Lessons Learned - Politics & Business

A week ago last night my daily involvement in a political campaign with Cowboy 1 Desmund Adams concluded. After 17 months of our work dedicated to media, communications, policy, public events, video, photography, design, voter outreach, social media…we lost.  Desmund lost by over 1,400 votes to a guy who had campaigned for 34 days. Now, while that sounds like a bunch it really was not.  Our opponent had a 5,000 voter registration edge on us.

I learned some things from this adventure that may be helpful to the business world or for those of you considering a political future.  Here is a quick list:

  • Work vs. Money – While we all say we value hard work going into something underfunded is a death blow.  In 34 days our opponent outraised and outspent us by nearly 4 to 1.  Deep pockets trumps hard work it would seem;
  • Stay Simple – Our campaign worked over seven key issues we believed were critical to the future of Iowa.  Meanwhile our opponent failed to utter a single original idea and kept true to his political party’s talking points.  There is a lesson here about detail me thinks;
  • Social Media & Facebook – If you have a business and you want to connect with potential customers use social media and promote by doing advertising on Facebook…it works;
  • Mass Media – Television works.  It’s that simple.  In the final weeks of the campaign our opponent spent thousands on television advertising.  While the ad was not very creative it was the only thing running;
  • Direct Mail…Sucks – We spent several thousand dollars on specifically directed mailings to selected special interest groups.  Our return was less than 1%...way less.  This has caused some re-thinking for our agency about the use of direct mail;
  • Relevant Message/Bad Timing – No matter how “important” you  think your product/service is trying to sell ideas during the Holiday Season is tough…very.
  • Winter Elections/Promotions -  In December it’s dark by 5PM finding a polling place, especially after redistricting was tough.  That brings to mind the timing of your promotion/event.  Getting people OUT after dark during the week?  Unless it’s a very social thing…nada;
  • Wednesday & Church – Not being a Christian I had this misdirected thought that Wednesday nights were like any other night.  Wrong.  Avoid Wednesday night events...especially if you are targeting women.

However difficult it was to lose it was a wonderful adventure and we were grateful for the experience.  I know that Desmund Adams is not finished with his dream to serve the citizens of Iowa…I’ll let you know where that leads all of us.

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

 

Sunday Morning Coffee - January 8, 2012

We'll get back to business tomorrow.  Today you've got the chance toCoffee Cu ps drink up some Sunday Morning Coffee; our look at sex, politics, gossip, opinion.  The stuff you crave.  Don't just sit there, you know you want some!

This week:

  • Chris Hagenow - Week 47
  • Iowa Caucus - It's not just the GOP
  • CNN - We talk Social Media and...The Weather
  • President Obama - Grows some...
  • The Holocaust - A weight loss answer from Dubai?
  • Rick & Newt & Mitt - Huh?
  • Penguins - Happy Feet meets Raiders of the Lost Ark

Don't just sit there grab some Sunday Morning Coffee right here

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You are welcome...Michael

What Makes It "Click"?

I know dozens, if not hundreds, of people who look for that "magic bullet" that willMPL Twelve Thirty allow their product/service or campaign to click in the minds and wallets of consumers.  I want to share the secret(s).  It's timing.

Here is a great example:  Over the past eight months the State of Iowa has been the political and media focal point.  For months we've had to endure listening, reading and watching folks opine about our state.  Often missing the mark...completely.  Mix that fact with creative folks (tip #2) like Scott Siepker and Paul Benedict who have been (tip #3) paying attention and you get...this: (NSFW Edition...sorry it works better.)

 

535,000 views...and counting.  Oh, there is one other thing that needs to happen to make something "click" in the hearts and minds of the consumer you need to (tip #4) take action.  Just having the timing, being creative and paying attention won't get the job done.  You need to mix those with actually doing something and chances are...you'll click.

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If you would like to connect you can leave a comment here, or on Twitter it's @MichaelLibbie (personal) or @InsightADV (business baby...business) or our advertising agency Facebook Page is right...here.  Thanks for reading! - Michael

Welcome 2012 & Social Media ROI

What can measuring the number of social media mentions a company, product or (in the case) politician tell us about the success, failure or news buzz?  Plenty and that's why our friends at The Washington Post formulated Mention Machine an app that tracks social media "chatter" and then ranks pending winners/losers.  It launches...today, January 3rd.

 

This isn't just for folks who are "political junkies"...  It is for folks who seem to think there is no value in using social media tools for products and services.  The neat thing is you can also very easily "track" your business social media buzz by using any number of tools. 

OK...so I'm hooked on this stuff and as a business person you should really, really make 2012 your year for social media success.  If you want to leave a comment here, feel free or we can connect on Twitter @MichaelLibbie (personal) or @InsightADV (all business) and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right...here.

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Thanksgiving Thank You....

We took some time on Thanksgiving Eve 2011 to go out and ask some folks what they are thankful for.  Thanksgiving is that one American Holiday that screams "family".  Here is what we heard:

 

For those of you who don't have family close or, perhaps, without family members...know that we're all connected in that bond of humanity that, as we learned today, can be very special, warm and loving.  It can be...honest.

From all of us at Insight...have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  If you want to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or join us on Twitter @InsightADV or here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for coming by! - Michael

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Marketing...Education

I'm going to step out on a limb here...you see I'm not a teacher (to borrow a Holiday Inn Express line) but I know some and had children inChildren Classroom 1 public schools.  That being said, I am concerned with the recent data released this week from the National Assessment Governing Board and reported in the Des Moines Register.

In a nutshell the report tells us that Iowa students, who twenty years ago ranked in the top national percentages in reading and math, have slipped to the "middle of the pack".  And, it's across the board, white kids, minority kids, rural, urban...  That's troubling for...business and it should concern you.

I don't have an answer as to "what to do".  I'll leave that up to Jason Glass the Iowa Education Director.  However, as a "life long learner" who is fascinated with consumer trends let me offer up some marketing advice to all sides:

  • It Isn't Political - There are some folks who will latch on to this information and run to their partisan corner of the world pointing fingers at the other corner.  Stop it.  Consumers, the public, are sick and tired of that behavior.
  • Consumers Want Action - It doesn't matter if you're talking about telephone service or education.  Consumers do not understand how it is that hundreds of administrators, often without field experience, can tell the grunts how and what to do.  It ends in non-action and that is frustrating.
  • Be Simple - If you can explain "education reform" in thirty-seconds do this:  Film the answer and get it in front of as many people as possible.  We want answers.
  • Be Honest - Education doesn't have to be "fun"...it has to be "interesting" but if children spend six hours in an interesting classroom and go home to an "emotional wreck" with stressed a stressed out parent(s) it doesn't work.  There is a direct tie between economics and education.
  • Old Isn't Better, It's Different - It's not time to say, "When I was a kid..." it is time to look at how we use technology in the classroom and in the home.  When the folks that are writing the lesson plans don't understand how technology works...how can it work for students?
  • Parents - When will somebody start a media campaign that looks into the camera and asks how much time you, as a parent, work with your kids...learning?  This isn't all the responsibility of "somebody else".  Seriously...if companies can spend millions selling a new beer to consumers can't we find a way to sell the idea of responsibility to parents?

I'm just a marketer, a guy who creates desire among consumers.  Maybe its' time to create a desire for learning.  More rules, more tests and more politics don't seem to work well...  Sorry for the musings...it just bothers me.

If you want to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or we can connect on Twitter @MichaelLibbie (personal) or @InsightADV (business) and here's is our ad agency Facebook Page.

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Cut Employees or Marketing? Wrong Question...

Time for a quick video blog.  This is Kert Henning from family owned Henning's Cheese based in Wisconsin.  Henning's Cheese has 25 employees...up from several years ago.  In 2009 they made a decision to "not join the recession" and increased their R&D and Marketing budgets.  The result has been increased sales, increased product offerings and a much larger market share.  Oh...and did we mention they sell a premium product?  Remember "Trust & Value"?

 

If you would like to learn more about Henning's Cheese, how it's made, where they are and see how excited this man is about his craft...  Here is a longer video we made at the Urbandale Hy-Vee where we found Kert...selling.

Thanks for coming by and have a great weekend! - Michael

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Sunday Morning Coffee - August 14, 2011

If you're looking for a nice HOT cup of Sunday Morning Coffee you'll find it right hereSunday Morning Coffee is News, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Gossip.  All the stuff that makes you...crazy(er).  One more thing:  Be prepared...this is an Original Content Warning.  It's all my stuff...with extras.  Grab a cup...

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Anonymity Goes Away...At Last

The folks over at the Des Moines Register have had a change of heart.Man Exclaim   Four years ago when I contacted then editor Carolyn Washburn about the vile and disgusting things people write and then hide behind a phony persona she said it was something about "digital natives".  It was silly and I pointed that out, several times, over the years. 

It's true that I don't have the clout of Randi Zukerberg, sister to Facebook's co-founder Mark ZukerbergHere's her take on anonymity and why it must go...  Maybe the folks at Gannett were listening to her.  Maybe it was the linking of anonymity with the words bullying and harassment that got their attention.

Who they listened to really doesn't matter the good thing is that now if you want to write something vile and disgusting you'll need to have your name attached.  Congratulations to my friends at the Des Moines Register.  If you would like to read what they said about the change, here is the original article.

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Sunday Morning Coffee & Other Thoughts

Business News, Politics, Gossip, Religion...you know, the stuff thatCoffee Cu ps  makes you crazy...  Sunday Morning Coffee has moved.  Hope you follow along.

We've decided to keep this blog centered on the world of advertising, marketing & consumer trends.  You know, the stuff that makes you money.  Here we offer up slightly longer posts with our opinion and tips on how you can incorporate them into your business. 

Meanwhile over at Insight on Business News Hour with Michael Libbie Insight-on-business-news-hour is a series of several business and marketing stories we're following with our opinion of how they might work for you.

And, it's all....FREE!

Thanks for coming by...and if you would like to connect we can do that with a comment here, join us on the agency Facebook Page or my Personal Facebook Page - Just Google my name.  On Twitter it's @MichaelLibbie (personal & business) or @InsightADV (It's all business....)

Have a great day! - Michael

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