Previous month:
December 2011
Next month:
February 2012

Pickups Loaded With Cash...

Today begins the three-day run of the Iowa Power Farming Show.  ItIowa Power Farming Calcium Products marks the 57th time producers, manufacturers and loads of 4-H kids flock to the Capitol City to see what  What is "new" is the fact the Iowa Power Farming Show now ranks as the 2nd largest indoor farm show in the...nation. (The National Farm Machinery Show based in Louisville still holds the number one spot.)

 Over the years my friends at the Iowa/Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INEDA) have guided this show (and it's twin based in Lincoln, NE) to new heights.  And it has been deliberate.  Four years ago, as we sat in Kansas City, my friend, Andy Goodman the President/CEO of INEDA told me his goal was to build a larger, bigger show, support a new downtown hotel and help move the renovation of Vets Auditorium...two to go.  But there is more:

Agriculture is riding high.  Land prices in Iowa have set records, corn and soybeans prices continue to put cash in the pockets of farmers and rural manufacturing has seen the benefit.  This week, as thousands of pickup trucks rumble into the Capitol City, they are filled with cash.  But, for the most part, urban retail centers are not noticing.  They are unaware and that's too bad.  Think of the possibilities of attracting consumers with cash to spend.

And, if you're locked into one of the downtown buildings take a walk to the Iowa Events Center and have a peek at the power of agriculture.  I think you'll be impressed.

If you want to leave a comment here, feel free or let's connect on Twitter @InsightADV.  And if you are tweeting about the show try #IPFS12.  Thanks for coming by! - Michael 



Sunday Morning Coffee - January 29, 2012

We'll get back to business tomorrow...but, for Sunday it's Sunday Morning Coffee a news/opinion rant I've done for several years.  As always, the thoughts and opinion expressed are my own.  If you wish to comment here, feel free or follow me on my personal Twitter account: @MichaelLibbie.  In the coffee today:

  • Matt Schultz - Zombie Voters Invade Iowa;
  • Jew Watch - If they go to the Pork Congress...they are everywhere;
  • Food - Just what the Hell is in it?;
  • Doves - Get the lead out?;
  • Urbandale HyVee - A quick update;
  • Rick Santorum - Suspends Sunday Events;
  • Chris Hagenow - Ain't got no newsletter...yet.

Those stories and a bit about a "G-Spot" are all in this week's Sunday Morning Coffee.  Enjoy..but as always the coffee is...HOT!




The Numbers Will Shock You...

They will shock you if you are not connected and in the loop on marketingMan Surprised using social media/new media.  I was reading a piece by Shea Bennett about the 2011 growth of various social/new media usage.  Some amazing stats:

  • 800+ million users on Facebook at the end of 2011;
  • 200 million users of Facebook added in 2011;
  • 350 million log into Facebook with their phones (this is HUGE!);
  • 225 million Twitter accounts;
  • 100 million active Twitter accounts in 2011;
  • 250 million Tweets per day (October 2011);
  • 550 million Websites as of December 2011;
  • 300 million Websites were ADDED in 2011;
  • 1 trillion Video playbacks on YouTube;
  • 40 years since the first email was sent in 1971

Two big take-a-ways from this:

Is your website mobile ready?- If you don't think that is important look again at the number of folks using phones to check Facebook. 

Can you be found?- Finding your product/service website is critical for success for any size business.  Can people find you when they look?  If you're not employing some sound SEO and social/new media angles...we doubt it.

If you would like to read the entire article, here is that link.




If you want to connect with a comment here, feel free.  Or let's get together on Twitter: @InsightADV (business) or @MichaelLibbie (personal/business).  And our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.   Thanks for coming by! - Michael Libbie

So, What Is Twitter?

Early this morning I read a short post by Chris Crum for WebProNews. The subject:  "Twitter is more"  It is, and it it isn't and that's what makes many business professionals crazy.  "What is the value in telling somebody I had a cup of coffee?"  Here you go:

Business is life and life is social.  No doubt, sometime today, you'll have this conversation with a peer, boss or even a consumer: "What did you do this weekend?"  So, what is the ROI in that question?  It is the conversation, being human, showing interest.  It's life.  Before your next "power meeting" I'll bet some of the conversation seems pointless fails to laser into the reason for the meeting.  It's what we do...

So, what is Twitter?

  • Social Connection - Learning interesting snips about people you follow;
  • Real Time News - If you use Twitter Search you'll be able to track experts to consumers on any number of topics important to you;
  • Expand Your Voice - In less that 140 characters you can point people/consumers to your expanded voice in blogs or video;

What's going on, what people are talking about...what they care about.  It's here and...still free.  If you would like to read the article from Chris, here you go!




Thanks for reading.  If you want to connect on Twitter it's @InsightADV or my personal rants are @MichaelLibbie.  - Michael

Sunday Morning Coffee

Sunday Morning Coffee is all about opinion, sex, politics and religion.Coffee Cu ps  The stuff folks crave.  We'll get back to business tomorrow but, in the meantime, grab a cup and let's focus on:

  • Why Newt "The Angry" Won South Carolina;
  • What Happened At Urbandale HyVee?;
  • Chris Hagenow and Taxes;
  • The Des Moines Bucs - Dang Hockey!;
  • Governor Branstad - Can We Talk?;
  • Buy Local - A Domestica Story
  • Desmund Adams - Iowa Senate District 22
  • Walmart - The Shame...oh the Shame;
  • Speed Cameras - If Not Windsor Heights then DSM
  • And...more.

Don't worry I was sorta nice.  And we've got video today too. Oh one other thing.  Will the Iowa Caucus go the way of the Iowa Straw Poll?  Looking more like it...daily.  Thank you Matt Strawn.  Read, and see more right here:  Sunday Morning Coffee with Michael Libbie.



Trade Show Tips - Make Them Work

Trade Shows, if done correctly, can bring real, measurable success to yourTrade Show crop investment.  But, like anything else you've got to focus on the event and go with a plan and a booth that works.  Let's review several critical areas that can make a difference in your ROI.

  • Know The Show - Is your target market attending?  Is the show...stale?  Would another show be offer more for the exhibitor and the guest?  Bottom line is:  Just because you've "always gone" to this show doesn't mean it should stay in your plan. 
  • Attractive Eye Appeal - Clutter does not work.  Old does not work.  Clutter does not allow the visitor to know your focus.  Old means...old.  If your booth is over five years old...change it.  It's served it's purpose...move on.
  • What's The Plan? - Somebody on your team must be responsible for not only the booth but also the plan.  Just heading to a show, setting up a booth and hoping folks will stop spells disaster.  What is your focus?  What new, different, exciting stuff can you share with visitors and then there is this:
  • Follow Up - You've spent money on the booth, travel and lodging, salaries, media...time.  Now, you must follow up with the folks that came to visit with you.  Stats tell us that over 76% of leads never get followed up on...let alone go into a system.  If you fail to follow up...stay home.
  • Engagement - Don't "sit there".  In the trade show booths I supervise there is not a chair in the booth.  They do not belong.  There are exhibitor lounges where you can go and make calls, rest your feet, eat.  Your job is to stay focused on the visitors.  Engage them.  Ask open ended questions and offer positive statements about the reason you are spending time and money at the show. 
  • Comfort For The Visitor - If you are asking people to fill out forms, contact information, contest entries...make sure they don't have to bend over.  Have a tall top table in the booth.  This also allows for conversation to continue.  You won't be talking to the back of some body's head as they bend over to write.
  • Do Something Different - Have a contest, use video, comedy, photos and fun.  The idea is to GET NOTICED.  Enjoy and get the attention of the visitor.

And, then there is this.  A quick video I did at a recent home show here in Des Moines...pretty much sums it up huh?





If you want to comment, feel free or join me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie (personal and business), @InsightADV (business only) and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Have a great day and thanks for coming by! - Michael

Martin Luther King, Jr. - 2012

I was struggling with what to write as we mark the national day ofDr King MemorialDC remembering Dr. King.  While the his life and work will, today, be celebrated across the country and here in Des Moines, Iowa at the Iowa Historical Building I was searching for a way to connect Dr. King to business and...leadership.

That search brought me to a piece written by Hitendra Wadhwa for Inc.  The title is "The Wrath of a Great Leader - How Martin Luther King, Jr. wrestled with anger and what you can do to learn from his example."

If you are in business you know frustration and anger.  How you channel that toward a productive, rather than a destructive, result is priceless.  Nuf said...




 If you would like to connect, leave a comment here or on Twitter it's @MichaelLibbie (personal and business) or @InsightADV (business only) and here is our Insight Advertising, Markerting & Communications Facebook Page.  Have a superior day! - Michael 

Grab A Cup, Take A Break...

Sunday Morning Coffee is our break away from business...we'll get back to that tomorrow.  For today spend some time with us as we take a look (complete with video) at some interesting items that have to do with:

  • President Elect Mitt Romney
  • Governor Terry Branstad
  • Iowa Economic Development & Taxes
  • Danny Homan & Iowa Prisons
  • Public Education
  • CCI
  • Western Iowa & Steve King
  • And...more

Here is your link to Sunday Morning Coffee...but careful, it's HOT!


Grinnell State Bank & David Jones

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with David Jones, President and CEO of the Grinnell State Bank.  Only we were not in Grinnell we were in Johnston at one of the recently acquired buildings of the failed Polk County Bank.

"Failed" is a tough word and Mr. Jones, in this interview, talks about the Miller Family, banking, buying local and a surprising story about lending money.  Spend ten minutes getting to know a very uncommon banker, David Jones:


Thanks for reading and watching.  If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free or you can catch us on Twitter @InsightADVor you can find our advertising agency on Facebook. - Michael



Long Distance Directions

Last year we started a major project for a client who is based 900 milesVideo Crew away.  Following many conference calls, trading all sorts of notes and moving forward with the project we decided we had "nailed" the story line in our video.  Six states, dozens of interviews and twelve hours of film.  Nailed it!

But, we didn't..."exactly".

That was the word last week as we engaged in another conference call.  "Yes, you hit on all the segments that we asked for however, the subjects you filmed didn't hit the ball out of the park". 

I should tell you that all of the subjects we filmed were not paid and they were clearly not professional actors.  They were...real.  However it seems we didn't get them to say exactly what our client wished.  We can take that but we felt we needed more "direction". 

Mind you we had invited them to each of our out-of-state and in-state shoots but they couldn't make it.  This time they were more open to the idea of coming out and going to a couple of additional filming adventures.  We're grateful.

The moral of this story is that no matter what you think the customer wants and no matter how many times you go over the details and the benefits and the methods...the end product may not meet the exact specifications of the consumer.  Long distance "direction" simply isn't the best way to get the job done.  What are your thoughts?




You can leave a comment here or on Twitter it's @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is  Thanks for coming by! - Michael