Marketing With LinkedIn

Let's talk LinkedIn!  I get it, you have a LinkedIn account because you are Linked In Image Twoin business and, no doubt, you want to sell more of your product or service. So, connecting with market leaders, buyers and others in business just might help you do just that.  Except it ain't happening.  

Let me see if I can help with some tips to enhance your LinkedIn success:

  • Your Photo - Perhaps it's just me but I don't accept LinkedIn connection requests unless there is a photo attached.  We figure that if you don't want folks to see really are not serious about doing business.
  • Post Something Original - Look, I get's easier for you to post stuff other people write that you find interesting.  However, what we want to know is what YOU THINK. Take some time and start posting your thoughts about your business silo. I know you've got an opinion.
  • Your Profile - Make sure it is complete. You are on LinkedIn to make connections but if I click on your profile and there is no way to connect with you...why are you here?  Take the time and give me contact info.
  • Share Posts - Once you start to master your own posting share others and make a comment. Tell us what you think vs. just posting a link. Thinking is a good thing.
  • Visit Often - Make it a habit to check into LinkedIn a couple of times a day. Scroll through your feed and engage.
  • Like Stuff - Your connections post photos, updates, blog posts, job news...make it your "job" to like and comment on them.  Folks like to know that other folks notice.
  • Recommendations - I have to be honest.  I've been prompted often to offer recommendations for various talents but rarely do. Why? Sometimes I don't honestly KNOW if the person is an expert on XYZ. At the same time, don't be afraid to ask your clients and friends for a recommendation. They know you...and your work. Go for it.

I was just like many of you...I didn't "work" LinkedIn.  Over the past two months I have and I have seen engagements increase by 50%.  Like everything else in the social space it takes work.

Honest, just want to help!  Now, head to your LinkedIn account and get busy with it. 


We Do Voodoo...

Not really, but it sometimes seems that way.  Our craft is advertising and Voodoo Imagemarketing; getting more people to know who you are and then purchase your product or service.  How?  By creating well crafted advertising and marketing plans. We don't do what you do...we do...voodoo. We even tell folks that we do it. Have a listen: 

Insight Advertising VooDoo March 2015

Look, if you're happy with the return on your advertising dollars stick with it. But, if you would like to increase your ROI let's talk.  We'll share with you marketing methods, why they work, what we think you should do and how you can measure success.

We're Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications a full service advertising agency.  Let us do some voodoo for you...too. 


DIY Can Be Brand Hara Kari

When it comes to marketing and advertising the Do It Yourself approach is fraught with danger.  Sometimes it can be "Brand Hara Kari" Here's an excellent case study:

Reliable Aftermarket Parts, based in Michigan, has been our client for some time. They were headed to Louisville for the National Farm Machinery Show this month...a first for them.  Every once in a while they get a "wild hair" and go outside of our creative, and have something done in-house or by a local printing company.

One of our long standing beliefs is "Can the Clutter" when it comes to everything.  People simply don't have time  And clutter can also be multiple images and fonts.  Here's a perfect example: (You can click on each image to enlarge.)

RAP NFMS First Look Jan 2015

It's the front and back of a hand-out that called attention to their booth and a special offer.

They sent it to us to see what we thought.  They agreed with our assessment and we, then, created this:

RAP NFMS Front Feb 2015

RAP NFMS Back Feb 2015

Point taken?


Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel behind Insight on Business the News Hour.

Nah, We're 8 to 5 - Weekdays Only!

Over the past several weeks we've been following various brands (local, Woman 8 oclockregional and national) and surprised at the vast number of businesses that are posting to social media channels ONLY during the work day. Weekends? Crickets.

It's like their Social Media Ninjas are saying, "Hey, we work eight to five Monday through Friday.  If you wanna follow our brand engagement do so on our time."

Do they know something we don't or are they just doing what they get paid for?

So we did some digging around to learn who is connecting with social media channels and when.  Some interesting consumer trends:

  • Nearly half (47%) of smartphone users visit social media networks every day (Nielson);
  • Want Re-Tweets? Best time to Tweet is 5PM EST (KissMetrics);
  • Best days to Tweet - Midweek and Weekends (KissMetrics)
  • Facebook Shares - Best day is Saturday followed by Sunday (KissMetrics);

And, not every social media channel is the same.  For example posting on Pinterest outside of noon and the weekends isn't advised, "Pinterest is for daydreaming" says Fast Company.

Instagram users ages 18 - 29 make up 53% of all users and 49% of them use the channel daily (Pew Research Center)

LinkedIn users abandon the channel on the weekends and you'll get crickets between 10PM and 6AM (Fast Company).

We could go on and on but the POINT is that if your brand is failing to engage your consumer base when they are using social media...your brand...fails.  It all goes back to the central point of social media and using it correctly...wait for it:  You need to know your consumer; where they are, what they want and how to engage.  Oh, and HOW do you know where your prime demographic is...without spending tons on market research.

Ask them...

Finally, with all the social media tools available to you there is no reason why you can't match your engagement with consumers on...their time.


Us?  Here is our advertising agency website, you can follow us on Twitter @InsightADV and Facebook?  Sure.  Also we are the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. (Here is our searchable/mobile friendly Podcast Page or you can download the business interviews from iTunes.  Nifty huh? 


Six Hours and Swag

On Friday I spent six hours with 125 others during an American Marketing Association - Iowa seminar on brand engagement and, all I got AMA Iowa Swag was a bag of...swag.


Look, I do marketing and advertising for a living.  It's my craft to engage, for and with our clients, consumers in the key demographics they wish to reach. So could I learn something from a bunch of thirty-somethings? (Well, then there was Mike Wagner...) Sure!  I love learning how others share their messages, build their brands and engage consumers. Perhaps I'll learn something new. Maybe pick up some new tips or confirm what we're doing for our clients is spot on.

And it was "Yes" to all three areas.  Some key take-a-way items:

  • Brand Engagement Requires Thought - It's not enough to simply post something and hope it will stick. You've got to know who your target demographic is and speak to their passion/interests;
  • Rifles Are Better Than Shotguns - Sure you can scatter your message on whatever media you like but that may not be where your demographic is hanging out. Just because you like the 10PM News doesn't mean that is where your consumer is.  Besides, shotgun marketing is very expensive;
  • Branding Is Everything - Here we go again...branding is not your logo. Branding is everything from how you answer the phone, the outgoing voice mail message you do daily (you do that...right?), the way in which you respond to email, how employees conduct their social media presence, how counter people engage the customer....and on and on and on;
  • Social Media Ain't Free - I do an entire seminar on this for businesses and the bottom line is it;
  • Skinny Budgets Require Collaboration - How can non-profits build a solid brand by engaging others?  Ask Steven King from the Des Moines Arts Festival;
  • Don't Forget Volunteers - The NASCAR Iowa Speedway has 17 employees but hundreds of volunteers who share a passion for racing. Make sure you train your brand warriors in customer centric engagement methods be they paid or volunteers.

So, you get the point right?  Even "old dogs" can learn.  Oh...and get some cool swag!  Thanks for the opportunity!


Sure, We Can Do That...

Over the years I've "had coffee" with hundreds of individuals. The call or  Coffee Cu ps
the email comes in asking me, "Hey, can we meet for coffee? I'd like to (pick one) share a story, pick your brain, pitch you a project, catch up, offer my services."

I always say, "Sure, we can do that!"

I always look at this as an investment of time.  Who knows who might have the "magic bullet" that will solve an issue one of our clients might have. Who knows, "the pitch" might be just what we're looking for.  Who knows, maybe I can help him/her find a gig.

Who knows...

So we meet and have a cup and some conversation.

The other day I was visiting with Suku Radia the president of Bankers Trust here in Des Moines.  I said to him, "I understand that you often tell people, when they request a meeting with you, that you always grant the first one." He smiled and said, "Yes, everybody deserves to have a hearing."

I think we're on to something.  Perhaps the next time somebody calls and asks for a meeting you might grant that opportunity. Don't do as I do...but do as one of the most successful business people in the Des Moines Metro does.  If it's good enough for him...I'm in.

What do you think?


I Forgot!

We are all guilty.  Sometimes the rush of getting back to work, the meetings Man oddthat are scheduled while we were out, the stack of mail on the desk.  I get it However, as a business person when we fail to alter our outgoing voice mail message from "I'm out of the office until the 5th..." and it's now the 9th of the month or we continue to have our email set with an automatic response a day or two past our return.  Well, it's not very professional.

So, a quick tip:

When you sent your voice mail or email notification telling folks you'll be gone place a Post-It Note on your computer screen with a note to yourself reminding you to adjust your messages.  That way the first thing you'll see when getting back to the office is your reminder to...change your message. and it helps solve the issue of being reminded by your boss...that your message is out of date.




Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the Daily Business News Broadcast.


Is It Missing?

I want to help...really!   Faces Many People

"People do business with people they know and trust." That line has been money in the bank for the myriad of chambers across the country and it's true.  We see each other at functions, business networking events, luncheons...we're all real and we recognize each other.

None of us wear a mask.

So...why would anybody create a LinkedIn Profile and fail to upload their photo?  

Daily I get one or two requests to connect with folks who, for some odd reason, wish to remain...faceless.  I don't get it so maybe you can help me better understand why.

Honest, I really am trying to help.  Take a few moments and fill out your profile. Give me a way to make contact with a phone number or an email...and for crying out loud...upload a quick photo.  Your acceptance, no matter what might be your title, will be much more swift....and serious.

Thanks for letting me vent...and Happy New Year! 



Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communicaitions is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the Daily Business News Broadcast.

Your Customers Have It Their Way?

During the past several days I've shared a couple of stories on our daily business Woman Shoe Choice broadcast about how McDonald's is attempting to revive sagging sales by shortening their menu, offering customers the opportunity to "build their own burger" and looking at regional menu choices rather than duplicating the same menu nationally.  

And this:

Over the years it's never made sense to me that cable companies sell us 100, 200 or 300 channels when studies tell us that American's watch, at the maximum, 17 channels.  So, if we're only watching 17 channels why do we have to buy 250?  The cable companies are starting to "get it" too and we'll be seeing some experiment with ala cart service.  You only pay for what you want and watch.

These two stories are linked in the reality that consumers are no longer wanting to eat what business is feeding them.  Consumers want more and more choice and if they don't get it...they move on to the business or service that delivers.  If the shoe fits...

This reality is cutting across many verticals.  So, the question you need to answer is this, "What is it that my customers want vs. what I want them to want?"  If you know, great! If you don't better find out...quickly.

Thanks for reading!


Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and is the fuel for Insight on Businsss the News Hour heard Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT with Podcasts here.


"Our bad!"

Recently I was at an annual meeting for a professional group and the CEO, during a Man Cut Expensesreview of the past year's efforts, said, "Several years ago we made the decision, in a cost cutting move, to reduce and finally eliminate our marketing budget. The result has been a loss of recognition among consumers. Our bad!"

I get it.  Times were tough.  The recession hit us all and often the first, but the wrong, budget item to cut

Had this group been our client we would have told them what we told our clients during this time, "Whatever you do, please, do not reduce the amount of  money you are spending on R&D or on marketing.  Why? Because you will, and I promise, you will grow business and steal market share from others."

And, I was right.  The clients who listened had eight to ten percent growth each of those rough three years.

For the companies who cut R&D and Marketing they now face an uphill battle.  Their budget does not reflect a line item for marketing and now, just to "catch up" they are going to have to spend...plenty.

Sometimes "stay the course" isn't in the best interest of business. But, history has shown us, time after time, that during rough economic times those companies that continue to be agressive in their marketing...grow and yes, steal market share.

Just a reminder....