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August 2007
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Rural Lifestyle Radio Show Link

Hwy61_image The link for our rural lifestyle radio show, Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country is up.  You can follow the stories we talked about on the show this morning.

Our thanks to Iowa DNR Wildlife Research Supervisor Willie Suchy for his involvement in the show.

Head over to our BLOG Post about the show...and enjoy.  And, remember, even if you live outside of the Des Moines, Iowa area you can listen live by going to 98.3 WOW-FM and registering.  We'll stream it to as live as we can get at 8am!

Thanks for reading and for listening.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications...

Willie Suchy - This Week on Highway 6

Willie_suchy Join us this Sunday morning at 8am on 98-3 WOW-FM for news and information for folks living...or wanting to live...the rural lifestyle.  Highway 6 -  Your Road to the Country is the only full hour radio show dedicated to acreage and small farm living.

Our guest for the full hour will be Willie Suchy, Wildlife Research Supervisor for the State of Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Willie has over two decades of information and wildlife experiences.  We'll talk about the deer population, common issues that acreage and small farm folks have with all sorts of animals and some tips on wildlife health.

This will be a great hour of information from a guy who knows his "stuff".  Got a critter question?  Be listening this Sunday morning at 8 and take part in the calls to the studio.  It's going to be a great show.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications we're the folks that have the experience to help you market to people living the rural lifestyle.  Oh...and if you want to listen but don't live in Des here and sign up.  We'll stream to you online.

A Little Time Off...

Calendar I was on the air last night doing one of the two local radio shows I host and knocking my co-host Thomas Allen about taking a vacation.  Which he is.

But, so am I.

Our administrative offices will be closed Thursday and Friday of this week.  We're taking a little time off.  However a couple of our designers are hard at work creating some fantastic new fall ads for our clients.  They'll be montoring the phones and e-mail.

We've "blogged ahead" a bit's kind of like we are here...but not.

Thanks for the work, for reading our blog and listening to our shows.  Catch you early next Sunday morning on the Rural Lifestyle show, Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we think this "day off thing" is kind of neat.

Stopping Or Quiting? Big Difference!


We Blog...  In fact, some folks ask me how the heck we have time to do three different blogs on three very different subjects.  Because we like it?  Because we think it is valuable?  Because we think we have something to say?  Because we like to write?

All of the above.

And for over a year we've not quit.  Oh, we've maybe stopped for a day or two because of a holiday or, frankly, because we just didn't have much to say.  But...we've never quit.

There is a difference you know.  Because you stop your car does not mean you will not start it again.  But, when you quit driving...well, you quit.

During the past year I've run into many, many business that have simply QUIT their Blog.  The latest is the Blank Park Zoo here in Des Moines.  I was looking for some information last week and noticed that they have a Blog on their website.  So...being the blogging sort of guy that I am.  I went to it.

Looks like they started in June did five posts and quit.

What is worse is that they have "Info" working at the Zoo.  I sent an e-mail to them last Friday (Today is Monday).  "Info"...still has not answered my question.

Look, we're not picking on the Blank Park's a great place, a wonderful experience and a gem for Des Moines.  The problem is...perception and attention to their marketing potential.  Terry Rich is a super guy but, he can't do it all.

What this is about is another real life example of how we now communicate with our customers and the public in general.  Is it hard?  Yes.  Does it take time?  Yes.  Is it worth the effort?  We think so...

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we hope to spark you into realizing how critical it is to have a conversation with your customers...

Sunday Morning Coffee - 9 September - 2007

Coffee_cu_ps Sunday mornings are a great time to pour a cup of "Joe" and get caught up on the happenings of the week and just visit. (If you want to see more detail in the photos...just click on 'em for a larger image.)

Hope you were/are able to catch the radio show we do each Sunday morning on 98.3 WOW-FM. It's called Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country. If you're not in the Des Moines area you can always listen on line by signing up.  No excuses Texas!

By now you know that Fred Thompson has entered the presidential race.  It will be fun to watch, from a marketing perspective, to see if this late entry and further scrutiny into his life (public and private) will stand the test.  One thing is certain, and this according to my Republican friend Harlan "Bud" Hockenberg of Des Moines, "Nobody seems really moved or wildly excited, yet, by any of the announced candidates."  Can Fred turn the tide?  We'll see.

Art_dinkin_two_buck Not long ago we published a couple of articles about perception vs. reality in marketing.  We referenced McDonald's and "McAdvertising" and another study about wines/restaurant perceptions featuring Charles Shaw wines otherwise known as "Two Buck Chuck".  Art Dinkin is a regular reader of our Blog and this past Friday during the "BlogaNostra" meeting gave me a bottle of Cabernet, of course Charles Shaw.  Who says this blogging isn't worth something...and my wife thanks you!

Farm_progress_crew Last week I was at the Farm Progress Show on behalf of a client (Mayer Farm Implement) and LOVOL/FOTON the largest manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment in China.  I spent three days with six guys from China.  Lot's of stories but this "road tale" is one that made an impact.  We were driving to the show when one of the marketing guys who could speak a little English asked if all the farm houses we were passing had, "water".  He meant, "Do all of these houses have plumbing?"  When we answered, "Yes.  And some have two or more bathrooms per house."  Their cameras started to record the phenomena as they, with great excitement, narrated their findings.  Humbling.

Video_shoot_directingCameras are ROLLING!  Here is a tip for your company:  If you are considering a video (and that could be a thirty-second television ad all the way to a fifteen minute "sales tool") know that 75% of the work to create this video goes on before the shoot, with setting the "video treatment", and after the shoot with the editing.  Knowing "what" needs to be shot and "how" the video will flow saves time and money at the shoot.  And, as you know, it is the editor that can make or break the final project.  Why do you think they give Oscars to folks who edit films? It's the magic!

Dr_and_kunta Finally (and on a personal note) we had Kunta (our African Gray) to the doctor this past week.  Nothing's just that we needed a baseline and a check up.  I'm often amazed by the people who go into veterinary science and how kind and gentle they are.  From large animal vets to the folks that take care of the "little guys" I am convinced that there is a special place in heaven for them.  I'm sure everybody says their vet is the best...but we know ours from the Ankeny Animal and Avian Clinic really are.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications.  Enjoy your coffee and we'll catch you tomorrow as we start a whole new week!

Rural Lifestyle Radio - Coming This Sunday

Hwy61_image_2 If you are into...or want to be marketing to the Rural Lifestyle Community we might be able to give you a hand.  We've been involved in this lifestyle I have to tell you?

Not only do we know it, lived it, write about it...we also talk about it.  Each week Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country is heard in the Des Moines, Iowa area on 98.3 WOW-FM.  We're the only live hour long radio program dedicated to issues that impact the rural lifestyle.

You can hear the show live Sunday morning at 8 or or on line if you head to this link and register...we'll be right there.

This week we've got an interesting show featuring Dave Kanicki from Rural Lifestyle Dealer Magazine.  He'll be on talking about the lifestyle and the impact it is having on traditional agricultural equipment dealers.  Check out Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country for a more in depth look at the show.

Thanks for reading...and now for listening!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

Which Comes First...Or Should Have...

Office_building I was struck by a conversation I had the other day with a perspective client.  In our business we never know how serious a perspective client is about their marketing, advertising and branding issues.  So, we'll meet with business leaders to gage their interest level and then offer our services...if there is a match.

This time, while we listened intently, we learned there isn't much we can do for them.  The reason? Read on.

The person I met with has had several years of business experience.  He and his partners recently formed a new company and moved into their new offices.  The reason he said they had delayed meeting with us was because of all the moving hassles.  "New offices take a lot of time to move into and get ready."

I understand, we've done it ourselves.

Thirty-five minutes into the conversation (we were learning more about their business model) I asked about their media plan and their budget for advertising and marketing.  My reason for asking this question is to, again, gage their level of understanding of the market. 

Their answer:  "We didn't build advertising and marketing into our budget."   OK....  We asked:  "Would you like us to help you build a media plan based on your growth projections?"

"Well, we're not sure.  What we really need are suggestions on how to market our product."

"You could hire us.  That is what we do."

In the end we did offer them several ideas.  Along with a strong suggestion that maybe they should have put off the office move until they figured out their target market and marketing methods.

The time to think about branding, marketing and the media plan is long before you sign a lease.  Otherwise you may find yourself with too much bling and not enough cash to pay for it.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we think the agency should be your second call...right after the CPA.

BlogaNostra - Des Moines Group and Don Sansone

Mike_and_cake When I travel around the country visiting with clients or potential clients and I start talking about Business Blogging I always give props to Mike Sansone.  You see, Mike is the guy that got us started.  We now write three (3) blogs and have several clients (NTPDA and Calcium Products) who also blog on a regular basis.

It's Mike's fault...

On Friday about 30 of us will get together at Panera Bread on University here in Des Moines at 8am to talk about our businesses, blogging and have a great time.  And,'s not a bunch of "Computer Geeks".  We're made up of a wide group of people from attorneys to...well, computer geeks.  We do this the first Friday of each month.

Point is you are welcome to come and join us.  No, not everybody gets their own cake like Mike...but he was absent for a couple of meetings.  You will meet some interesting, energetic and inventive's worth a cup of coffee.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we always ask "Don Sansone" for advice...

What If Your Employees Were Like This?

Michael_and_ron As you can see...we're gearing up for the 2007/2008 Iowa Stars Hockey Season.  I know...we're a little nuts about this sport and we're darn lucky to have the farm club for the Dallas Stars here in Des Moines.

As the calendar gets closer (just 38 days away) to the first puck drop of the season we're washing jerseys and unpacking the Iowa Stars posters, pucks and (of all things) bobble heads, I get a timely note from an employee of the Wells Fargo Arena.  I'm sharing this with you...because it's really a remarkable letter and something folks should point to as a baseline for employee participation.

John_jayne John Jayne is the usher in Section 104...our section.  He has been the regular usher there for the past two years.  While on duty he has been spectacular.  Always considerate, asks about the family and goes out of his way to be of service.  His e-mail of today is no different:

"I just wanted to let you know that The Arena this year has asked for staff ushers for the Stars and Energy (basketball) seasons.  This is to have regular ushers at each section for every game. (unless illness, etc.)  Before, it was whoever was available and we were assigned a spot.  I have been appointed officially to the 104-105 section again this year.  Just wanted you to know that."

Pretty good to this point huh?  John had one more sentence:

"I'm looking forward to seeing and serving everyone again, and hope this will be a fun and successful year."

Ahhhhhhhh....  And, no the Wells Fargo Arena/Global Spectrum folks didn't ask him to do this...he just did. 

Employers often bemoan the lack of positive, engaged and loyal employees.  Wells Fargo Arena officials have a jewel here...we thought you might like to know.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we celebrate the good stuff...daily.

So...Maybe ADVERTISE And Let Folks KNOW?

Urbandale_library_3 So, my wife comes by the office the other day and tells me she is depressed.  (I can understand that...considering to whom she is married.)  But, this wasn't about me!

It seems the Urbandale Public Library is going to discontinue loaning out books on mp3.  At least that is what a staffer told her. Not a big deal for you maybe...but to her. 

She was told that it just does not pay for the library to loan out mp3 versions of books because, "...nobody is asking for them".


Ipod_nano_2 You mean with thousands and thousands of iPods and telephones equipped with mp3 capability along with a host of home players on the market...nobody is asking for books on mp3?

We think people just don't know.  Seems that once you are inside the library there are several signs letting you know they are available.  Even a scan of their website yielded little information.  Maybe there might be more interest and action IF the library actually let folks, who don't come into the building on a regular basis, know?

Think it's worth mentioning?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we think it's all about marketing...silly us.