Inside the Studio

Event strategies and insights ruled our top posts of 2016

Posted on: January 3rd, 2017 by StudioNorth No Comments


Seven of our top ten posts last year were about events—either events we attended, or our strategies for making corporate events awe-inspiring. Our readers also helped social media and digital publishing posts crack the top tier. Read on to see which posts clicked with the marketing and creative folks we’re proud to count as our loyal audience.... Read More


Yolanda HernandezStrategist Yolanda Hernandez recently joined StudioNorth to expand our strategic service offerings. We caught up with her recently to ask about changes in the industry, her role, her background and the strategic opportunities she sees for StudioNorth clients.
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How your phone can preserve your Thanksgiving sanity

Posted on: November 23rd, 2016 by Madeline Holler No Comments


Give Thanks

Thanksgiving. It’s a time for yummy pumpkin pie, lively parades, rivalry football games, quality family time and a space to reflect on things to be grateful for.

But let’s be real for a second.

Thanksgiving usually also brings: the craziness of bringing family and friends into the same room, too much time spent in the kitchen preparing for a meal that’s scarfed down in a few seconds, the reminder that your loved ones have passed or live far away, or that one loud cousin who won’t stop talking politics. Especially this year. Yikes.

You know us—we like to think there’s an app for every occasion. To survive your inevitable holiday stress, here’s a list of our favorite resources to:

  • Fill the silence—or stop the bickering
  • Get away from the craziness to pause and reflect
  • Help you get involved and give back

We hope these help you enjoy the holidays without a hitch!... Read More

Top 10 Tweets from Social Media Week Chicago

Posted on: November 18th, 2016 by Allison Grant No Comments


Social Media Week Chicago is a dream come true for social media marketers. The yearly event, organized by Crowdcentric, brings experts from the industry’s leading brands (National Geographic, Instagram and Pinterest were just a few that spoke this year) to the Windy City to share best practices and talk the future of social.

Social Media Week Chicago

If you had to summarize last week’s Social Media Week Chicago 2016 in one word, it would be video. If you're not thinking video first when it comes to social media, especially on Facebook, you're in the social Stone Age.

Several sessions throughout the week focused on social video best practices, viral content, social advocacy and creating new experiences on social. The key takeaways from last week are best summed up in these ten tweets. ... Read More


Sales Enablement

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth—or maybe sometime around 2010—B2B marketing and sales were frenemies, at best. They coexisted peacefully, because what was good for one was usually good for the other. But they didn’t actually hang out much.

  • Marketing was all about the big picture—branding, high-end messaging and priming the pump.
  • Sales was all about closing the deal and ringing the register.

Oh, sure, they worked together now and then. Marketing would create the odd sell sheet, and sales would share some frontline insights with marketing. But they were fundamentally different creatures, content to do their own things.

These days? Not so much. More and more B2B companies are honing a more sustainable competitive edge by bringing sales and marketing closer—with sales enablement tools.... Read More



What do you do when you’re a creative marketing agency, you’ve got clients coming for a big meeting, and the entryway to your building is a ghastly hallway of temporary drywall?

Our Creative Director Shannon Lee called a brainstorm session to come up with ideas. We thought about covering the entire wall with a fun fabric, or maybe displaying all the sailboat paintings from our recent SNummer celebration.

But the idea we thought would be quickest (and, let’s face it) cheapest was getting everyone to print out random things to make our own wallpaper.

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Mountain lions, car crashes and a killer marketing challenge

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by Jeff Segal 2 Comments


Deer and Mountain Lion Crossing

In late 1982, I was driving east on a dark four-lane road skirting a forest preserve. Something flashed in the corner of my eye. In the next split-second, a deer appeared directly in my headlights—and then, before I could react, came the impact.

The car pitched as my tires bounced over the deer, but I was able to hang on and steer to the shoulder. I got out and took inventory:

  • I was unhurt.
  • The front end of my mom’s Buick Skylark was mangled—headlights blown, grille gone, hood crimped back on itself.
  • And the deer? Let’s just say I’m glad it was dark.

Why am I describing all this more than 30 years later? Because deer-related traffic accidents have recently become one factor in a marketing challenge I’ve been working through in my brain.

The other factor is mountain lions.... Read More

How would your agency rebrand an idea like communism?

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by Marilyn Frank No Comments


Branding and rebranding are a challenge for any agency. But what if your brand were “communism?”

Those born and raised in the U.S. might have ideas of what communism represents, if only in a distant, high-school-history-class sort of way. And most of those ideas would be something like “bad.”

My own awareness of it came from my father, who escaped from Bulgaria in 1967 for the greener pastures of Chicago. He’s gone now, and the stories he shared about his life under the communist regime have faded a little.
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Content Jam by Orbit Media

Last week’s Content Jam in Chicago was the most focused, most vital and most entertaining yet. It was also the most challenging.

Not challenging as in difficult. Challenging as in, I walked out feeling challenged to do my job better.

One session after another drove home the idea that, no matter how well we content marketers may be building our brands, connecting with our audiences and delivering our clients’ ROI, there are still so many ways to improve.

New depths to explore. New victories to aspire to. New boundaries to push—and push through.

To challenge myself to be a better content marketer, I’ve resolved to ask myself these questions—and answer them better—between now and Content Jam 2017. If you consider yourself a content marketer, maybe you’ll be inspired to answer them, too.
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6 reasons StudioNorth now has a Chicago office

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 by StudioNorth No Comments


StudioNorth Downtown OfficeWe like to say StudioNorth has been around the block a few times, but we’re mostly talking about our capabilities—from stat cameras and marker renderings to social media, UI/UX Design, Account Based Marketing and much more.

While we’ve changed the way we tell stories, we’ve primarily remained at the same location for more than 30 years—a weirdly configured former funeral home across the street from a cemetery in North Chicago, Illinois.

That’s not changing—North Chicago will continue to be our headquarters. But as we continue to stay ahead of our clients’ needs and venture into new realms of capabilities, we realized it was time to add a downtown office at 564 W. Randolph St., in the heart of Chicago’s booming West Loop.... Read More