Madeline Osman
Personal and professional blog of Madeline Osman
August 10, 2011 by admin

Interesting Iowa (City) News

First off, two new places to eat!

Iowa City is number three in nation for volunteering:

Iowa public university presidents get a 4% pay increase (which is interesting, considering our 4% tuition hike after the state budget cuts…)

And finally, the result’s of the (much hyped) Tippie MBA Twitter contest (for free tuition) are in! The winner is…

Update: Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Press-Citizen keeps extensive archives, since most of these links are broken…

 

 

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August 8, 2011 by admin

The Power of Freebies

I went to Lollapalooza for the first time in my life, and it was every bit as amazing as everyone who’s ever went told me. I’m so beat from the three day experience that I took off work today to recover.

I’ve been to other music festivals (Warped Tour, Projekt Revolution), and one thing I love is that there are always freebies.  Sometimes they’re are free music tracks, or keychains, stickers, etc., but at Lolla, the freebies were items of actual use. State Farm gave out a “Survival Kit” in exchange for your email and a few survey questions. The Survival Kit had sunscreen, hand sanitizer, chapstick, and earplugs – everything a Lolla-goer could ever want. Google was giving out battery powered squirt fans to promote Google+. There was a radio station with a phone charging station, Toyota handed out iconic Lolla headbands… the list goes on. My boyfriend packed a backpack filled with the essentials… but we didn’t need half the stuff we brought after raking in the freebies.

All I could think about was how awesome of advertising that was for those companies – especially the ones that successfully captured people’s information. Their potential customers will remember the friendly staffers and the awesome freebies when considering their services. State Farm sent me an email almost immediately following my visit to their tent and offered me additional freebies – MP3 downloads. Even though they had to put forth money to supply the freebies, the festival-goers became their walking billboards. I remember seeing things that people were carrying and immediately setting forth to get my own.

For people that follow Lollapalooza on Twitter or Facebook, there was an additional chance at free merchandise. They would announce a giveaway every hour or so during the festival if you met Lolla staffers at certain locations. One popular giveaway was for Camelbacks. I didn’t even know what those were prior to Lolla, but now I’m seriously considering getting one for future music festivals. I saw people with them everywhere. They were selling them for an unheard of $60 at the (free) Camelback-sponsored water bottle filling station. I figured no one would be crazy enough to blow $60 on a glorified water bottle (especially when you can get it for $40 or less online), but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They sold out. Such is the power of walking advertisements.

So companies, embrace the power of freebie marketing. It works, makes people happy, and produces results.

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August 4, 2011 by admin

I love to read…

…and this week I finished not one, but two books (going for #3 tonight).

The first book down was Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman. The topics discussed ranged from The Real World, to The Sims, to the Left Behind books – all of which I’ve taken an interest in at one point or another. It was a really laid back book based on Klosterman’s opinions, but supplemented with interviews from people close to and familiar with the subjects discussed. The book itself was very easy to digest – each topic was a max of ten pages – perfect for some light before bed reading!

The second book I technically didn’t read, but I’m finally finished with. As discussed in my previous post, I’ve been listening to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in the car on my long drive to work. I think I’m going to go a little more in depth with that in future posts, because it really was quite an enlightening book.

Book the third is The Design of Everyday Things. I’m about 3/4 of the way though it, but haven’t picked it up since earlier this summer. The whole idea of the book is basically that when a person makes a mistake, it often isn’t their fault. Whatever it is that they were trying to use was probably a faulty design. The book aims to teach people how to rectify these mistakes by designing things simply and effectively in the first place, using the basics of human psychology as a guide.

I still have 3 more books I’ve been dying to read since the start of summer, but time escapes me. I want to get in the habit of reading one book a week. Wish me luck!

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