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Looking to save money… I would suggest doing this…..

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

I am sure every one of us knows who Jake from State farm is and the cute Gecko on the Geico commercials. Both of them, in their own way, say they can save you money. Well last month I got my home insurance bill and I must say I was surprised at the amount. I spoke to a few friends and the next day reached out to a few referrals. All the companies were quick to not only get back to me but also lightening quick to give me a quote on my auto and home insurance together.

At the end of the day I switched from Allstate and went with Farmers Insurance. Yes, cost was an important part of the decision but the deciding factor was really the customer service I got from them over the other companies and saved over $2,410 annually!

Yes that number is correct. Interesting to mention that I have never filed a claim on my home/car insurance the ten years I was with Allstate and I was very surprised at how high they were.

So if you are looking to save a little money, I would suggest making a few phone calls for your auto and home insurance.

  1. Have you done this recently?
  2. How much did you save?
  3. How was the customer service?
  4. Any surprises during the process?

I look forward to reading your comments.

A thank you is usually only for a person… not today!!!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

I am sure during the day all of us say thanks many times. For me, it could be a big thank you for waking up my kids and not having it take a long time or perhaps thanking a stranger for holding the door or thanking a cashier, waiter, or thousands of other examples.

Today’s thank you is very different. Not sure I have ever done this. But here goes.

I want to thank DFW airport! I know you are probably saying to yourself why? What’s wrong with him? If you were saying that I wouldn’t disagree with you but hear me out for a minute.

I want to thank DFW Airport for a number of reasons:

  1. For being smart enough to make it the most efficient airport I have ever traveled thru. Most airports are deep and you need to walk forever. Miami, Las Vegas to name a few. DFW is wide, has a ton of security checkouts, and typically the walk to your gate is less than 30 seconds.
  2. The concourses are huge. Terminal D is so big and has to be 10 times wider than Logan Airport or any of the airports in the Northeast.
  3. They are always looking to add relevant stores and restaurants. In the last six months they have opened a number of decent restaurants and the first ever 7 Eleven opened in an airport location.
  4. And a huge thank you for somehow adding Coke as a beverage choice in vending machines, restaurants, and other stores. For as far back as I can remember the only place you could buy a Coke was at McDonalds and it was a fountain drink. That has all changed and I am really excited about that!
  5. They are always looking for ways to make it an easier and nicer experience for their customers. Over the past few years they have renovated terminals and enhanced the parking experience with red/green lights about parking spots. If you see a green light there is a spot for you which really cuts down the wasted time to look for a spot and keeps the frustration level at a minimum.

So DFW Airport thank you on a job well down! Keep up the great work.

  • Would you like to take a moment and send out a non-traditional thank you?
  • What do you think about my thank you?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Does this sound familiar …. Does this lead to a really cool promotion?

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Recently I have heard more and more discussions around how many steps a person has taken each day. I actually had two strangers see that I had a Fitbit on and asked me where I was for the day. A few times I even said to my friends, let me guess how many steps I think you have taken in a day. Does all this lead to the next big marketing promotion or betting trend in Las Vegas?

Are we a few months away from being able to guess how many steps Rafael Nadal took during a tennis match in Wimbledon? So basically if you asked Rafael or any tennis player to put on a Fitbit prior to a match and asked fans to text their guess and the winner would get a signed shirt, gift certificate, or whatever… I would suggest that thousands of people in the stadium or hundreds of thousands of fans watching TV would sign up for this.

If I am right, this may also lead to Vegas establishing proposition bets on how many steps were taken in a match. Yes this could apply to other sports as well like basketball, football, volleyball – the difference is it would probably be a chip instead of a Fitbit that you wear on your wrist.

Okay…

  • Am I crazy or could this really happen?
  • Wouldn’t this be a great promotion?
  • Would you text your guess and sign up?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. – I think this would be such an inexpensive marketing promotion that someone should do this right away!

Time to build a list of restaurants that I wish were at the airport.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Last week, as I was walking thru the Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport I noticed they had a food court and the next thing I knew I was eating at Pei Wei. To me this was perfect. I love the food, the freshness, the quality, and the speed of a regular Pei Wei and was curious – could the airport duplicate all of that. Even though they had a limited menu the experience was solid and exactly what I had hoped for. Of course, this gave me reason to pause and think of other restaurants that I would love to see in an airport.

Before I give you my short list I want to say that I understand customers have limited time and it is possible that some brands don’t want to be in an airport. With that said, here is my list:

  1. Jersey Mikes – fast, really good food and great bread!
  2. Les Madeline – quick, light, delicious food that you can eat all day.
  3. In-N-Out Burger – Every airport needs a good burger joint and none better. Although I do think the lines might be too long!
  4. Dairy Queen – I can always use a cone. Ok perhaps a little too messy.

Okay, your turn.

  • What do you think of my choices?
  • What restaurants would you like to see in an airport?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. Since I haven’t been to every airport, it is possible these restaurants are already in some airports.

Yes I spent 30 hours in Omaha, NE and here are a few things I came away with…..

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a city that I had never been to before. My travels took me to Omaha, Nebraska for a CEO conference hosted by Phil Terry, followed by attending the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting?

I didn’t know what to expect but here are a few things that I came away with:

  • The people couldn’t have been any friendlier – in fact, one of if not the friendliest city I have ever visited.
  • Even though it was cold and rained during pretty much my entire visit, it seems like it is a walking city and has statues everywhere.
  • The TD Ameritrade Park is home to the College World Series. The capacity is less than 35,000 and seems to be a special place to attend the game.
  • Having never been to any shareholder meeting I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am sure none are like this one. The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting was attended by over 40,000 people that saw it live and simulcast in different local hotels. In addition, Yahoo was streaming it for the first time and I am sure millions watched it.
  • Warren Buffet at 85 and Charlie Munger at 92 are intelligent, sharp as a tack and couldn’t possibly be any funnier!
  • Berkshire Hathaway is built on one thing and one thing only – culture. The home office has 26 people in it and none of the companies they own are required to fill out budgets, reports, or anything like that. They only work with people they trust and have very little turnover.
  • Warren & Charlie appear to be best friends, are great storytellers, and love to eat peanut brittle. They were on stage for over 5 ½ hours and must have consumed a few boxes of the treat.
  • The exhibit hall is not to be missed. The Hall is filled with companies they own and significant partners of theirs.

My time in Omaha was short but very special.

  • Have you been to the city?
  • What are your impressions?
  • Have you attended the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting?
  • Did you enjoy the experience?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Oops – this information was Bogus! What do you think of these statistics?

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Please note that although we verify our facts before these posts go up, this one got past us and the statistics are bogus. Please accept our apologies.

Last week one of my colleagues (thanks S.B.) sent me a very interesting chart that I thought I would share.

Even though I knew, felt, and experienced some of this first hand I must admit I was a little surprised to read some of these numbers. Only 10% of sales are made within the first 3 calls – that seems right, but link that to the fact that 85% of sale people either never follow up or give up after three calls. To me that reinforces my belief that if you have tenacity, focus, and have solid time management/follow up skills, you will be successful.

  • What do you think of these numbers?
  • Do they feel right to you?
  • Can you share a story that can support these statistics?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention researchers. Please watch this video and let me know your thoughts…..

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Over the weekend I was watching the NBA playoffs and a commercial came on that I thought would be very interesting to the research community.

Please click on the image to watch the 30 second spot.


  • Have you seen this before?
  • What are your thoughts?
  • What is going thru your mind regarding the market research industry?
  • Do you think that any type of PR (good or bad) helps our industry?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Tipping or no tipping you tell me…..

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Recently I have been reading more and more stories about the possibility that tipping in restaurants will go away! That the price of food will include the gratuity and the server’s wages will dramatically increase.

One of the first restaurants to test this strategy is Joe’s Crab Shack, which has a no-tip model in 18 of its restaurants. In these selected restaurants, the front-house workers will now earn hourly wages of around $12-$14 an hour.

According to a new study from Horizon Media, 81 percent of adult restaurant-goers are not yet ready for built-in gratuity. But the group that is most likely to support a tipping ban is, unsurprisingly, millennials. Almost one-third of people surveyed between the ages of 18-34 feel tipping is an unfair and outdated practice. Conversely, the older the consumer, the more likely he or she is to feel that tipping offers them a sense of control over the dining experience.

For me, I hope tipping stays in restaurants. When I have great service or someone goes above and beyond I like to show that with a big thank you and a generous tip. My sense is a lot of that goes away if tipping is now built into the price of food.

What do you think?

  • Tipping or no tipping – that is the question?
  • Have you been to one of the 18 Joes Crab Shack’s that are testing this?
  • Have you visited a full-service restaurant in the United States that has done away with tipping?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Is walking easy….perhaps not.

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Let me know if this sounds familiar. You are getting off a plane, excited to arrive and as you get off the jet bridge the line comes to a complete halt because someone just stops! Almost forgets where they are, who is behind them, and proceeds to almost have a 5 car pileup with people. Sound familiar?

I did a test last week. Of the 50 people who passed by me at DFW airport, 39 of them were on their phone. Making a call, sending an email, texting or reading an email. Think about that 78%! A large percentage of them are bumping into people, aren’t able to multitask and in some ways being extremely rude.

I understand that when many people get off a plane they don’t know where they are going. They need to take a minute to get their barring’s straight. Perhaps those individuals can move over to the right/left and not force everyone else to almost slam into them.

So I ask you – is walking in today’s society easy? I would suggest that with all the technology, distractions, and ADD in the world, it is challenging and probably going to get worse before it gets better, especially with wearable and drone technology on the horizon.

What do you think?

  • Have you noticed the same thing I have?
  • Does it bother you?
  • Is there anything we can do about it or is this just the way life is?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Is Math a Lost Art????

Friday, February 5th, 2016

A few weeks ago I was picking up a quick item at Walgreens and thought it was just an average trip to the store. As I approached the cash register I had 4 bottles of Diet Peach Snapple which were 2 for $4.00. At this point the conversation got a little funny.

Within seconds the cashier (who was VERY pleasant) said that would be $9.56. My response was “that seems very high since the items are 2 for $4.00 and I don’t believe the tax is that much.”

She then proceeded to tell me in order the transaction was $16.00, no actually it was $32.00. When I then question that, she voided the transaction and said “I’m so sorry I have it right” and proceeded to confidently tell me that I owed her $4.00. I must admit I did chuckle a little and I didn’t have the heart to pay $4.00 since I knew it was wrong so I said “I don’t believe that is correct, I owe you $8.00 plus tax.”

The rest is history.

Not much else to do until I decided to write this post.

  • In today’s generation it just appears that people in general, not just cashiers, don’t have the same feeling for numbers as they used too?
  • Have you noticed this as well?
  • Is it because they are always on their electronics – most of which have calculators?
  • Shouldn’t people be able to do an easy calculation like that?
  • I look forward to reading your comments.