Previous month:
September 2009
Next month:
November 2009

They Said It Wouldn't Work...

No doubt every pioneer has heard the same thing, "What are you wasting your time on thatit will never work."  I suspect that that fellow Gutenberg heard that line as did Edison, Marconi and those two brothers that that were Wright and took to long ago.

This is not to say we are in the "same league" but, pioneers we are.

When we started Des Moines Local...LIVE there were seven of us.  Today there are 50 broadcasters putting out some great live and local talk radio...more, in fact, than all the other talk radio stations in the market...combined. 

My latest "tip of the microphone" goes to Brooke Benschoter, wife of my friend, Dave Mowitz.  Brooke came in today to "learn the ropes" because she volunteered to be  my "official" fill in on those days I'm outta here. (Like Monday and Tuesday of next week) No stranger to the media (she spent years behind the microphone and camera and served as the Media Director of Drake University here in Des Moines) she will bring her knowledge and talent to Des Moines Local...LIVE and to Insight on Business...our daily show about marketing, advertising and consumer trends.  For those of you who know Brooke...and those of you who are about to learn...Here she is along with our newest friend Suzanne Hull from 

Have a peak and meet, Brooke Benschoter

Everybody Makes Mistakes...Ask Wellmark

Not sure if you've heard or not but today the stories came rolling in about Wellmark BlueWellmark logo Cross/Blue Shield and what appears to be 97,000 brochures sent to seniors suggesting they should call the insurance company to learn more about their products.

So far, so good.

It seems the phone number listed in the brochure two digits.  Rather than directing the senior citizen to a cheery Wellmark employee or call center the phone number goes directly to a, shall we say, steamy sex talk phone bank. (We'll spare you the phone number...)

"Hi there, if you like hot girls who will talk sex and only sex..."

You get the picture.

Look, we take no delight in pointing out somebody's problems it's just that from time to time stuff happens.  We've had it happen to us and we take responsibility and move on.

The reason I'm sharing this story with you is because even when the company is big and the advertising agency is big and the dollars the client is paying the BIG advertising agency are also...BIG.  It happens.  The price clients are paying doesn't always mean there won't be a mistake.  So the next time you hollar at your ad agency for missing a letter in a word.  Just be happy you didn't miss the proof-read on the phone number.

But, I have to tell you...I'm sure glad this one wasn't on us.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Keep up with us on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV - And, yes, we've seen the brochure..yikes!

Register Blog Badge


Banking on Social Media

Today I had the opportunity to do a seminar for the Iowa State Savings BankIowa State Savings Bank 1 headquartered in Creston, Iowa.  What a great time!  Because it's Columbus Day the bank employees are off...but they were really "on" as the bank uses days such as this for in-service training and meetings.  The bank is examining the use of social media to reach out to existing and future customers...and what a great idea.

They brought me in to help explain to them the good news and the things they will have to consider before launch. 

Iowa State Savings Bank 2 We also talked about what the banking industry, as a whole, might consider when it comes to enhancing the conversation...  For example how about a BLOG that would:

  • Share the rich history of their bank and banking in Iowa;
  • Boost their community involvement image;
  • Talk about business partners and their success;
  • Inform everyone about what's great in Creston, Corning or Lenox;
  • Tell others about the ISSB Travel Club and their trips....

It's all about building voice and relationships.  After all, is't that what banking is all about?

Thank you to Karla Hynes from the Iowa State Savings Bank for the invite!  Now, let's do a program for your commercial customers?  Oh, welcome Karla to Twitter? 

We'll be back with our radio show tomorrow afternoon.

Michael P. Libbie - Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV


Sunday Morning Coffee - October 11

Sunday Morning, a great time to grab a cup of coffee and visit.  Not alot of advertising and marketing advice just a brief look at the past week and the items coming up.  So, grab a cup of "Joe" and spend some time over "Sunday Morning Coffee".Coffee Cu ps

Move over New York and Hollywood...the World Food Prize event comes to Des Moines this Wednesday.  A decade ago about 150 people attended.  This year there will be 800 folks from all over the plant in Iowa to discuss ending hunger and award people like Gebisa Ejata from Purdue and recognize folks like Bill Gates for he and Melinda's gifts of $1.4 billion to the cause.  Here is the article from the Des Moines Register.  It's big stuff.Return of the News Stand

Speaking of the Des Moines Register, I caught this scene last week on the way to the radio station for our business show, Insight on Business.  Just 100 yards down the Skywalk was this booth with a couple of cheery Register staffers giving out papers and hawking subscriptions.  In a way it was like the return of the old news stand...we'll that's a stretch...but they were where the people gather.  It's said that some 16,000 people a day walk these halls.  Another reason we located Des Moines Local...LIVE (our radio station) in this area.

This past week President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and that has had my Snow Oct 10 conservative friends in a froth.  In talking about it yesterday, I'm of the opinion it has more to do with "hope" than anything else.  It also puts a ton of pressure on.  We'll see...   Oh, it also snowed here this past week!  SNOW in Des Moines before the middle of October!  One wag suggested that both of these events are somehow connected to....the end of the world.

The federal trial of Shalom Rubashkin is set to begin this week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Rabbi Rubashkin, until a federal raid, managed Agriprocessors of Postville, Iowa the nation's largest kosher meat facility.  Over the past year I've visited with Shalom many, many times...he often is in Des Moines and when here attends services at Beth El Jacob.  Is he guilty of what the feds say he done to rack up 1,950 years in prison?  I don't know...but the way he has been tried in the media would make you think he is some sort of a monster.   He's not...  He is a very devoutly religious person who is both kind and smart.  At least that's the view from here.  We'll see.  The trial is scheduled to last four to six weeks.  Here is the latest article from the Des Moines Register and writer Grant Schulte. Iowa State Savings Bank

On Monday I get to be in Creston, Iowa doing a seminar on social media for Iowa State Savings Bank.  We were contacted by Karla Hynes to come and spend the Columbus Day morning teaching groups of employees about the impact social media has had, and will have, on business.   I love teaching and as you know we were early adopters of social media at a time when many ad agencies thought Technorati Tag was something Japanese kids did on the playground.   This will be fun...and I'm looking forward to the adventure.  (And it means that I'll not be hosting the radio show on Monday...still working on a guest host.)

Speaking of Creston, my friend Angela Maiers has been teaching teachers there for several weeks.  She is amazing...and if you are school board or school administrator and want to put some extra zing into teaching...make contact with her.  She gets it.  The lifelong learning thing you know...Van meter schools dsm register

Speaking about schools...did you hear about the Van Meter School District and the jump they are giving their students when it comes to technology.  Rather than putting money in bricks and morter they are spending $600,000 on technology.  The school of the future?  Here is the story.

Hey, it's nearly 7 gotta get this out.  Thanks for reading and responding.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising,  Marketing & Communications where you can keep up with us on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.  Facebook? is the personal page and the FAN PAGE for Insight.  Let's connect.






JOBS with Billie Sucher

Our guest today on our daily business radio show, Insight on Business was Billie Sucher.  Billie and I first met several months ago when I was doing a Social Media presentation to a group of small business owners.  She had some great questions and we had her on our show, in the old studio, several weeks ago.  We've brought her back with her ideas on how to KEEP a job or what to do to better market YOU if you are between Jobs.  Billie Sucher on Insight on Business.


To Blog or Not to Blog - Mike Sansone

Many of you know that Insight Advertising does a daily business radio show, Insight onMike Sansone MPL Business (catchy name huh?).  We're on Monday - Friday on Des Moines Local...LIVE now a broadcast group approaching 50 broadcasters delivering more locally produced talk radio to this market (and yours) than any of the landbased stations...combined.

On the show today we featured the "Don" of the Blog World, Mike Sansone.  We talked about why 54% of U.S. Business prevents their employees from accessing social media while at work and why (fear is a great motivator).  We visited about who should and who should not blog and we talked about best practices and the dangers of Chief Information Officers...  Here is the show...enjoy!

Click Here to View the Show from today...

Got A Great Idea? But, Can You Sell It?

This week I had a meeting with a long time client.  They are from outside of the Des Moines area so when they come to town we spend most of the day in review andCash Register No Sale forecasting.   A vendor, who has a neat new gadget for a web based application, had been after me since June to bring them to his office for a "look" and an "explanation" of what his company gadget is and how it works and what it would do for our client.

This was the day we were to have the meeting that had been scheduled for weeks.

It bombed. 

We sat there for nearly an hour (a very precious hour) and when we left we had not seen the "gadget", had no idea how it might impact our customers and we had no idea of how much the whole thing might cost us.

There is a lesson here for smart, enthusiastic young people who have great ideas...I know I should not even HAVE to write this but,

Finish the "great idea" with a sales pitch that answers my questions. 

You know, I've seen it both ways:  1)  Folks who have NO product but a great pitch & 2)  Folks who have a great product but NO pitch - can we meet someplace in the middle?

The same thing has happened three times in the past four months.  Maybe it's a call to you bright, innovative folks to hire an advertising agency to help you "sell" the product or at least create the pitch?   As is often the case, the folks who create "whatever" usually have a horrible time selling it.  You might have the finest product in the world but if you can't make the case, it's a no sale.

That's were people like us come in...  Our job is to help your potential customers "get it".  So you can "sell it".  Make sense?

Thanks for reading - You can keep up with us on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV



My Friend Jack Mathews

Last Friday morning the Central Iowa Bloggers held our regular monthly meeting.Jack Mathews   Actually it's not so much a meeting as it is a "gathering".  There is no agenda, nobody is really in charge... People who blog or are interested in blogging or have no idea what a blog up and visit.  I could use the word, "network" but we're not really doing that.  We're a group of writers, advertising folks, marketers, lawyers, connection experts and today...newspaper people...who come together once a month to see how everybody is doing and how we can help each other with new ideas.

My friend and a former newspaper man, Jack Mathews showed up.  Jack and I have been talking over an idea that he has and about blogging for nearly a year.  I was so excited to see him...for two reasons.  One - He was actually there getting an ear full about best blogging practices and Two - Now, I wasn't the oldest person in the room!

So, why the post about Jack?  Simple...Jack is just like "everyman" with a passion for the news and community.  He is always reaching out to learn and create.  And, he has figured out the power in words and what blogging might do for his new business, Grinnell News.  Watch for it and loads more very soon!

Welcome lit the place up!


The Problem With Having "A Friend in the Business"

Let's say you have a business and 40% of your revenue comes from your website.  Now,Women Friends let's say that suddenly you notice, during what should be your busiest time of the year, a dramatic slow down of orders.  Three weeks ago you were processing fifty orders a day.  Now, you're down to five or six a day.

That's the story from a recent meeting I had with a potential client.  It seems they had a "friend" design their site (for free) and then barter the hosting.  The company really liked it that their site cost very little and heck, "everybody was a friend".  Things were humming along pretty well until the "friend" got cross-ways with the owner and turned down the site speed and removed key words and tags.

Did I mention the company has an additional six URL's out there?  Each of the other sites carry products that are a component of their main site but for some reason "the friend" thought that each area of the store should have their own website.  (I am NOT making this up.)  And the site design?  You would not believe it.  I swear they put in "clip art" for images and the writing?  Really, really bad.  Add to that the fact this company does not have an electronic inventory control system....  Oh my.

During our meeting the owner wanted to know, "How much is it going to cost to fix all of this?"  I guess when you are used to getting things for "free" actually paying somebody to fix the errors come as a shock.  My answer was, "Much less than what you've lost in revenue over the past month."  I think we got the job.

Word to the wise...let your friends stay friends and do business with professionals.

Thanks for reading.  You can keep up with us on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.  We're also on Facebook.

Register Blog Badge