Don’t Kill the Golden Goose

Well, Obama’s SOTU speech last night was a recycling of all the old liberal hoo-hah that they’ve been peddling for the last 20 years, aside from Clinton, who, after he got clobbered, veered to center right in his second term and was, to my thinking, and effective president.

We know that Obama is a narcissist, and they can’t ever be wrong, but this was just silly.

How someone can be that out of touch with his fellow citizens after six years is mind-boggling.

Why the networks did any more than promote it a little bit until after the speech was done is beyond me. Even the Foxies fell into the liberal trap.

I thought Joni Ernst, the new senator from Iowa, for having been on the job two weeks, did a very credible job in supplying the Republication response. Much better than Rubio and Jindal in their turns.

Anyway, spending has got to come down about 10% to balance the budget, and some more funds have to go to defense to fund the fig leaf force in Iraq and the ISIL fighters that no one wants to talk about. The smart play would have been to acknowledge this and say so in the speech.

Forget new spending and taxes for anything. Make do. Community colleges, at least here in Arizona, are self funding, and do a pretty good job, even on vo-ed.

Lower corporate taxes, especially on international divisions so we’re competitive, and do the same for small businesses. Tax revenues should actually come up, as they did under Regan.

The business of the USA is business, Barry, not income redistribution, and you should have that tattooed on your forehead, since that appears the only way that it’s going to get into your head.

Posted in taxes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Je Suis Charlie: US Edition

This is a rather unusual post, in that I’m wondering if there is a market for a Charlie Hebdo-style publication in the U.S.

Certainly we’ve got lots of targets satirize: Obama, government in general, etc.

The Charlie tradition is Europe is long and honored; when I lived in Italy, I recall reading an Italian magazine that did the same thing as Charlie.

In this country, we have The Onion, based in Boulder, Colorado, but I think that’s about it.  The Week magazine runs a center section on good political cartoons, but these two are about it. Pretty sorry.

Anyway, we have publishing capability here in Phoenix, and I imagine that all the editorial cartoonists working for major newspapers would like to have another outlet for their work, or would do special stuff.

As the Marketing Doctor, we’ve consulted for a number of magazines, too, on circulation, distribution and even some editorial. Do we have money resources? There’s always crowdfunding.

So, let me know. I’m curious.

Posted in Internet Marketing, Marketing, Sales, social media, social media marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Catering to the Hispanic Market

One of the Smart Briefs recently ran an article on catering to the Hispanic market which was mostly nonsense.

The editor should have edited.

Anyway, over the years in our Marketing Doctor subsidiary, we’ve had several clients who want to cater to the Hispanic market and we’ve learned a few things, which we’ll share with you:

1. 90% of the Hispanics are just like you and me, but there is a segment, which we will call the ‘recently arrived’ which are still wedded to the mores of Mexico or Spain.

2. In sociological terms, most Hispanics are regarded as ‘strivers’, probably moreso than the rest of our population…..that’s why they emigrated. You can get this idea if you read Hispanic periodicals.

2. The article was oriented towards strictly retail, consumer companies, but there’s a b2b market out there of some size. We’ve had Hispanic Solutions Forum members, but by and large, they’re no different from you and me. In fact, until it closed, we held meetings in a Hispanic oriented market in downtown Phoenix. Some of our clients employ bilingual inside or outside salespeople, which is good in Phoenix.

3. If you want to cater to the newly arrived, go wander around a Hispanic market. We’ve done that, and it’s very informative. You might have to alter product characteristics, packaging, and maybe even pricing. If you already sell in Mexico or Spain, consider adopting those product externals.

This is an interesting topic…..we’d love to hear of some success stories (or horror tales) on marketing to the Hispanic community.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Hiring, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Sales, social media, social media marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Not to Run a TV Promotion

Over the holidays, there were any number of product promotions ‘for free’, where one has to sign up for two or three additional monthly product shipments in order to get the ‘free’ shipment, which by the way, doesn’t include ‘shipping and handling’.

We want to profile one which my wife called, because it’s pretty emblematic of how not to do one of these promotions.

Keranique, which is a hair growth and thickness treatment looked good to my wife, so she called the number on the TV screen.

The first mistake was that Keranique wanted her to verbally do an extensive demographic questionnaire, so they could profile her for marketing data. Understandable, but it was about 10 questions and 10 minutes too long. We would have kept it to age, area of country (since the ad ran nationally), and maybe income (most people lie on this one).

But, she hung in there and hit the appropriate numbers on her touch tone phone to complete the survey.

But, the kicker was that she had to sign up for two more monthly shipments of the product, at $80 per month, in order to get the ‘free’ product that was promised on the front end TV ad. This borders on deceptive, but Keranique isn’t the only company that does this, which is why I’m writing about it.

A better approach would have been to just charge for shipping and handling (it would be better to even pay that), then take telephone numbers and email addresses for future product marketing.

A little bit before then end of the thirty day period, then have telemarketers phone each of the recipients, and get some feedback on how they liked the product and take reorders. This is much more customer friendly than the lockstep approach they used. Our approach would probably yield two or three times the lifetime product purchases, based on our experience. The TV ad and associated promo costs probably ran $100,000, and I’ll bet that they didn’t recoup their costs.

OK Keranique, give us a call (1-800-716-9626) if you want to do this right. BTW, we just happen to have a telemarketing room.

Posted in Internet Marketing, Marketing, Sales | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Check Your Life Insurance Policy

Well, it’s the end of the year, nearly, and I thought that we’d impart a little wisdom on something that happened recently.

Actually reading your life insurance policy probably ranks right up there with reading the phone book, and I suspect that the life compamies like it that way.

My life insurance company  (New York Life) sent me a bill recently for a ‘feature’  that they added to my life insurance policy which, in my case, doubles as key man insurance for Solutions Forum and the American School of Entrepreneruship.

NYLAC had added this feature some years ago, and it’s called a no lapse guarantee rider, which means that they’ll pay your premiums if for some reason you miss a payment or two. It’s actually a good thing, and I’m now good until age 85, which is a ways away.

The only problem is that NYLAC didn’t tell me anywhere in the policy when I took it out eight years ago that down the road they might charge for this coverage, nor did they give an estimate of how much they might charge. My agent didn’t even know they were going to do it until after they’d done it.

To me, this whole process could have been handled much more ethically, and I’ve let the Insurance Commissioner in Arizona know my thoughts. We’ll probably have a hearing on it sometime after the new year starts.

But, here’s a chance for NYLIAC to come clean, admit that they could have done things differently (such as applying my cash value to the premium that they didn’t disclose) and issuing a written apology from the famous Dallas Service Center.

But, I’m not holding my breath.

Posted in Entrepreneurship | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Burn It Down?

I’m saddened by all the small business owners in Ferguson, MO that have had their businesses torched by the outside agitators.

This is a subject that has gotten nearly no media attention…..none of the lamebrain media has thought more deeply that if the busineses where Fergusonians worked aren’t there anymore, where are the residents going to work?

Or does what seemed to be a nice little suburban town just shrivel up and die, and the residents who are of working age go on welfare?

It’s a golden opportunity for the Governor to step in and make loans available for the businesses to rebuild, or just outright grants. But then I think he’s a Democrat, so such an action would be out of character. Little Barry could also do the same through FEMA, but that’s a mental stretch for him, too.

Koch Brothers, anyone? Maybe the Mayor of Ferguson can put a post up on one of the crowdfunding sites. Be an interesting ploy. You read about it here first!

Posted in Finance | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C’mon over!

What a bunch of brickbrains we have in Washington.

Of course we should make it possible for 4 million formerly illegal folks to become citizens.

Has any of these clowns looked at the unemployment rate (if it can be believed) lately? We’re close to full employment, at least by the numbers. So, we should increase the labor supply.

But, there are probably a lot of underemployed people in American, because every time we’ve run an ad for one of our clients looking for a person, we’ve gotten good response.

But, we should do it legally. What in hell is the hurry Barry? Your legacy? You’ve futzed around for six years on this question, blown your political capital on Obamacare and you now want us to think that getting these folks approved is an emergency that requires an executive order? Gimme a break.

I think you’ve got the Congress’ attention. Repubs and Dems are both paying attention.

While you’re at it, and we hope some of the Washinton worthies read this, would you mind reinstating the 500,000 STEM visas that apparently (per Limbaugh) got dropped on the floor? This is you do things via the legislative process.

We’re gonna read the executive order to see if the STEM folks are in or out, and will report back. God forbid that the punditry should read it and actually opine on the FACTS.

Posted in Hiring | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Be A Victim of an IRS Shakedown

Recently, Fox News reported that two small businesses had their bank accounts seized, one to the tune of $400,000, and the other, $35,000.

There’s something wrong with this reporting, because normally when the IRS seizes your bank account, it’s for back or non-payment of taxes, usually 941 taxes which are the ones for social security, unemployment, etc.

We ‘ve fished several clients out of the IRS’ clutches over the years, as well as being the subject of bank account seizures ourselves, so we’ve got some experience in this area.

We’d like to contact Fox for clarification, but they make it difficult to contact them. One’s email just goes off into the ether.

So, be forewarned. If we can help, call us at 1-800-716-9626.

Posted in Finance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chinese Business Proverbs

Signs of the times: business aphorisms inside one’s fortune cookie (Mao must be turning over in his grave): Here are a couple:

1.  A leader is powerful to the degree he empowers others.

2. A brave man is the one that is not afraid to admit his mistakes.

Posted in ceo, Entrepreneurship | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

OMG! Not Another Czar!

Jeez, if there’s one thing we DONT need, it’s another guy or gal to gum up the works with commentary on what the government is doing late and short on the Ebola crisis. They’re not exactly up to speed on the whole thing, and training someone new in the middle of a crisis isn’t a great idea.

A new czar would be a terrible idea, but about on a par with what we’d expect from Little Barry and the Minnions.

Where’s the Surgeon General? We actually have an acting one, but he’s been invisible. He’s a Medical Corps Navy Rear Admiral, so he ought to be able to ‘fleet up’ in a hurry if anyone asked him..

As a Rear Admiral, in the MC, he should be used to leading from the front, despite his title. Think back to C.Everett Koop on the smoking hazards back in the day. Right or wrong, he was out front on the situation and all over the airwaves. About what we need now.

Even though The Surgeon General isn’t an epidemologist,  at least he’s a medical doctor, which should carry some gravitas, and he could play off Freiden and Fauci.

C’mon Fox, get your intrepid folks on finding out what the SG has to say. Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffin are is a great investigative reporters, as is James Rosen.

Drs. Freiden and Fauci presumably work for Sylvia Burwell the presently invisible Secretary of Health and Human Services, but she presumably has no medical background or training, either, so she has nothing useful to say.

We know that leadership in the government is either in short or non-existent supply, but let’s try out the Surgeon General before we go flapping off with a new czar.

Moral of the story so far: use the people you’ve got in a crisis, and you’ll find out what they’re worth. Keep the good ones, fire the bad ones, but as we’ve said before, firing anyone is an anathema to anyone in this administration.

Posted in firing, Hiring | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment