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July 2007
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September 2007

Can You See?

Bibleopen This weekend I am listening to this learned Bible scholar who says, "What, you think learned Bible teachers don't study with other learned Bible teachers?  We do!  Why?  Because sometimes we need to see more clearly.  Partnering with someone allows us to see things in a whole new light.  The issues that escaped us become more clear when we engage another opinion and view."

I think I'll have to hire him to market our advertising agency.

He is so correct.  We do this in study, we do this in accounting, we do this in the world of legal efforts, name it. 

We seek the input from professionals and others to better "see" what is already in front of us.

Sadly, we don't often do that with advertising and marketing. 

This past weekend I also spoke to a person who said to me, "There is this person who would like to consult me with regard to my advertising, but it looks expensive.  What should I do?"

My answer is predictable:  "What is expensive to you may be the lifesaver in your business.  But, only you can decide where to invest."  I think she'll pray about it.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations where we can see the forest and the trees.  We also pray a bunch...

"When should I advertise?" Some Solid Advice

Chuckkuba This is Chuck Kuba from Iowa Diamond of Des Moines.  While I know Chuck and admire his family business this isn't an advertisement but a lesson in advertising.

In our advertising and marketing business we get lots of advertising and marketing questions. (Makes sense huh?) One of the more common is, "When should we advertise our products/services?"

The answer is in a radio ad done by Chuck several months ago.

Chuck is known for his inventive radio ads that are a mixture of learning through a history lesson and story telling.  He does the ads himself.

Logo In this ad (and I'm doing this from memory) Chuck tells the listeners, "People get engaged every day.  Not just in the winter or in the spring; not in just March or in October.  That's one of the reasons Iowa Diamond is constantly advertising and letting you know about us, our products and our service.  We advertise all the time because we want to be your first choice when it comes to buying a diamond..."

Well done Chuck!

OK, so if you have a ski resort in Missouri maybe you don't advertise in May.  There are "seasonal" products and services out there.  But...his wisdom is still something to consider.

When you build an aggressive marketing and advertising campaign you should treat it as an investment that may not pay off today but may be what spurs somebody to action tomorrow.

Building a brand and brand awareness takes time and money...but the rewards can be huge.  So, rethink your advertising plan.  If you have a seasonal product or service...advertise it during off season as well.  You'll not only be unique with your message, you'll be standing alone and more likely to be remembered when you ramp up your campaign during your "season".

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we're always looking for the next idea.

Rural Lifestyle Radio & How Mitt Did It...

Hwy61_image_2 Just a reminder for those of you living Central Iowa...our rural lifestyle radio show:  Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country airs Sunday mornings at 8 on 98.3 WOW-FM.  If you can't pick it up...because you don't live or are not visiting Central Iowa...sign up and listen online

As always we've got an hour of news and information that impacts the lives of folks living on acreages and small farms including:

Our special guest Melanie Edge from The Western Edge of Ames and Humboldt.  She's spent 40 years working the Iowa State Fair (can't be that old!) and we'll talk about it.  And we'll talk about living the rural lifestyle and the changes she has seen from clothing to horse equipment.  Should be lots of fun.

Ia_straw_poll_2 We'll also have a talk about the Iowa Straw Poll...the winners and the losers.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Iowa Straw Poll...bone up a little.  Oh...and what the heck happened to Mitt Romney?  We'll talk about it. 

All of this and so much more on the only full hour radio program that has a focus on rural lifestyle.  Join us Sunday morning on 98.3 WOW-FM. Sign up to listen online!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we think rural is way cool!

What's The Difference? McAdvertising!

Mcdonald_logo I've had this conversation with hundreds of people over the!

Our advertising agency has long held to the belief that we can help good products become great products through proper marketing and advertising.  Now a study funded by Stanford University and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation seems to confirm our "semi-slogan".

The study, released this week, was about the food preference of pre-school children aged 3 - 5.  It found that kids favored hamburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries that were wrapped in paper with McDonald's labels.  Even though that food was NOT McDonald's!

In fact, the study went further.  When store bought milk, juice and even CARROTS were placed in McDonald's cartons the kids preferred them to unmarked foods.

How could this be?

The answer is simple.  McDonald's has, for decades, continued to advertise and market their LOGO and used advertising tools to increase the awareness of their entire brand.  Even when you would think that selling 40-Bazillion Burgers would have been enough.

I realize...YOU do not have that kind of budget. do have a marketing and advertising budget, right?  And, in your business you are not targeting the entire WORLD with your advertising message, right?  You know your primary demographic or target audience...don't you? Blindfold And, you are spending your budgeted dollars in the right place and using the right medium...right?  Or are you swinging blind? the difference,  McDonald's knows...many others have to guess.  The other difference?  They are steady.  Even when owning the market...they continue to advertise and market their products.  Often in new ways.

The truth is...nearly anybody can McAdvertise, if they have the right tools and knowledge.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we help clients better understand the who, what and where of marketing and advertising.

Doing Double...Even Triple Duty!

Georgie This is Georgie Pease.  She works here and does all kinds of projects.  She is a writer (published), she does photography (published) and she is also a key figure in a two year old campaign that has helped a client boost sales to record numbers.


Here's the quick story:

Three years ago at a marketing meeting for Calcium Products (a great company that has several fantastic agricultural inputs.) we hit on the idea to brand the company using the idea of a "Crop Menu".

(Note:  A "crop menu" is a recommendation on seed, fertilizer, etc. that is created by a dealer or agronomist for a farmer.)

Calciumproductscropmenu2 Our first attempt was an actual "menu" that, inside, talked about all the great things these products do for the farmer.  It even had the coffee stains inside and out.  (Thanks Aaron!) 

Different?  Yep.  Creative?  Yes.  Get noticed?  You bet.

While this was a great introduction we needed more.  We wanted to personalize the campaign.  Georgie became "Flo".  It was her job to be the visual of the "Calcium Products Cafe", voice the radio ads and greet farmers at "farm shows".


Does good creative work?  Yes.  So does branding.  Take a look:

Cp_spending_more_for_less Cp_you_want_fuel_savings

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where new ideas happen every day...a a "tip" for Georgie

Rural Lifestyle Radio - Highway 6 - Today

Hwy61_image_2 Here's your reminder...Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country, this areas only dedicated rural lifestyle radio show, gets up and running at 8am here in the Des Moines, Iowa market. 

You can catch the show on 98.3 WOW-FM. Or, if you are out of the area just click on the station website and listen in real! Go ahead...sign up and give us a listen you guys in Texas! (Or elsewhere...)

Or, if you can't listen to the show live...head to our blog site to check the stories we've got on today.

Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country is a product of Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications.

Thanks for reading...and for listening!

Michael P. Libbie, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we think this radio stuff is neat. 

More Than A Pretty Face...

Blonde_black_dress Oh, having a pretty face is nice but what about her ability to think, reason and make decisions?

Let's visit a minute or two about making decisions and about how you market your products.  (See, I'll do just about anything to get your attention...even for a minute.)

Last week we saved thousands of dollars for one of our clients.  We did it by saying, "No".

Here is the brief story:

One of our clients has an internal marketing department. For several months they had, unknown to us, been working on a way to take one of their core products in a different direction.  It wasn't a "re-packaging" plan but a near total reversal of what they had spent thousands of dollars branding. In the process, they knew it just didn't "feel right" but went ahead and tried to come up with the rational.

AFTER they made this decision they called us and asked us to come up with a "way to make it happen".

We said, "No".  (Actually it was a 40 minute meeting where we laid out an entirely different strategy.)

In the end, and to their credit, they got it.  And they said, "THAT is the answer. Let's roll with it!"

The decision will save them thousands of dollars and enter them into a whole new market that, up until now, was not on their radar screen.

There are two lessons here:

  1. While internal marketing departments know the intimate details of their product or service they are sometimes way too close and their vision gets clouded.
  2. Some advertising agencies would have simply taken the marching orders (and the money) while not caring about the long term reality.

Yep, we create flashy good looking ads and television commercials.   Yes, we create neat websites and creative radio ads.  But, our talent is also having the ability to see the forest...and the trees.

Sure this is a shameless plug for our agency...but we think it might be worth thousands of dollars for your company.  What think you?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we also think...I think.

Speed Dating...Opps...I Mean "Networking:

Uc_network_crowd Remember the business class where the instructor told you to create an "elevator speech" just in case you had the chance to impress somebody in just a few minutes?

It's back but in a more structured setting. If you haven't yet tried "Speed Networking" it's a blast.  In the span of just an hour you'll meet all kinds of interesting people.  The goal is to meet...but also to end up doing business.

So, when my friends at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce told me they were having a session last night.  I took advantage of it.  So, why am I telling you?  Part of the reason is to introduce Business Blogging to some of the folks I met.  The other is to get you to try this in your business group.  OR...what might be great is to do it as an employee event.  Bring the food and do a "networking" event to introduce departments to each other, etc. 

While I met lots of folks...I only have photos of a few...let's get started:

Uc_network_donna_kristie This is Donna Miller (L) from the American Lung Association of Iowa.  She was here to talk about their local event on September 8th called, "Blow the Whistle on Asthma".  Kristie (R) is from UBuildIt a new Chamber member who was standing in for Bruce Riesberg.  Bruce...thanks for having her come to the event.  Great presentation.

Uc_network_dan_tiffany This is Dan Vander Ploeg from RODAN Office Cleaning and Tiffany Homan from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Dan was there to talk about his business.  (Dan and I had lunch earlier in the day and I think we might be able to help him 1) Get Noticed and 2) Get Found!)  Tiffany was there to talk about her fund raising activity, "Light the Night".  She found out that Dan's wife is a survivor which made the meeting even more perfect.

Uc_network_pat Say "howdy" to Pat Pithan who works for Imaging Technologies here in Des Moines.  Pat came to meet folks and do a little "selling".  Hey, Pat...if folks don't sell...they don't eat...right?  Nice meeting you Pat and best of luck.  Nice guy.  We don't need anything right now...but we've got your card and now lots of other folks know about you.

Uc_network_jodi_2 And this is Jodi Olson!  Yeah...Jodi!  She sponsored the event and works for Dale Carnegie Training here in Des Moines.  Jody is seen here giving the "door prize" to "The Disembodied Hand" aka Dan Vander Ploeg.  Congrats Dan...see people are going to know you now!  Jodi, thanks for being a good sport and for sharing your knowledge with us.

Bill_richardson_mpl And this is my friend Bill who is looking for a new job.  Bill came all the way to Des Moines just to interview for this special job opportunity.  (OK, OK...Bill Richardson didn't REALLY come to the networking function.  But, he is in town a bunch these days and it would not have surprised me if he had stopped in for an interview.)

So, what is the POINT of this "name dropping" session?  To get some folks to better understand the "Power of the Blog"....can I get an Amen?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we should have been passing the plate!