Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stop and Smell the Paint

Ingenuity is something that I talk about quite often in my blog. So it should be no surprise that a story about a new line of paint by Dutch Boy caught my attention. Dutch Boy is launching the first paint ever designed to remove odors from a room. I can't imagine how it works ... but having a house full of pets, I'm lovin' the idea!

Dutch Boy Refresh, as it is called, is such an innovative product. Why buy a plug-in air freshener when I've got four walls of odor elimination? They are using TV and online banner ads to promote the new product, but my favorite part is the interactive portion of their marketing effort.

Their promotion, called "My House Stinks: Rate the Rooms" is allowing consumers to upload pictures of rooms in their house that they believe would be a good candidate for the worst smelling room in America. Consumers can also rate other peoples' rooms. My dog, Dandelion would not be happy to hear this, but I may post a picture of her little condo in the basement on this website.

This interactivity is what makes the modern internet, or Web 2.0 so great. Use it to get customers involved with your brand. It will make them feel like they have a more personal relationship with your business.

June Bisel
BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feel Good Spending Will Boost Drive-Ins

In a post that I wrote two weeks ago called A Snickers for Your Troubles, I talked about how the success of candy manufacturers during economic downturns can be attributed to people's willingness to purchase things that make them feel good.

The entertainment sector is also poised to benefit from this "feel good spending", which I've heard being called the Tootsie Pop Bump. Consumers are planning to spend either the same amount or more compared to last year on music, video games, and trips to the movie theater.

Seventy-three percent of consumers surveyed said that they are planning to spend the same as last year or more on movie tickets. This number is up from 66% in the previous year.

This is great news for the Drive-In movie theaters of the Hudson Valley. The growth of this market coupled with the beautiful weather makes for a blockbuster opportunity for drive-ins, who can also benefit from the boost in candy sales from the Tootsie Pop Bump.

We are so lucky to still have drive-ins here in the Hudson Valley. Many of our neighboring communities witnessed their local drive-ins close years ago. So, I hope they have a GREAT year, and many more to come. And if you're looking for something fun to do with the kids this summer, take them to a drive-in ... they are good, old-fashioned fun!

June Bisel
BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Warm Weather Brings an Increase in Outdoor Activity

This week in the Hudson Valley, we saw the first really hot days of the spring, which felt more like a flash of summer to me. The first extreme break in the weather has brought everybody outside to bask in the sun after the long winter. So what will be the most popular outdoor activities that people will be participating in this spring and summer?

Bicycle riding, hiking and exercise walking were among the top outdoor activities in 2008. This year, they are all expected to increase in popularity. Hiking is expected to have the largest increase at 19%, bicycle riding with 11.4% and then exercise walking with 7.6%. And 9.2% more people are expected to exercise with gym equipment than in 2008 will exercise.

With an increase in outdoor activities, this is a great opportunity for all of the sporting goods shops in the Hudson Valley, as well as businesses that sell athletic or hiking shoes, or outdoor equipment retailers. Weather like the 80-plus degree days that we saw this week will be sure to make consumers think about outdoor purchases for the warm months.

What will you do to take advantage of the outdoor spirit that this fresh weather brings to the consumers?
June Bisel
BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Monday, April 27, 2009

Green Initiatives Making Progress

Last week we celebraed Earth Day, and I can't help but notice that each year, that seems to mean a little bit more, as green initiatives become "the norm". I hope that everyone took the time to appreciate our planet on that special, rainy day and that you took special notice of the steps many businesses are making to be more Eco-friendly. Hopefully, everyone is doing their best to be "green", but we can always get good ideas from the leaders in the green revolution.

One thing I'm so happy to see is that venture capitalists are making investments in green technology even amid this recession. According to what I've read, in the first quarter of this year, 59 deals were made in green technology valued up to $836.1 million. Forty three percent of those investments made were in solar power, 15% were in battery/energy storage, 10% were in the automotive sector, 11% were in bio fuels and 7% was in wind energy.

If the investments in environmental technology continue at this pace, investments could be up to $3.3 billion by the end of this year. If you are in any way involved in efforts to advance environmental technology, make sure to spread the word throughout your community. There may be volunteers willing to help out, or investors willing to help fund your advancements.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who's Still Spending?

No consumer is immune to the effects of this "economic event" that we are trudging through. I've mentioned in my blog earlier that consumers are actively cutting back on impulse buys, expensive food purchases, and vacations.

But not all consumers are impacted in the same way. I have come across some research indicating that while the behavior of the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X(ages 25-34) is actively changing in response to this economy, the behavior of other age segments is being impacted less by the trials and tribulations of the economy.

Higher income seniors and Generation Y (consumers ages 18-24) aren't making large changes to their buying behavior. Generation Y consumers have the least financial obligations of all of the groups and the higher income seniors generally have more of a savings cushion than any other group, which could lead these groups to feel more comfortable living their normal lifestyle.

Individually, these two consumer groups represent a small segment of total consumer spending power -- seniors at 14% and Generation Y at a mere 5%. However, if these age groups are your business's main revenue stream, then it is very important for you to know that although everybody is cutting back to some extent, the purchasing behaviors of these two groups are impacted the least by the down economy.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother's Day is coming!

I just love Mother's Day. We have a tradition in my house that every year my kids help me plant my annuals on this special day. Gardens surround my house, and I have quite a few planters on my deck, so this is no easy task. But, year after year, my kids help me with no complaint, which is really the most amazing part. And at the end of the day, the place looks just great.

As I mentioned in my post from last Thursday, holidays give businesses the opportunity to have fun and be creative. Yes, spending may be down a bit, but people are still going to buy gifts for their Mommies. Flowers will still be the most popular gift; card sales will still be strong; and restaurants still expect the day to be the busiest of the year. What consumers will probably be buying less of this year are gifts for women who aren't their mother -- like for aunts, godmothers, and family friends.

Four out of five Americans are still going to celebrate the holiday, so think outside of the box about how your company can put its unique stamp on Mother's Day. Will your store give out roses to women? Will your restaurant have live music?

Let us know what your business is doing to lend some ideas for consumers on this special day. And to all you Moms out there ... have a great day!

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An After School Marketing Opportunity

As a mother, I know the troubles that working parents face in considering what to do at the end of their kids' school days. Who's going to pick the child up? Do we want to pay a babysitter? Do I want my child to walk home on their own?

Issues like these are the reasons why after school programs are very important to the vast majority of parents. According to the findings of the Afterschool Alliance in fall 2008, 89% of consumers felt that after school programs were important. Seventy six percent found after school programs a necessity for the community and that funding for such programs should be increased.

This sentiment about after school programs presents a great sponsorship opportunity for local businesses. Think about a way that your business could coordinate with a local school to create or sponsor an appropriate after school program. A partnership of this nature would give your company a great advantage with brand recognition from parents and children alike.

... just something to think about.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Monday, April 20, 2009

Developments in Small Joint Replacements on the Rise

As we all know, baby boomers, representing the largest segment of the American population are aging. This aging segment is one most commonly seeking surgeries for bone and joint replacement, which is causing a new trend in this sector of the medical community.

Hip and knee replacements have established a strong presence in the medical device market with powerful companies being Zimmer and Johnson & Johnson. Now, with the maturity of the hip and knee replacement market, the medical community is seeking forge developments in smaller bone and joint replacement devices.

This has already created new competition among developers to make the best implants, replacements, and other devices that doctors will use to help those suffering from hand, foot, elbow, and ankle problems. The medical community will ultimately benefit from the medical advances forged by this influx in competition.

Hospitals in the Hudson Valley will be watching these new developments closely, as they are working hard to successfully compete against their city counterparts for the trust of the Hudson Valley residents. What is equally as important is that local healthcare facilities take the time to educate all personnel on the newest technology and that everyone communicates these new advancements to current and potential patients -- both verbally, and through marketing material.

As hospitals in the Hudson Valley are well aware, patients will turn elsewhere to seek out the most advanced technology available.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations
(845) 695-1880

Friday, April 17, 2009

Soda Usage Fizzing Down

Earlier this week, we discussed the current trend of Americans using more olive oil in their diets in order to eat healthier. What I've also noticed is the consumption of soda is declining as part of this same trend.

Consumers are turning away from soda over concerns about weight loss, adverse health effects from high fructose corn syrup and from the use of other artificial sweeteners. Thirty-four percent of beverage buyers say that they have turned from soda to bottled water for these reasons. Personally I still love my Diet Pepsi. What do you drink?

In the past five years, energy drink consumption has nearly doubled and a recorded 11 million adults have started drinking sports drinks. Tea and coffee have also found success in the decline of soda usage. Retailers should make sure that you carry a good mix of these different drinks. While consumers will still buy soda, the shift in demand is one that you cannot ignore.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Simplest Things Bring Opportunity

I try, in my blogs, to give businesses ideas and information they can use in promoting their product/service in order to successfully navigate through the current economic times. And I truly believe that with insight and innovative thinking, the best of us will come out of this stronger than we went in.

If you're a regular reader of my blogs, or if you keep track of the industries who are benefiting from this recession, you already know that the fast food restaurants are doing well. One reason, of course, is that they offer value. The other reason is that they continue to use innovative thinking and smart strategies to secure as much of their market as possible. And, they don't miss out on ANY opportunities to market themselves.

Taco Del Mar, Cinnabon, MaggieMoo, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, TGI Friday and Papa John's are some examples of fast food restaurants who capitalized on tax day. Free tacos with coupons generated via online registration; free Classic Bites, again with online registration; buy one get one free promotions; "tax relief dinner certificates"; McCafe customized postage stamps ... these are just some of the innovative promotions that were in place yesterday as so many Americans scrambled to get their taxes done in time. And when you think about it, who has time to cook dinner? Fast food is the perfect combo with Tax Day.

I'm wondering how many local businesses thought to capitalize on this. I know my local pizzeria didn't, because I was there. But perhaps next year they will.

If your company ran a special promotion for Tax Day, please share it with us. And, don't forget... Earth Day is coming up, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July... it just never ends. Be creative, have fun! Think about your customer and what you can offer them that will make their life easier, more fulfilling, a little happier... and, don't forget, coupons are very big right now. People just love them. And if you can collect information for your database while offering your customers a discount, then all the better!

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Americans Want Olive Oil

Healthy living is an topic that is prevalent on the minds of many American today. People are less concerned with dieting for weight loss, and are seeking healthy eating alternatives in an effort to live longer and healthier.

With this trend, olive oil is becoming more common in the American diet than ever before. Olive oil has received a lot of media attention in recent years for its versatility in the kitchen and positive effects on the body, creating a booming demand for the product. Its sales are expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2013.

Consumers want to use olive oil. It is more expensive than butter and vegetable oil and other dressings, but American consumers don't mind paying the higher price for the unbeatable health benefits.

This is an opportune time for local restaurants, markets, and whole food retailers to educate consumers on the use of olive oil in their diet. Provide recipes that utilize olive oil with their purchases. Feature olive oil in your marketing communications. Provide free samples of delicious dishes cooked in olive oil.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations
(845) 695-1880

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Clever Oral Hygiene Industry

The oral hygiene industry isn't usually thought of as one that can show heavy growth. People will buy toothpaste routinely and they already use mouthwash and breath mints.

But in recent years, this industry has used constant product innovation and solid marketing efforts to push their sales from $9.1 billion in 2008 to a projected $10.9 billion in 2014. Teeth whitening products, dissolvable breath strips and invisible braces are gleaming examples. The oral hygiene industry is a great example of how strategic marketing can bring substantial revenues to products.

Dentists, as well as local drug stores/pharmacies, will benefit by keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in the oral hygiene industry. Stay ahead of the curve so that you can profit when these trends build momentum. This could also be an opportunity for dentists to partner with local retailers by providing coupons or vouchers for oral hygiene products. is in the process of organizing a program that includes radio or print advertising to members who feature exclusive coupons on our site. Call or email me for details. It's a GREAT opportunity to affordably market your business.

June Bisel
Partner, BBGG Advertising and Public Relations
(845) 695-1880

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Snickers For Your Troubles

There's nothing like comfort food when times are bad. And candy, especially chocolate, is one item that people have always turned to for a "lift-me-up".

The candy industry has always been a sweet spot for a sour economy. During the Great Depression, the sourest of all sour economic times, Tootsie Pops and Snickers made a name for themselves. With just a small investment, candy can provide a large emotional benefit and give people a much-needed immediate gratification.

Retailers who sell candy should be sure to display their sweet treats prominently, in an optimum "impulse buy" location, like near the registers. And if you're not currently selling candy, but you do own a retail store where candy sales could help your profits, then this is a good time to seriously consider cashing in on this growing market.

Non-sugarcoated businesses should use the success story of the candy industry to discover ways they can provide their customers with low-cost solutions that fulfill a need. That is the real reason this industry has flourished in tough times.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Friday, April 10, 2009

Advertising During The Recession

There are two very distinctive marketing strategies for dealing with recession. One is to focus on the bare necessities to keep your company out of the red. The other is to take advantage of the fact that the competition isn't spending and use the opportunity to bump up your advertising.

For the companies that are taking the aggressive route, there is one thing that you must keep in mind. When increasing the spending on advertising, do not solely increase your dollars spent on placements and frequency. Make sure that you are investing on fresh creative advertising ideas that are targeted to your most profitable customers. Make certain that the creative is something that is going to compel your prospects to take action. Speak to their needs.

History shows that companies who do spend during a downed economy come out of the slump ahead of the competition. Any business looking to invest in your advertising during this recession need to consult an advertising agency to keep your advertisements fresh and relevant to consumers.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Product Labels and Your Business

A new study has unveiled that consumers consider product labels to be the most important source for information when shopping for healthy and organic foods. This is more proof that consumers want information in the quickest, most convenient ways possible (Why do you think Snapple Facts are so popular? Worldly facts right under the cap of your Mango Madness).

When deciding on what healthy foods to purchase, consumers are looking on the product packaging to find the information they desire. But they're looking for more than just nutrition facts on the labels. They want to know the company's story. Is this product made by a local small business? Does the company use energy efficient means of production?

The point of this research goes far beyond aisle 5. No matter who your audience is, nobody wants to look too hard to find out about your company. All materials coming from your business should have the company's personal brand stamp on it. Put your tagline on your business cards or in the bottom of your email signature. Put the company logo on folders that you hand out at events.

Use your profile and get a banner ad on the site to tell the Hudson Valley about your company's personality.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Acquiring Charitable Contributions in a Sluggish Economy

With incomes hurting, and bills and responsibilities mounting, both businesses and individuals have less money for their own expenses. This, in turn means that they will have much less money to give to others. These are facts that most nonprofit organizations are wrestling with in this harsh economy. And, unfortunately, one-third of consumers are planning to give less to charity in 2009.

One method to keep contributions coming your way is to use fundraisers with very specific purposes and to communicate these purposes to the public. Sixty percent of people prefer to give "designated gifts" to non profits as opposed to simply giving money to an organization in general. Let the public know that you are raising funds to build a 4H Park, to feed the hungry, or buy new medical equipment for a free clinic. Whatever the purpose of your fundraiser is, make sure it is clear, specific, and worthwhile to potential donors.

Use the internet to your advantage, as well. People who use social networks to follow their favorite charities are commonly the most engaged. The majority of them specifically discuss charitable causes, which usually means good word of mouth for your non profit organization.

Use your listing on to spread the word about your latest fundraising effort to potential business donors in the Hudson Valley.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More thoughts on coupons

While social media is currently attracting the most industry attention, it is not the only way for businesses to target younger people online. And, it still has not proven itself to be a profitable means for advertisers to target and engage consumers. A new study from Information Resources, Inc shows that online coupon offers are still a very effective means of prompting young consumers to make purchases.

Half of 18 to 24 year olds reported that they would be very likely to use online coupons. Older age groups reported only up to 40 percent that would take advantage of online coupon offers. Newspaper coupons were reportedly dominant than their internet counterparts among all age demographics, the biggest margin being in demographics of 25 and over.

I still want to caution you on the consequences that moderate to heavy reliance on coupons can have on consumer perception of your company. Your product offerings must bring value to younger consumers in order for your online coupons to bring lasting profitability to your business. (Read the downfalls of frequent coupon usage in my March 12 post,

Use coupons sparingly. Only with the proper implementation can internet coupons boost your sales to younger audiences and bring long term benefits to your business.

June Bisel
Partner, BBGG Advertising and Public Relations

Monday, April 6, 2009

Take Your Time When Planning For Crisis

I read a blog today by Kevin Eikenberry that spoke about the need for companies to be wary of the negative effects that working too fast can have on their business ( Some of his lessons stated that "Speed kills problem solving," "Speed kills planning," and "Speed kills dialogue." This insight of how businesses rushing through things is often counterproductive reminded me of my March 27 post on planning for a crisis.

Crisis management needs to be well thought out. It takes more than one sitting to assess the different scenarios in which something can go wrong and to develop a plan to address them. When a crisis happens, it is true that companies need to respond quickly. However, a quick response unaccompanied by a well thought out plan runs the high risk of not effectively addressing the problem.

June Bisel
Partner, BBGG Advertising and Public Relations

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Strategic Plan for Surviving this Economic Crisis

The good news is, the stock market has been doing well the past couple of days. But the reality of the situation in our recent economy is that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. And if your business is like most, you need to take a serious look at your strategic plan for the next year and make some serious adjustments.

While decrease in earnings can cause panic for some, and will most certainly be a challenge for most, the shift in our economy can present opportunities that may actually end up making our businesses more profitable in the long run. 

Lets face it, change is not easy. And most of us do not make change happen unless we are really forced to. But sometimes change is a necessary evil. Sometimes the processes we have adopted over the years cease to be effective. Or, the slowing of business may necessitate layoffs. Job descriptions may need to be adjusted in order to adapt.

With technology constantly changing, there may be equipment available today that was not available a couple of years ago, equipment that may be able to increase productivity and cut costs at the same time.

Maybe it is time for your business to set aside a day for a planning retreat and start to take a serious look at the way you are doing things. I bet there is not one of us who cannot find ways to seriously cut costs and become more efficient and more profitable.

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Realtors, Homebuyers Are Still Out There

Most people agree that the housing market was a major catalyst that sparked the recent economic downturn. However, there is good news for realtors. 

According to a new study conducted by The Move research group, a total of 23% of Americans are still planning on buying a home within the next five years -- 12.8 percent of those within the next two years. Of those people, more than half are first time homebuyers. 

Americans have been cutting back and postponing many major purchases for some time now, and those postponing home purchases will soon have a good incentive to take the plunge in '09. The recent stimulus package offers an $8,000 tax credit for homebuyers. That is going to be very tempting to homebuyers. 

While many are still unaware that the credit even exists, realtors can benefit greatly from advertising the incentive and helping homebuyers sort through the details. 

Potential home buyers are out there! Realtors, it is up to you to be proactive in encouraging them to choose you over your competition and to convince those that are still on the fence that this is the perfect time to invest in a home. 

June Bisel
Partner, BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations