Hockey & Promotion

Stars_faceoff The Iowa Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) last night played to a 3 - 1 win over the Omaha Knights (AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames) to take a 3 to 1 advantage in the best of a seven game first round Calder Cup Playoff.  They can close out the first round on Friday in Omaha should they win. (To those of you who don't like or have any interest in hockey...hang on...there is another message here...read on.)

Anyway, it IS a big deal for those of us who follow the game and, frankly, it is a big deal for Des Moines to have this caliber of hockey played at the new and beautiful Wells Fargo Arena at the Iowa Events Center.  Or so you would think...

This morning the sports page of the Des Moines Register had two stories about the win and that was nice.  There was also a note that the Stars rank last among the 16 AHL teams in the Calder Cup playoffs.  (1,453 fans on Monday  and 2,111 last night) That is NOT surprising...

It's not surprising because some of the major sports reporters simply ignore the Iowa Stars...and that is a shame.

Jim_zabel Yesterday I spent several hours on the road and I was listening to WHO - Radio (the statewide 50,000 watt 'blowtorch' of a radio station out of DSM)  They have regular "sports reports" with the venerable Jim Zabel.  There was news about the Drake Relays, a story of Cub's pitcher Mark Prior who is out for the season and even a story about yet another Ferentz signing with the Iowa Hawkeyes football.  Jim gushed (yes gushed), "Yet another Ferentz joins his coach father Kirk at Iowa..." 

Nothing...not a mention about the Iowa Stars on the "Sports Authority".

So, what is the point?  The Iowa Stars are NOT a big deal...at least in the minds of the people that help inform and build momentum.  OR...could it be that the Front Office of the team needs to build better relationships?

Sure, this is a post about marketing and advertising and it is clear the Iowa Stars could use some major help in both...and maybe a little public relations might help a bit. 

Hockey_equipment Here at our little place we like to think of this as yet another business trying to "go it alone" in the world of marketing and advertising.  Once again a business says, "Hey, we know our business better than anybody...so we should be able to market our product/service better than anybody".   Sadly, that is not always the case.  In fact it usually spells disaster...or worse no mention at all.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can always make contact with us by clicking here. 


Sunday Morning Coffee

Img_0199_t Sunday morning...that time when we can share some stories and thoughts that don't necessarily have much to do with advertising and marketing...or do they?

Grab a cup and let's visit for a couple of minutes.  You never know what might pop up.

I got an e-mail from a young lady in Panama City, FL the other day.  Kathy works at a place called The Boatyard.  It's a restaurant and bar on one of the bays.  When I was there in January with the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) we had an evening at The Boatyard. You can click here to visit. It was Kathy who impressed me with her customer service and the way in which she went out of her way to make sure the 120 of us were well taken care of...so.  A SHOUT OUT to them and her....I get to be back there in a couple of weeks for a Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association meeting (FEMA - Yes, there is another FEMA!).  We'll look you up!

Hockey_equipment The Iowa Stars hockey season is coming to a close and we're still in the hunt for a play off in the Western Division of the American Hockey League.  There was a great story in this morning's Des Moines Register by Lisa Colonno (Who, by the way, does a wonderful job in covering the Stars).  The article is about the diversity on the Iowa Stars roster.  If you would like to read...just click here.  Good stuff and thanks Lisa.  Stars play tonight at 5:05PM against the Manitoba Moose....go Stars!

Liz Back to eating!  This is Liz who was our server last night at Cafe di Scala here in Des Moines. If you want to visit just click here. It was an anniversary evening and we picked the restaurant on the recommendation of fellow blogger Sherry at DSM BUZZ. You can visit them by going here.  It was a great choice.  Excellent food, super staff and Tony Lemmo has a winner.  If you are fortunate enough to be in the Des Moines area you MUST eat here. It's just that simple.

Running_horse_booth We're off in a bit to the Iowa Horse Fair at the state fairgrounds.  We spent some time there yesterday working a couple of booths and listening to consumers.   Here's a shot of Nikki Ferraro doing her thing with a potential customer of Running Horse Elite Equine Nutrition.  Nice graphics...who is your agency anyway? (wink, wink, nudge, nudge...)

What NO MARKETING or ADVERTISING talk?  Sure there was...in the space of just a few minutes we connected you with two associations in the farm industry, two restaurants that understand customer service, a fellow BLOGGER, a newspaper article about diversity, an entire hockey team, a new horse feed company a non-profit equine association and the American Hockey League. WHEW!

Oh...the power of the BLOG.

Thanks for coming by for a visit!  Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can always contact us here.


"Thank You" Still Works

12faceoff Last night the Iowa Stars Hockey Team (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) held their annual Season Ticket Holder Party at Wells Fargo Arena here in Des Moines.  Fans had access to the staff and players for over two hours and...

while the team was saying "Thank you" to the fans for their support I was touched by how many of the fans I heard say, "Thank you for your efforts." 

It didn't much matter who was in earshot fans and players alike were involved in an evening of recognizing the importance of each other.  Sure, we pay for the privilege of going to the game and watching these young men play for themselves and for the team...but it's always neat when both sides understand how important the relationship is.

Iowa_stars_dave In addition to the mutual appreciation event the fans were also treated to an evening of one on one access to players and coaches (Photo: Coach Dave Allison).  We got to ask pointed questions and they got to respond.  How refreshing!  (I still think we need an "enforcer".)

Finally the management, staff and players all had great things to say about Iowa and Des Moines.  While we've got a couple of Midwest players (Minnesota and Michigan) Most come Iowa_stars_team from quite a distance...Canada (both rural and urban - French and English), Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and many more.  All of them...each and every one praised Des Moines and the people of Iowa.  That was really nice.

Bottom Line:  So...do you say "thank you" to your customers often enough?  Do you take the time and spend the money to listen to what they have to say?  Is your relationship with your customers one sided or do you really want to learn?  Finally, just like there are other cities...so too there are other products like yours.  Do you spend your time building up your product or tearing down others?

John Pettit and his staff weren't betting on a Business Blog this morning...but they did something all of us can learn more from.  Thanks!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we're not only grateful for our clients...it's our business to be listening. 


Iowa Sportsman Radio Hour

Iowa_sportsman_2 Some of you may know we do a radio show on 98.3 WOW-FM about the Rural Lifestyle...but since November I've co-hosted an outdoors show on the same station each Monday evening at 7:00PM.

Thomas_muzzbuck_06_017_2 My Co-Host for the show is the Executive Editor of The Iowa Sportsman, Thomas Allen.  Thomas is THE hunters hunter and fishers...fisher?  That didn't come out right.  He is as accomplished with a bow as he is with a shotgun or rifle.

Each Monday evening we talk about the Iowa Outdoors, what to do, where to go, and things that should be of concern to people who hunt, fish, hike, bike, camp...just love the outdoors and our great state.

Robin_on_air_2_2 On the show tonight we'll have Robin Pruisner from the Iowa Department of Agriculture.  She is the State Entomologist and is going to share with us a story about the Emerald Ash Bore.  It's no laughing matter...these little green insects have been known to destroy acres of Ash trees in as little as a growing season.  Currently the EAB is not in Iowa...but our mission is to keep it out.  We'll have some solid tips.

We're also going to talk about a Bill that is currently stuck in a legislative committee.  The Bill has to do with Iowa air and water and property values.  HF 873 sets some space restrictions and regulates how far from rivers, streams, lakes and private property a builder can construct a hog feeding facility, cattle feed yard or a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. (CAFO).  If you like the Iowa Outdoors...you should pay attention to our discussion tonight.

It all gets underway this evening at 7:00PM on 98.3 WOW-FM here in Des Moines.  Apologies to our out of area readers...more tomorrow about advertising and marketing...your things!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can make contact with us by clicking here.


Sunday Morning Thoughts

Img_0199_t_4 Grab a cup of coffee and let's visit a little bit.  It's Sunday morning, a great time to catch up with each other...I promise a nugget of Marketing & Advertising that may help you transform your business...

Saturday night my Iowa Stars (AHL farm club to the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers) won!  BIG.  6 - 2 over the Milwaukee Admirals.  It was their first home game win since February 3.  Over 6,700 people were on hand to watch the game.  Stars_crowd By my count a record number of folks in the seats.  So, how did this happen?  I asked my friends in the front office, Ed Chamberlain and Steve Cypher, to explain.  Of course they said, "It's hockey and it is catching on."  OK...I'll give them that but it was also a reduced ticket night for kids, free hot dogs and a huge sports show less than 100 yards from the arena.  Got to give it to them...they packed the house with a promotion and then the team came out and won in an exciting game.  The "promise and the "delivery".  Both critical to success in any business.  Have you put a gage on your promise and delivery lately?

Phone_booth_g How are you communicating...with the tools of yesterday or today?  I had breakfast this morning with two friends.  Both Jerry and Michael asked me about blogging.  Actually they asked "Why?".  Which is a good question.  My answer:  I am communicating with my existing and potential clients.  They are learning from me and I am learning from them.  It's another tool in communication and marketing.  And it works. 

Dsc02341_1  For you folks in the Des Moines area...we had an interesting radio show this morning. (If you would like to read about it just click through.)  Imagine making a living on 10 acres of land!  That is exactly what Rick and Stacey Hartmann do.  And...guess what?  Rick points to "relationship marketing" as a big part of the success.  So, the question comes back to you:  What are you doing to build relationships in your marketing effort?

The message remains the same:  If you knew how well your marketing is working...would you continue to do the same thing?  Think about it.  If you don't know...call us.  If you do know...but want to change...call us.  If everything is super...call us anyway.  We want to learn your secret!

Have a great day and let's strap in for Monday!


Marketing the Elephant in the Living Room

200520hyvee20view20from20southwest Easy to Build...Hard to Fill

By Michael P. Libbie, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

Iowa is not a "big" state.  There are about three million lucky souls who live in the 55,000 square miles between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and the borders of Minnesota and Missouri.  (I do this geography lesson because so many folks have NO IDEA where in the heck Iowa is.)  You would think that in the nearly two years since the Iowa Events Center opened its doors on the new Wells Fargo Arena and Hy-Vee Hall most every person in the state would have made their way here.  Apparently not so and marketing this facility and what goes on here must be a nightmare.

Two weeks ago I, along with about 800 others, attended the inauguration of the new Governor of Iowa, Chet Culver.  The event was held at the Wells Fargo Arena...home to the Iowa Stars Stars_hockey (AHL franchise of the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers) and lots and lots of other concerts, shows, etc.  The single most heard statement during that event was,  "My, what a lovely (great, fantastic, awesome, wonderful) place this is!"  To which I followed up with the question, "So, first time here?"  You can guess that the majority response was..."Yes!".

One would think that with its large marketing abilities and budget coupled with the huge amounts of money spent by promoters (including the Iowa Stars) to advertise various events, shows and attractions that nearly all of the 3 million of us Iowans would have set foot in the facility these past 18 months.  But...not so. 

So, why this BLOG?  It just goes to show clients and advertisers how difficult and costly it is to attract attention and get a product or service noticed and then used.  I have no idea what budget Laurie Kemmit, the Director of Advertising and Sponsorship, has but I suspect we're well into six figures.  Now...as a business, manufacturer or service provider consider your advertising and marketing budget.  Is it large enough to really make an impact?  And, if you are attempting to "go national" or "go regional is the budget realistic?  Basic questions...no?

Thanks to the Downtown Community Alliance for the Stars Photo!