Previous month:
February 2016
Next month:
April 2016

Why Don't They Call?

Two weeks ago I attended a BNI meeting in Urbandale. They tell me it's the largest Business Telephone DustyNetwork International group in the Des Moines Metro. The breakfast meeting was well attended and I knew a great many of the thirty plus people there...I've been around awhile.

When it came my turn to address the group I offered them each a gift. I gave each person the business card for Insight on Business the News Hour and said, "I do the only daily, hour-long business broadcast in the Midwest and I would love for you to call me and let's get you on the air to chat a bit about your business. There is no charge."  

But, I knew they wouldn't call. I've been doing this business broadcast for years. I knew.

Perhaps having the 11,500+ people who listen to the three stations isn't impressive. Perhaps having us hand each guest their own copy of the recorded broadcast, in podcast form, along with the studio photos so they can share their story beyond the broadcast isn't impressive. Perhaps they figure it's "too good to be true" and it's my way of squeezing out a client relationship. Perhaps they just want to do business with each other.

Or they miss the value or they think we to "toxic talk radio" with "gotcha" questions.

I dunno.  Maybe you do.  Maybe you can help me understand why the phone sits there and collects...dust.  I'm really interested. 

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi

 

 


Grow Your Business Through Engagement - 3 Tips

Never in the history of business has there been so many ways to engage consumers and grow Customer Engagement Puzzleyour business. At the same time you can use many tools to satisfy and retain your current customers. It may very well be "The Golden Age of Business".

But, it all takes work.

How about some first steps?

Know Your Current Customer Base - You would be surprised at the number of business people who don't know why people choose to do business with them. The best way to find out is to ask them. Ask what it is about your business that has driven these customers to you and make a list;

Rinse and Repeat - Once you've got a list of why customers have come to your business the goal is to keep them coming back. Look at your list. If they are impressed by what you've done...do more of it; 

Where is Your Customer? - This is a critical step in the process. Where does your customer hang out? What are they reading? What interests do they have? Once you know where they prefer to get their information, be it traditional or new media, start to spend more time in that space. This does two things: 1) Re-enforces their loyalty because they see more of you and; 2) If they are here so too are others that you want to reach, engage and turn into customers.

Three simple steps to get yourself aligned with your current customer so you can build your business through retention and recruitment.  

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi


The Business News Hour - The Friday Wrap

Each weekday starting at 5:05PM Insight on Business the News Hour brings you the IOB_RGBbusiness news headlines of the nation, region and the Greater Des Moines Metro. It's the only daily, hour-long business broadcast in the Midwest and can be heard on AM-940, FM-104.5 and if you've got HD you can find us at 103.3 HD2.

Along with the news and the Market Report we conduct long-form business interviews with a wide range of guests and those we also podcast. The interviews are available on our Podcast Page and on iTunes for download.  Here's the Friday Wrap on our conversations you can listen by clicking the player or the name of each guest. 

Business Law: When families of business owners get together, whether for holidays or family celebrations, sometimes discussion turns to the future ownership o the business. Here Sam Kreamer of the Kreamer Law Firm of West Des Moines talks about various considerations important to the transfer of a family business within the family. 

There is now a place in the Des Moines Metro that offers a total spectrum of care for the elderly. Those of you with aging parents, grandparents or a spouse with frailty or memory issues you must listen to this interview with Dr. Robert McKinney the Primary Care Physician from the new Immanuel Pathways PACE Program. It will change your life.

The book is "Letting Go the (Sometimes) Messy Art of Relinquishment"with its author Jean M. Baker. We talk about what keeps people from "letting go" what some might want to "let go" and more. Join us for this discussion. 

This is a great story about food and diversity. Lutheran Services in Iowa has a program called Global Greens which matches up refugees coming to the Des Moines Metro to garden plots that, in turn, produce food for consumption and for sales at Farmer's Markets. It's business at it's most "grass roots" level. Meet Hilary Burbank.

Could Phil Wever be the "Most Interesting Man in the Metro"? Good question. Phil is a professional photographer, has survived a recent heart attack, is an avid bicycler and...drives for Uber in his spare time. It's a fun, wide ranging human interest conversation. Enjoy!

We're talking about the business of bicycles. While cycling has been rather flat nationwide here in the Greater Des Moines Metro the business is booming. We answer why that might be in our conversation with Forrest Ridgway of Bike World. Listen in.

The National Association of Women Business Owners - Iowa Chapter is holding their Women Mean Business event which is designed to bolster women in the business world. We visit with Kristin Hall the president of NAWBO about that and more.

There you have it!  The Friday Wrap.  Today we'll visit about "Stuff to DO in the Metro" with Sheryl Tessier of Eat, Play, Love Des Moines and our Friday Wrap on the Business News.

Monday our regular contributor Laura Kinnard is in with a look at Networking Events in the Metro and a Social Media Tip and we'll hear from Ned Flynn from Merit Resources and some exciting news from the INS Family of Companies. 

Listen daily at 5:05 and thanks in advance! 

 

 


Just Shut It Down!

This past week Twitter celebrated its 10th Birthday. That caused lots of people to Tweet "Happy Birthday" and wonder, "Gosh, how long have I been using the 140 character platform?" Me too. Twitter Profle March 2016
So, I looked. I joined as @MichaelLibbie on July 15, 2008. Since then I've posted over 39,000 Tweets and interacted with thousands of people and businesses.

I'm not sure what you might consider an expert to be but, I'll suggest to you that with nearly eight years of experience, thousands of messages and giving dozens of presentations on the power of Twitter and Social Media...maybe I get it.

That's why, when I look at the Twitter Feeds of businesses and individuals and see how anemic their attempt is, I often suggest, "Just shut it down, you are doing more harm that good."

That was my suggestion to a former social media client who decided they knew better and said, "We'll just take over the posting duties. I think we've got an intern or some young people here that can get the job done."

Right...  I looked. Had to...it was the 10th Birthday of Twitter and I was wondering how far they have come over the past several months. Crickets.

So here is my social media marketing tip for you and your business. If you've decided to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn etc.) but you're not doing it....just shut it down. Stop because it ain't working and you are doing more harm to your brand than good. If you don't have a strategic goal. If you don't have a social media marketing plan. If you don't know....just stop. Or admit that you don't know and find some help.

But, what do I know...  

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi 

 


So What Do you DO?

It's a question I get...all the time. Somebody asks, "So, what do you do?" and my reply is Woman Beach
that 
I have an advertising and marketing agency. The questioner then nods politely as if he/she understands. But, I've been in this long enough to know that unless your business is advertising and marketing the vast majority of people have absolutely no idea what we do in this space.  Heck, even my Mother often said, "My children? One is a doctor the other...I have no idea what he does something about advertising...I think."

And that...from my Mother.

So what do we do around here?  Two words:

Awareness & Desire

We create awareness of our client's products and services and we do that with many different techniques. It could be with traditional media such as television commercials, radio commercials, print advertising, billboards...you know the stuff you see every day. Or it could be creating awareness using new media or digital media like email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, blogging. You get the idea.  And, because not every product or service matches the media we need to discover who our target is and where they are hanging out.

Creating desire is all together different. Creating desire includes a call to action, visual images that put the consumer in a touch with our clients product/service.  Allowing them to see or imagine themselves using or at least trying the product or service we are delivering. We emote, we share, we drive a message that creates desire to learn more.

For example this morning I spent four hours looking at images of food as we prepare to create a website for a client. No, really...four hours looking and writing words that match the images that will create awareness and desire.

That's what it is we, and hundreds of advertising agencies do...every day. We like to think of it as a craft. The craft of creation.  

Maybe that's why, even my Mother, had no idea what I do...

Thanks for reading!

  6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi

 


The Business News Hour - The Friday Wrap

Every so often I comment about Insight on Business the News Hour in this blog. The thought IOB_RGBoccurred to us that you might be interested in some of the long-form business interviews we do. You may find valuable the information our guests share with our radio audience. 

For those of you who don't know, The Business News Hour is the only daily, hour-long business news broadcast in the Midwest. It is heard on AM-940, FM-104.5 and in HD at 103.3 HD2. Each day, Monday - Friday starting at 5:05PM, we cover the business news headlines of the Nation, Region and the Greater Des Moines Metro along with a Market Report and our business interviews.  To listen or download any of these, simply click on the play button or click on the IOB image of the Des Moines Skyline for our Podcast Page. 

Our conversation with the editor of the Des Moines Business Record, Chris Conetzkey, focuses on paying attention to trends, business R&D in an economic downturn, the back-story of the publication and the print industry.

While listeners enjoy promotions there is a back story to every one. Joining us in studio is Jeff Delvaux the General Manager of the Des Moines Radio Group and we talk about that and more...enjoy! 

Today we share the IOB Mic with the Dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa, Sarah Fisher Gardial. Sarah was in Des Moines to speak at a Hawkeye Lunch & Learn about women and business leadership.

How you say what you say matters. Wayne Bruns is one of the Tero Trainers and he's here to break that down for you and give you some solid tips on how to improve your speech.

On any given night there are roughly 300 people sleeping under bridges, in parks or in tents. This is the story of Joppa Outreach and what they believe is an answer to the issue if only the City of Des Moines will give them the green light. Meet Joe Stevens, Amy Hunold-Van Gundy and Kyle Horn in studio to offer up a solution and offer transition to families.

With us in studio is the AMA-Iowa Co-Vice President of Programing, Sarah Barthole.  We talk about what members can expect, what marketing trends are exciting, how email may still be an effective way to reach consumers and the upcoming monthly program.

Our Small Business Spotlight shines on Amber Robinson and Krave Gym of West Des Moines. She says that she started Krave so she could help develop a program that would attract individuals who really want to see results.

Last week we shared with you the difference between "Reach and Action". Today we offer up Five Tips for your Business Facebook Page that will drive activity and create action. Ready?

Thanks for coming by for a listen.  Now for our commercial:

Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie is a production of our advertising agency, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications and is the only daily, hour-long business broadcast in the region. The News Hour is made possible through the sponsorship of: Merit Resources of Urbandale, Iowa Computer Repair of Windsor Heights, ReMax Real Estate Concepts of the Des Moines Metro, the Iowa Association of Business and IndustryDWebware of Urbandale, The Strudl Haus of Des Moines, Manpower of Central IowaTero International and the Kreamer Law Firm of West Des Moines. 


Facebook for Business - 5 Tips

So now that you know "Reach Does Not Mean Action" how can you get more action from your Number FiveBusiness Facebook Page?  Glad you asked. Here are five tips we use that might help:

Post Often - If your Business Facebook Page only has one or two posts a week it's not engagement. We recommend at least a daily post and/or if something is going on that is a major event you can post around that event leading up to it and during;

Bring Value - People love to be on the "inside" of any business. Post interesting "inside information" about your business, your people, your mission. Then offer your services and insight so others see value in following and engaging with your Business Facebook Page;

Video & Photos - People like visuals so use them in your post. "A picture is worth a thousand words" and it is true. You can even make your own InfoGraphic with tools like this from Canva;

Build the Conversation - Your Business Facebook Page shouldn't be a "one-way street". Respond to people, engage people with a survey, ask questions and answer questions. Build the conversation and your action will increase;

Pay Attention to Metrics - Your Business Facebook Page has lots of interesting metrics available for you to use. Note when most of your followers are online and clicking through to your posts and then make a note to post during those times as well. And, just because your business might be open from 8am - 5pm doesn't mean that you should forget your followers after business hours. That's when they may be checking things out;

There you go...Five Tips for Facebook that, if you use them, will boost the conversation and your activity.  If you've got some more...hit us up!  Love to hear from you! 

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi

 

 


Reach vs. Action

Go ahead, check your Facebook Business Page, I can wait. Notice how many folks your most Reach Imagerecent post...REACHED?  So, what does that mean? Perhaps, not what you think. "Reach" simply means how many people saw your post. Saw it. Like in, "Oh, there it is." and nothing else. It does not measure how many people read the post. It does not measure how many people clicked on the post extension. It simple means how many people saw your post.

So, why bring this up?  We take the long-form business interviews that are done each day of our broadcast and post them on several social media channels. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and we always use a Bitly Link. Bitly shortens the URL of our broadcast interview and then keeps track on how many people click on the link to access the podcast. Here is a link to Bitly so you can use this technology. Bitly also lets you know where folks are coming from. A website? Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn?

The number of Facebook "Reaches" is nowhere close to the number of folks who actually clicked on the link to listen. There may be 500 people whom we "reached" but only 50 of those folks actually took the time to click through to listen to the information from the interview.

I'm telling you all of this so that you can better understand that "Reach" does not equal "Action". Some people that I know get all excited because their post "Reached" 200 people and they often think that, somehow, means "Action". It does not...but there are ways to increase the "action" on your Facebook Page.  That story coming up.

And, you're welcome!

 

 


It's About Relationships

Not long ago, on my daily business news broadcast, we had a story about how the Internet has  Car Sale Promotion
changed the way many buy their vehicle. It's not only that you can buy "on-line" but, more importantly, the consumer now has the same, or more, information about the vehicle than the car dealership.

That fact changes the dynamic greatly. Now, the purchase isn't so much about "best price" or "availability" but how the salesperson at the dealership builds a relationship with you the customer.  

No longer "hard data" it's now all about "soft skills".

This shift has happened across the business landscape. The power of knowledge is in the hands of the consumer in most instances. Now the focus, for salespeople everywhere, is about building long and lasting relationships. And, given the availability of social media, it is easier than ever to engage your existing and potential customers.  

Oh, and that hand-written note that's put in the mail with a real stamp...bet your customer will smile and keep it long after that shout out on Facebook.

6a00d83452534069e201a3fd12f548970b-800wi