Welcome to our Marketing & Design Blog! You'll find industry news, marketing tips, and information about new projects we're working on. For even more tips, info, and news, click on the icons below and you'll find a plethora of tips, tricks and news on Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Design and Chicago Internet Marketing. Enjoy your time here because we have lots to share!

Not-for-profit Graphic Design

Finding a Chicago Marketing Company that actually understands the unique aspects of the non-profit sector can sometimes be a challenge, which is why, when looking for a Chicago Marketing Company, not-for-profit organizations should look for companies that have experience in that market.

Agencies that market to a specific niche, such as manufacturing or financial, will have a deeper knowledge and understanding of communication, target market, customer motivations and will ultimate, garner you better results.

To achieve effective marketing, the agency needs to deeply understand processes, concerns, member and sponsor behaviors and needs, as well as know about the products and services the organization offers.

Stand Out in Crowd

What aspects of your company really stand out in the crowded room of competitors? Step into your customers shoes, and really take a hard look at your company and where it might be lacking. Think about this; you are just like your clients. You're being bombarded with advertising and marketing messages thousands of times a day. Can you name one thing that you remember specifically?

For your products and services to stand out, it really needs to be outstanding. This takes much effort and time on your part, and on the part of your Chicago Marketing Company, and you need to demand peoples attention in a way that isn't forceful.

Does Standing Out Matter?

Here at Integraphix, when we talk to small business owners, we hear the same thing, "I want to get word of mouth referrals and online business". In order for this to happen, there needs to be something to talk about; something compelling for people to say about your company. Do you have something like that?

Advertising Agency It is said that 50% of all Advertising is wasted, but is it really? Certainly, it takes some time for advertising to take effect, but there is a way to keep that 50% waste to a minimum if you follow a few simple rules. An advertising agency can keep you on track for the most part, but doing your part to keep costs down and increase the effectiveness of each ad is extremely important.

  • Plan your Marketing journey

    You wouldn't go on a trip without an itinerary, would you? Without a detailed travel plan and a map you wouldn't get very far for very long. All too often, businesses place advertisements without a clear plan of action or purpose. The most expensive advertising is advertising that doesn't work, and the former is a huge part of the challenge. Reducing advertising costs boils down to planning. You should include several things in your marketing plan: a situational analysis, or what's going on right now, a positioning document (how you want to position your business in front of customers), pricing for advertising design and distribution, your strategies, market research, SCHEDULES, and much more.

  • Make smart advertising decisions.

    How? Do your research. The marketing plan just discussed will help you identify the best audience to advertise to, and it will also help decide just how you're going to do it. Does your audience watch television or read magazines? Do they use iPads or Laptops. Smart phones or a blackberry? These are things your research will tell you, and will in turn inform your decisions.

Want more? Keep reading for some awesome tips and information.

When to Embrace Design Trends

February 21, 2012

Responsive Web Design By: Naoki Sonoda

Every industry experiences a constant influx of new trends. The trends that quickly fizzle are remembered as fads (if remembered at all), while the trends that prove themselves to be highly useful become industry standards. Even the most long-standing industry norms are constantly being replaced with more effective methods and business practices. The web design industry is a great example of how this process is constantly at work.

Design Must Respond to Technology: Responsive Design

When a website is designed so that it has the ability to adapt to different screen sizes or operating systems without a loss of resolution or corruption of the original design, it is said to have responsive design built-in. Although responsive design is considered by many to be a current trend in web design, it will become more of a necessity as the Internet becomes more accessible through portable devices like the tablet and smart phone by more and more people.

Contributed by Naoki Sonoda

Anyone can create a web page, right? Wrong!

With the proliferation of computers in our daily lives, it would seem that anyone capable of learning a design software application could qualify themselves as a web designer. Just buy a copy of Dreamweaver software, Dreamweaver for Dummies, and you're ready to create a web page, right? Well, not even close.

While it's true that anyone who has a working knowledge of design software could create a fully functional web page, they'd be far from executing what an effective commercial web site does, and that is: to establish the importance and value of a company or brand, and to convey to consumers or businesses how they can benefit from their products or services.

Professionally designed websites and advertising materials accomplish this through the use of carefully chosen color, copy, and various multimedia content to create a perception of value in a company or brand.

Facebook Birthday Facebook, the world's most popular social network, launched on February 4, 2004. That year, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was planning to sell Facebook off to a bigger company, but he ended up building it into a multi-billion dollar business instead, which just filed to go public last week. As of December 31, 2011, Facebook has over 845 million monthly users, over 483 million daily users, and over 425 million mobile users. On Friday, the company turned eight years old. Happy Birthday Facebook!

Let's see what changes Facebook has gone through in the last 8 years. They've continuously broken records, and paved the way for hundreds of other social media outlets that we know and love.

Chicago Print Marketing When starting a new business, it can be hectic trying to get business marketing materials together, coming up with a marketing plan, and generally getting everything in order so you can actually run your business efficiently and gain business effectively. The general consensus is that print marketing is not necessary, but this couldn't be farther from the truth.

Print Marketing is very much needed for networking, client meetings, seminars and even when interviewing employees. Having a business card on hand can mean the difference between a sale and nothing. But besides the necessities, what does a new business, or even a business trying to reinvent themselves, need in terms of print marketing? Here's a laundry list of print marketing materials and why you need them.

Chicago Logo Design

Chicago Logo Designers

Logo Design marks are graphic marks or symbols that are widely used by companies, organizations and even individuals to brand and promote their services or products. We see them every day on our Starbucks cups and pads of paper we use. These logos are either only graphic symbols and icons or can be followed by a slogan or the stylized company name. In the following 'round up', we've collected more than 20 examples of awesome abstract, classic and very creative logos for your design inspiration enjoyment. Hit 'read more' to continue!

Search Engine Optimization Chicago

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a term many people may have heard but don't understand very well. As a business owner, you need to understand the practice as it is an enormous benefit to online marketing efforts, and it's important to know what it can do for you. SEO can be difficult to understand, but understanding ensures you are investing in an efficient and affordable SEO company. You'll also know what to expect and when. Read below to better understand the basics of SEO and what to expect from your Internet Marketing Company.

New Years Marketing Chicago New Years Eve and the New Year is prime time to add new products, services, revamp old brands and marketing materials. Especially with the heavy advertising leading up to the Holidays, creative ideas are bound to arise. New Year's Eve and planning for 2012 is no different! You can market your new products with a party on New Years Eve with glossy mailers, Invitations and email blasts with coupon codes to track your success. Beyond that, here are a few more ideas to market your business on New Years Eve and in 2012.