By February 08, 2017

I work with budding entrepreneurs through my work with the University of Iowa’s Venture School. In their revenue planning they’re always aiming to win over the famed “early adopters,” those buyers who like being the first to try something new. Though an important first step when introducing anything new to a market, gaining early adopters won’t predict future sales unless you learn why they bought, and what they thought…


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By January 12, 2017

Plagiarizing written work is obviously a big no-no. But for some reason, stealing photos or creative work is a common practice, especially on social media, blogs and websites. As a studio of (mostly) artists and creatives, we’re especially sensitive to using other people’s creative work correctly. And there are a lot of requirements to properly use someone else’s images! Usage requirements vary, but typically include at least citing the…


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By December 12, 2016

I’ve talked to business owners who say “We’re so busy, I’m afraid to market.” And  then they go on to tell me how they can’t hire fast enough, or find the right people to fill positions. They tell me how employee morale is suffering and they occasionally lose work because they can’t get to it fast enough. They must not know—marketing is for more than leads. Marketing is for…


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By November 29, 2016

So, this year was your best year yet? Congratulations! But that’s no reason to cut back on your marketing. In fact, I’m betting that your sales this year came from only twenty percent of your total customer list. The 80/20 rule is real. You’ve heard it before but chances are the majority of your sales are from a handful of your best clients. Knowledge is power. Identify your “power-20”…


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By November 09, 2016

We believe marketing should produce results. We report monthly to our clients on the impact of the marketing programs or initiatives we’re managing. Our clients appreciate seeing how their marketing is paying off. They rely on us to help them achieve their monthly and quarterly business goals. That all sounds good, yes? It’s not. Not if their goals are audacious. Not if competition-breaking innovation is needed. And not if…


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By October 19, 2016

An email inbox is a private space. In my personal inbox right now, I have a conversation with a friend about wardrobe capsules, an Amazon shipping notification for the spiralizer I ordered, a communication with my banker, and a weekly update from Cup of Jo, my favorite lifestyle blog. These are all valuable communications to me, and some contain sensitive details like credit card information. If you are a…


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By October 03, 2016

Last month I talked about the advantages of adding video to your marketing toolbox. It can be an investment to produce a quality piece, but there’s one thing a successful video needs that doesn’t cost a thing. Your video needs a great story. History has taught us (as have great storytellers like Shakespeare, Homer, and the Brothers Grimm), that one of the most powerful ways to get people to…


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By September 13, 2016

We’re often asked about producing videos for our clients. Video is hot. (All the “cool kids” have at least one.) But a well-produced video—like a well-crafted corporate brochure—is an investment potentially costing thousands of dollars. It’s important to be clear about why you need one, how it’s going to be used, and how to get the best product possible. Video is a great investment for: Social media Videos are…


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By August 15, 2016

Reflex is a sad color—not because of it’s impact on the psyche, but because it is so universally disliked in the graphics industry. Why do printers and designers cringe when asked to work with Reflex blue? Reflex is strictly a custom ink. That’s fine if you can rely upon spot color and factory blended inks. But, if you’re working with standard, four-color process or screen-based RGB color environments, you’ll…


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New Design Home
By July 27, 2016

Will Bassett, the newest addition to the Cooper Smith & Company team, shares six tips new designers need to know when looking for a job.  As a recent graduate, I know all too well the stresses of looking for a job in the design community. It’s an obstacle that every designer faces (usually more than once) in his or her professional life, but following these simple tips that I’ve…


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