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April 2012
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June 2012

Media Death...Really?

You know we're big fans of New Media...some call it Social Media...andBusiness Tug of War what it can do for your business.  However, from the very start (now nearly a decade ago) we have cautioned clients, and anybody who would listen, that to put all your eggs into the new media basket is a huge mistake.  But it's a tug of war to understand your options.

While others may trumpet about the death of "traditional media" we believe that a healthy mix of a winner.  But what trumps the healthy mix is having the knowledge as to where your customers are.  What are they looking at?  Where are they, geographically?  Who influences them?  What influences them? How can you best connect and with what medium?

Oh...and what's your budget?

We listen to media pitches...daily.  Every media salesperson has the magic bullet.  Unless you, as a business owner, asks the right questions you might be buying...everything.  Or, nothing at all.

The quick tip for you is to know your consumer.  Know what moves them and where they put their eyes and ears.  Then mix that knowledge with a solid budget plan to put your stuff in front of them.  While it sounds easy it takes work, a complete understanding of the market and the media that's being offered.  Do these things




If you would like to connect you can leave a comment here or on Twitter it's @InsightAdv and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for reading! - Michael

Five Great Retail Lessons

What makes for a great retail experience?  We're offering up what weWoman Shopper think are the top five things that create a "desire" on the part of the consumer.  The idea that they must  No fancy studies, just an honest assessment of what moves us to buy at our favorite retail businesses. 

Employee Interaction 

Within a 1.5 radius of our home there are three grocery stores.  We consistently pass by two of them and shop at the furthermost store.  Why?  We honestly like the people who work there.  Most are engaging individuals who see us all the time and say more than, "Did you find everything?"  (That is such a lame question and why "experts" suggest check-out people ask it is just...silly.)   Lesson Number One:  Hire friendly people.  You might have to pay them more...but it pays off.

Shopper Appeal

Some stores seem...tired.  I can't explain it to you but think it's a mixture of personnel, lighting and design.  Here is a test:  If you live in the Des Moines Metro head over to Valley West Mall.  Walk into Younkers and spend five minutes wandering.  Then, head all the way to the other end and wander through Von Maur.  The difference in shopper appeal is palatable. Music, staff, lighting, all works at Von Maur.  Lesson Number Two:  Avoid being a "tired store"Spruce up your shopper appeal by looking at your store as a consumer might.

Don't Shout

What the world needs now is...civility.  If you have anything to do with marketing or advertising in retail...stop shouting at me.  I'm not sure why nearly every local car dealer pitchman feels the need to be hyped up.  Why patio furniture needs to pitched as if it might be the last, best thing I'll do for humanity.  Use a little...class.  Let's have a conversation.  Lesson Number Three:  Don't shout, show some class.  We want to like you first.

Man Disco LoungeDon't Do It...

Please, for the sake of humanity, unless you are an accomplished actor who just happens to own a retail not appear in your own television ads.  I have friends who have done this and they look...silly and forced.  If, however, you want to be quirky go ahead.  But remember, your brand suffers.  Example: I would never do business with The Gold Guys...sorry but the lounge lizard look gives me the creeps.  Lesson Number Four:  Avoid the embarrassment and hire professionals for your television ads.

Bring Value

Not everybody shops price.  Bring value to the exchange by telling a story about the products you have in your store.  Bring value to the consumer by suggesting ideas rather than pitching a product.  If your stuff is expensive show value by how well it is made and how long it will last.  Bring value by being a resource rather than a store.  Lesson Number Five:  Add value to the transaction and people will share the story.  You end up selling...more.

You might have your own "Top Five" or you might have some additional ideas.  We'd love to hear from you.  Feel free to leave a comment here or let's talk on Twitter @InsightADV or here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for visiting.






Insight on Business - Friday Roundup

At the end of the Business Week we share with you the Friday Roundup from Insight on Business.  (Yes, you can click that link.) Some of the stories you might have seen and some of the stories that you may have missed.  So, before you "head out" to the Mother's Day Weekend take a gander.  This week:

Central Iowa Bloggers - Yep a video presentation of what this motley group does and does not do.

Brand Warriors - Do you have them?  Do you know?  Do you want them?  You better.

Oh Really? - Sometimes we have "social media experts" that don't know what in the hell they are talking about.  As always it's:  Buyer Beware.  A hat tip to the Nashville Business Review.

Being Responsive - You own a business.  It's your brand.  Be careful, very careful, as to how you treat it when you outsource your social media.

Email Stress -  Got it?  Why is it important?  Our friend Adam Posh shares...

For the Birds! - A video presentation of our babies...get ready to go...awwwww.

Featured at the Des Moines Register

If you want to connect, you can leave a comment here or follow us on Twitter @InsightADV (business) or MichaelLibbie (personal) and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Have a great weekend!

Who Are Your "Brand Warriors"?

Let's look at what a "Brand Warrior" is:  It's not you or your employee butWarrior Knight it is your business friend.  Perhaps your best business friend.  It's the consumer who "talks you up" telling others and sharing with them how superior your product/service is...for them.  They, through their efforts, influence others to buy stuff from you.

In the "old days" we would call this "word of mouth marketing".  One person would tell another.  However, now with the many forms of media available to us, it has become known as "world of mouth".  One person, with just a few key strokes, can share with thousands of friends/followers their support of your brand.

Smart businesses learn, quickly, who their Brand Warriors are and they cultivate them.  That means "doing a little extra" to make sure your favorite customers are noticed and taken care of.  It's being responsive to them and knowing them and acknowledging them.  They, in turn, will share their experiences with people they influence and before long you are selling more...stuff. 

Taking care of your Brand Warriors is the best money you never...spent.

So, who are your Brand Warriors?  Do you know?  How do you engage them?  Do you continue to encourage, notice and respond?



Some of the brands I like.  The list is made up of large and tiny companies.  Size does not...matter.   Maybe you'll notice one or two.

Cafe Di Scala - @CafeDiScala - They get it and respond

Gusto Pizza - @GustoPizzaDM - Same owners and it shows

Von Maur - @Von_Maur - They engage their shoppers

Mediacom - @MediacomSupport - The "back-channel" to service

Enterprise Rental - @EnterpriseCares - They listen and engage

Southwest Airlines - @SouthwestAir - Fun, friendly and responsive

Domestica - @ShopDomestica - Chrissy is amazing

Thanks for coming by.  If you want to comment you can do that here or we're on Twitter @InsightADV (business) or @MichaelLibbie (personal) and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.


What Is Central Iowa Bloggers?

Blogging, social media, Twitter, business, ideas.  That pretty much sums up with goes on at a Central Iowa Blogger meeting (#CIB if you use Twitter to follow the conversation).  Ten to fifteen folks gather on the first Friday of each month at Panera Bread on University in WDM.  But, rather than write about what goes are some folks sharing what we do.  It's shocking!


You don't have to be a social media super-star.  You just need to enjoy learning about new ideas and mixing it up with some pretty smart people.  Hope to see you the morning of June 1st...say 7:30ish?




If you want to connect feel free to leave a comment here.  Or let's chat on Twitter @InsightADV (business) or @MichaelLibbie (personal) and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Have a superior Monday!

Take A Break...

Each week we step away from the world of business (for one day only) and brew up Sunday Morning Coffee.  It's filled with politics, opinion, sex...well maybe not so much sex...and gossip.  It's just a fun way for me to share.  You can read Sunday Morning Coffee when you click this link.  Inside you'll read about:

  • CNN - I have to do their work...too;
  • Gas Prices- It's all Obama's fault;
  • Iowa GOP- Spanks the ass of the Iowa Dems;
  • Iowa - Just like Arizona...or Wisconsin;
  • Ron Paul - Goes to Tampa, the Iowa connection;
  • Sex - Sleeping with the president & getting paid;
  • Obama - Proof he's really an Arab;
  • Steve King - Want a job in agriculture?  Step up!;
  • Multi-Cultural - Family photo of the week.

Thanks for coming by.  We'll get back to business tomorrow.



I Have An Idea....

The other day I shared with you the way some folks use Twitter as a giant broadcast machine offering up a SALES MESSAGE each time they hit the keyboard.


Today is a video blog.  It's about the people who are causing themselves all sorts of problems...but they don't know it...because nobody is telling them.  Until now:

Stop hurting your brand and get some help already.  If not us...somebody...for the love of the children....




If you would like to connect you can leave a comment here or head to our advertising agency Facebook Page can reach us on Twitter @InsightADV or @MichaelLibbie (personal stuff you know)

Just Stop It!

For the love of everything holy...and for the children...stop it.  StopStop Image selling 24/7 on Twitter.  You know who you are...

We check on who is following us on a daily basis.  And, we know this sounds like we're "Harvard Snobs" but we tend to check the time-line of each person.  If the three or four most recent Tweets has you selling a product, service or a coupon we...pass.  Well, most of the time.  Because the next thing we do is check out the Twitter Profile.  If the profile is as non-personal as the most recent set of Tweets...we seriously do pass.


Imagine you walk into a bar/gym (we're trying to be politically correct here) and your entire bit of communication goes like this:

"Hey, I just got 20% off at XYZ!"  "I have to tell you this coupon deal is sweet, click the link!" "Wait until you see my shoes that I paid next to nothing for.  I just used this coupon!"  "You want to save big money?  Follow me right out of this door!"  "Sign up for my e-mail update!"

Yawn...and no thanks.

Deliver a little personality along the way.  You'll be surprised at how quickly we notice.  One more tiny little thing.  Consider some original content...seriously just re-tweeting other people's stuff does not let us know who you are.




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or if you want to connect via Twitter it's @InsightADV or on Facebook here is our advertising agency page.  Have a great day!