Monday, February 28, 2011


-Baby Boomers spend $46 more than the average consumer on a typical shopping trip to Wal-Mart.

-81% of Hispanic women want more hair care and personal care products to be sold in bilingual packaging, according to Mintel.

-Almost half of adults (47%) prefer to watch television shows as they're being broadcast; 27% prefer to watch them recorded on DVR, finds Zogby.

-Three quarters of breakfasts (76%) are eaten at home, according to the NPD Group.

-Almost twice as many women get health advice from websites (62%) as from their mothers (32%), finds iVillage.

Friday, February 25, 2011


-46% of women say their worst nightmare is to go bathing suit shopping with their mother, says Self magazine.

-26% of women have changed their hair color more than five times, reports Women’s Health.

-45% of women have had the same skincare regimen since they were teens, finds Wakefield Research.

-64% of working moms intend to take all their paid vacation days this year, up 7% from 2010, according to

-Women are more active Twitter users than men (10% vs. 7%), says Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


-Teens are more likely to spend their free time playing video or computer games in 2011 than they were in 2010 (72% vs. 63%), according to Harris Interactive and World Vision.

-74% of teen girls say “most girls my age use social networking sites to make themselves look cooler than they are,” report Pew Research Center and the Girl Scouts.

-The main reasons teens admire someone are for their personality traits (26%), because they hope they can follow in their footsteps (22%), and because they admire their accomplishments (13%), finds The Barna Group.

-Only 9% of those under 17 consider a meal’s calorie content before ordering at a restaurant, say The School of Medicine and Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

-23% of grandparents buy clothing for their grandkids, finds Nielsen

Friday, February 18, 2011


-51.2 million women watched the Super Bowl this year, up from the 48.5 million in 2010, according to Nielsen.

-Women (40%) are more likely than men (28%) to be either currently dieting or to have dieted in the last year, says Baeta Corp.

-57% of first-line supervisors/managers of food preparation and service workers were women in 2009; National Restaurant Industry Association.

-62% of Redbook readers claim they are better drivers than their husbands, yet 50% admit their husbands would claim superiority.

-22% of couples don’t know their significant other’s salary, find American Express and iVillage.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


-The average online video viewer watched 201 videos during December 2010, a 20% increase from December 2009, according to comScore.

-During January 2011, the average online video viewer spent more than four and a half hours watching online video streams (279 minutes). That’s a 44.5% increase from January 2010, Nielsen reports.

-Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” single sold 448,000 downloads in its first three days of availability (ending Feb. 13), representing the third-largest debut sales week ever for a song, Billboard reports.

-In a Centris survey of 40,000 adults, 62% have either never heard of video-on-demand, never used it, or are unable to access such services (via Home Media Magazine).

-Sony’s online videogame subscription service, PSN Plus, now counts more than 100,000 monthly users, according to FADE.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


-18% of teens say ads entice them to purchase products, finds Experian Simmons.

-Children with dogs as pets take 360 more steps and exercise 11 more minutes each day than children without dogs, according to St. George’s, University of London.

-49% of teens say having to ask their parents for money is a “hassle,” says American Express.

-92% of girls 14-17 would give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend, according to the Girl Scouts.

-Teen girls are more likely to be members of an academic group (57%), than participate in student council (25%) or drama club (19%), report Ketchum Global Research Group and Varsity Brands.

Monday, February 14, 2011


-62% of drivers believe that talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, but 69% have done so in the past month, according to AAA Foundation.

-When shopping online, 58% of women and 44% of men are concerned about the cost of shipping, finds Burst Media.

-81% of affluent families with teenagers own five or more computers, according to Ipsos OTX.

-Not having to clean up after the meal is the top reason Canadians and Americans dine out, finds NPD Group.

-Yellow is the least popular color for vehicles in North America, according to DuPont.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Assocations - How to sell Financial/Insurance Products to them.

I actually have a meeting tomorrow to discuss selling Financial/Insurance products via direct/online channels to Associations/Affinity markets. For those of you that know me and read my blog regularly, you'll know that if I have a strong interest in something I'll blog about it. That said, I have dealt with Associations in the past and have done some partnerships with various selling wireless services to their members. While wireless services are certainly different from insurance/financial products, I do think the principals of selling to Associations are the same. We're just talking about a different commodity here.
Hope you enjoy this post and please feel free to use this information and send me any questions should you have any.

Selling to Association Members.

How to create and manage association-endorsed programs. When you serve associations, take into account that you are dealing with a diverse group of clients, which could include sporting goods merchants, musical instrument dealers, doctors, lawyers, entertainers etc.
For the purpose of this article let’s assume we are selling association members various forms of insurance such as Long-Term Disability Insurance, Office Overhead Expense Insurance, Term Life, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Extended Health Care, Dental Insurance, Critical Illness and Extended Health Care Insurance for Retirees. Because many associations are members of national associations, the marketing territory would cover all Provinces and Territories.

When successful, association-endorsed programs are a win-win situation for both an insurance organizations and an association. Insurance companies attract and retain additional clients and revenue, while associations use association/affinity programs to attract and retain new members. In this article I'll explain how to select an association for the purpose of marketing insurance programs to its members.

Finding Prospects

To find prospects, a good place to start is to regularly attend Canadian Society of Association Executives regional meetings and trade shows. Referrals are also a strong avenue through which to find new associations. When you work with a particular group, it's not uncommon for that group to introduce your insurance company to another association that's having insurance problems. (There are a number of Insurance companies competing for association business, so the associations tend to talk to each other about them.)

Exhibit at Trade Shows

Working the show-exhibiting at trade shows is one way that insurance companies obtain leads for its association endorsed insurance programs. Look for strong associations that provide other member benefits, has the trust of its members and has their best interests in mind. The association should be well-established. The stronger the association, the more successful the insurance program will be. Furthermore, the association should have clear objectives for the insurance programs.
Another factor determining whether to approach an association is the type of industry or trade it represents. Is this an Association you are willing to provide insurance to its members?

Before finally selecting, and seeking an appointment with, an association, find out whether the organization is large enough. Also find out who the decision-maker is, what position he or she holds in the organization and what the association's decision-making process is. You can often meet an association's decision-makers at trade shows or through referrals.
Once you obtain an Associations endorsement for the insurance programs, begin to gather information from the association concerning their members' exposures, hopefully your Insurance organization has a standard questionnaire. The benefits of a questionnaire should be twofold: It tells you what the members' insurance needs are, and it acts as the basis for customizing a plan for that specific association. Associations that currently have programs often conduct their own member surveys (sometimes even before your first meeting with them), for example what coverage members have and how much they're paying for them, and what coverage needs aren't being met. These surveys are great and also give you a good indication of what kind of pricing will attract the members.
From an Insurance companies perspective ensure that your claims service is capable of handling the volume that association programs can generate. Perhaps most important is whether you can offer such member benefits as a special coverage the group needs or a dividend plan-something beyond you’re your company normally would provide if the business came through your regular agency plan.

When insuring associations, it is essential that a Sales agent obtain special rates for the program. Agents should also keep in mind that it is impossible to design a program for which all members will be eligible; the association should understand this as well.
The insurer usually assigns the association its own underwriter or a group of underwriters. The underwriters get to know the needs of the group.
Some coverage is useful in selling to associations. For example, many associations promote the availability of customized business owner’s policies to increase their membership. It is important to note that Associations seek out Financial/Insurance brokers because specific Association/Affinity programs help associations/affinity groups with retention.

More on Trade Shows

Attending an association's trade shows and conventions is one of the most effective ways to market the program to members. A good plan is to set up a booth at these tradeshows and send letters to members before a show, asking them to visit your booth. At the show introduce yourself to the members and encourage them to get more information on the insurance programs. An association also might lend its support by promoting the program in its periodical or by supplying you with a membership roster. Member testimonials are another effective way to promote the program, especially if they appear in an association's publication. When members regularly hear from their association about the insurance program, the message has a greater impact than when it comes directly from the insurance company. Nevertheless, you should also advertise in association publications and attend seminars that concern the association's industry in an effort to promote the programs. Please note, that after a trade show, it's not unusual to have hundred of leads!!!

Develop Trust

Selling to association members can be difficult at first because they are skeptical about a new insurance agency and are reluctant even get your company to quote. A typical objection is, "I've been with my agent for so many years." Indeed, it might take two or three years of contacting before you gain some members' confidence. Therefore, keep a record of all activity on each prospect. So if you contact them via a direct mail, email or phone call, you will know what happened in the past and how to approach the prospect next time. Tell the members what they want to hear emphasize that association/affinity programs can offer better price, coverage and service.

Your Company Website

Since some associations insist that you devote a section of your company’s website to their groups, it is a smart idea to accommodate this on your company website. Furthermore if you can negotiate with the Association Group partners have your Associations/Affinity Group link on the Associations' Web sites.

Develop a Relationship. Keep in Contact

Once you have acquired an Association the work does not stop here, Try to meet with each association at least annually-sometimes more often for a formal review of the program. Look at partnership opportunities to promote your services regularly to their members.
Be prepared to spend significant amounts of time and money to acquire an association and get the insurance program up and running. From the first meeting with an association to a formal proposal I believe it takes at least three to six months. An association's endorsement opens the door to new prospects, but it does not guarantee immediate sales. I have read several articles online that claim that it takes two to three years before an Insurance company makes a profit from an Association. Key is to provide Association members with superior price, coverage and service, and then your insurance organization can reap the steady rewards of association/affinity programs.


-30% of teens 13-17 admit to accidentally texting "I love you" to the wrong person at least once, finds TextPlus.

-Hispanic 16-17-year-olds are less likely than their non-Hispanic peers to text message with their friends at least once a day (49% vs. 64%), says Pew Research Center.

-Teenagers run 40% more yellow lights and have 60% more crashes while playing a racing videogame if they know their friends are watching, reports Temple University.

-70% of high school graduates go to college within two years of graduation, according to Harvard University.

-While on the road, younger drivers focus on moving objects, such as other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians, whereas older drivers pay attention to line markings and road signs, says Volvo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


-78% of brides plan to make their weddings more environmentally friendly, such as offering paperless wedding invitations, finds David’s Bridal.

-Women are 18% more likely than men to say they read books on snow days, according to Nestle.

-51% of women have made a major life sacrifice for a partner, compared to 37% of men who have done the same, says

-Men (57%) are more likely than women (46%) to say houseguests overstay their welcome after a few days, reports HomeAway.

-80% of women feel guilty if they don’t clean their house regularly, finds Scrubbing Bubbles.

Kudos to CBC Dragons

This came up in the comments section over at Skeptic North today and it's simply too good not to pass on further. A garbage medicine hawker came on Dragons' Den with a ridiculous product and a ridiculous "deal" for the Dragons.

If you're familiar with the format, feel free to skip ahead to the 25 minute mark and sit back and watch some serious deserved tongue lashing. If you aren't familiar, then watch the first part of the show just to get the feel first.

The product in question - Precious Metals Nano Water from Bruce McBurney of HIMAC Research Publishing from Niagra Falls Ontario. He undermines his presentation from the get go by asking for WAY too much money (2.5 Million) for a laughable amount of the company (25%) that is heinously over priced (10 Million dollars - based on the sales of 40 thousand dollars over several years.) Initially his presentation is amusing as it's so absurd and badly put together. He thinks he has a panacea which will cure everything from indegestion (sic) to prostrate (sic) cancer. And he offers no more than "video testimonials" and books of un-declared an questionable provenance as evidence.

He is completely full of shit. The Dragons let him have it on all fronts, they stip him down and flog him verbally and as far as I am concerned he gets off easy.

Looking at his website - which is also littered with spelling errors, like his cheap-assed presentation - he is also trying to hawk "suppressed" (Oh the conspiracy!) carbeurator technology that could (you see it coming don't you?) revolutionize the world by taking cancer causing agents out of automotive pollution and improving mileage by over 400%.

As Dragon Jim Treliving tells Bruce to his face - "Bullshit."