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October 2007
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December 2007

How Much Money For Advertising?

Man_frustrated Because we're an advertising agency, we get this question all the time.  Each time we have to honestly tell the business asking, "It depends."  That is not a dodge...it's the truth.

Frustrated?  Here is a great story about how much it takes to be at the top of your game.

I have a friend who is in the retail business.  Not just any...but in the highly competitive jewelery retail business.  Pay attention because there are lots of tips here.

Julian once worked for Robbins Brothers Jewelery of Los Angeles. They bill themselves as, "The World's Biggest Engagement Ring Store".  And, they may be right! These guys are to the jewelery business as Pioneer is to seed corn.  BIG!

Man_engagement_ring According to Julian, who should know, the "average" jewelery store in the United States spends 5 - 6% of their gross revenue on advertising/marketing.  That includes all radio, print, in store signs, outside promotions, Internet and even mobile truck ads.  Everything.

The "average" jewelery store that is located in a shopping mall has gross revenue of 1.1 million dollars.  So they are spending $50,000 to $60,000 on their marketing and advertising.

Now...Robbins Brothers Jewelery spends a whopping 12% of their gross revenue on marketing and advertising.  And, you know what?  Each of their 7 stores averages 11 million dollars in annual sales!

See the connection?

Oh...and Robbins Brothers Stores are not in shopping malls so there is zero "drop in" traffic.  You have to "want" to visit their stores.

Coins_graph There is much more to this including focus groups, targeted advertising vs. shotgun advertising and the aggressive methods employed by Robbins Brothers.  But you get the point.

So, who do you want to reach today?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we understand you can only grow through investment and picking the right targets.


Forkin' Over The Money...

Fork_over_money_2 We got to thinking about this the other day...just how many ways are there for you to hand over your hard earned cash?  Of course, we're talking about advertising.

Serious Issue!

The other day a client of ours said they had purchased some radio time on a station close to where their business sits.  No, they didn't call us...they just went ahead and purchased a schedule because, "It was cheap." and, "The ads feature the owner of the store." 

Oh my...(See Drew's Piece on TV & Radio Ads...)

OK...so maybe they had an extra $650 a month to blow for the next quarter.  Because that's exactly what's happening.  When we looked at the numbers, this radio station sits dead last in the ratings. 20th out of 20 stations in the market.  The client could have added another $200 to the buy and gotten ten times the audience on another station...but they would have had to call us...and our time and research would have cost them fifty dollars.

Ok Then, there is the story about another company we know that hired an "in-house" marketing person (no they were not our client...). But he was the son-in-law of the owner. The company, at one time, owned the market share and made one of the best agricultural products in America.  Today?  They are a name from the past.  Still in business but barely.

What's the point?

Simple, advertising agencies exist because we are not builders of agricultural equipment. We don't make "self weasel winding torque inducers".  No, we create marketing plans that create sales...that's all.

And, with as many things out there (from rolling billboards to imprinted neon bowling balls...like to see one of those) to seperate you from your advertising dollars you might need some help in figuring out what should go where.

Just a thought...what say you?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we work hard to make a difference for our clients...every day.


Among Heros...

Medel_of_honorWhen I was a kid we played "Army" in the sandbox.  When we were not playing in the sandbox, we played among the trees and buildings in the neighborhood.  All of us kids did it...we played...  And, we were always the heros...

This past Monday I had the opportunity to meet an actual hero.  This is Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi H. Miyamura from Gallup, New Mexico.  He was in Des Moines with Governor Bill Richardson who presented a Purple Heart to the family of Army Cpl. Clem BoodyVets_event_nov_5_2007Boody, of Independence, Iowa who lost his life in service to America on November 2, 1950.  The family had been notified in 1953 that a Purple Heart was due Cpl. Boody but it never arrived. 

Until today.

As the family stood to receive the Purple Heart, Governor Richardson who led a bi-partisan delegation to North Korea in a successful effort to recover the remains of Boody and five other servicemen, said, "On behalf of a grateful nation..."  There was not a dry eye among the 200+ people in the room.

Hiroshi H. Miyamura wiped a tear from his eye as well...

Following the presentation I sought out Mr. Miyamura for a brief conversation...I'd never met a recipient of the Medal of Honor.  I asked him about Korea and about WWII when thousands of Americans of Japanese ancestry were rounded up and placed in concentration camps.  He told me the people of Gallup had defied the government and kept their citizens at home..."where they belonged."

Toy_soldersOutside I asked Mr. Miyamura if I could take his photograph.  He obliged and a moment later a man walked up and said, "Would you like to have your photo taken with him?"  I declined saying, "No sir, I've done nothing to measure up.  He is the hero."  Mr. Miyamura looked at me and said, "I've never heard anybody say that before.  I'm touched."

I thanked him again and quickly turned so he wouldn't see the tear.  I only know sandboxes...



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


The Iowa Sportsman Radio Hour

Tis_logoSome of you know that we also do a hunting and fishing show on 98.3 WOW-FM here in Des Moines.  The show gets underway at 7pm and you can, if you want, listen using your PC.

This week we'll be talking with Alan Foster from the Iowa Department of Natural ResourcesAlan will be in studio discussing deer movement and vehicle/deer accidents that seem to be on the upswing in our state.  We'll ask him about this and about safety tips for motorists now that deer are really on the move in this part of the country.

We'll also visit with our friend Jeremy King who is a DNR officer in Grundy and Marshall Counties.  He'll kick off the show talking about his overall experiences since last week.

Group_with_culverAlso, we'll welcome, by phone, Adam Steen (kneeling R) of Transitional Capitol Management during the second half hour of the show.  Adam, a fellow blogger and friend of the Des Moines Bloga Nostra recently took part in the Governor's Annual Pheasant Hunt.  We'll ask Adam about his time with Governor Culver and learn more about what went on this past weekend during this "The Great Iowa Chicken Hunt"

All that and more tonight with The Iowa Sportsman Radio Hour on 98.3 WOW-FM where you can also listen on your PC by simply clicking here!

Thanks for reading...and for listening...

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing and Public Relaltions...where you never know where we'll turn up!


Rural Lifestyle Radio Sunday

Hwy61_image A reminder that the nation's only full hour rural lifestyle radio show kicks off Sunday morning at 8am on 98.3 WOW-FM here in Des Moines.  Even if you're not in the area, you can listen online by heading here and logging on.

We'll be talking rural news and information and our special guest is Kari Warberg founder of Crane Creek Gardens of Stanley, North Dakota. 

Hope to have you join us...Sunday morning at 8am on 98.3 WOW-FM.


Home Office or Corporate Office???

Business_conversation With the speed of the Internet and the many ways we can keep on track with our customers and clients the continued interest in moving out of a corporate office and doing the work from a home office is catching on.

When my friend and fellow blogster Doug Mitchell posted his observations about corporate office vs. home office it caught our attention.  Especially the part about productivity.

You see, we've had a mixture of this for nearly two years and found it not only to be more productive but employees just get more done.  Creativity has not slacked off and when team members need to meet together they do so at the office.

Business_discussion While Doug's concept is compelling working a "home office" situation does take some self discipline...and trust by the employer.  It may not be for everybody...but from experience we can tell you more people, including our clients are happier.

And, if you are wondering about the 8 hour workday?  Here's a great read as well. Done by John Wesley.

Go ahead, read Doug's and Johns example and get back with us?

Michael P. Libbie, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we believe in trying anything...(well almost)...