All posts in Business

Why a Responsive Website is Good for Business

A responsive website – designed so that each page fluidly adapts to various screen sizes of desktop and mobile devices – has important business implications. Read more…

Color and Marketing–it’s All in Your Head

Color plays a huge role in branding and marketing and has been viewed as having innate emotional powers. Read more…

Why Trade Shows Work (Infographic)

The opportunity for face to face meetings and for customers to see and touch products is an important consideration in determining whether your company should participate in a show. Consider these facts: Read more…

5 Steps in Developing Your Buyer Personas


Buyer Persona Resource Guide


1.  Buyer Personas take time, so get a buy in from the boss

For companies that haven’t taken the time to develop buyer personas, getting started and finding the time to do it can be the biggest challenge. A ‘buy in’ from management is essential to get the necessary time allotted to this project. Read more…

Get Your Doodle On


Though often viewed as a mindless activity and a waste of time, recent studies have cast a new light on the fine art of doodling.


Helps with Memory and Problem-Solving

Researchers believe doodling helps the brain focus by keeping the mind from wandering.

In a 2009 experiment conducted at the University of Plymouth, 40 people were given a simple set of instructions to take rsvp information over the phone from people going to a party. The group of 40 was divided in two. One group of 20 was told to doodle and the other 20 didn’t. The doodlers recalled 29% more information than did the non-doodlers.

A 2011 article in Science journal reported that when science students drew visualizations of course material instead of using words, they had a deeper understanding of the concepts and could effectively communicate them to others.



Famous Doodlers

Mark Twain, Michelangelo, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Winston Churchill, Ralph Waldo Emerson and several U.S. presidents are but a few famous doodlers.

(From top to bottom below are doodles from Kurt Vonnegut, JFK, and Mark Twain).



Strategic Doodling

Doodling can and is being used in business–Facebook, Disney, Google, Zappos, and Turner Broadcasting are just a few of the companies who’ve recognized the value of “visual note taking”.

Outlining a business strategy in a doodle can be a more effective way of communicating that strategy to others. In addition, doodling can make meetings shorter and more efficient–a study from the Wharton School found meetings using doodling were 24% shorter than those not using it. In addition, doodling with co-workers can be particularly effective since addressing a problem with a shared visual helps a group more quickly come to a consensus and see the bigger picture.


Becoming a Successful Visual Thinker

Sunni Brown, Doodle Evangelist and author of The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently recommends listening for metaphors and similes that express abstract ideas in visual terms. “Look for cues in the narrative than can structure your doodles. Don’t worry about missing a key point, misspelling a word or messing up your sketch. There has to be a suspension of judgment. It’s like Pictionary, you just have to go. Forgive yourself and move on.”


Drawing Conclusions (Pardon the Pun)

Doodling taps into our innate propensity for visual learning, which results in:

  • Improved information recall
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Better mental focus

So the next time you want to convey an idea, get more out of a meeting or improve your memory, try visual note taking and let the ideas flow. You might even decide to join the Doodle Revolution.

Quality, Speed and Price Nails it for Real Estate Development Company

Municipal Development Services (MDS) is a full-service real estate development company focused on the government sector. Their services include: site selection, space planning, design & construction, accounting and project financing.

Situation: Before coming to Stroud & Associates, MDS had spent months and thousands of dollars trying to get a website designed and programmed with little to show for it. Additionally, they faced a looming deadline for a major RFP submission, which necessitated having the website done within 3 weeks. Since the site would be 25-30 pages and only two pages of copy was written, this was an aggressive timeline.

It was essential the site feature easily accessible information on MDS’s projects. The client also wanted to be able to update content themselves and have the site display properly across mobile devices.

Solution: MDS severed ties with its original design firm and hired us. We chose WordPress–a free open source content management system (CMS)–as the site development tool. Its flexibility and ease of use made it the perfect choice to create a modern site that MDS could easily update.

The site text was designed, written, programmed and launched in just under 3 weeks—2 days before the RFP submission deadline.

MDS was as a true partner in working to get the site live by having a point person who:

  • Quickly provided content (copy points, photos etc.)
  • Answered questions
  • Utilized an efficient approval process

This was crucial in allowing us to deliver quality and speed at a reasonable price, since it reduced time spent chasing down content and approvals.

“We couldn’t be more pleased…Stroud & Associates exceeded our expectations
and delivered what was promised.”

– Don Chandler Principal, Municipal Development Services
MDS homepage

Choose Your Words Wisely— Writing Tips from Famous Authors

scrambled-lettersThe proliferation of social media and content marketing means more people doing more writing–some of it actually good, more of it mediocre and some just plain bad.

Read more…

Tickle Me Pink (as Well as Blue, Red, Gray etc.)

paint-splatterColor—few things in this world are more subjective. We all have our favorites. What looks great to one is putrid to another.  Be that as it may, there are psychological connections to color, though these can be affected by culture. Read more…

The Power of Once Upon a Time

once-upon-larger One of the oldest forms of communication is one of the hottest marketing tools at your disposal. The story–which for thousands of years has conveyed information, entertainment and cultural values – can be an effective way to connect with your audience. Read more…