Now is not the time to cut back on marketing!

What does the future hold? While this seems to be the million-dollar question, if you are anything like us, you are probably questioning this each and every day. As news and scientific findings quickly develop, and uncertainty continues to linger, it is hard to really gather what life will look like in two days, two weeks, two months and even two years.

One thing we DO know however, is that now is NOT the time to cut back on your marketing efforts.

While this coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything many of us have ever experienced, this isn’t the first time our country has faced financial instability.

According to Forbes, “Often times when a recession happens, businesses, fearful of declining revenue, begin to cut back in various areas, including their ad spending… Nonetheless, there have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards.”

As the country, individual cities, and businesses announce their plans and strategies for reopening, no one is still 100% sure what that will look like, how quickly it will take, or how people will respond.

However, as other businesses and marketers allow fear to affect their marketing efforts — rise above the rest and create some much-needed noise.

Effective marketing strategies during this time:

  • Update your current website to inform your customers about your Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety procedures.
  • Add e-commerce to your website so you can start selling online.
  • Start an eye-catching direct-mail campaign.
  • Launch a social media campaign (such as Facebook) to reach and engage with even more people.
  • Ensure your messaging effectively tells your customers how to respond with a call-to-action.
  • Show empathy and develop a short-term price incentive to match the economic climate, and communicate your exclusive offer via email marketing, direct mail, social media, ad placements, etc.

Many products and services are helpful and still needed during this time, so let’s make sure you are promoting remotely and safely reaching those in need of your expertise.

Whether you would like to discuss any of these services or another approach to strategic marketing, Back Forty Creative can help!

Contact us today for your free consultation.

What Makes a Good Website?

Today, a website is one of the most important forms of communication a business can implement. In fact, nearly two-thirds of small businesses rely on websites to connect with customers.1 However, a bad website is like a cranky salesperson who hasn’t had their caffeine yet.

Would you want to deal with that?

Assuming your answer is no, we agree! In today’s ever-growing online world, it’s not just about having a website, but having a good website (and in our preference, a really, really good website).

But what makes a website good? Great question, because it has an easy answer. A good website achieves its goals. The real art to website development is in how you get from a blank page to a strategically thought-out website designed to realize those goals. Any successful web project is going to go through pretty much the same process, but we like to start off by finding answers to the following questions.

Why do you want a website?

Who is your target audience?

What do you want from that audience?

How much are you willing to invest to get your audience to do the thing you want them to do?

The better answers we can get to these questions, the better the end product will be. From there, designers and developers take that information, run with it, and construct an experience tailored to achieve the identified goals.

How do we do that? It really depends on what the goals are, but usually we’ll keep the following ideas in mind.

User Experience

A good website should be easy to use. In almost every case, you are asking your visitors to do something. It might be to buy a product, visit your store, or engage with your content, but in every case, it’s the job of a high-quality website to make that engagement as easy as possible. Your site should be understandable to the user, even at a glance; this usually falls into place once a clear navigation is developed and calls to actions are placed throughout the site. Your customers won’t spend time hunting around for the things they need. If good user experience is not considered, often times, the user will simply move on to the next site in their search results that can better help them achieve their end goal.

Appealing Design

A good website should be attractive and professional looking. Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Same thing applies here.

A well-considered, tailored design communicates confidence to the user and heightens a brand’s credibility. If you were to put two websites with similar content next to each other, the better-looking site will grab the conversion every time. Even if the products on the less attractive site are of higher quality, the more professional looking site will be more successful simply due to user indifference. They don’t know what makes your product better than the competition—you have to tell them, and in most cases, you don’t have much time to convey this. This is what good design does. It helps make your case to the user about why your product or service is worth your audiences’ time. Often, web design is about projecting clarity. This is who we are, this is what we do, this is why you should care about it.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO must also be considered in well thought-out websites. SEO allows a website owner to understand how consumers are searching and finding information about their own brand and their competitors online. Good websites incorporate SEO practices to help increase visibility, visits, and rankings. Fresh and engaging content also helps with this. Updating your site with featured news, a weekly blog, or connecting social media channels can also help enhance your SEO efforts.

Efficient Development

Last, but definitely not least, a website needs to work correctly. That seems obvious, but you would be surprised how often this gets overlooked. This is the part where attention to detail matters. Does the site load well on mobile, even when you are out in the field? Do all of the buttons work well on your device? Is the information clean, clear and understandable? Every detail is important. Good websites do this well.

No matter what, in the end, everything comes back to the same concept. Good websites achieve their goals.

Are you looking for a good website? We would love to assist you in growing your brand. To help simplify the process, we have a variety of web design and development packages to choose from, but also offer customization if you’re looking for something fantastically unique. So, give us a call today! (This is a call to action — something else all good websites need to have.)


Meet Joseph!

The Back Forty Creative team is excited to introduce you to our newest addition!

Joseph Young is our Senior Graphic Designer and three-time platinum recording artist and producer. Oh wait, did we forget to mention he was once a teacher who helped hundreds of students reach their full creative potential? (We were pretty impressed too!)

He has been in the graphic design business for nearly 20 years and is a native to St. Louis. For those of you wondering where he went to high school,* the answer is Lindbergh.

His impressive portfolio of design work showcases his love for branding, product design and packaging, video editing, and motion graphics.

When he isn’t designing or licensing music for video games, tv commercials and national movies, he is spending quality time with his awesome wife (Lisa) and beautiful daughter (Maven). However, he can also be found around town tasting new restaurants and shopping (and sometimes tasting) at Ikea.

*It’s a St. Louis thing.

Wrapping Up 2019 with a Winning Website!

The Back Forty Design team is very excited to announce that our recent e-commerce website design and development project for our client Albert Lea Seed did ex-SEED-ingly well in two recent awards programs — the 2019 .dotCOMM Awards and the W3 Awards!

Award Winner: Albert Lea Seed Website

Albert Lea Seed launched in 1923 as a family-owned seed store offering field seed and garden seed. Now three generations strong, they offer knowledge and experience in seed and crop production, processing, and cultural practices that benefit any sized farm operation. They also provide organic conventional non-GMO farmers with seed for corn, soybeans, pasture & forage, small grains, and cover crops.

As their product line continually expands in size and scale, Albert Lea Seed came to Back Forty Creative to develop and design a custom e-commerce website where consumers can easily shop their wide range of quality products online.

For consumers who would rather purchase Albert Lea Seed products in person, we included an interactive map where individuals can search for dealers in their area by address, distance, or state with just a click of a button.

Since their product lineup includes a wide-range of products, it was important to create an easy to navigate website that cleanly displayed each product’s set of information and trial data. Since this site also serves as a hub of information for their consumers, further demonstrating Albert Lea Seed’s long lineage of expertise, it was important that this was also considered.

Want to know more? Explore the site yourself! Visit

Interested in learning more about our branding services, packaging and print design, web and digital design, and everything else related to responsible design for sustainable agriculture, food, and lifestyle businesses? Make sure to check back for updates or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.