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August 2008
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October 2008

Had It With "News" Sites?

Woman_jumble_cords I think I've had it with the constant bombardment of content advertising on the "news sites". 

From the Des Moines Register home page to the Washington Post.  From FOX News to CNN.  Here in Des Moines pick any radio or television home page and you have to wade through the crap to find the news.

It's getting depressing, loud and too much.  And this from an "advertising guy".

It's nuts.  So, I was thinking...maybe I really don't have to know everything right now!!

Ahhhh...the peace of ignorance.

What say you?

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

Gosh...Thank You, Drew.

Thank_you I didn't know that August 31 was "Blog Day - 08".  Once again I missed the memo!  And, we were even more surprised and honored that Drew McLellan took the time to give us a "nod" in his marketing blog about Blog Day.

While it was nice that he mentioned is what he said that got to us:

"If I owned an ag company and needed an agency -- this is who I'd call.  Not only do they really know their audience, but they're smart and jam-packed with integrity."

It was that last word that meant everything.  But, how would Drew know how we think or what we do?  Sure we've visited several times over the years and we see each other at various meetings.  But, how did he know what goes on in our collective brain?

I'd like to think he reads what we write and how we view the relationship we share with the people we serve.  In keeping with that message Drew also gave a "nod" to Mark True of Zebulun who he says, "...pulls no punches".  Mark is a great guy and down right honest with his assessment.  Good call.  The other three folks Drew mentioned, Cale Johnson - The Rally Flag, Laura Hecht - Laura4Literacy and Wendy P - An Iowa Mom I didn't know before his post.  But, I am starting to learn.

Thanks Drew not only for the "nod" but also for the introduction to some folks we are about to meet.  That, my friends, is class.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

Miscanthus...Say What?

Miscanthus2_univ_of_illinois In the Des Moines Register (Wednesday, September 3) the article in the Business Section spoke of research going on at Iowa State University.  This research suggests miscanthus should seriously be considered over corn or switch-grass as a bio-fuel source.

We had a story about miscanthus back in April.   Here you go.

It's not scooping anything it's just being aware of what the heck is going on in agriculture.  Most folks and news organizations don't have a clue.  It's one of the reasons there is such an urban / rural divide.

No longer are consumers connected with a knowledge base as to where their food and fuel comes from.  That's one of the reasons our agency exists.  We help folks better understand the connection that has been lost.  Or so we hope.

And, that's the prime reason we started our weekly, live, talk radio show, Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country.  It's a way to process the rural lifestyle and agriculture to folks that know it...or don't.

Anyway...we were glad to see the Register run the story.  Now the issue for farm equipment manufacturers and really gonna make equipment to harvest and transport this stuff, and will you plant it?  We'll see.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Photo from the University of Illinois.

The Killer Brand...

Man_thinking_young I hadn't thought about Bob Paxton for a long, long time.  During my stint as president of Friendship Haven Health Systems, Bob and I had several business and personal ties.  The most memorable was when our company purchased some land from Iowa Central Community College for a planned expansion of some new independent living units.  The wooded area was to be known as Asbury Park. 

It was one of those creative ideas that ended when I was asked to leave a position I truly loved.  Boards can be that way.  I moved on (and it's been great!).  So did Friendship Haven, Iowa Central Community College and Bob Paxton.

Last week the Board of Trustees of Iowa Central accepted Bob's resignation during a 10 minute special board meeting.  At issue was a July 4th incident and photo plastered all over Fort Dodge and Iowa by the media and others....some, it is said, had an axe to grind.

We're not piling on.  This is a branding issue and a lesson for all of us.

Mom Somebody once told me, "Never do anything that you wouldn't want to share one-on-one with your mother."  In today's world, with nearly everybody toting a cell phone with a camera...Mom is never too far away.

Iowa Central had built up an impressive brand.  The school conformed to the needs of their market, much of it linked directly to Bob Paxton and his vision.  But, in the end it didn't much matter.  The creator of the brand became a "brand threat".

Just another reminder to all of us in business, no matter what the profession.  Everything can change in an instant.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Guard your brand and if you don't know how or not sure you have one...Call us.


Capture Market Share Now...

Fishing_nets One sure way to lose market share for your product or service is to quit.  But, don't worry...somebody else will pick up your customers.

During tough economic times (We started this discussion back in July) many business owners and marketers are tempted to start cutting their marketing and advertising budgets.  That's not a good strategy.  The "big box" guys are licking their chops.

We're about to enter the "Fourth Quarter".  For many, this is the season to start internal budget discussions.  Over the years I've been in dozens of these Budget Meetings.  If you are the Vice President of Sales and Marketing you've got two goals (your boss said so):

  • Increase Sales
  • Cut Expenses

The "sell more" side is pretty easy.  "We project sales to increase by 5% in 2009."  The boss smiles and says you have done a great job.

Budget_dice Now comes the tough part...and it's not a good idea to gamble your future or the future of your company.

You're not in this alone.  Over the next two weeks we'll offer you some solid ideas of where you might look for ways to save.  And, we'll also share with you five reasons to INCREASE your marketing & advertising budget.

Remember, if you don't cast the can't catch the fish.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Grab the nets!