Our Values: Relationships

Blog #3 in 4 Part Series
Click here to read from the beginning.


We love everything about small businesses! We love learning their history, getting to know the owners, and helping them grow. We love small business so much that we started this one!

We know that the key to business is relationships. We believe that once you are an Adelsberger Marketing customer, you are in the family (though occasionally you might be the that awkward uncle that doesn’t come to Christmas parties anymore because of what happened in ’98.)

For example, I know WAY too much about pet cremation. That’s because Turner Pet Cremation was one of my first customers. In order to tell the story of their business to their customers, I needed to learn everything about them. I learned how they operated, how they handled their products, and what the owners valued. They, in turn, opened up their lives and their business to me. We built a relationship through working together.

Whoever coined the phrase “business isn’t personal” must not have owned, operated, or founded a business. One of the foundations of business is relationships. Your relationships with your customers, employees, competition, office suite neighbors, and vendors. Each one of these relationships is a personal relationship that we don’t take lightly. You are trusting us with one of the most personal possessions you have – your business. And we will work hard to build a relationship with you so that everyone’s business will succeed.

People love free shipping emails and other tips!

Marketing Charts recently released a great chart documenting what types of communicates lead to customer purchases. This is extremely helpful if you offer a product. Of course each businesses’s audience is different and will respond to things differently. One restaurant I work with responds well to amazing text deals but email can sometimes be a struggle.

Here is the chart:

Marketing Chart's Research


Some interesting notes from this research:

1. Retargeting is at the bottom of the list. I wonder if people artificially lowered this number because it creeps them out. But it is interesting that direct mail ranks higher on the list. I suppose it has a lot to do with the quality of the direct mail list you buy.

2. What is interesting is that the top three items are all emails! I love email marketing.  Email is a great form of permission marketing and its something businesses should always be thinking about, “How do we increase our permission base?”.

3. The Staggering drop off between two and three. Free shipping and discounts reign supreme here. I suspect this tactic will become more and more prominent as we increasingly stop buying things in brick and mortar locations and instead switch to online stores. Free shipping will be the gold standard and is already used by things like Amazon prime to attract consumers.

A Lesson from a sidewalk

This week I had an appointment on my alma mater’s campus. It was nice to walk around a place that was so meaningful to my development as a person. While walking across campus I noticed a corner where students walked from sidewalk to sidewalk without taking the path that was originally desired by the planners. This brought to mind two lessons we should take into mind when planning something for customers, attendees, users, etc:


1.  Plan for customers. This design was an addition to the campus. The way it is designed is almost as if the designers failed to take into account the current structures in place. They also failed to anticipate that humans, not just college students, usually take the path of least resistance. Of course students wouldn’t walk the extra 18ft to merge with the current sidewalk! Take time to study what your customers might do, try to get into their shoes. In the tech world they build customer personas to try and learn this behavior.
2.  Plan to change. There is no way that you will be able to anticipate all the way your users will (mis)use your product. Humans are too unpredictable for that. But be prepared to make changes to better fit the user. This path has been trod for at least 5 years now. Instead of a new sidewalk being poured and fixing the problem an eye sore has developed in the heart of campus. Observe how customers use your product and make changes accordingly to make the experience great!



Improving Efficiency & Not Angering Customers

a smart glass

Frequently when companies improve their efficiency they end up angering customers because they hurt the customer experience. Today’s blog comes from an experience I had this weekend with a small punch cup at a church function that showed me how a company improved efficiency and didn’t ruin my customer experience.

A big business lesson comes from this small cup:

a smart glass

The beautiful part about this cup is that I did not initially notice the change. I simply picked up the cup and filled it with lemonade, like I had done many times at church events. I only noticed this change after I finished the lemonade and was staring at the cup, wishing there was more lemonade!

Can you see the barely visible line around the halfway point of the cup? That line divides the construction of the cup: a strong upper portion  by which 99%* on customers pick up and hold the cup and a thinner bottom half to conserve plastic. The bottom portion is noticeably thinner but I most likely would not have noticed if I hadn’t lost focus on what was happening!

The company may have saved 1-5%* of the plastic from each cup but when you make millions of these cups every year that is a huge savings! The engineer whose idea this was deserves a raise!

This is a brilliant execution of an idea that has lead to things like extremely thin plastic bags at the grocery store that irritate everyone!

So the question is: how can you improve efficiency without compromising the customer experience?


*I made these estimates up.

TV is changing


TV is going to change dramatically in the next few years and this week it took a big step that way.
Streaming services are growing!

The chart above from Marketing Charts shows a stat that we probably already knew: On Demand video services are growing significantly. 76% of all households in America use some sort of media on demand. This statistic could be artificially high because it contains DVR’s which is become more standard with modern telecommunications. I think it would be safe to say 50% of households in America have a streaming service.

The number of cord cutters (aka people who do not have cable in the home) is growing. initially some thought it might be a victim of the recession but as the economy returns to full strength the number of families without cable has not wavered much. Premium tv is becoming aware of this increasingly large group of people. ESPN decided to do something about it and in doing so might have placed the first nail in the coffin of cable/satellite tv.

ESPN has announced that it is joining a completely cable free streaming program with a few other channels offered through DISH Network for $20 per month. ESPN is one of the reasons most people stay on a cable subscriptions! Why would ESPN do this? Ad revenue. As cord cutters continue to grow the value of ads on channels exclusively on cable and Atlanta networks will begin to drop.

Imagine a future where you will be able to buy small packages of the channels you actually want to watch. This is great for consumers and for local advertisers. Local advertisers frequently get mixed in with all the channels a media company has access to. Advertisers will be able to better target their ads to specific packages of channels that their customers will be watching.

This maybe the first nail in the coffin of cable/satellite tv but do not clear your schedules for their funerals anytime soon. This transformation will be years in the making and will be restricted by fast broadband access. Not everywhere is as lucky Jackson with our 1 GIG fiber network. Thanks JEA!





CVS and their Hedgehog Concept

CVS Heart

CVS Heart

CVS stopped selling smokes?  This is a bold move. It has been said they will lose $2 Billion (with a B) in revenues, Now  they made $123 billion in revenues in 2012 so maybe $2 billion will not be missed. But in a business where you answer to shareholders every penny counts. What I see in this story is a company following their hedgehog concept.

The Hedgehog concept comes from an amazing book called: Good to Great by Jim Collins.  Your hedgehog concept comes together when you find the common ground between three questions: What are you deeply passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at? What drives your economic engine? A hedgehog concept breaks down as depicted here: hedgehog graphic-01

CVS’s hedgehog concept is selling products that make people healthy. Selling tobacco products is glaringly contrary to that concept. I applaud CVS for making the bold move to stop selling a profitable item because it dose not fit with their mission or hedgehog concept. The next question that comes to mind for me is: How far will they go? Will they stop selling soda, alcohol, or candy? I don’t imagine they will but what would be the next appropriate step? Related note: CVS released a new logo to correspond with this change.

What is your hedgehog concept? What are you deeply passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at? What drives your economic engine? Figuring this out will help you make decisions that will help grow your business in the long run and avoid bad short term decisions. Also check out Good to Great it has the potential to change your business life!

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