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September 2010

Bury Your Website...It's Dead

There is a loud noise coming from "Social Media Experts" telling business that, "Bury the Website!  You no longer need to be tied down.  All you need is, Social Media."Cemetary two people

Bunk....

There is this growing group that preach "all Facebook...all the time" and they are dead wrong...for right now.

We like to think of a well constructed website as your business anchor.  The place where people can go and learn more about the depths of your business, your offerings, how to make contact with you and what you do.  This same website, if constructed well, can help you increase sales through e-commerce and be the rock that you tie your social media adventure...to.

So, no...build a great anchor, a fantastic port...and then use SM to connect with consumers, to listen and to drive people to "The Mother Ship".   Someday it may change...but not...now.

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Making A Choice...

Everyday, in all sorts of ways we are confronted with choices.  Where to shop for Road Sign left and right groceries, what house of worship to belong to, what meal to prepare, what to have for...lunch, where to buy an ink cartridge, what bank to use.  Cash, credit or debit...

Choices....

In every personal, economic and business decision there are winners and losers.

So, what is it about the "Winners" in your daily world?  Why are they winners?  Why do you choose to do business with them?

Then...look at your business.  Do you have similar attributes?  Would you make the choice to do business with...you?

Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV

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Social Media - It's Not A "Part Time" Gig...

The more I see business start their advertising/marketing adventure into Social Media the more "part-time" attempts bubble up.Part Time Help

That, my friends, is a huge mistake and it's the root cause of why over 60% of small to medium size business owners abandon social media marketing within 60 days.

Here is the most common scenario:  A business "hears about" or "experiences" social media marketing at a seminar given by a "social media guru" (careful...they are EVERYWHERE).  Convinced this is the next "new wave" they sign up for a Twitter account, ramp up Facebook, get a business blog rolling and then...engage Monday - Friday.  Business hours only.  

Maybe...

However their "engagement" isn't conversation it's broadcasting.  They don't include blog links to other blogs or news stories that relate to the topic.  They fail to follow others and then comment on what is going on.  They...sell...all the time. 

Then, a couple of weeks into the process, the business person, social media department, marketing department, whatever.... proclaims that "All of this isn't worth the time and money we're spending to market our product or service." 

And, they go away.....

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Let's connect on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADVor perhaps our news/webcast about advertising & marketing Insight on Business with Michael Libbie over at Webcast ONE LIVE or Facebook:  Personal and/or Business.  It's all about the conversation.

 


Sunday Morning Coffee - August 8, 2010

Join us in our weekly visit about all manner of things?  It's Sunday Morning Coffee a seriesCoffee Cu ps  of scattered thoughts from a cluttered mind.  And, because Sunday Morning Coffee is a conversation I'm interested in your reaction, opinion and take.  So feel free to comment, connect on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or send me an e-mail.  Grab your cup...and let's go:

I'm thinking I'd rather be "for" something than "against" something.  Over the past few years the political conversation in this country has been reduced to "noise".  I'm getting weary and, frankly, I don't much care which party you represent.  Bring me solid, thoughtful ideas not noise.  You with me on this?

It was my bride's birthday this past week.  (Actually it is her Birthday Month...we are required to spend the month in celebration.) and so when we were at Central Iowa Bloggers (CIB) on Friday the group got together to wish her well.

Shameless Plug - If you want to read a fun Business Blog check our her work over at Strut Your Stuff.  She's good.

The GREAT Iowa State Fair opens up its eleven day run this week.  The marketing budget for the fair is $360,000 plus lots of "partnerships".  For that investment they will pack a million people onto the grounds.  Now...please share with me how you think you can be successful in your business with a marketing budget of $10,000 for an entire year.  Go ahead....I'm really interested....

Another Iowa State Fair Tradition:  Looks like this week will be the warmest week of the summer.  Nothing like the cattle barn and 94 degrees!

I think we're making headway on the "indoor swimming pool" in our new home.  Amazing what happens when we installed two new WORKING sump pumps.  Why the wait?  Until plumber Bob Carr came over (We had two others "look" at them - "Gee, I dunno.") we were swimming in a mess.  Next...get the idiots who failed to install the AC back on the job.  This has been an experience...WebcastPrincipalPark aug 2010

I met Cinnamon Rost this week.  What a great name!  Not likely to forget her...  Kind of like our daughter, Hunter.  Nobody forgets her name either.

Hey, we made the "Big Board" at Principal Park for the I-Cubs game! 

Did I share with you that in July Webcast One LIVE had 48,753 viewers.  For those of you in "the big markets" that may not sound like much...but for our second month on the new platform...it's huge.  Here is the "Thank You Video".  Just for fun.

For us...it is a big deal. Thank you...

Taylor Shoes Our grand-daughter Taylor is such a big girl!  This week she put on her own shoes.  And, if you look carefully you'll see that they actually match her outfit.  What a hoot....

What are you going to do today?  Really...after you read this what's up?  Hey, remember...it's a conversation.

 

Kizzy, our African Gray Parrot now mimics the sound of my cell phone ring.  THAT is almost as annoying as when she does the smoke detector sound.  Critters!

I don't buy flowers...often.  But, I can tell you where I'll be buying them in the future.  This Georgie Flowers 2010 week, as you know, was my bride's birthday.  She is an avid social media user (@GeorgieGurl on Twitter) and had said something about getting flowers for her birthday (she hints a lot).  A few hours later this beautiful arrangement found its way to her desk courtesy of Boesen the Florist.  I've gotten lots of "atta boy" messages...but I wasn't the sender.  Boesen the Florist took it on themselves.  Frank Boesen...Tom Boesen...somebody else?  Thank you and once again the power of social media.  For this investment of being nice...the name, brand and images have found their way into hundreds of homes.  Nice touch.

Did you know that a recent Citibank business survey found that 41% of business owners Red China Bistro believe that there is little to no value for them to engage consumers with social media.  I know...  Next!

New BLOG Alert!!  My friend Jarad Bernstein just cooked up a restaurant review blog for Des  Moines. The Pesky Diner surfaced last week with a review of Red China Bistro.  Good stuff Jarad!!!   If you live in or near the metro...follow him.  K?  Hey, somebody needs to get Red China Bistro a website...who gonna do dat?

As part of the "Birthday Month Celebration" I took my bride to the I-Cubs baseball game last night. (Cubs win 7 - 3 in front of 12,000+ of our closest friends...here is the story from The Des Moines Register)  Before the 7th inning I was thinking  "peanuts and Cracker Jacks".  Do they have peanuts and Cracker Jacks at Principal Park here in Des Moines?  And...if not, should the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" be banned or the wording changed to reflect the inability to follow through with tradition?  I dunno.  But...I'll find out. Promise....

OK...going to turn this over to you...   Thanks for reading and let's stay in touch?  Have a great Sunday!!

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Bump on a Log - Trade Shows

This week I was visiting with a company about their future marketing plans when the issue of trade shows came up.  I asked if they had considered trade shows as a way to market FEMA Showcase their product to consumers who would benefit from its use.  "No.", was the reply, "We've never had any luck at doing trade shows."

I didn't find that odd...because I've seen them "work" trade shows.

They, like so many other companies, "work" the show in this manner:

  • Set up the booth - Making sure there is a table between them and the consumer;
  • Drag out the chairs;
  • Sit there, munch lunch and wait for consumers to be overwhelmed by their booth.

Trouble is...they are not alone.  I've been to hundreds of trade shows and the majority of exhibitors make the same mistakes and come away from the event saying, "That was a lousy show, we're not going back to that one."

What should you do?  Here is your check list:

  • Plan for the show - Trade Shows are MAJOR investments in time and money.
  • Train for the show - How to set up the event, what should be said, how should people interact with consumers; who should go...
  • Pre-Sell the show - Most exhibitors don't and that's a mistake.  Why not create the insurance that people will come and be interested in your product or service;
  • WHO should work the show? - This may surprise you...but I've found "salespeople" are the WORST to send to shows.  Public relations skills...not sales skills are... needed;
  • Follow up - Business fails to follow up on 79% of the leads generated.  You must assign this to someone and make sure it's done.

Do THOSE things and your investment will pay off.  But...then it's work...

If you are REALLY interested in improving your trade show skills here are TWO video interviews I did with "Trade Show Master" Tobias Eichberg from Germany.  Spend ten minutes with Tobias and make your next trade show a success... 


Let's connect on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV and because this is a conversation as well as a "teachable moment" feel free to comment or send me an e-mail.  I'm interested in your take.

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Your Media Problem...

Every day our little agency faces the same questions from our clients, "Where is the best place for me to spend my advertising dollars?"  And the answer is always, "It depends."

It depends on where your customer is hanging out.  In the case of automobiles...the Car Dealer industry figures you are hanging out on Television.   Consider this:

July was a banner month for auto sales. WHY?   Could it be that television automobile advertising dollars for FQ 2010 was up by over 79%?   This from Advertising Age. And it wasn't just manufactures throwing money into TV each of the three tiers, 1) Manufacturers, 2) Dealer Groups, 3) Local Dealers had hefty spends.  We expect Second Quarter numbers will also be high and sales to follow.

Meanwhile...what's going on with the nation's newspaper industry?   

This week, Insight on Business with Michael Libbie  had a couple of stories about where business is putting their advertising dollars.  And the winner (again) is:  Television.  And the loser?   It's still the nations newspapers.  While newspapers have seen gains those gains have, mostly, been driven by cost cutting rather than increased revenue. Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal that tells the story.  Your question might be..."Why?"  It is the power of sight and sound.  It works...and that's one reason when we created Webcast One LIVE we combined the two for a more rich experience.

Are newspapers dead?  Nope not at all and in some markets they are roaring back.  Is it wise to advertise in the newspaper?  It depends...on where your customer is.  And, frankly that's one thing many business owners have no clear answer for...because they just don't know.   Learn.  How?  Pay attention, ask experts, know your prime demographic...ask them...connect with them.  They will tell you...or we can.

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On Twitter it's @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV see you there, leave a comment below or send me an e-mail...because it's a conversation I'm interested in your take.


Thank You 48,753 Times

Those of you who follow this post and our news/webcast Insight on Business with Michael Libbie know what we've been up to over the past nineteen months.  It all changedWebCastOneLive image this summer and spring when several of us got together and put up a new news and information platform called Webcast One LIVE!  This replaced our first run at Des Moines Local LIVE with a more solid delivery system, actual producers and much better equipment.  Has it paid off?

In the past thirty-days 48,753 of YOU chose to Listen, Watch and Chat on Webcast One LIVE!

That is a record for the 19 months we've been working on the total project and it grows each day. 

Here is why this is important for you to know:  All of this growth has been done with non-traditional media.  To date we've not spent a dime on radio, television, print.  Why?  Two reasons:  1)  Wanted to make a statement about the power of Social Media and 2)  We just are not ready yet to take this to the masses and...perhaps the masses are not ready for us?  Imagine if we...had...and we will.  But the "nugget" for your business is that Social Media...if you engage and work it...it works.    In the meantime:

Thank you for being there and here...all 48,753 of you who, in July, made the choice to watch, listen, chat and tell your friends.  Thanks to the many guests we've brought on the shows! Thanks to Robb Spearman for his leadership and to our producers, Steve Dickinson, Eric Gooden , Max Crabb and Ryan Van Every.  Thanks to the other hosts Bruce Stone, Thomas Allen, Jeff Bratz, The B-Girls, Lance Hanson...and thanks to J. Michael McKoy for letting me tag along for the ride.

Thank you all...   See you at Noon Central.

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Connect with me on Twitter@MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV we've also got those Facebook ThingysPersonal and Business.  Thanks again! 

 

 

 


Sunday Morning Coffee - August 1, 2010

It's SUNDAY!!  Time for Sunday Morning Coffee our weekly gathering of scattered Coffee Cu ps thoughts from a cluttered mind.  It's sort of like sitting around the coffee shop talking about what went on, what is going on and what might be ahead.  And, because it's a conversation I'm interested in your thoughts and comments as well.  You can do that by sending me an e-mail, making a comment here or on Twitter: @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.  So...let's get started.

My bride @GeorgieGurl gets home from RAGBRAI XXXVIII today.  That is a Rain good thing because this "bachelor life" is killing me.  Staying up late...getting up early.  I believe the experts are right, married men tend to live longer (no joking about it just "seeming longer") maybe it is having a normal schedule?  Anyway....I'm quite proud of her accomplishment.  Riding a bike for 445 miles is something few folks do.  From all reports, she has had a wonderful time and thanks to the many people who helped her and her riding partner Susan Jacobson during the week.  Here is a photo from the road...it was taken the past Friday during a heavy rain that soaked everybody on the route. Stylin'; huh?

I don't do politics...usually because it makes people crazy(er) and most folks know nothing about politics other than the "talking points" they hear from other crazy people on the left and the right. However...  I saw this article in Cityview an "independent" newspaper published here in Des Moines.  Is this stuff true?  Does the Iowa Republican Party Platform REALLY have this stuff in it?  And, more to the point...do the GOP candidates support this...really?   Terry?  Chuck?  Steve?  (Never mind, I know that Steve King does.)  Honest, I just want to know.  And to be fair, I am sure the Democrats have an equally wacko platform.  One of the reasons this happens is that Platform Committees are often made up of policy wonks from the fringe of each party.  Leaving many of us "in the middle" without a home.  Or so it seems.

The Iowa State Fair is this month...we love the fair but, again, I think it's too late to grow out a Mullet.  Here is a tip of the hat to Mullet11what some call "the fashion statement of the Bud Tent".  Gotta get video of this stuff...when they are sober...  And, yes...there is an Official Mullet Contest.  Yikes...

Meanwhile there is a little "push back" about the change in State Fair Ticket Prices.  While the advance price has remained the same there is an added $1 charge if you buy advance tickets from a place outside of the fairgrounds.  It's called a "Convenience Fee".  Maybe a bad year for a 13.5% ticket price increase?  You can still get them for the $7 fee IF you buy at the Fairgrounds Administration Building.  Me?  Yep, headed there tomorrow.  But, for those of you who live out of town...

The Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL Hockey, announced their season ticket pricing for 2010 - 2011.  Hey...things are looking up.  First game, October 1st.

Meanwhile, there is still loads of time to see the Iowa Cubs in action at Principal Park.  Here is the schedule for August.

Susan Georgie Dubuque Did I tell you that my bride finished RAGBRAI XXXVIII?  Here she is with partner Susan Jacobson dunking their front tires in the Mississippi River at the Port of Dubuque.  Very cool.

What do you think of this?  Progressive Insurance, the number two auto insurance company in the nation, is offering reduced insurance rates if you drive less than 15,000 miles a year and are willing to be electronically monitored for six months.  The monitoring is done to make sure you are driving safely.  Here is the article from the Des Moines Register

Tomorrow Insight on Business with Michael Libbie has "The Veggie Chef" in to talk about his unique marketing model.  He makes house calls to cook up great grub...and does so...without a car.  He loads up his bike, even in the winter, and off he goes.  Samuel Auen @VegChefDSM tomorrow for Metro Monday only on Webcast One LIVE!  I'm warned he is "colorful".

This coming Friday it's Central Iowa Bloggers (CIB) at Panera Bread on University in West Des Moines.  If you have a business blog...or want to learn more, meet some fellow bloggers here is your chance.  No pressure, no agenda just come out and visit...it's a blast.  Starts when Andrew B. Clark and Mike Sansone get there...early...and folks hang around until about 10:00AM.  See you?

If you are in Iowa you've heard about the Pizza Ranch...  But have you heard of the Pizza Farm?  Actually the name of the place is The Stone Barn located just across the river from Minneapolis in Nelson, WI.  Here is a fun article from the Wausau Daily Herald (Wisconsin).  Looks like a fun place to visit AND they make use of local veggies and meats!  Tip of the hat to @AgVille for the news.

Outta here!  We'll get back to advertising and marketing tomorrow.  In the meantime follow us on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV and Facebook too.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

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