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Archive for August, 2009

Wanna smoke while pumping gas?

August 31, 2009 2 comments

I enjoy checking out where and how companies place ads. Some of the strange ones are:

1. Grocery store floor (I guess some brands want to be stepped on)

2. Boxer shorts (to remind you to drink more soda or read more comic books)

3. Tattos or shaved onto haircuts…etc (because seeing the casino shaved into someone’s head makes me want to gamble)

This one here is a cigarette ad right at the gas station. I know that gas stations makes pennies per gallons and that most of their income come from the consumables they sell from within, such as the drinks, snacks and candy.  That is why I HATE it when they think they can lure us into the station by NEVER putting in those rolls of paper for your receipts.  After gassing up, I am told “Please check with clerk for your receipt”.  I know it is to lure me into the store with the hopes of getting me to buy on impulse…That would have worked if I am of the impulsive type.  I never go back to those stations.

So last week, I was standing there staring at this ad while I was pumping gas. I have seen them in almost EVERY gas station and by now hundreds of times. I was thinking, do they really want people to think about smoking while they are gassing up? Isn’t that what advertisers want?  One of the goal is associative desires, right.  If they have a pretty girl posing in front of a sports car, your subconcious mind  “might” have you thinking that by owning a sports car, you might attract those pretty girls or maybe…they might come with the one you are buying!

What if someone who functioning in the alpha brain state, sees an ad like that and and without thinking…lights up?

Another strange place I find cigarettes being sold is at drug stores.  Almost everyone of them have them right behind the cashier. It’s like they want everyone to see and buy them. This is by no means an article against cigarettes but more of those that chose to place those ads/products.  It’s like placing viagra ads in day care centers. I guess at least they are not calling it a health-store. The label “drug-store” is actually quite appropriate.

If it’s creative advertising companies want.  I have a few.  Here they are:

1. Beauty ads printed on mirrors – to remind you how beautiful you “could” look

2. “Feed the Children” ads on refridgerators

3. Hospitals can co-op with advertiser to tattoo new born babies – the tattoo can multiply in size for the same price…10 times or more over the coming years.

4. Alchohol ads at ob-gyns

5. Pizza ads on health food bars

…so have you thought about where to place your ads lately? Did you have other people vet those ideas for you? I would suggest asking a marketing consultant with advertising and product placement experience that is also knowledgeable in your industry.

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3 Essential Questions to a Meaningful Business/Life

August 25, 2009 2 comments

Philosophers, theologians and business advisors have been trying to help us answer these questions for a looooong time. What are they? They are:

1. Who am I?
2. What am I supposed to do?
3. Where do I belong?

These are core issues and root questions a person should answer in order to have a purposeful life. In business, the founder has to answer these questions and generate buy-in from the team. Those questions become something like this:

1. What is our business?
2. What do we do? What problem do we solve?
3. Where is our niche?

The problem lies in answering these properly and with the right research/insight. Many companies, especially entrepreneurs answer the “what do we do” with features. We can do this and that but what they fail to understand is features tell and benefits sell. The benefits are what the world cares about and no one really gives a hoot about what you do. You get benefits when the features are put into action.

These are simple questions so why are they so hard to answer? From talking to many entrepreneurs, I think the answer is because most of them are looking for those answers from within. Initial idea seems so good. They started out solving a problem/want…their problem and their wants. In their mind, there should be millions of people with the same problem or desire out there. In order to answer those questions properly, it would benefit entrepreneurs and business owners to look beyond themselves, their immediate surroundings and step back and get some perspectives from other business people. They may actually hear what do not want to but so desperately need.

88owls launched a new QandA forum where businesses can ask questions for free and only experienced consultants with 10 or more years of experience are invited to answer.  If the business want to find a consultant with the right skillset, that also have experience in the industry they are in, they can find one within seconds. There are strategist and subject matter experts so whether you want someone to help plan or strategize or whether you have a project and need someone to execute it, you should be able to find someone there.

3 Essential Questions to a Meaningful Business/Life

August 25, 2009 2 comments

Philosophers, theologians and business advisors have been trying to help us answer these questions for a looooong time. What are they? They are:

1. Who am I?
2. What am I supposed to do?
3. Where do I belong?

These are core issues and root questions a person should answer in order to have a purposeful life. In business, the founder has to answer these questions and generate buy-in from the team. Those questions become something like this:

1. What is our business?
2. What do we do? What problem do we solve?
3. Where is our niche?

The problem lies in answering these properly and with the right research/insight. Many companies, especially entrepreneurs answer the “what do we do” with features. We can do this and that but what they fail to understand is features tell and benefits sell. The benefits are what the world cares about and no one really gives a hoot about what you do. You get benefits when the features are put into action.

These are simple questions so why are they so hard to answer? From talking to many entrepreneurs, I think the answer is because most of them are looking for those answers from within. Initial idea seems so good. They started out solving a problem/want…their problem and their wants. In their mind, there should be millions of people with the same problem or desire out there. In order to answer those questions properly, it would benefit entrepreneurs and business owners to look beyond themselves, their immediate surroundings and step back and get some perspectives from other business people. They may actually hear what do not want to but so desperately need.

88owls launched a new QandA forum where businesses can ask questions for free and only experienced consultants with 10 or more years of experience are invited to answer.  If the business want to find a consultant with the right skillset, that also have experience in the industry they are in, they can find one within seconds. There are strategist and subject matter experts so whether you want someone to help plan or strategize or whether you have a project and need someone to execute it, you should be able to find someone there.

10 Newspapers That Will Survive The Apocalypse

August 25, 2009 2 comments

According to Nicholas Carlson, there are investors who still want to buy local newspapers. That is news to me!

So what do these investors see in the newspaper industry that the rest of us don’t?  Here is a list of ten newspapers worth acquiring…

The Roanoke Times is a “good product,” a “community type paper.” Roanoke is the kind of place where if the car dealers start selling cars again, they’ll start taking out ads in the local paper again. The Roanoke Times also own the Blue Ridge Business Journal which serves 17 counties.

Elizabeth Parsons, their current editor has certainly brought new blood and excitement to the Business Journal. I have had the privilege of being interviewed by Kelly Queijo who is exceptional at being accurate and great at putting people at ease.

It’s good to know some will weather the storm. I think if they can adopt and adapt to the new way people want to get their news, they will be ahead of the curve. Be warned, this is not new news by now but I just found this out a few weeks ago so since it is new to me, it is “news” to me.  Not to mention it is good news. And guess what, it was by old fashion human contact, not electronically.

Top 20 Under 40

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

It was an honor to be be selected by the readers the Blue Ridge Business Journal as one of the top 20 under 40. The Blue Ridge Business Journal is a newspaper in RoanokeVirginia, covering local business news. It is one of Virginia’s most established business publications that is owned by Roanoke Times and was first published in 1988.

It was great to see Krisha again at the recent 20 under 40 gathering. We met a while back at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center gathering. She is a small business advocate running for Town Council and I hope she gets the position. I had a great conversation with K.C. Bratton who serves on a myriad of volunteer projects and a very enterprising guy. Christine Lockhart Poarch with whom I had a brief chat with is an immigration attorney who recently launched the non-profit Tia’s Place to serve immigrant women and children for free. She gave me some interesting facts about the foreign student working visa situation. Then there was Erik Williams. Williams, who is in charge of Alumni relations for Virginia Western Community College and I had a great conversation regarding the direction of education and how Virginia Western Community College is doing to help students…There are many others that were very interesting.

To read more on the other guys, check out page 11 to page 16.

Yep, that’s me all the way in the back center.  You have to squint to see me me but that is okay.  There is a whole article about 88owls on page 7 about what 88owls is all about and how we set out to help businesses and consultants.

Categories: Uncategorized

Robert Scoble Talks About B2B Social Media and CEO Blogging with 88owls and other VT KnowledgeWorks Companies

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

I had the chance to meet with Robert Scoble along with other companies at the VT KnowledgeWorks and discuss the importance of bloggin to CEOs.

Seated left to right at the round table discussion:  Anne Clelland, http://www.handshake20.com/, Allan Tsang 88owls, Cameron Nouri, Rackspace Email and Apps, Daryl Scott, Attaain, Robert Scoble, Rackspace, Doug Juanarena, GenTek Ventures, Glenn Skutt, VPT Energy Systems.

One of the “take-aways” for me was that a CEO needs to find time to communicate to the world what the company is about…and bloggin seems to be one of the most efficient and effective ways to do that. Most of what I learn from bloggin is through Anne at Handshake 2.0 and my partner Mike Greening.

Robert Scoble Talks About B2B Social Media and CEO Blogging with 88owls and other VT KnowledgeWorks Companies

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

I had the chance to meet with Robert Scoble along with other companies at the VT KnowledgeWorks and discuss the importance of bloggin to CEOs.

Seated left to right at the round table discussion:  Anne Clelland, http://www.handshake20.com/, Allan Tsang 88owls, Cameron Nouri, Rackspace Email and Apps, Daryl Scott, Attaain, Robert Scoble, Rackspace, Doug Juanarena, GenTek Ventures, Glenn Skutt, VPT Energy Systems.

One of the “take-aways” for me was that a CEO needs to find time to communicate to the world what the company is about…and bloggin seems to be one of the most efficient and effective ways to do that. Most of what I learn from bloggin is through Anne at Handshake 2.0 and my partner Mike Greening.