Insuring Your Business

April 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

An advertising agency’s client base encompasses a wide array of business sectors.  Quest Group’s clients represent a wealth of knowledge, and from time to time we invite them as guest bloggers to share some thoughts that may help you in your business.

For many business owners large and small, insurance is something they know they need, but few take the time to really consider their exposure.  Most business owners know they need to protect their building and contents as well as liability for damages to a third party.  They also need to purchase auto insurance and worker’s compensation coverage to protect their employees from injuries sustained while working.

A few additional things to consider when purchasing insurance for your business:

1.  Business income coverage – most business owners recognize the need to cover their building, but they don’t think about the consequences of being out of business or temporarily relocated in the event of storm or fire damage.  Loss of income can be substantial if a business is forced to be down for even a short period of time.  This exposure can be covered through business income coverage.  Often, this is included in a property policy but sometimes must be added separately.

2.  Employment Practices – many business owners incorrectly assume that they have coverage in their liability policy for wrongful termination, harassment, etc.  Coverage for discrimination, wrongful termination, and harassment are covered by an Employment Practices Liability policy.  Most of these policies are relatively inexpensive and also provide for defense coverage in the event a claim is made against the employer.

3.  Employee Theft Coverage – like employment practices, many owners think they have coverage for employee theft.  Your business is protected under your property policy for burglary and robbery, but employee theft usually has to be covered separately.  While some policies may offer small limits for this, many do not.  Losses from employee theft can be significant.  Many losses involve employees taking small amounts of money on a consistent basis over a period of time.

Careful consideration should be taken when purchasing insurance for your business.  With a struggling economy, the cost of insurance is on the forefront of most owners’ minds.  The most important consideration, however, should be to choose an agent you trust.  There are numerous salespeople offering competitive pricing, but when a loss occurs, whom do you trust to take care of you?

As local insurance agents, our job is to make sure we protect your most important assets.  Professional advice, exceptional service, and competitive pricing is what we strive to achieve.  Our clients are not only customers – they’re also our friends and neighbors, leaders in our community, and those who share a similar vision for the betterment of our city, county, and state.

– Brandt Galloway
A partner at Galloway-Chandler-McKinney Insurance, Brandt was named this week as one of the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 business people in the state.
Visit www.gcminsurance.com and msbusiness.com to learn more.

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Does Over the Top Creative Pay Off?

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Having been in the advertising agency business more than 15 years, I sometimes wonder: Does over the top creative really pay off?

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall a few years ago when an ad executive pitched the idea of a monkey-muppet selling pizza and the CEO of the national pizza company signed off on it. A monkey selling pizza makes me think there just may be monkey meat in that pizza. Gross! For the teen or college student they were targeting, I suppose the monkey must have been totally cool. Today the same company uses people in their ad campaigns. Did the monkey work? I’d love know.

This brings to mind: Why is over the top creative used? It’s off the wall, creates buzz, and is most often targeted to a specific audience. Did you see the Doritos commercial during the Super Bowl? Just saying. The commercials targeted adolescent boys. That’s it. Do you think they’re specifically requesting the Doritos brand when their mothers head out to do the weekly shopping?

Remember the Budweiser frogs ribbeting “Bud – weis – er”? Now that was creative. I wonder if the frogs caused an increase in Budweiser sales.

The value in over the top advertising isn’t always in driving consumers directly to the store. But it gets people talking about a product or brand, and that keeps it top-of-mind when they are in the market for the product.

Sometimes our clients at Quest Group are interested in over the top creative. Can they afford it? That’s a discussion for another blog.

Cindy Hodo
Partner, Quest Group

Giving Sponsors What They Want

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago my business partner at Quest Group wrote about how to negotiate a sponsorship if your company is asked for support.  This week I want to follow up by discussing how to keep a sponsor happy if you’re the one doing the asking.

Put yourself in the sponsor’s shoes.  Think about what you would want if you had just committed part of your marketing budget to a sponsorship.

Exposure – How often will people hear about my company through this event’s promotions?  Who will be hearing this message?

Good will – Will my company benefit others by this sponsorship?  Will we be supporting an effort we believe in?  How will others know about our support?

Name or brand recognition – How will this sponsorship increase awareness of my company?  Will I be given an opportunity to speak?  What kind of media exposure is available?

New customers – Who will attend this event (or follow it through the media) that might be potential new customers?  What kinds of opportunities will I be given to interact with these people?

Expert status – Will my company be promoted as the best in the field?

Exclusivity – Will my competitors be involved?  I’d prefer that they not.  Can I be the title sponsor for a segment of the event?

Advertising opportunities – Will I be given ad space in the program, on a banner, in the media, on your website?  I get a better tax write off for advertising than I do for a charitable donation.

Access – What kinds of perks do I get?  Preferred seating?  First choice of exhibit space?  Opportunity to meet special people?  Tickets for my clients? Parking passes?

Appreciation – Have I been thanked both publicly and in a letter from the most important person at the agency?

Quest Group has been involved in hundreds of sponsorship signings from every angle — garnering sponsors for our own events, being sponsors for others’ events and negotiating sponsorships on behalf of clients.

We’ve got lots of ideas, and we’d like to hear yours.  What are some creative sponsorship ideas you have seen?

Kathy Kenne, Partner

Quest Group

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