The End Is Near. Hallelujah!
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The End Is Near. Hallelujah!

For nearly three decades Heartland Marketing Group has worked with the US 20 Corridor Association to tell their story. Our first mission for the Association was a simple bi-monthly newsletter to inform stakeholders about meetings, progress in advocacy for completion of the highway as a four-lane across Iowa, and to provide a historical record.

Led by volunteers from across the US 20 corridor in Iowa, the Association brought together diverse interests from the development, manufacturing, retail, government and quasi government sectors to share in a common cause. As their efforts grew more intense, more organized, and more strategic, the role Heartland Marketing Group played grew as well.

As the only paid staff for the US 20 Corridor Association, our responsibilities expanded beyond publishing a newsletter to include event planning, lobbying, and message development. With our efforts, the volunteer leaders could direct and advise our work on their behalf to increase the visibility and impact of the Association and still be able to maintain their other commitments.

I grew up just three miles south of US 20 in Ida County. Since I was a child, my parents told me Highway 20 would be a four-lane road. Someday. To be able to work with others as passionate about the project in my career has been an honor and great privilege. As the Association matured and became more effective, my skills and effort on their behalf did as well.

Now, with the completion of statewide four-lane US 20 just days away, I am reminded of all the good people I have worked with in the process. The present leadership of the US 20 Corridor Association – including officers Shirley Phillips, Bob Singer, Mary Gross, and Sharon Irwin – deserve great praise for their determination and persistence. I have enjoyed working with each of them and am grateful I can call them all friends.

Over the years, we have lost several US 20 Corridor Association board members. As we plan to celebrate the completion of years of advocacy, I remember them fondly and know they would be proud of the team who stuck together and will now join together to cut the ribbon on statewide four-lane US 20 on October 19 in Holstein.

For several months, I have been saying Heartland Marketing Group worked itself out of a job. There’s no doubt I will miss the comradery and spirit of the US 20 Corridor Association. There’s also no better testament to success than to see this process come to its good and rightful conclusion.

Heartland Marketing Group has been working closely over the last several weeks with US 20 Corridor Association members and the Iowa Department of Transportation to organize the celebration taking place on October 19 in Holstein. You will find details in the image included here. Join us if you can!

All of us at Heartland Marketing Group offer our greatest congratulations to the US 20 Corridor Association for a job well done. Now it is time to revel in success and celebration! We have never been as proud to lose a treasured client.

Love of Lawns and Lists
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Love of Lawns and Lists

This past weekend, we received over four inches of badly needed rain. Cracks in the ground have healed and growing things of all kinds are thriving. For me, it means it’s time to mow.

Typically my husband mows though I do like to help. We have a fairly large lot and use self-propelled push mowers for this project. Right now my hubby is on the road so the responsibility is mine and it’s one I enjoy. It’s a great workout despite the self-propelled machinery. And it’s good to see my progress as I make each round, gradually but steadily creating an even, well-manicured lawn.

This feeling of accomplishment is much like my love of list-making. As I prepare for most any project, I make lists to direct my effort and ensure a positive outcome. Checking things off a list is as rewarding as seeing the lawn go from ragged to regular as I mow!

What’s on your lists right now? I hope you have plans for events to grow your success personnally and professionally, nurturing your desire to learn, achieve, and inspire others along the way.

If you need me this evening, you’ll find me in the yard!

Post 4th of July Panic
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Post 4th of July Panic

I am in my usual post 4th of July panic – summer is almost over!!!! When I was growing up, my Dad used to say the 4th of July meant chopping corn silage was coming along with another cutting and baling of hay. Then all eyes would focus on getting ready for harvest. So I’m trained to believe the 4th of July marks the downhill slide of summer.

Why does this bother me? Well, I always have a long list of items to accomplish each summer – mostly at home, but usually a few extras for the office as well. When our kids were at home and VERY involved in 4-H, the Sac County Fair was the goal line for many of our projects. They showed all kinds of livestock, baked in multitudes of everything, prepared endless presentations, made all sorts of other projects, and Kourtney sewed every year. Goals were a big deal for those years.

When summer rolled around this year, I was determined to set some additional goals to address our house that still has some 4-H days clutter. But wait – I can’t blame all that clutter on my kids. The piles are mine but I just didn’t take the time to handle it while we were so busy with their activities. But here’s my secret – Kourtney moved to Washington, DC, 10 years ago! Oops – where did that time go? Let me just say, I have started on a huge pile in our basement. Progress is slow but started.

Another goal I had was to do something with my husband, Steve. We love to travel but haven’t really made time for it as much as we’d like. When I went to the Western States meeting for US Animal Health Association in Big Sky, Montana, in June, I talked Steve into going with me. We spent an extra day enjoying the beauty of Montana and seeing long-time friends, the Herzogs. What an awesome trip and definitely on our list to see again.

But mostly my summer has been high-jacked by a kitchen remodel. It needed to be done! But oh my! The mess! And with this project came the diversion of sorting and cleaning areas that were not on my original list for summer 2018. I can’t believe the stuff that was stacked up in my kitchen and it’s not like I never clean kitchen cupboards. Obviously, it was not as often as I should have.

How does all of this contribute to my post 4th of July panic? Well it’s the end of July. I’m not very far on the basement pile BUT the kitchen remodel will be complete in days and I can start refilling cupboards – just not as full, I hope! It’s like a 4-H project – sometimes we have to adjust those goals. And maybe I’ll use Labor Day as my new goal line this year instead of July 4th.

Less is More
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Less is More

These three words of wisdom can be applied to many areas of life. This time, let’s keep to not only graphic design, but good graphic design. Whether you are conceptualizing a logo, ad, stationery, or product packaging, less is much more.

The most successful logo designs are the simple mixtures of shapes, typography, and, equally important, negative space. White space is not cringe-worthy, but design’s eternal friend! Not every single blank space needs to be filled with color, shapes, or (gasp!) words.

Give the design room to breathe and represent your brand. Let it tell its own story to the consumer visually. Following the “less is more” rule is critical because it always comes down to communication. A complicated design equals a complicated message.

Unique and Brilliant Color Combinations
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Unique and Brilliant Color Combinations

Our own HMG social media posts this week have inspired me to continue with the color theme. There are so many unique color combinations, why stop at five when the work week ends? I’ll push on and give you some more!

If you didn’t see our social media you should check it out to bring yourself up to speed. It was all about unique and brilliant color combinations you may not have thought of. Below are a few more options!

REFRESHING AND PRETTY: Want a bright and clean composition? Try these pretty turquoise, yellow, and pink hues to liven up a piece. You won’t regret it!

STYLISH AND RETRO: With muted shades, you can bring out a vintage vibe to your work. Even though these colors were popular in the 70s, your work won’t seem dated as they still have a stylish and popular feel.

GARDEN FRESH: If you know me, you know my garden is taking off like crazy and I love it! So, bring in these fun, fresh, and bright colors that will remind you of summer days!

SPICY NEUTRALS: These shades range from light to dark and make it an easy color palette to work with. With different contrasts, picking a background, text, or accent color will spice up your next project.

BOLD AND CULTURED: Make a bold statement with these rich colors! They are sure to give you plenty of recognition with their deep unmistakable vibes!

June 2018 Heartbeat
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June 2018 Heartbeat


By Ann Trimble-Ray

Growing up, my Mom would often say, “You’re so independent!” I’m not sure she meant it as a compliment! She was referring to my penchant for doing my own thing, finding my own solutions, and developing new skills in the process. While I was wired to be independent as a teen and young adult, the perspective of time has allowed me to appreciate the value of a team and collaboration. And we have a great team at HMG!

Over the last few weeks, the team at HMG has developed and perfected eblast campaigns, newsletters, digital and print ads, articles, press releases, trade show materials, and proposals to gain more business. What each one of us could do on our own is amplified and made amazing with our collaborative effort to offer the best marketing communications services we can.

HMG also applies the concept of teamwork to relating with our customers! We envision our clients as members of the same team, all of us working together to achieve goals, and tell unique stories. During World Pork Expo, HMG was proud to be part of the Novus International, Huvepharma, and Swine Health Information Center teams. We stepped up and stepped in to help each of our clients maximize their presence and reach during this 30th annual event.

As we now prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday on Independence Day next week, we do so remembering the blessing of our freedom as citizens of this great nation is made better because we have developed strong, long-lasting, and fruitful relationships – at HMG and with our clients.

Thanks for being part of our team. We are honored and pleased to help you tell your story!



The team at HMG engaged in a team-building adventure on June 19. Barb, Ann, Katie, and Jen all went to a greeting card making class here in Early!

Hosted by Cary Brown, the class gave us the opportunity to make six unique and beautiful cards. We expanded our skills, enjoyed each other’s company in a relaxed setting, and ended up with great cards we can send to friends and family.

Our day jobs require similar creativity and effort though this was a fun way to grow beyond our normal routine and see how Cary’s card-making processes including stamps, embossing and debossing, die-cutting, gluing, taping, folding, layering, and heat embossing work.

We had a great time!


We will be closed on July 4th as we celebrate Independence Day. We look forward to meeting your communications needs before and after America’s 242nd birthday!


Belated birthday wishes to our Katie who celebrated on June 26!