What Your Voice Mail Says...About Your Business

We take this voice mail thing seriously.  Each day we update our out- Man Fingers in Earsgoing message.  It let's clients, vendors and others know that we actually check voice mail and their message doesn't get...lost. Here is that post with simple tips to make your voice mail work for you.

The other day we reached out to a local business, at their request. Here is the message we heard from a woman at the business: "Thank you for calling. We open at 3PM. Messages left here are not checked."  

Huh?  Well, at least they "thanked" us for calling.

Uhm...one word: Stunned.  So much so that four days after calling it's still bugging us. Guess we could call after 3PM but we're more likely just to pass on this one.

Are we wrong?


Insight Advertisng, Marketing & Communications is based in Des Moines, Iowa and is the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour a daily business broadcast.  

Trust, Business and Consumers

Have you ever heard of the Timkin Trust Rating System?  No?  Well, Bill Reicharteach year, since 2010 the Timkin Group does a survey about consumers and their trust level of US corporations. It allows for the ability to identify which brands consumers trust and which ones they don't want to associate with. They measure 10,000 consumers and 298 brands.  Here is the report if you would like to read more.

That started us thinking about local businesses and trust and who, during our time in the Des Moines Market stands out as being one of the small businesses that was built on...trust.

Enter Bill Reichardt.  For those of you too young to remember Bill and his television ads and his famous line, "No sale is ever final here...I'm here and I own the store." It was a textbook lesson in building a trusted local brand. Better yet, here is a sample:


Not all business owners have the charisma of a Bill Reichardt but all businesses can learn something about the way Bill took ownership of more than just his name on a sign.

Thanks for reading.


Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines, Iowa and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour the regions only daily, hour-long business broadcast.

Sound Familiar?

We were visiting with a client the other day about some advertising they Man Confused had been doing, which we had encouraged. The client said, "I am disappointed we didn't get any calls about the ad.  I was afraid of that."

If you own a business and you have ever advertised we bet that you've thought the same thing.  So some considerations:

How do you know?

It's a fair question. Unless you, as the advertiser, have asked the consumer to do a very specific thing it's highly unlikely you know where the traffic is coming from.  And, even if you do, how are you tracking the response?

Did you ask for action?

Unless your ad asks for action on the part of the consumer how can you expect the consumer to take advantage of your "offer"?  A "branding ad" is far different than a call to action.  If your advertisement does not call for action then saying you "didn't get a response" isn't the correct answer to the question.

Was your offer valuable?

Even if you do make an offer is it valuable enough to the consumer? For some reason business seems to think, "If I offer 10% off my regular price people will flock to my door." Wrong. Studies have shown that the offer needs to be considerably higher to move the consumer to your product/service.

What to do:  When considering placing advertising think about what you want.  Do you want to brand your business?  Do you want to associate your business with success? Are you wanting to drive traffic? What sort of offer do you have in mind and is it a fair value to you and the consumer? How are you going to measure the ROI?

Your thoughts?


Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. Our Twitter Stream is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here

Always Fun Being Part of a Launch - Country Vet Naturals

When you watch an idea become reality it's the biggest kick we get here Grouping horz cookies at the agency. Three years ago we started talks with our long-term client Country Vet Pet Foods about changing their formula, creating a natural dog food and packaging that matched what it was. Clearly consumers were asking for it...all we had to do was deliver. 

Then it was testing names, packaging designs, formulas and now, three years later, Country Vet Naturals is being launched at Pheasant Fest in Milwaukee.

All weekend representatives from Country Vet Naturals will be visiting with dog owners about the food and the new treats, Country Vet Naturals Quick Bite Cookies (In Oatmeal/Cranberry thank you very much!).  

Will it be sold in Des Moines?  We're hoping so.  Now that we've finished this round it's on to additional natural pet food products and loads of new ideas regarding the formulation.

We like what we do!


Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is located in Des Moines, Iowa.  On Twitter it's @InsightADV and here is our Facebook Page.  Thanks for reading!

Brilliant Marketing

When a business recruits "Brand Warriors" and those people say positive things about the product/service it's not only rewarding but also a brilliant way to extend the brands' reach. Iowa Wild HS Dance Team

The Iowa Wild Hockey Team has done just that and it is...(I'll use it again...) brilliant.  

Former hockey clubs had "Dance Teams" made up of very attractive young women who would entertain between periods.  When the Iowa Wild came to Des Moines they made a big deal out of being "Family Friendly" and shelved the dance teams then replaced them with high school dancers, high school bands and singing groups from all over the state.

What does that do?  More people from outside the Des Moines Metro are introduced to AHL Hockey.  More people start to talk about it, share images on social media channels and more butts in the seats because you know Mom and Dad want to see their kid perform in front of thousands.



Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is also the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour the only local, live, hour-long business broadcast in the region. Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT, Des Moines

Who Controls Your Brand?

I am a throw-back to another era.  I happen to enjoy getting the hard DM Register Home Delivery 1 Use-pngcopy Des Moines Register each morning and have done so for years.  About 5am each day it's a cup of coffee and the Register.  And, except for the sports section (sorry Bryce) I tend to read every word. OK, confession...now that AHL Hockey is coming back and the Iowa Cubs are playing...I'll read those stories.)

When the Des Moines Register decided to start their "Pay-to-View" policy last year i didn't leave.  I signed up.  In other words, I'm a loyal customer and willing to shell out the $24 a month for the ability to keep informed at home or away on business.

The first time my newspaper was "delivered" to the end of my driveway (100 feet away from the usual location) I let it pass. "Maybe a new delivery person", I thought.  That was a week ago.

DM Register Home Delivery 2 use-pngYesterday, during the rain, the "delivery" was once again at the foot of the driveway. (Image 1)  Today the "delivery" was deposited next to the rain-soaked daily of yesterday. (Image 2) And, if you click on the image and look across the street you'll see my neighbor's copy about six feet away from the garbage containers.

Today I decided to report the issue.  It's not that I'm adverse to exercise, I did 90 minutes yesterday, it's just that I like the service.  So, I called.  The automation was expected and I requested a call back.  "The Machine" said that would happen within thirty minutes.  It did.

Sheila said it was not standard procedure for delivery on a carrier route to deliver away from the house and asked if I'd like to make sure we (and our neighbors) paper was delivered doorstep.  I did but, I wondered why I had to spend the time to wrangle through the reporting issue on the phone and on-line.

Bottom Line: No matter how hard folks work to produce a product the brand can be tarnished the most by the folks who actually come into contact with the consumer.  That's true here...and in your business...no matter what product or service you sell.




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or let's connect on our advertising agency Twitter Feed @InsightADV and/or our advertising agency Facebook Page which is right here.  Thanks for reading!  Michael Libbie

Grab the Hanky - Emotion Rules

Let's say you are trying to re-brand your product or service because you've had a recent spate of bad press or sales have slumped or your brand is just "tired".  What would you do? Man Eyes Emotion

Many marketers would look to reinforce their image by creating a campaign that speaks to the cost/benefit aspect or perhaps go out of their way to become "historical" by saying they've been around a long time so..."trust us".  Or they might use the compare/contrast campaign.  Trouble is, none of them work as well as...emotional messages.

Smart marketers know the real way to re-brand is the campaign that tugs at the heart.  The campaign that makes the brand more "human" and less "corporate" will win the day.

In our marketing presentation "Five in Twenty Four" we talk about how emotional advertising trumps "fact based" campaigns and reference the study done by Hamish Pringle and Peter Field published by our friends at Advertising Age in March 2009.

This past week we've seen a couple of giants roll out emotional based campaigns.  Dove used a forensic artist to draw images of women as they said they saw themselves and then as other saw them.  It's a campaign that works...and now has nearly 30 million views on YouTube.

Now Johnson & Johnson is making an emotional appeal an an attempt to put some bad press in the rear-view mirror.  Here's a sample:


Once again it works. 

So, the message here is when you're considering a re-branding campaign spend the time and money to do something worth remembering.  Emotion...rules.

What do you think?




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  You can also join us on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by!

Unity Point Health...WHAT?

During the past week we've seen and heard a bunch about the new name for Iowa Health System now called Unity Point Health.  We understand this name Unity Point Iowa Health logo transition has been going on for a while.  We can't confirm but sources have told us the effort has been going on for nearly two years. Clearly, based on the large number of television ads, the marketing team has been working on this for a long time.

We "get" the name change.  After all when the company is doing business in multiple states it makes sense to brand the product using a more universal name.  However, as you can see by the logo...not much really changed.  We would have rather seen a more dramatic alteration of the old logo but, here too, we understand the emotional attachment to the old.

However we're puzzled by the scripts used in the radio ads and voice overs.  Here is an example.  Listen carefully.


Not trying to be snarky but is Iowa Health, now Unity Point, admitting that for decades they have had this health care thing all...wrong?  Just now they have decided to put patients first?  Just now they are coming to grips with coordinated health care between the physician, hospital and clinic?  Just...now?

It's a head shaker and the result of when scriptwriters get ahead of themselves trying to re-make a brand when, in reality, only the name has been changed.  That's our take...yours?




If you want to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or join us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by...

Video Worth Sharing...Dove

Over the years we've produced hundreds of hours of video for television and the web.  That process is so much more complex than most business people realize.  To produce a high quality video for business it takes planning, talented staff and a firm grip on the "end result".

That's why we want to share this powerful piece with you.  Dove is an old brand and we would bet it's not on the "want list" of many young women.  However, this very classy piece may just change that.


Well written, filmed and scored it is a very touching piece that, we think, ranks among the very best pieces of marketing video...ever.  And, again, that is no accident.  This took lots of time, talent and work.  Well done!





If you have a comment, feel free to post here.  And/or follow us on Twitter @InsightAdv and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines, Iowa.

The "Welcome Brand"

Sign Dont do thisThe other day I was having a discussion with a friend whose wife works in the service world.  Think maybe YMCA, apartment leasing, laundry, or other public accommodation business.  

When she became the boss one of the first things she did was stand back and examine how the business communicates with the public with...(ready?) signage.  You know, those (usually home-grown) signs that inform the public about what they should not do?  Signs that sprang up because somebody did something and it was deemed this activity was not to be tolerated so the answer became, "Let's put up a sign!".  Usually a sign that deals with the negative aspect of an action.

  • "Do Not Use This __________!"
  • "If You Remove This _________ You Are Liable!"
  • "Use of foul language is grounds for immediate dismissal!"
  • "Failure to sign in is against company rules!"

Notice that "negative branding" also requires you to use multiple fonts and sometimes color.  Pretty huh?

That got me to thinking about what creates a welcome brand.  (Tip: It ain't  any of the above.)

So what about your brand?  Is how you communicate with consumers positive or negative?  In advertising do you highlight the benefits of your product/service or do you contrast and compare?  Are your marketing messages direct and to the point or do you tend to use "soft" & "friendly"? Do you "listen" to your customers and then distill what they have asked for and match it with helpful advice or set yourself up as an authority?

My point is if you work hard at becoming a "welcome brand" by pushing the negative to the background you'll be more successful with more consumers.  People not only buy from people...they also buy from "nice people".




Got an opinion?  Feel free to share here.  Or, let's connect on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by!