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October 2010
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December 2010

Advertising in Tough Economic Times - John Padgett

This past week John Padgett of Gabriel Media was in Des MoinesRadio  speaking to small business owners about advertising and marketing.  He is a "Radio Guy" and had a compelling message about frequency and "top of mind awareness".  It's great to listen to a pro discuss his craft. 

Pay attention to what he is saying in this brief clip.  Listen to what he is saying about advertising in general:


Do we recommend radio to all our clients?  No, but, radio is a great choice in a solid marketing mix.  It's the ability to understand that mix, what you are selling, what the consumer wants and where your target consumer is...that really counts.   And, sadly, most small to medium business owners don't have a they continue doing the wrong things and then say, "Advertising doesn't work." 

It does...and it makes a difference.   Nice job John...I really enjoyed listening to you. 

If you want to carry on the conversation we can do that...join me on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie (business and personal) or @InsightADV (business  You can comment here or send me an e-mail. Thanks for reading!


Retail Shopping & Distribution - A Must Watch...

Those of you who read me know that I also do a daily (Monday - Thursday) show called Insight on Business with Michael Libbbie here atWebCastOneLive image  Webcast One LIVE.  Why?  Because I have a passion for small business, advertising, marketing and we understand "consumer trends".  For an hour between Noon Central and 1:00PM I share with you ideas, tips and news that centers on business and business development...consumers and consumer development.  It's what we do.

Open Sign Neon If you know anybody that is connected with retail I urge you to have them watch today.  I'll share with you (and them) some major insights on retail shopping trends, distribution tips and how you can sell more...if you are paying attention to the trends.  And...if you miss the show, you can always catch the re-broadcast later in the day. 

Here is the "Show Page" for today that gives you the outline.  Hope to have you at Noon Central.

Thanks for coming by!



Sunday Morning Coffee - November 7, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee is our weekly editorial look at the impact storiesCoffee Cu ps  of the week.  There's some business news, political news, gossip and the "scattered thoughts of a cluttered mind".  It's sort of like sitting down with friends  Have a cup?

WHO screwed up the clock?  Welcome to "Whatever Time it is on the Sunday that Puts Me Off Kilter for a Week".  I may have to move to Arizona....

What the hell was that?  $4 billion was spent in the 2010 Mid-Term Elections up $1.7 billion from 2006. 

In a year that voters, across the country, turned out to oust incumbents...all of Iowa's congressional candidates were re-elected.  Secretary of Agriculture, Bill  Treasurer, Michael  Political hack and State Auditor David Vaudt, re-elected.  Meanwhile, Governor Chet Man scratching head Culver who led Iowa through tough economic times, several natural disasters and who was seen, from outside of Iowa, to be a leader with a progressive vision for the future was...fired.  And Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro, a guy who didn't use the office for a stepping stone but went to work every day to do his job (and it looks like he will land a gig with Governor-Elect Branstad) was...fired.

It gets...weirder.

But nothing was more shocking than the politicizing of the Iowa Supreme Court and the ousting of three judges who made the call that banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional.   Thousands of dollars from forward, progressive thinking states like Mississippi poured into Iowa in the "defense of marriage".  (I don't know about you but my marriage was never in jeopardy.)  Goes to show you, Iowa is not as progressive as we thought.  

You know, if Iowans really want to protect marriage we should ban no-fault divorce, gambling, liquor by the drink and make weekly attendence at a "preferred" house of worship mandatory.  Oh...and allow the burning of witches.  (Did somebody mention Chistine O'Donnell?)


Then there is always the Saturday Night Live parody that is worth a view.

Don't get me started...too late.

Meanwhile the folks over at MSNBC are not "Leaning Forward" enough?  Idiot-in-Chief Phil Griffin suspends Keith Olberman for makingOlbermann_10-5  legal campaign contributions?  When, in fact it's not counter to NBC policy.  Nope, I'm not making this up, here is the 2007 NBC Policy:

"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee."  (My emphasis.)

OK...Olberman is NOT an impartial journalist he is a liberal news commentator.  Seen his show?  And then there is the uncomfortable fact that Joe Scarborough, a conservative commentator, has ALSO given political contributions.  And what about that 2009 check for $1,000 from CNBC's Larry Kudlow to former GOP congressman Chris Shays?  But...he's still workin'.  Here are updates from the Washington Post. It's "open season" for progressives...

My head is spinning...

Trader Joe's Opened in West Des Moines last week.  (I'm feeling better already.)

Armistice-day At the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

...  That was the time the armistice was signed ending "The Great War".  The Great War, for those of you educated in private schools, was to have been "The war to end all wars" when in reality it was the pre-courser to the "Second World War".  Here is a great read on the subject. The combined horror, and a desire to honor those who have served our country, led to Veterans Day.  Hope you'll take as much time remembering and thanking a Vet as you do driving to the big box store for the sales.


Did you hear that Lindsay Lohan took some time out of re-hab to  What would you do without me?

I was to have been in Dallas at the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Fall Meeting but due to scheduling issues I didn't make it.  Hope you folks had an excellent event and if somebody would clue me in to the "mood" of the industry.  That would be great!Santa Secrets 2

Holiday Season Sales are set to bounce up by 2.1% over 2009.  The average spend, per person, is projected at $688.87.  I did an entire show on what the numbers mean and what folks in retail need to do to increase their chances of getting "more than their share".  From Insight on Business with Michael Libbie...have a look.

I have not stepped foot in a Wal-Mart store for over six years...and I going to have to re-think my position?  No, it wasn't because of their "politics" or my "pro-small business" mind set.  It was because of the HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. And the realization that I was NOT their prime customer.  Who, seven years ago, according to their marketing chief who spoke at a Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association event, was/is:  "Female, 18 - 35, un-married, three children with an income of lest than $25,000 a year."  

Now comes the news that Wal-Mart is going to attempt to impact the "Farm to Table" cycle with....sustainable agriculture preferences.  GULP!  They say the will, by 2015, be the source for high quality, organic foods, locally grown foods that will be a major step in improving the environment!   I'd heard about this earlier in the year but put it off as a PR move.  However, this article in the Des Moines Register has me wondering if they are serious.  What do you think?   IF it's solid...

Monster Bush Aug 2010 We've been working "non-stop" on our house.

  Honest.  When we moved in this summer it was a constant effort just to keep it together.  It had been empty (well not exactly "empty" but nobody had lived here) for over four years and it was being used as "storage" but nobody would come and get anything.  Gutters with five years of silt, sump-pumps that had not been working, carpet sitting in rolls, no A/C (somebody 'forgot' to put it in), Monster Bushes from Hell, stuff EVERYWHERE...happyGeorgie Office Nov 2010  rodents/spiders and flies.  We've made HUGE progress and we're grateful...that we still speak to each other.  Georgie's office is the latest effort...not yet done...but getting close.  Today should be "move in". (Speaking of "off kilter" that desk going 'down hill'?)

Next week my brother Yoni and his wife Anita come over and...he cooks!  We're excited.  He is a fantastic foodie and we've invited several eclectic folks to come and enjoy the experience.  I'll share next Sunday.

Tomorrow we've got an interesting show lined up.  It's Metro Monday with Insight on Business and our focus is going to be on a major health study called The National Children's Health Study.  Polk County is one of 105 locations, nationwide, chosen for this look at kids from birth to twenty-one.  Our guest is Riswan Z. Shah, MD, a national leader in children's health issues.  We're excited...can you tell!!  Dr. Shah and children's health tomorrow at Noon Central on Webcast One LIVE.  (Noon Central..what time is that REALLY?)..

Have a great Sunday...and we'll catch you tomorrow.  Thanks for reading, watching, listening and connecting:  We can keep the conversation going on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie (personal & business) or @InsightADV (business

















Big UPS to our son, Aaron Libbie...he dropped everything the other day to come over and help me move some furniture.  He is amazing...a wonderful husband, father and son.

Retail Facts - Fourth Quarter - 2010

Last week I shared with you "Retail Predictions - 2015".  I pulled the topWoman Santa Helper  five items from a Nielsen Survey and gave you some of our thoughts on each.   It's still have a look.

This week, during Insight on Business with Michael Libbie, I offered up nearly an hour long discussion about what retail can expect moving into the Holiday Season.  Loads of stats and thoughts about how retail operators can have a great Fourth Quarter...if they will listen.  The raw information comes from The National Retail Federation 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey...but what the numbers mean, if they are accurate and we think they are...came from us.

Here are some highlights:

The "average spend" per person for 2010 will be $681.83.  That Santa Secrets 2 number is 2.1% higher than 2009.  Gifts amount to $518.08 and the rest is food, flowers, decorations, cards/postage.  What you do over the next two weeks will impact how many of them you see in your store.

The "shopper mood" is better this year.  Last year 65.3% said the economy impacted their spending.  This year that number fell to 61.7%.  But, shoppers will be checking prices and sales.  A whopping 30.9% will be price shopping on-line.   Better check your "digital experience"

While "sales" and "price" will impact buying decisions that's not all you need to push.  Shoppers will put aside cost if they get superior customer service and high quality products.  In other words...even if your stuff costs more, you can off set by delivering great service and high quality. Remember not EVERYBODY is shopping price.

Jewelry sales will be up in 2010.  Yet another reflection of the improvedWoman christmas gift  mood of the holiday shopper is the request for stuff they really don't NEED.  23% say they will go after jewelry....up from 20.8% in 2009.

Back to your Digital Experience- 26.8% will be checking on you, your store and your pricing while they are shopping by using Smart Phones.  They might even be in your store...or the competition.  If you are marketing to 18 - 24 year old shoppers that number bounces to 45%.  Do we have to say it again?  Best have a robust presence on the Web.

What will influence shoppers?  Word of mouth...we now call it social media out pulls direct mail, coupons, newspapers, radio...even TV.  People trust what their peer groups have to say.  Are you among them?  Do you know what they are saying?  Do you know what they are saying about you? 

Now...what do you want to do? 

We can keep the conversation going on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie (personal and business) or @InsightADV (business






The Business Cost of...Politics

Spending for the 2010 Mid-Term Elections is projected to reach $3.8 to $4.2 billion.  That's up from $2.5 billion in 2008.  Lots of passion driving lots of money.  But, while local radio and television stations are gobblingElection Signs  up the cash.   What impact does this have on...your business?

Here is a typical case.  This weekend I was talking to a small business owner (I do this stuff everyday) and in the middle of his, "Ya know, I just don't know what works when it comes to advertising." speech (I hear that everyday too...) he said, "I can't even buy advertising during the political season.  They push up the cost so high I can't afford to buy radio ads."

There is some food for thought:  While candidates are using the airwaves to tell lies and half can't afford to market their goods and services.

In this case the owner tells me he was buying thirty-second ads in the "early morning news" for about $30 each.  When Campaign 2010 (Also known as the Lie Express) cut loose ninety days ago his costs went to $80 for the same thirty-second ad in the same day-part.  I've been hearing this from so many business people I've lost count.

If you took our advice and bought might not be in this situation.  However, it's pretty bad when politics stands in the way of doing business let alone drive down retention of ads...because so many folks are so very tired....what think you?