Category Archives: Marketing

What’s Next on the Social Horizon?

I was visiting with some girlfriends last weekend and was introduced to a new gal who is down from Chicago. We are discussing what we all do for fun and where we like to go out both us here in Indy and she in Chicago. Of course she points out how affordable Indy is compared to Chicago. She lives on the West side of Chicago and had mentioned she never visits with her girlfriends who live in Northern Chicago, even as close as they are, because of how expensive a taxi is there and back.What if the future of bar design included being able to Skype with your friends in another location? Have a pint together. Share in conversation? You know a booth setting, couch setting, telephone booth? Think of how we are secluding ourselves from the people we are sharing a table with as we are engaged in conversation with friends that could not make it. Would being able to Skype with your friends in a setting from your bar to your friends bar she chose to patron help eliminate this? Would you be more engaged with the present?

This may only make since for highly populated areas, Chicago, NYC, LA, San Francisco, etc. Got me to thinking about how this could work in Indianapolis…Scotty’s Brewhouse. I can picture it now, Mom and Dad at Scotty’s Lakehouse on Geist Skyping and sharing a pint with little Grady down at Scotty’s Bloomington. Crazy to think?

And finally, from a girl who travels alone. On those down days, boy wouldn’t it be nice to have a pint with my girlfriends at home when I am at some café in Paris.

What do you think? How could this idea evolve into a realistic idea, or do you veto it?


Las Vegas gets a $350 million investment. Indianapolis gets a Super Bowl.

Richard Karlgaard, Columnist and Publisher of Forbes Magazine was in Indianapolis in 2010 for the city’s Race to the Summit event (powered by Develop Indy). One of the stories that he shared has stayed with me. He lives in Silicon Valley. He mentioned he was at a fundraiser or party of some sort with all of the heavy hitters and when the topic of either Email Marketing or Measured Marketing came up, it was said that Indianapolis is the home for that. Pretty amazing, right? Thank you Richard for sharing that.

I’m reminded of all of the notes I made during the conference. All of the ideas I had to get started. I had the opportunity to chat with some folks from Develop Indy following the event and I mentioned we should put together some action teams to put some of these ideas and inspirations to work. Now this conference is way behind us. What came out of it? What ideas flourished, what ideas simply died?

We are in a similar position with the Super Bowl now behind us. Indianapolis was in the spot light. I’m sure we hosted some great businesses trying to pitch them to move their operation here to Indy. Maybe even entertained some entrepreneurs to start new business ventures here in Indianapolis.

I’ve been following the Zappos move to Las Vegas. It was announced a few weeks ago that Tony Hseih plans to invest 350 million into the side of town they have chosen to move to make it a viable city. What other young companies are making these kind of investments in cities or simply their neighborhood?

For those of you who watched WFYI’s, “Naptown to Super City,” what stuck out to me was Eli Lilly and Simon’s commitment to community. Former Mayor Hudnut retells the story of Herb Simon stepping up and serving his city by way of financially backing the Indianapolis Pacers for the potential long-term gain. Again, he used the word, Service. (Mayor Hudnut’s Presentation for The Center on Philanthropy on January 20, 2012) Who is our future Eli Lilly? Are you already here in Indianapolis and looking to step up or are you someone looking at Indianapolis and excited to jump right in?

Are you apart of a young company doing some pretty amazing things here in Indy? Fill me in. How are you making your mark?

Attracting Talent vs. Attracting Jobs

In 2000, Indianapolis established a goal to double the number of downtown Indianapolis residence by 2020. How do you think we’re doing? I was referred a book that had some compelling points and if you are passionate about cities and economic development. This is a great quick read to add to your list: Live First,Work Second by Rebecca Ryan, printed in 2007. This book discusses how to reach and retain the next generation. When surveyed, “3 out of 4 Americans under the age of 28 said a cool city is more important than a good job.” What comes to mind when you read this statement? Ryan points out, then why is the measurement of economic development/stability based on ‘number of jobs’? Is it time to establish new measurement matrix? What would that look like?

My job in the coming years will not be to attract companies. 100 percent of my job will be to attract talent. — Janet Miller, Nashville Area Chamber

Our economic development goals should include increasing the incomes of all people in the region. Resulting in better education, better health, more sustainable economies and increase of environmental protection. (We have a project happening in Fountain Square to attempt at taking a stab at this very thing.) Should we be measuring the number of patents in the area? Did you know that according to the US Small Business Administration, 4 out of 5 new businesses are started by women, Gen X’ers and minorities?

This is the first time I was introduced to the idea that we are now in a knowledge based economy where knowledge workers create market value.

Knowledge is the new basis for wealth. In the future when capitalists talk about their wealth they will be talking about their control of knowledge. Exactly how one controls knowledge is in fact a central issue in a knowledge-based economy.
—Lester Thurow (1999)

What questions does Develop Indy get when a company is looking at Indianapolis as a city to bring their business to? They are getting more questions on livability. What does your city look like…online?

A city (or company for that matter) is three times more likely to retain young talent if they feel that their voices are being heard and valued. The more young talent are engaged in their community, the longer they plan to stay.

I would like to close with a story Ryan re-introduced. Atlanta, 1962: All of the cities leaders/investors/stakeholders/influencers were on a plane to Paris. The plane crashed and everyone died. Not only do we ask, will your city be able to continue to operate efficiently, but Ryan poses the question: Would Atlanta be what it is today, incredibly diverse, full of young energy, incredibly dense, livable if the group on the plane had survived? Is your city run by the PMS group (Pale, Male & Stale)? Is your city open to the new generation of do’ers that look to take on a role (or responsibility) in their neighborhood?

Top 10 Networking Tips for College Students and New Grads

1. Be prepared. Have a business card on you with your contact info. Include your social media outlets as well as your blog/website.
2. Have in mind who you are looking to meet. People need to know how best they can help you. This will be easier when you are specific. I’m looking for contacts in this role at these specific organizations.
3. Be creative and fun. What are your hobbies/interests. Share this, this is you and people will remember that about you. Perhaps on your online profiles include that interest/hobby i.e. running marathons, enjoying craft beer, snowboarding, reading biographies, cooking etc.
4. The lost art of the hand written Thank You. Have a goal to send out notes of gratitude, x number per week.
5. Be Genuine and willing to Help People. Be a connector, go above and beyond if you are called on to help.
6. Be Philanthropic. Volunteer for projects or non-profit organizations that interest you.
7. Have meetings with a purpose. What are your objectives and expectations going in and make them known. Leave with specific idea of follow up.
8. Become a Resource for others in your area of expertise and activity interests. Perhaps start a blog on wordpress or tumblr.
9. Connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn and Kelley InCircle where appropriate. These are great networking tools that will help you be more productive.
10. Work the room. Shoot to spend a few minutes with everyone in the room, or go in with a goal to meet x number of new people.


Wisconsin vs Pennsylvania Brewery Showdown

Sunday, February 6, Pittsburg Steelers vs Green Bay Packers. Superbowl is one of my favorites, even though my Colts aren’t there this year, game day still gives me the opportunity to try, and entertain with, new brews from the two teams respected territories…

From Pennsylvania We Have:

Victory Brewing Company — Downingtown, PA

Prima Pils, crisp clean, delicious with German malts and German and Czech hops at 5.3% ABV.

Hop Devil, IPA, using German malts and whole flower American hops at 6.7%ABV.

Hop Wallop, heavenly aroma of pine, something to wallop over 8.5% ABV.

Golden Monkey, Belgian style with asian spices, at a whopping 9.5% ABV.

Weyerbacker — Easton, PA

Double Simcoe IPA, This is a double IPA using only Simcoe hops from the west coast, you are going to have hints of orange in this one! 9% ABV

Insanity Barleywine, aged in oak barrels. Rich malty goodness with hint of raisins and dates. Finishes with beautiful flavors of oak, vanilla and bourbon. 11.1%ABV

Yuengling — Pottsville, PA

America’s oldest brewery, established in 1829. Their signature ingredients are American six-row and imported two-row barley malt using cluster and cascade hops.

Troegs Brewery —  Harrisburg, PA

Current Seasonal: Nugget Nectar, an Imperial Amber with, you guessed it, Nugget Hops being very predominant in this one: American Bitter Hop blended with that of Warrior and Tomahawk hops. 93 IBUs 7.5% ABV

HopBack Amber : Noticing a lot more hoppy ambers in the market. Silver medal award winner at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 55 IBUs 6% ABV

Troegenator Bock : Lager, best noted as liquid bread. Awarded the Silver at GABF. 25 IBUs 8.2% ABV

The Church Brew Works — Pittsburg, PA (must… check out… images)

Award winner: Pious Monk Dunkel

and with names like Pipe Organ Pale, is your curiosity still not stricken?

Sconi has a special place in my heart and come on now, it is the land of cheese:

Tyranena Brewing — Lake Mills, WI

Rocky’s Revenge, an American Brown ale where they age a portion in Bourbon barrels offering each batch a unique flavor.

Bitter Woman IPA, those folks from Wisconsin really like to leave a mark with their signature hop usage.

Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale, is the current seasonal with a subtle peaty flavor, I’m all in.

And if you really like your friends, you’ll chip in the extra bucks to bring something from the Brewer’s Gone Wild Series. Currently available from this series: Doubly Down N’ Even Dirtier Barrel Aged Chocolate Vanilla Double Stout, what’s not to love?

Ale Asylum — Madison, WI

I remember my first Satisfaction Jacksin, I made friends quick being an outsider in a new beer community, because I could hang with this ‘slightly punishing’ brew. Kind of like initiation. Over 3 pounds of Centennial hops per barrel at 8.25% ABV.

Other regular brews include Hopalicious and Ambergeddon.

Capital Brewing — Middletown, WI

Capital Dark – Munich Dunkel – a great session beer that is available year round.

Autumnal Fire, Doppelbock — I wonder if you can still get any of this? It is mighty delicious if you like a little hint of smoke in your brew. They even give you a nice brisket and bread recipe as part of their description on their website.

Capital Weizen Doppelbock walked away with a Bronze Medal from GABF. Did anyone get to try this?

O’So Brewing — Plover, WI

The Big O is one for the ladies a little lighter fair but extremely pleasing. With words like zippy, luminous and sunny makes for a happy day to be had.

Black Scotch is the current seasonal with peat malts, I have a personal craving going on here.

New Glarus — New Glarus, WI

Rasberry Tart, fruit beer or framboise is the one that craft beer passionate individuals will hound you to pick up if you announce your visit to Wisconsin. Happened to be awarded the Bronze at GABF.

ooo, has anyone snagged any Smoked Rye Ale, part of the breweries Unplugged Series?

Miller Brewing Company — Milwaukee, WI

Miller Light won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the American Style Lager or Light Lager Category (followed by Pabst with Silver and MGD with Bronze) — so this time only, bringing Miller to your Super Bowl Party…is allowed in my book ; )

And don’t worry for the non beer drinker’s I found a little something for you too. Have you heard of good ‘ol Sprecher’s Root Beer Soda? Made in Milwaukee.

Which of these had you had? Are you going to try February 6? What did I not mention here that you will be enjoying?

Take a Stand Against Discounting

Today’s Indianapolis Groupon is a half off $25 for food options at one of my favorite places in town, Ball & Biscuit. You’d think I’d be pumped and stock up on these Groupon’s to get half off my food order for eternity (I’m sure there is a limit to 5 or something). But, I HATE DISCOUNTING.

The Only Vote That Matters is Where You Spend Your Dollar

Today’s Groupon isn’t necessarily a bad set up, as chances are if you were planning to buy only one drink, you will now buy two. (We can get into the debate on whether or not a Free Lunch exists or not…) But as far as attracting a brand new regular customer, I think that chance is slim. So, what’s the point?

Where did this idea of discounting start? When did discounting begin by way of a manipulation tactic to the American consumer? Do you think about this? The American consumer is trained to spend, spend and spend some more. I challenge you to go against your must have it right now impulses. Spend what you can afford and spend on quality. It’s quality over quantity, no?

I want to pay a fair price for a good or service, well… for exactly what it is worth. Do you think about all that goes into your good or service? A restaurant is a good place to start because we all know how important food is by now. How are you supporting our food system? I want quality food at a fair price. If we as consumers buy into constant discounting what suffers? The quality of our food. Or what about the hands that go into preparing this food from crop to your plate? Will your neighbor earn a fair wage? I believe when we are going after the deals and constant discounting our neighbors are now no longer making a fair wage, they are making way less. Have you thought about this? We are shooting ourselves in the foot by way of our wages when we are so bargain hungry.

I’m not only speaking of Restaurants. Let’s take handbags for example. A question for the ladies, how many handbags do you purchase…in a year?? In a quick Google search, Cha Cha answered that the average woman buys 3 handbags a year. How much are these bags on average (just looking at looks like the average price may be $35 per) So $105 per year spent on purses. I have been walking around with a simple black, all leather Coach purse since December 2003. That’s 8 years. Probably, $300. It’s still in great shape and see myself with it for at least another 2 years.

Number of Purses            Money Spent on Purses

1 year                  3                                          $105

5 years               15                                         $525

8 years              24                                         $840

10 years            30                                         $1050

Man, I could go into a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle diatribe here, but I won’t ; ) I only write this post in hope that you reading will think about your purchases and how you are making your dollar count!

*I should side note that I have purchased one Groupon, the Climb Time deal, 3 sessions, for what, $20? I remember that day, someone forwarded it to me knowing I would be interested in it. I contemplated making the purchase until the deadline.

If I had one cause in this lifetime, this would be it. How are you making your dollar count?

The Authentic Influencer

As I’m looking through my twitter feed waiting for ‘the social network’ to begin, I found a tweet that read ‘the nation could care less about #thesocialnetwork’. I was intrigued for more…CLICK: the full statement read, ‘the social network is doing really well on the east coast, the west coast and a little blip in Chicago, the rest of the nation could care less.’ facebook is used by 500 million people now, this is the business story that will be told for generations. Why is it not capturing more interest? This is something most use daily checking in as often as email.

The movie inspired me, as most others, to think, which I was really excited about. When I think about facebook, I see it’s success broken down to three areas:

Audience : In the beginning, College Students, a mass population of inquisitive people eager to learn and socially influenced.

Labor : User Generated Content, and guess what? It’s Free.

Distribution: Viral Sharing, spreading messages like disease.

The University

Young Bobby goes to school, he’s influenced by leaders in the classes he’s in, clubs he joins, ads he sees with people that look exactly like him, doing cool things. Is he a social influencer? Or a follower? The social influencers are those who may be looked at as ‘cool’ and popular within their own crowd or interest group. Some brands are even paying students to wear/use their brands on campus. If a college student is driven enough (and of course with an authentic social personality) they could probably sell themselves out to pay their entire tuition. But would you consider this authentic?

I’m not speaking that all social influencing going on on campus is bad. Here locally, let’s use Indiana University in Bloomington, IN as an example. I used to work for Upland Brewing Company. Great organization, great beer and a step up from the light beers on other universities reach. Pitcher night is apparently on Tuesday, never been. Do you know how I learned this? Down in Louisville, KY when I was wearing an Upland shirt. The gentleman that approached me at the local coffee shop had went to school there and of course had an emotional connection with the brand as it defined the best experience of his life. College Days! His emotional connection to this time in his life was so strong he wanted to tell me about it and not only that offer to help me expand Upland’s brand presence in Louisville. He gave me a good list of accounts he thought Upland would be a good fit at. (I sure followed up on that list and of course was grateful for his help.) This was only one experience of many with Upland. College grads are now an authentic street team as they leave campus and plant their roots in other communities.

How do you leverage these relationships? How does a company maintain a relationship with these fresh college grads? The answer will more than likely include facebook. Are you an influencer or a follower?

I’m noticing more and more business starting up around The University. Well, it works. What brands or examples can you think of with Authentic Street Team opportunities centered around brand loyalty?