Baby, I'm Amazed...

The ability to connect with customers, clients and co-workers has never been greater. Go ahead, pick a platform from traditional media use Connecting Puzzle Image to podcasting to a host of social media platforms. Never before has there been so much opportunity yet utilization, real utilization, and the understanding of how to make it all happen tends to rest with just a few of us. I'm amazed.

Last week I joined Clubhouse (thank you Ben McDougal) and was involved in a deep dive into journalism. From how people are consuming the news to the many platforms that are available to a deep concern about an aging population that still relies on print and what happens when that goes away. We talked about news silos where people only get their information from a source that aligns with their personal/political view. We chatted about independent writers and journalists that are freelancing and publishing on Substack or on their blog or in an electronic newsletter. Baby, I'm amazed...

If everything that I wrote in that second paragraph reads like some sort of techy gibberish you would not be alone. Think of that entire ecosystem as a layer of knowledge and activity that is going on in what would seem like an alternative universe. And, to a point it is. News Typewriter

While the vast majority of people and businesses survive on some traditional and "old school" models of marketing, advertising and information gathering you need to know those old models are quickly going away or being replaced with other means of connecting. And, that...can be a blessing our a curse.

It all depends on your target market...the people that really matter to your business.

I was watching "Better Call Saul" the other night (If you've not seen it...go...you will not be disappointed.) when the main character Jimmy McGill, a down on your luck attorney and the person who later becomes Saul Goodman, recognizes an opportunity to do something called "elder law". Jimmy_McGill Saul You know, doing wills and trusts for older citizens.  In one scene we see what appears to be a long-term care facility day room with dozens of elderly people talking, playing cards, doing puzzles and the staff is handing out Jell-O Cups.  As the people eat the Jell-O there is a message printed on the bottom of each cup that says, "Need a Will? Call Jimmy McGill" and an image of McGill's face.  And, of course, McGill is in the room glad-handing each person and giving some really over the top complements.

Brilliant...  You see Jimmy knows his customer base and it would be a waste of time and money to try to reach these folks with traditional media and so he does some inventive "direct marketing" on a personal scale. Now, the show doesn't tell us how successful this method is but if he gets just eight people, out of the sixty there, he's made a good return on his investment.  But, the key was he KNEW who and how to connect.

So, where is your key customer? They may be consumers of local radio or television. They may be die-hard print subscribers or they may be digital consumers or early adopters of various communication tools from Clubhouse to Twitter. The question to you is, "Where are my customers/clients/co-workers spending their time gathering information?"

Figure that out and you...win.

 

 

 


Riffing on Hyper-Local Events

Every Friday, for years, we change up our business newscast and riff with Jeff Pitts the managing editor of Cityview Magazine about "Stuff Jeff Pitts March 2017 the DO" in the Greater Des Moines Metro. Six days a week we do the serious business news and long-form interviews but on Friday it's all fun.  We were asked the other day why we don't do more local business news stories and the answer is because our podcast is...well...global. The other day I posted up a business interview and within thirty seconds it had been opened in Germany and in Finland. Sure the United States and Canada are our biggest areas but it is interesting how connected we all are, on a global level. (Yep, that's Jeff...in 2017 yet!)

Years ago, when we were on local radio, our focus had to be on local business news. I remember reaching out to the Des Moines Register and the Business Record and asking them if they wanted to join up and do a daily business news hour. We would use some of their stories and their talent to report. Both newspapers turned us down. I guess they didn't see the value or, perhaps, thought it would be some sort of competition. So we did it ourselves...still do.  Anyway, and just for fun, here's Jeff and I riffing on those "Hyper-Local" things. Enjoy we'll get back to the serious stuff on Sunday.

Thanks for listening!

The award winning Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie is the only weekday business news podcast in the Midwest. The national, regional and some local business news along with long-form business interviews can be heard Monday - Friday. You can subscribe on Google PlayPlayerFMPodbeaniTunesSpotifyStitcher or TuneIn Radio. And you can catch The Business News Hour Week in Review each Sunday Noon on News/Talk 1540 KXEL. The Business News Hour is a production of Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications. You can follow us on Twitter @IoB_NewsHour.

 


Some Hiring Help

Last week on The Business News Hour we had a story about jobs. The Labor Department says there are now 1.5 million more open jobs Hiring Use then there are unemployed people. To put that in context let's say there are 6 million unemployed people in the U.S. yet there are 7.5 million open jobs.

Our business is based in the Des Moines, Iowa Metro where the current unemployment rate is hovering around 2.3%. I am told, by the folks at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, there are 17,000 open jobs in the Metro. Again, just not enough people...

Everywhere you look you see "Help Wanted" signs. HyVee, a chain of over 237 grocery stores in the Midwest, went out and bought flags to plant in their parking lot to announce the obvious. Over the past two years I've watched as B'Bops, a locally owned hamburger chain, has changed their help wanted sign to promote higher wages. Two years ago the sign said $8.00 an hour. Today the sign reads $10 an hour.

Last month there was a high-powered forum where experts weighed in on the employment troubles and offered up some suggestions regarding not only recruitment but also retention.

One of the things that is missing from the discussion is something called "passive recruitment". That's where you use media to target not only your "help wanted" message but also, at the same time, polish your brand. You can use a host of mediums radio, podcasting sponsorships, podcasting, video and social media to do the same thing. 

What is cool about passive recruiting is that word spreads. You may not hit the person who is actively looking for a job but your message may be heard or seen by a family member who then says, "Hey, did you see/hear that Weasels is looking for workers. Sounds/Looks like a great place to work."

Here's a sample, click to listen.

Recruitment Audio June 2019

It's really that easy but, does it work?  I have a friend who works in this field and he has been successful for years. The key is to let people know how really great your business is and then pitch the idea of working there.

Building your brand while building your bench is simply a good stratigity. 

 

 

 

 


Tips on Scoring Earned Media

It is called “earned media” when you get publicity through promotional efforts. You know, the Earned Media Boy reporter shows up at your business and does a great job in sharing your message/brand/effort.  It happens every day right?

It does but the promotional effort has to be something amazing.

While you think your promotion is really cool and fun and interesting you need to understand media outlets get pitched all the time and they only have so much inventory.  And, remember, media outlets survive on “paid media” or advertising.

Some Tips on Scoring Earned Media

  • Think and Plan – Sure, sometimes a promotional event goes viral on its own but to get to that point there must be some serious planning. You must take into consideration not just “the event” but how it will play with the public. Will they get it and will it make for a good “news bite”?
  • Wacky Works – Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014? It was wacky, different and fun. The ALS Association scored international media attention and even offered up Ice Bucket Challenge 2.0 in 2015;
  • Celebs – Hooking your promotional event around “a name” is always a great way to induce the media to your cause. Some celebrities will pony up their time because they have a relationship to the cause or event but you need to know not just ask;
  • Broad Appeal – Even though your promotion is meant to drive your brand the event needs to be broad enough to garner wide appeal. Otherwise media outlets will ignore you;
  • Social Media – If you fail to get social with your promotion hoping the media will carry the ball for you…forget it. At the same time if you are not NOW working social media for your business but ramp it up for one event…ain’t gonna work. You must be in the space before, during and after;
  • Keep Pitching - Once and done is not a good media plan;
  • Be Timely - If you can tie your event to something that is already hot or something that is starting to bubble up, so much the better; 
  • It’s Not Free – Getting earned media is not free. It takes time, talent, planning, execution and a relationship with the media. All of those factors cost money…
  • The Relationship – I can’t stress this enough…if you and your business has created a media relationship either through paid advertising or personal it is golden. Likewise if you and your business is already seen as a leader in your vertical so much the better.

The bottom line is that earned media doesn’t “just happen”

Now, go think and plan!

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Let's Start A Media Company!

Thought I'd share something I head recently about advertising, marketing and the media. If Media Signyou've ever wondered if you could compete with "media giants" now is the time to act. And you have the power. Ready?

So you are in business and I come to you and say, "Hey, let's you and I start a media company!" No doubt you would wonder what I was drinking and might come back with, "A media company? Are you crazy?  That would cost a fortune!"

Maybe...and maybe not. If you've got seven minutes have a listen. I think you'll get it!

 

Thanks for reading and listening!

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Made The Way You - Hills Pet Food

We get it. We also do design work for our clients.  From packaging to direct Hills Flyer June 2015 mail to billboards to flyers.  And, yes, we've made an error or two in the years that we've been at it. (Once we failed to spell an ingredient correctly in on a tiny list on the back of a bag.) So, yes...we understand that mistakes happen and not only to small advertising agencies like ours or maybe even in your business.

The image here is from a direct mail piece that came in the Sunday Des Moines Register. If you look at it carefully you're left with a question: "Made the way you...would what?"

This happens when text boxes are left out of the final design and print run. So, how do you make sure something like this doesn't happen, even if you don't have a staff?  Some tips:

  • Pass It Around - Often the person who writes the copy is expected to proof the copy. Big mistake because often writers may "think" they included the information and on proofing just don't see it.  Pass the piece around to others to review;
  • Print Run - We nearly always demand that if the printing is done locally that somebody from here is at the print run to check color, layout, bleeds, etc. It takes some extra time but worth it;
  • Create a Mock-Up - What we see on a computer screen often just isn't the same as holding the actual print piece. So before it goes to press create a mock-up so you can handle, circle changes, etc.
  • One More Time - We've even gone so far as to take a technical item out of the office for a review from another technical writer.  Again, it might take some time but perhaps he/she might find a goof.

Speaking of Goofs - Before writing this we posted the image on our Facebook Page and asked folks to see if they "noticed anything odd". Many didn't but, once it was pointed out it was, to some, a "brand ding". A negative impact of the brand seemed a little harsh but, for some folks...that may be all it takes. 

Take a little extra time...and thanks for reading!

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Stunning...

If you have followed our work you know we love "Less is More".  The idea behind this concept is to get the consumer to NOTICE you or your product/service.  The secondary goal is to sell.  When this flier from Target arrived in this morning's newspaper we had to share.

In a word it is: STUNNING

Target 2013 Cover

The designer created a visual WOW with color and motion calling attention to the two items being sold while shouting...classy.  We may never look at Tide or Welch's Grape Juice in the same way.  Well done, simple and stunning.  Your thoughts?

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If you would like to comment here, feel free.  Or follow us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV and here is our agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for coming by!



The Friday Wrap for Business

The Friday Wrap takes a look at several business/marketing stories Friday all loaded with our opinion.  If you want to comment, feel free!  Also you can follow the conversation on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page, which is right here.  OK then...don't leave the office until you've read these stories from The Friday Wrap:

  • Old Ads - We love looking at what our craft created years ago and if you enjoy a chuckle or two our pick of the week is Old Ads Are Funny.
  • Facebook - Our friends at Facebook celebrated 1 billion users this week with a neat video on "connecting".
  • Meanwhile The Big Lie - However many small/medium business folks get caught up in marketing by using Facebook...often poorly. Our thoughts.
  • Central Iowa Bloggers - Gather the first Friday of each month.
  • The Goal - When you do a print piece your goal is to get noticed here's a creative piece from our friends at Hy-Vee that begs to do just that.
  • 5 in Twenty-Four - This week we were pleased to present to the Central Iowa Chapter of the American Business Women's Association of Iowa.  What did they learn?  We'll let them tell you.
  • Rural Blogging - Hampton and Franklin County, Iowa play host to writers and photographers from across the country...and Japan. What can your business learn about...marketing for nearly free.

Here's the link for The Friday Wrap. Thanks for coming by and have a superior weekend!

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The Goal? - Open the Offer...

We love it when our clients listen to us and create a dynamic direct mail HyVee Dog Food 1 or print insert piece that will get noticed, opened and read.  While Hy-Vee is not our client (However they should be for the social media side of things...we could help.) they do have some pretty cool advertising stuff and here is an example. (Go ahead and click on the image...they get larger.)

It's a Des Moines Register insert from this past Sunday and it begs (pun intended) to get noticed.  And, what you notice...you'll open.

While Hy-Vee could have opted to send out a flat piece the die-cut makes it stand out...and that's what you want.  

HyVee Dog Food 2Inside there is plenty of room for specials and pricing. However, because it's so darn cute I wonder if folks will cut out the coupons?

A piece like this isn't cheap to design, however stock photos help.  And it's not inexpensive print.  But, remember we want people to notice and then open your direct mail or insert and this piece shows the way.  HyVee Dog Food 3

If you want to comment here, feel free or follow us on Twitter @InsightADV and/or here is our advertising agency Facebook Page. Thanks for coming by! WOOF!

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