our rural communities and you realize the impact of failing to support local businesses.  Even the lumber used to board up the place comes from "Big Box".

But, Things Are Changing

There has always been an organization or two out there willing, for a fee, to promote "Buy Local".  However, at the same time they are taking "Mom & Pop" dues or dollars they are also taking money from "Big Box".  The worm is turning.

Buy LocalConsumers are becoming more aware that when dollars are spent over at "Big Box" the majority of those bucks...head straight out of town.  Is that really what we want?  More..."mega" and less small business? 

We don't think so and growing numbers of holiday shoppers are re-thinking their retail...responsibility.  Imagine if you, today, decided to shift just 20% of your holiday shopping away from "Big Box" and toward Main Street.  Imagine knowing that doing more for local economic development than those who throw money at corporations who, in the end sell lumber to board up windows.

Twenty-Percent...  You've got a couple of weeks of local shopping left this season...make it count.

Thanks for coming by.  If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  We can also connect on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facbook Page is right here.  - Michael