Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Small Business Marketing News Update - JacksonvilleManufacturer Launches On-line Marketing Program For New Clamp Products

With the addition of a new group of industrial lifting clamps to its extensive product line, J.C. Renfroe & Sons, Inc., an international manufacturer and marketer of lifting products based in Jacksonville, Florida, has launched a comprehensive on-line marketing campaign to introduce its new clamps.

Renfroe, a company that began and continues to be a developer and manufacturer of customized clamps, is offering new products designed for the vertical + 180 degrees category (the PCK clamp); for the beam category (the BC clamp); and a non-marring grouping (the NM, NMA, NMBC and NMRSC clamps).

To introduce these new products and to generate more exposure for its full product line, Renfroe has created new on-line tools to demonstrate product applications, provide product schematics and specifications and to make it easier to contact rep companies for inquiries and orders.

The company has revamped its website at jcrenfroe.com to provide updated product information that includes clamps, sheaves, crane blocks and swivels. In addition, the site has two demonstration videos – one for the clamp line and one for sheaves and blocks.

The site, which will constantly be updated and supplied with new offerings and industry alerts, will provide information regarding Renfroe’s extensive training program and detailed repair and assembly instruction.

To enhance the use of the website, Renfroe has entered into an agreement with Thomas.net to provide online information and links to Renfroe to provide specific product data to industries looking for superior durable clamps.

And the company plans to use email blast to key prospects, distributors and past customers wanting the latest product information and industry changes.

“Our company has been on the forefront of manufacturing clamps to meet the challenges facing today’s industrial markets,” explained Joe Pless, marketing manager for J.C. Renfroe & Sons. “So we decided to ratchet up the technological communications to help connect with the market through these on-line tools.

“Renfroe has built a reputation over 70 plus years for high quality clamps. We just need to let more of the market see what we have to offer and how our products work,” Pless said. “ We wanted our communications set and in place in order to, not only introduce these new clamp products, but to let customers know that if there isn’t a clamp existing that does the job they need, we will design and build one.”

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Small Business Marketing News Update - Jacksonville Jaguars' New GM Makes PR Blunder

As the saying goes “You only have one time to make a good first impression.” And the new general manager for the National Football League's Jacksonville Jaguars missed his.

On Thursday, the Jacksonville public was introduced to Dave Caldwell for the first time at a news conference at Everbank Field. Going into the presser, he knew he was going to be asked some sensitive questions, including one about his feeling on acquiring Tim Tebow.

He should have handled it like he did when asked about other NFL personnel, specifically about potential coaches. He said the season was not over and it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment at this time.

But when asked about Tebow he didn’t hesitate to say, “I can’t imagine a scenario where he would be a Jacksonville Jaguar.”

Whether you are a fan of Tim Tebow or not, I speculate that at least half of the North Florida market, the home of Tim Tebow, really likes the former Gator quarterback. So why would you start out your tenure as general manager offending half of your audience?

We just had a general manager who for years upset Jaguar fans with his unusual draft and free agent selections.

Some people are saying Caldwell did the right thing by putting an end to the Tebow situation in Jacksonville. But most of those people are anti-Tebow anyway. It may put the issue to bed for them, but not for the many who follow and support Tebow.

Instead of outwardly dismissing Tebow in what was a fairly blunt statement, Caldwell should have left it that he would evaluate the best available players, along with input from the new coach and then make the most appropriate decision for the Jaguars’ future. This approach would have shown that he is open to ideas, where his predecessor wasn’t, and he would make a decision at the right time.

But what has been done is done. Regardless of the Tebow haters, there are people who are upset. WTLV reported a statement by a fan the night of the news conference that said “I can’t imagine a scenario where I would renew my season tickets.”

That is not a very good way to start off a new Jaguar administration. Hopefully Caldwell will be better at selecting coaches and players than he is handling public relations.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Small Business Marketing News Update - Most Effective Political TV Commercial In Jacksonville Market Isn't For Politics

There is a “political attack” ad on the air in Jacksonville but it doesn’t promote a candidate and nor does it advocate a political issue. And it is one of the most effective commercials you’ll ever see.

The commercial promotes banners, signs and brochures. The spot is for FedEx Office. The scene is set on a spoof of two opposing city council candidates waiting be served at a FedEx Office retail center. While they appear to be civil to each other, they are actually attacking one another.

FedEx does a great job in using a very creative, humorous and timely commercial to effectively convey the various services its retail centers offer to customers, including candidates. Unlike the real political attack ads we have endured for over a year, this one makes dirty tricks funny.

This political season, I vote FedEx Office as the best political, and best overall, television commercial of the year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Small Business Marketing Update - Scary TV Spot Appearing In Jacksonville Market Is Appropriate For Halloween

One of the scariest things I have seen is the television commercial for Cars.Com. Not only does it look creepy, I am mystified by what it is supposed to say. While the graphic attracts your attention, you tend to miss the message, which is actually sung by the face in the woman’s hair. I rate it high for Halloween but low for effectiveness. 

Small Business Marketing Update - First Coast Manufacturers Association To Hold Strategy & Finance Summit

Jacksonville’s First Coast Manufacturing Association (FCMA) will be conducting a half day forum November 5th to discuss the financial and strategic issues facing manufacturing firms, locally, nationally and globally, in the current economic environment.

The forum will be a valuable opportunity for those small businesses that either market for or market to area manufacturers, logistics companies and various businesses that support the manufacturing industry.

Topics to be covered include…
  • Transformations: How To Capitalize On Accelerating Change And Innovation;
  • America’s Coming Energy Surplus And What It Means For Manufacturing;
  • Europe’s Debt Crisis: Threats And Opportunities For U.S. Manufacturing;
  • The U.S. Economy – Debt, Deficits, And Your Cost Of Capital;
  • Quick-hit references and resources that will address the US “fiscal cliff,” the changing pricing and risk management tools of the insurance markets, and capital sources from Miami to Atlanta.
Speakers include representatives from large and small manufacturers, the energy sector, financing specialists, and the Federal Reserve. Those participating include:
Ø    Matt Badiali, a geologist and natural resource specialist who has traveled the globe to evaluate energy sources;
Ø    Gregg Quick and Steven McInall, from JEA, to discuss what power options are available locally – or coming in the near future;
Ø    Chris Oakley, Regional Executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta;
Ø    Carleton Knotts, Trane Commercial Systems, to talk about how manufacturers can be sure they lowered their energy demand as much as possible, without compromising operations.
Ø    Greg Johnson, Director Manufacturing, Soler-Palau Inc., and Cindy Hildebrand, CEO, CF Machine, to share their experiences in capitalizing on accelerating change.

“There are so many questions circling the manufacturing industry, from the U.S. presidential outcome to the Middle-East unrest to taxes to the economic collapse of European nations, it is difficult for business owners, presidents and CEOs to navigate,” explained Lake Ray, president of FCMA. “So this is a forum that is certainly timely and could prove to be extremely helpful for developing future strategies for manufacturers.”

The Summit will be held Monday, November 5th at the University Center (building 43 – 12000 Alumni Drive) at the University of North Florida, from 7:30 AM to noon. The cost is $99 for FCMA members and $199 for the general public. Reservation details are available at fcmaweb.com.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Small Business Marketing Update - The Future Of Free Broadcast TV Could Be Behind The Fight Between Jacksonville's WTLV/WJXX Owner And Dish Network

For the past month, you may have seen programming alerts on your television screen warning that Dish Network viewers will lose their local NBC and ABC programming unless they contact Dish to complain.
The issue centered around a dispute between Dish Network and Gannett Co., that owns ABC, CBS and NBC-affiliated stations in 19 cities, including WTLV and WJXX in Jacksonville.
The companies just settled this particular dispute and Jacksonville Dish subscribers don’t have to worry about losing their programming. But there could be a bigger issue lurking in the future.
Several news sources have reported that this dispute centered on Gannett asking for increased fees to carry their stations. But as leverage, Gannett wanted to include penalties on Dish because of their new “AutoHop” feature on their Hopper digital video recorders that allows customers to automatically skip commercials from the previous day’s broadcasts.
No details of the settlement were reported but there are other pending lawsuits involving Dish and the other broadcast networks that specifically addresses the ad-skipping feature.
As reported by David Kravets of Wired.Com, Fox, CBS and NBC have filed federal suits against Dish claiming that the DVR’s service breaches copyright law and transmission agreements. He says the networks are labeling the practice a “bootleg” service that produces unauthorized copies of their shows by recording programming that can be seen at a later date.
But the real issue here, according to the networks, is that if the courts don’t block the service, it “will ultimately destroy the advertising-supported ecosystem that provides consumers with the choice to enjoy free over-the-air, varied, high-quality primetime broadcast programming.
Another development that is likely to muddy the waters is that Apple was just granted a patent that will allow its users to skip unwanted audio and video broadcast commercials when listening or viewing content like songs, podcasts or other media, including Apple’s new TV offerings.
As a television viewer, you might think it would be great to skip through some of those loud and obnoxious car dealer spots or embarrassing hospital commercials. But there is a great potential downside for viewers, and more so for small businesses who rely on local broadcasts to help advertise their products and services.
If a local TV station cannot deliver an audience, specifically a targeted demographic, to an advertiser, then that station will not be able to survive. And without the station, viewers will be without their favorite network shows and their valued local programming.
Joe Arico, author of the article “Consequences of Skipping Commercials” on Mobiledia.Com has an interesting take on what could happen if technology like AutoHop threatens the traditional broadcast model, which generates most of the profits and revenue for local broadcast stations.
Arico says if advertisers cannot reach viewers with traditional commercials during programs, the networks may look at other opportunities to reach potential customers. One example he describes is having a favorite television character blatantly using or promoting commercial products within the context of the show.
That already happens now, more in movies than TV, under the practice called product placement. The best extreme example is demonstrated in the movie, The Truman Show with Jim Carrey. Throughout the show, various movie characters would go into product pitches constantly confusing the movie’s central character, Truman.
The main point of using product placement in television shows, means that regardless of how someone watches a show, recorded or not, the product exposure is guaranteed.
Another way Arico believes networks could increase their ratings and bypass DVR viewing is with more live programming. Studies show programs that networks air live, such as the American Idol, The Voice and sporting events, have better ratings and little DVR viewing.
He also believes the networks will place an emphasis on even more live reality shows and decrease the amount of scripted shows they produce. Reality TV is often inexpensive to produce and it performs just as well as hour-long dramas and half-hour sitcoms.
With our new technology, everything is up in the air. For added revenues, local stations are pushing their digital sites as strong as their broadcast products. Live streaming; sites like Hulu; packages such as Netflix; and others are also changing the viewing landscape.
Even with all of the technological changes, some market analysts say that the ad-skipping feature might eat into just one percent of advertising revenues and that maybe the broadcasters are overstating their case.
But we have already seen the hemorrhaging of the newspaper industry. We may just be seeing the beginning of the end of traditional broadcast advertising, too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Small Business Marketing News Update - Chief Meteorologist Points Out 121 Financial Credit Union For Protection

121 Financial Credit Union recently relocated its Mandarin branch in Jacksonville, Florida. For the ribbon cutting ceremony, officials at 121 Financial invited celebrity John Gaughan, WJXT-TV’s chief meteorologist, who decided to use a 121 Financial umbrella for protection. At the time, Hurricane Isaac was headed toward Florida.