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Valentine’s Day 2019

According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day is one of the major spending events of the year. Americans continue to show their loved ones how much they care with gifts of jewelry, an evening out, flowers, candy and clothing.

Here’s why marketers should target the Valentine’s Day shopper in key retail categories…
• Valentine’s Day is a major spending event with an estimated $144 spent per household in 2018.
• Top gifts for this Valentine’s Day are jewelry and an evening out.

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nielsenChoice has always been coveted among consumers. When it comes to the media universe, the abundance in devices, services and content has never been more prevalent, which in turn is opening up a complex web of consumption behaviors. With all of this technology at consumers’ literal fingertips, which of these platforms are they focused on?

The answer, in short, is pretty much all of them.

According to the most recent Nielsen Total Audience Report, adults in the U.S. spent almost 10 and a half hours a day with media in the second quarter of 2018, even as the effects of seasonality played their typical role. With the vast amount of time Americans spend using their devices throughout the day, it is inevitable that some of this usage is occurring simultaneously. So even though these audiences are dedicating hefty amounts of time to different platforms like live/time-shifted TV (nearly five hours per day), radio (nearly two hours per day), and digital devices (over three and a half hours per day), they’re combining consumption in a multitude of ways.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Consumers are now more sophisticated than ever and find their information through many channels. Initially, multichannel marketing was introduced to allow prospects to communicate with businesses through various channels.
For instance, prospects can be introduced to your business through Twitter, Facebook ads, or stopping into your brick and mortar store. Email subscribers can communicate through email and website visitors can communicate through chat or comments.
But even though multichannel marketing was a step up from single channel marketing, it didn’t solve consumers’ problems.
That’s why Multi-Channel marketing provides a better experience for your prospects because it provides a seamless and consistent communication process to prospects and customers across all channels.


For instance, you may start interacting with a customer on a social media network and then it continues through your SEO rankings and eventually through email. Eventually, you get the prospect on the phone which turns into a sales qualified lead.
The main aim of Multi-Channel marketing is for you to be able to keep track of the prospect’s interactions even though they’re interacting with you through different channels. In turn, your customers will be impressed that you’re paying attention to the details about your previous interactions and that you really care.
Research shows that companies with Multi-Channel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers compared to 33% customer retention rate for companies with weak Multi-Channel strategies.


To implement Multi-Channel marketing for your business, let us manage all media placement and marketing under one platform. It is important for each medium/platform to work together as one unit and not in individual silos.
This helps you move your prospects effectively through the sales funnel even when your prospects are communicating on many channels. With the use of Multi-Channel marketing, you will improve your year-over-year growth.

January 2019 Client News

Cheers to a new year. We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome a few new partnerships/clients:

nextlevelIndiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) ICHE is promoting Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative. What is Next Level Jobs? Next Level Jobs provides free training for Hoosiers and reimbursements for Indiana employers for training employees in high-demand fields.  Next Level Jobs is part of Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Indiana agenda to continue the positive momentum of the state. Under his leadership, with support from the General Assembly, Indiana is taking the state’s workforce to the next level with a focus on the high-priority industries and in-demand, high-paying jobs driving Indiana’s 21st Century economy forward.

globalwasteGlobal Waste Solutions (GWS) – GWS is a Louisville based company that invented a Smart Valve variable flow management device that can result in a 20% to 30% reduction in facility-wide water bill! The GWS Eco-Clamp can result in typically a 10% to 15% reduction in natural gas/propane bill!

phoenix groupPhoenix Group – Phoenix Group of Virginia, Inc. (Phoenix Group) is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) with management experience with the U.S. Government, NATO, and in providing commercial industry support. Their personnel have successfully supported contracts with the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and defense related contracts with NATO; both as a prime contractor and as a sub-contractor.

502hemp502 HEMP – Dee Dee Taylor and her staff at 502 Hemp is uniquely positioned to offer Kentucky grown products as her husband, John, operates Commonwealth Extracts, the largest hemp extractor. 502 Hemp carries clinical strength CBD oil that isn’t available everywhere. If you have someone fighting a debilitating disease, such as cancer, 502 Hemp could help. Their clinical strength may be exactly what they need to help with their fight!

logoFreestyle-Fitness – Freestyle Fitness encourages its members to free themselves from ordinary fitness. By offering 24/7 gym memberships, fitness and dance classes, and personal training, the staff at Freestyle-Fitness can help everyone ring in a healthier new year!


WDRBIn 2009, I was selected by WDRB and the International Research and Exchanges (IREX) to mentor a privately owned start-up TV station in Keherson, Ukraine. Since Ukraine recently, 1991, gained independence from the Soviet Union, private for-profit TV stations are still rare. Most TV stations are state owned with state controlled content and censorship. Even today, private TV stations are very “careful” on how they report on government issues as their freedom of speech is certainly not equal to what we enjoy in the United States. In 2012, I was asked again by WDRB and IREX to mentor a TV station in Melitopol, Ukraine. Here’s how my experiences help our clients.

First, both Kherson and Melitopol are located in southern Ukraine. Kherson is near the Black Sea and Dnieper River, which serves as a major ship building port. Melitopol is located in southeastern Ukraine on the Molochna River, which flows to the Sea of Azov. After flying into Kiev, the capitol of Ukraine, and meeting my translator, we endured a long twelve hour train ride on the Ukrainian Railways. As you could imagine, it was not a luxury train ride. There was limited climate control, one meal with customer service not being a priority, and a bench with a cushion as our “bed.”

staffUpon our arrival to Kherson, Ukraine in 2009, the owner of the TV station noted that a sales team was just hired. They were all rookies with zero experience. Our task was to help them figure out how to generate revenue for their TV station. Below are a few take-a-ways that can help your marketing department.

1. Not all markets are the same. My approach in Kherson, Ukraine had to be different than my approach in Melitopol, Ukraine. The mindset was different at each location, not just from the sales team’s perspectives, but from the client’s perspective. The same is true with your customers. The way you approach your messaging in Louisville might be entirely different in Indianapolis or other markets. On a more granular level, it could even be different in looking at certain areas in any given market. Your media buyer should always be focusing on all demographics and psychographics of your customers so that your advertising/content engages to your core audience. Always speak and relate to your audience.

2. Do not assume anything. I quickly realized while presenting to the new sales team in Kherson that most of team members didn’t understand the geographic reach of their own station(s). They kept telling me, for example, that a nearby town was irrelevant because people in the nearby town didn’t watch their station. The team was misinformed. Their TV station signal was not only strong in the nearby town, their station was a dominate station. We opened up a new revenue opportunity for the station. Same with YOUR employees. Do not assume that all of your employees are explaining ALL of your product/service lines properly. There could be a whole new revenue source for your company if there are products or service lines that are not being properly explained or highlighted to your customers by your employees. Continuing education for employees is very important.

balloon3. Do not undervalue your service or product. While training the sales team in Melitopol, I was informed that some business owners thought they should be able to advertise for free. That their services were important to the people and that it was a public service message. Some of the reps said, “We will never be able to get them to pay for advertising.” I quickly broke down the amount of people that their station reached on a daily basis. Then we did an exercise to further break down the number of people who were in the market for one of the business owner’s services. Then we calculated how much it would be worth to the business owner if just 2% of the people who saw his advertisement responded. The number was huge. The rep showed the business owner this breakdown and low and behold, the business owner purchased the advertising package. Your employees must know the value of your product or service.

4. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. While working with the station’s sales team in Melitopol, I asked the reps to show me some of their advertising packages. Each rep basically handed me the same package. They were taking the same package out to every business. I asked them why they didn’t customize the package for each client, and they informed me that they didn’t have time. The saying “I don’t have time” is a huge pet peeve of mine, primarily because everyone on this planet is working with the same amount of time. While I agree that some are busier than others, everyone has the same amount of time to work with. The separating factor is how each manages and prioritizes his/her time. About ten years ago if asked about a task or project that I had not finished, I decided to stop saying, “I haven’t had time for that task.” Instead, I started saying instead, “I haven’t made time for that task.” There’s a big difference. My point to the team was that if they are going to take the time to call on a client, drive or walk to their location to meet with them, then they need to take the time to do it right the first time. Your employees should take the same approach. If a task is worth doing, it’s worth doing right the first time.

5. Your employees must be sold.  As a station manager I created and launched many special projects. Each project had a specific start date and end date with a timeline of goals in between. The projects ranged from locally produced HD coverage of Thunder Over Louisville to a network of sponsored weather cams to events. Before our team could go to clients and acquire sponsorships, they first had to be sold on the project. They had to understand the value of each project from the business owner’s perspective. In other words, why should a business owner invest their hard earned money on the project? If the account executive wasn’t sold on the project, there is no way they could go out and convince a business owner to invest in the project. When you have a sale, new project or product, before introducing it to your customers, make sure your employees are sold on it. (The station managers in Ukraine never thought to create projects around heavily attended festivals, events, etc. Their stations were always at events covering them, but they never monetized their coverage. We changed created a plan for them and they are now monetizing each event with sponsorships.)

trainBoth trips to Ukraine presented unique challenges. The communication barrier, transportation, differences in cultures and overall work ethics were all obstacles. (Both station managers and employees asked for a tea break every 45 minutes.) However, the end result was very productive for all involved and I learned as much from them as they did from me. And, in both cases, their clients are happier and more successful as a result.

Ukraine Media Partnership Program (UMPP)
The Ukraine Media Partnership Program develops the Ukrainian media sector’s professionalism and sustainability by creating and fostering long-term professional relationships between US and Ukrainian media outlets via exchanges and individual consulting. UMPP partnerships have focused on improving the quality of journalism, strengthening websites, and building stronger business management practices.