From stylized text to abstract swirls, does your logo reflect your company and brand? Customers should be able to get a sense of what you do just by looking at your logo. The best corporate logos are unique, easy to read and often include subliminal messages (FedEx, Amazon), while the worst are jumbled, tacky and forgettable.

With campaign season heading into full swing, it’s been more than interesting to watch as candidates unveil their logo. From red, white and blue color schemes to no-frills fonts, presidential candidate logos tend to play it safe. Although many of the 2016 offerings are yawn-inducing, a few bucked the trend with logos that were either surprisingly slick or downright amateurish.


Hillary_for_America_2016_logosquare.svg Hillary Clinton: Not to be outdone by Hilton or Holiday Inn, Hillary Clinton enters the fray with her take on the solitary “H” logo, incorporating a forward-progress arrow into the design. Too minimal for some, the Democratic Party frontrunner is perhaps the only politician in this election cycle prominent enough to pull off a single letter logo. Clean and efficient, Hillary’s logo looks great on t-shirts, business cards and just about anything else (tattoos?).

Rand_Paul_Presidential_Campaign_logosquare.svg Rand Paul: Although the Kentucky senator is a longshot for the Republican nomination, his logo is shoo-in material. Bold, sans-serif and all-caps, “Rand” grabs attention and distinguishes Paul from his illustrious father. However, the magnum opus of Paul’s logo is the torch design. The flame is tidy, while the italicized “A” and “N” achieve the graphic designer’s holy grail: creating the torch’s base using negative space. Traditionally, the torch symbolizes enlightenment and hope. Here’s to hoping Paul’s logo will enlighten campaign designers in the future.


JEB!_2016_Campaign_Logosquare Jeb Bush: The former governor of Florida aims to evoke strong emotion and shouting with his logo’s use of bright red and an exclamation point. Like Clinton and Paul, Bush’s is wise to use his unique first name to escape the shadow of his brother and father. Although the bold “Jeb” contrasts well with the understated “2016,” the offering is uninspiring. Perhaps the Republican should learn from Writing 101: convey excitement through content, not through a tacked-on exclamation point.

Trump_2016 Donald Trump: Not great, not hideous, Trump’s logo is white, brash and uncompromising—much like the billionaire businessman himself. While the all-caps “Trump” really pops and can be read from a mile away, the Republican’s logo loses points for its hackneyed slogan, “Make America Great Again!” Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” notwithstanding, most campaign slogans are largely forgettable. Not exactly a logo to trump the competition.


Rick Perry: Although the Texas governor scores a point with his Oakland Athletics-style circular design, the rest of the Republican’s logo is an emphatic strikeout. While the font is fine, the letters spelling out “Perry” are far too spaced out. The worst offense, however, is the tacky clip art star sucking the life out of the red “P.” The star is about five sizes too large, while its trail and the lighter shades of blue are completely unnecessary.


While each of these campaigns set out to create a logo that captures the attention of voters, some clearly do a better job than others. Does your logo reflect your company brand and image?



What is your vote for the best logo among these candidates?

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The choice of colors to use in your marketing is vital. Whether it’s for your logo or a marketing campaign, the colors you choose can have a huge impact on your potential customers. Color can appeal to all of us visually, but a lot more is psychological. Ask “what kind of emotion do I want to convey?” as colors evoke emotions, moods and feelings and knowing the power of color psychology can help you make decisions.

Certain colors can increase the effectiveness of your company’s branding methods. By realizing how colors can psychologically impact others, you can make branding and marketing decisions that will allow you to reach your target audience on a whole new level.

In general, bright and bold colors are attention-grabbing but can appear brash. Muted tones are more sophisticated but can be overlooked.
What colors should you use?

  • Green is a good choice if you want to relax your audience or bring them wealth – think nature, money and tranquility.
  • Blue also relaxes people but creates a sense of security and trust in a brand too. Many social media sites use blue in their logos. This is the color most preferred by men.
  • Red evokes strong emotions and encourages appetite. It is often seen in clearance sales and used for impulsive shoppers. Many restaurants and food products also use this color.
  • Orange is a good call to action because it represents a friendly and confident brand while showing excitement and enthusiasm. It is also very attention-grabbing.
  • Yellow increases cheerfulness and warmth and encourages communication but it can also cause fatigue and eye strain. Best used if your target audience is young.
  • Purple shows wealth, success and wisdom. It is often used in beauty and anti-aging products and used to soothe or calm

color_in_adsWhile perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, color is one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication that designers use. Understanding the psychology of color can help better target your audience and rebrand your image to get the best possible results.

Do you have a color for your brand?


picture source: Chart from


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Deciding which media outlet(s) to utilize can be overwhelming and much more complicated than it used to be. The previous generation of business owners had only a few options to consider (anyone else remember how tan their Yellow Pages rep got in the summer?). These days, local businesses find themselves inundated with sales calls regarding a seemingly endless list of advertising opportunities. To help fight through the clutter, here are five questions to ask yourself before you consider which media outlet is the best fit to help grow your business.

 Media Buying Tips_Prime Blog

#1: Is it easy to do business with you?

Consumer industry statistics show that more than 80% of consumers research a business online before making a purchase. If you haven’t invested in a website that represents your products, services and makes it easy to do business with you, get this taken care of first. Without a functioning website you’re simply not in the game.
Similarly, most of us use our smart phones to get to where we’re going. Whether it’s a cup of coffee or our next business meeting, our phones navigate us. If the search engines don’t have your correct information (location, phone number, URL) you are making it difficult for potential customers to find you. Get this piece buttoned up as well.

#2: Who are you looking for?

Dig into this question. Be choosy. Get specific. In today’s media world, you can hyper-target potential customers resulting in less waste of your advertising spending.

#3: What’s the goal of your campaign?

Do you want to brand your business so you’re top of mind when your product/service is needed? Do you have excess product you need to move quickly? Maybe you have a community event you need to publicize. Each media outlet has their strengths and weaknesses. By answering this question, you get a step closer to determining which outlet is ideal for you.

#4: What is your expectation and how will you measure your ROI?

It’s nerve-racking spending money without knowing if it will pay off. Campaigns can be stopped short, and money wasted, without a clear measurement of success. Ask yourself what your expectation is. If your goal is to get 25 new clients from this campaign, then how many leads will you need? Do you know how many impressions it takes to get one lead? How will you measure that lead? Will they call you, stop in, or go to your website? Do you have a system internally to track these statistics? Having a solid, consistent structure to measure your results will make you a savvy advertiser.

#5: Are you a patient person?

We all know advertising works but it often takes time to gain momentum and see results. Determine your budget, and the length of time you are comfortable with, and stick with it. Resist the urge to stop the campaign early if you don’t see immediate sales. With time and the right outlet(s), your sales will start to rise!
After considering these five questions, you are now ready to start researching which media outlet is best for you. In an upcoming blog, we will explore a variety of advertising outlets and examine their individual strengths and weaknesses. Stay tuned!

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When it comes to local data, we expect nothing less than precision. But, are we getting it?

Network Globe_SM2In the world today, we all want access to data and we want it fast. Nearly everyone carries at least one smart device, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, connected watch, etc. How helpful are these devices if the data they connect to is incorrect? Likely, not very useful. As a business owner, if your data is incorrect, it could be detrimental to your business.

There are many local search properties out on the internet. Some of the more popular sites include Google+, Yahoo, Mapquest, Yelp, Bing, Dexknows, SuperPages, etc. All of these properties scour the web to curate their data. Often times, if one of them has incorrect data, it is likely that many others do as well.

I find myself relying on local search data and my GPS nearly every week. I also find myself shaking my head in disbelief at how often this data is incorrect. This curated data is doing a disservice to many businesses that are not monitoring it.

You are most definitely losing business if you have incorrect local search data

Incorrect Address:
Do all of the local search networks have your address correct? If you have been in business for many years at the same location, it is more likely to be correct. If your business has EVER moved, the chances of it being correct everywhere is quite low. There is nothing more frustrating than trekking across the city only to realize the business is no longer located there.

Incorrect Hours:
When we want something, we want it now. If your hours are incorrect, you are losing out on business and frustrating customers who may go elsewhere when you ARE actually open, or drive to your store only to find that you are closed.

Incorrect Business Categories:
If you are not listed in the correct business categories you are not coming up as an option for a customer ready to spend money. Time and time again we see many businesses that are incorrectly categorized, including my personal favorite – a veterinarian hospital that was categorized as a campground. We’re still not sure how many people are searching for campgrounds when they are looking for a pet hospital.

There are more elements to local search than the three listed above, but these three are crucial to have correct across the local search networks. It is a very large undertaking for businesses that try to manually update their data. Truthfully, it is quite unrealistic to have someone on your team do this.

There is a better way!

There are companies that can help you solve the local search data problem. Some do just the basics on the most popular local listings sites and some offer services to take advantage of the technology and fully enhance your business listings across a much larger list of sites. With enhanced data you can add things such as:

  • Keyword rich business description
  • Special offer or call to action
  • Photos and videos
  • Products and services
  • Menu
  • Links to your website and social media
  • Methods of payment

The advantages of adding this enhanced data is well worth it. Think of all of these local search sites as mini websites working to direct more qualified customers to your main website, store or office. Who doesn’t want more traffic?

If you would like a complimentary audit of your business listings, simply click here for more information:

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The 4th of July is the mid-point of the summer, and just beyond the half way point of the year. Winter is in the rearview mirror (where it belongs!) and scorching hot temperatures and weekends at the lake are enjoyed by many. This weekend is no exception.

So, what does the holiday weekend mean for you and your business? It’s a time for reflection, for new, fresh ideas and insight into how you’re going to conduct business for the last half of the year. Here are four tips for your social media plan to take into consideration when heading back to the office on Monday, feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and motivated:

  1. Graphic / Visual updates.
    Make sure your social media and web graphics are updated with a new summer feel (bright colors and fun text are a couple of examples). Consumers enjoy content that is visually appealing and season specific posts and graphics are a nice change of pace from the normal business professional posts.
  2. Set a monthly plan and stick to it.
    Write out the next six months and declare what your focus is going to be. If I was creating a social media plan for an irrigation company, for example, I would focus July’s social media efforts on summer landscaping and lawn care, September would focus on leaf cleanup and December would focus on dethatching. Consumers love posts that are specific to the season. Plus they may feel they’re going to miss out on a product or service if they don’t act during that specific month.
  3. Get involved in the community.
    From parades to festivals to fundraising concerts, summertime is all about community activity and what better way to get recognition for you and your business than making a difference in the community (or communities) you service? Grab a calendar and search for community activities in your area.
  4. Offer incentives.
    Offer followers discounts, freebies, and coupon codes or hold contests that entice users to interact and share your content. People love a deal!

So, while these steps are meant to help you revive your business plan, first take some time to relax and enjoy the weekend with friends and family.

Happy Independence Day from your friends at Prime Advertising & Design!



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Prime Team

Happy Independence Day from all of your friends at Prime Advertising. Enjoy the festivities with family and friends. In observation of the holiday, we will be closed Friday, July 3rd.



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Email marketing continues to evolve as a popular and dynamic digital marketing tool. However, as I continue my time in the marketing space, I’ve noticed that although many clients have invested in email marketing, in most cases they are only scratching the surface when it comes to maximizing the potential. That got me thinking… maybe they don’t understand the full benefits of email marketing? If they did, it would surely be moved to the top of their To-Dos. Right?

If you find yourself simply slapping together an email newsletter, sending it, and then checking off the box for email marketing on your To-Do list, read on. I’ve compiled a short list of tips and benefits of email marketing to get you ‘jazzed’ (a term that is used daily around our office) about your digital marketing efforts.

Benefits of Email Marketing:



Cost Effective: We’ll start with the most important question… how much will it cost? That’s the beauty of email marketing. Not much. Email marketing platforms are very inexpensive and extremely user friendly. Need I say more?





Content Planning: This is perhaps my biggest piece of advice, always start with an editorial calendar. The beauty of many email marketing tools is that once you have your editorial calendar created, you have the ability to schedule sends. A phenomenal tool when time is of the essence.




Test – Revise – Re-Use:  It takes precious time to create GREAT content (emphasis on great because good content just won’t do). The good news is that with direct email reporting, you can test with small groups and see how the content is received. Not received well? Revise – Re-Use – Re-Send.




Expand Your Reach: You might be thinking… I’m blogging, tweeting… what more do you want from me? The benefit of email marketing tools is that they can be integrated with your CRM. Distribute that GREAT content to your database of leads!




Real Time Reporting and Tracking: My favorite benefit of email marketing is the reports! With real-time reports at your fingertips, you know exactly how your email campaign performed. Most importantly, you know which customers clicked for more information.




Act on The Reports: This is a big key in taking your email marketing to the next level. Your reports tell you exactly who is interested. And you can keep them interested by following up directly or with more in-depth content.




Visuals: It is important to start with a clean, branded template to work with. In addition to brand recognition, a template makes it very easy to add content and visuals specific to each message or newsletter. Ease… now that’s a benefit I like.




ROI: If I haven’t gotten you ‘jazzed’ up yet to spend a little more time on your email marketing campaigns, I’m confident my last benefit will get your attention: ROI. There’s a term we know and love. Email marketing continues to lead the digital marketing space for return on investment. And if that isn’t enough, not to worry, you have detailed reporting of every campaign to give you the hard numbers


Employ these practices with regularity and consistency and your email marketing initiatives will provide those awesome returns that you are looking for.



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social_media_tips3Remember the day when social media just meant MySpace or Facebook? Yeah, we don’t either. Today there are so many different social media platforms that it can be hard to know which ones to use and confusing to deploy the best practices of each. Here are three easy-to-follow tips that can apply to all of your social media accounts.

1. Good Content – I know you have heard this one but stay with me for a second. Everyone has talked about how content is king, but what I think a lot of people leave out is that some of the best content describes what your company specializes in, such as new or existing products, services and events.

I call this localized content. Reposting or sharing articles are great ways to show your followers that you are current with what is going on, however, letting your followers know you will be at the local parade this summer helps feature your community involvement.

Posting pictures of your company’s parade float and volunteers can highlight content that is meant to be more light-hearted. It also showcases the human side of your brand. Other great localized content can be from your website or about a specific product or service. Sharing information about your services and products helps raise awareness of what you do.

2. Customizing your content for the network – Sharing the same information across multiple social media platforms is a good idea and can be helpful to reach all of your followers regardless of their preferred network. Visuals are a must on most, but tweaking your content so it better fits the social network helps display the content in the best way possible.
If the content is different on each network a user that follows multiple social media accounts will see complementary information. An example would be to post pictures from a recent photoshoot of a product; the post to Twitter could be a teaser, the post to Facebook could be an album or a few pictures and the post on Instagram could be either a behind the scene shots or the brainstorm session that brought about the idea of the photoshoot or project.

3. Use descriptive keywords or hashtags. – Social networks are a great way to reach new customers and followers. Most have built in search engines that scour the content to bring relevant results to users. Pinterest and Google have both added a search feature that scans your posts for keywords.

Using the right keyword to describe your content will help draw more people to your accounts and will help your post reach more users overall. However, air on the side of caution as far as adding every hashtag or keyword under the sun. Similar to SEO you want your posts, including keywords and hashtags, to seem natural and make sense for a person to read.

As mentioned, these are only a few tips on how to reach and engage more people on social media. We have additional resources available in other areas of our blog. Do you have a social media success story? We would love to hear it below in the comments section.

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The SEO buzzword is definitely not lacking in the marketing world these days, which may leave you wondering what it actually means and why is SEO important? Before we discuss why SEO is important, we must first understand what SEO means.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization means exactly what it says. When your website is fully optimized for search engines, you have followed best practices to ensure your site can be easily scanned (by the search engine) when your target audience makes a search query.

A web search query is the snippet of information (keyword or phrase) that a user inputs into a search engine to locate what they are looking for. In this example, our search engine query is “luxury architect MN.”



When your potential client inputs a search query, it’s your goal to show up at the top of the results page. That’s where the importance of SEO for your business comes into play.

Following SEO best practices means that when your target audience makes a search query based on keywords and key-phrases, you will have a greater chance of ranking over those who may not have taken the time to optimize their site for search engines.

Here are a several SEO best practices we follow at Prime Advertising and Design:

  • Keyword & key-phrase research
  • Page titles
  • Inbound Links
  • Site reputation and brand recognition

Why is SEO Important? Keywords & Key-phrases.

When a search query is made, search engines scan web page content looking for the best results based on the keywords the user inputs.  For example; when we searched for “luxury architect MN”, Google found Smuckler Architecture to be the best fit based on our search query (see image below). *Notice the keywords sprinkled throughout the title & below description (also known as meta description).Screenshot#2


A great tool for keyword generation is Google AdWords. AdWords is not only an advertising platform created by Google but it’s also equipped with one of my favorite tools: Google Keyword Planner. The best part about the tool – it’s free. The Keyword Planner allows you to type in keyword ideas and gives you the analytics of each word or phrase.

Why is SEO Important? Page Titles

You can also optimize your website for search engines by creating clear, concise, and short page titles that engage the user but also utilize keywords or key-phrases that can be easily scanned by search engines quickly telling them what the page is about.

Why is SEO Important? Inbound Links

Consider another page on the web pointing to your site as a vote of trust. These links will not only reference your page but can bring traffic to your site. It’s important that inbound links are from credible sources. Google and other search engines are smart and are able to decipher the difference. Being active with blogs and social media naturally (known as “organically” in the marketing world) create inbound links and promote your brand and site to large groups interested in your products or services.

Why is SEO Important? Reputation

Sites that have high traffic, clean links, relevant content, clean URLs, and inbound and outbound links are utilizing SEO best practices. Optimized sites that have a great user experience and low bounce rate (people leaving their site quickly) are seen as reputable sites by search engines. Naturally reputable and optimized sites are given higher search engine placement.

It’s important to understand that SEO is not a one-time, quick project. Optimizing your website takes time and strategy. Search engines are also always changing; being knowledgeable with search engine algorithm updates and making adjustments to your website is important to your ranking.

These concepts merely skim the surface of all skills and tools necessary for understanding why SEO is important. As a business owner, often times SEO does not make it to the top of the ‘to do’ list, but if web rankings are important to you, it certainly should be a high priority to help grow your business.

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Promotional_items_PrimeblogAs community event season approaches and businesses make plans for 4th of July parades and summer celebrations, now is a great time to review your promotional item inventory.

Consider the following stats from the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI):


  • 88% of people receiving a promotional product in the past 12 months recalled the advertiser.
  • The most often recalled promotional product categories include:
    Wearables (41%): Shirts (22%), Caps/Headwear (11%), Outerwear (6%),
    Other Wearables (2%)
  • Writing Instruments (35%)
  • Drinkware (19%)

One of the great benefits of promotional items is that they tend to stick around for a long time because they are viewed as a gift. When your message or brand is provided to customers in the form of a t-shirt, mug or pen, it creates a personal experience with a product that they can really use. This leads to both brand recognition and brand awareness.

Remember the pen that you gave to a customer the other day? They may use that pen every day, increasing their recognition of your brand and putting you front and center when they are making business decisions.

How about that t-shirt you gave to a client? They wear the t-shirt to the gym, which means now you have a moving billboard, exposing your brand to  many other people who you may not have reached before.

According to the PPAI, eight in 10 consumers own between one and 10 promotional products. Six in 10 keep them for up to two years and about half (53%) use a promo item at least once a week or more.

Promotional products are important in every business, increasing brand awareness, recognition and reach. The variety of products across so many categories means that there is something for every budget, whether it’s a key chain, pizza cutter, chip clip, mug or golf shirt.

Getting started with promotional products can be as easy as thinking about what your customers use in their everyday life. Put your logo on that product and your brand will be out there for all to see.

What is your idea for a great promotional item?

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