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From agency highlights to advertising insights, our blog is designed to keep you posted on what’s happening around here, and spark ideas to help you reach the next level in your marketing, business, and brain. This is where lightbulbs go off.

5 Breakthrough Tips from Cradlepoint’s CMO

5 Breakthrough Tips from Cradlepoint’s CMO

From humble origins in Idaho, Cradlepoint is now the global leader in cloud-based 4G LTE network solutions. So how did they get there?

At our last Dog Eat Hog—part III in the CLM speaker series on how to compete and win—Todd Krautkremer, the Chief Marketing Officer at Cradlepoint, took us behind the scenes and let us in on the strategies that took them to the top.

Seth Godin pull quoteTip #1: Find your wave of disruption, and seize it.
Originally a device sold at Best Buy that attached to your cellphone’s cradle, Todd showed us how Cradlepoint made major pivots in business strategy before sinking their teeth into the breakthrough positioning that made them the world leader in wireless edge solutions.

Tip #2: Find your brand essence and embrace it.
In branding, there’s the logical side (what people think of you) and the emotional (what they feel about you). Cradlepoint embraced the “Boise spirit” of openness, creativity, community, and adventure to define their brand.

Tip #3: Find your “durable differentiation.”
What’s your true north? Define exactly what you excel at: Innovation. Distribution. Customer service. Or operational efficiency. Carve out that niche, and make a stake in it.

Tip #4: Find your hidden points of leverage and exploit them.
When Cradlepoint recently transitioned from a hardware focus to a SaaS (software as a service) model, it represented a major industry shift. Cradlepoint was able to pivot their business model in an agile way that challenges large, market-traded competitors.

Tip #5: Live your brand from the inside out.
The spirit of the brand is the spirit of the company. Reliable. Modern. Trusted. Rational risk-takers. Importantly, as Todd learned long ago from a mentor, always stay humble and stay hungry, or life will make sure you end up that way.


Get more tips from challengers who crushed it at Dog Eat Hog—CLM’s live speaker and article series that gets you fired up to compete and win. Even against the hogs of the marketplace. Find future speakers and other illuminating ideas at clmnorthwest.com/tips.

CLM | Sep 30, 2019

Surviving the Apocalypse with D&B Supply

Surviving the Apocalypse with D&B Supply

Over the past 60 years, a lot has changed in the west. And one of our clients, D&B Supply, should know. Established in 1959, D&B Supply is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. What started as a tire shop for farmers in Caldwell, Idaho has grown to 15 locations in southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon that offer just about everything you could ever imagine needing on any given day. In fact, there’s a saying at D&B Supply that, as I understand it, originally came from overhearing a couple customers talking in the store. It goes something like, “If D&B doesn’t have it, you don’t need it.”

This got me thinking, does D&B Supply really have everything you need? Could you survive the aftermath of an apocalypse with only the products sold at D&B Supply at your disposal? I know what you’re thinking. What kind of apocalyptic event would somehow leave only one guy, his family, and their neighborhood D&B Supply left to face the barren and nearly lifeless world on their own? Let’s just say it was a weird one. A really weird apocalyptic event. And after taking my word for it, let’s take a closer look at how one might pull it off with some help from D&B.


No problem. Even if you lost your house in the apocalypse, building a new, fully decked out shelter from livestock panels, gates and other livestock shelter products would be a breeze. Thanks to D&B’s hardware and plumbing department, you’d even have all the fasteners, nails, screws, piping and tools you need to make it all happen. Plus, with an array of power tools at your disposal, you wouldn’t even have to do it all with a hammer and screwdriver. What’s that? There’s no electricity in a post-apocalyptic world? Touché, Mr./Ms. Buzzkill. But with a huge variety of battery-powered power tools combined with this solar array battery charger piece of radness, (surprisingly affordable even in a non-postapocalyptic world) you’re all set. And for those of you pointing out you could just live inside the D&B Supply, c’mon, ya lazy bums. What else have you got to do in a post-apocalyptic world?

Food & Water

With a huge variety of vegetable seeds and even some live animals, like rabbits and poultry, combined with all the supplies you need to grow and raise them well, every meal is going to feel like Thanksgiving. And for drinking water, a simple rain collection system made of tarps, piping, and horse troughs will have you set. I know I know. It takes time to grow/raise your own food and enjoy your first homegrown meal. How will you survive until the first harvest? Easy. Pearson’s Giant 2-Pound Salted Nut Roll Log. It’s not on their website, but trust me, they’re in the store. And boasting 4200 calories along with 147g of protein per log, they pack plenty enough punch to power you through even the longest of winters. Plus, if your teeth begin to take a beating from the steady onslaught of sugar, there’s always an enormous selection of wet pet food at your disposal. And while you’re heading to the pet section, grab a doggie toothbrush to whip those pearly whites back into shape.


Forget all the movies you’ve seen set in post-apocalyptic worlds with the heroic protagonist trudging around in grimy clothes full of holes and grease marks. With a full department of top western and work wear brands at your disposal, you’re going to be the best dressed apocalypse survivor ever. Unfortunately, almost no one is going to be around to see it. But whether you’re at work expanding your new home, (in which case I recommend some Carhartt Full Swing apparel for easy movement and some White’s composite-toed boots in case you drop a rain collecting trough on your foot), or out for a night on the town ash and rubble-strewn wasteland for some moonlit dancing with your beloved, (in which case I recommend some fancy Wrangler jeans and bringing a gift of some Montana Silversmith jewelry so you’re sure to stay warm all night), D&B’s got your back.

Bonus Perks

Just because there are no more Joneses living next door doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to keep up with them. Maintaining pre-apocalypse appearances will help keep the family spirits up. So when your newly planted grass seed sprouts and starts to get shaggy, grab some battery-powered (remember the solar charger) outdoor power equipment and crop those tops, trim those edges and keep your shanty mansion looking it’s best.

So there you have it. Happy anniversary, D&B Supply, and here’s to another apocalypse-free 60 years of business!

Mike Gerhardt | Sep 5, 2019

Flying High by Winning at The Rockies

Flying High by Winning at The Rockies

The Rockies—Idaho’s annual advertising awards ceremony—always make you want to crank up that DJ Khaled song. “All I do is win, win, win.” (Repeat “win” 8 times, in CLM’s case.)

Put your hands in the air, and call us the jet set. This year, we were flying high at a 1960’s airline travel-themed party pulled straight out of the stewardess-y parts of Mad Men. Backed by a legit private jet in the Jackson Jet Center, we won five silver awards and three citations for our work over the past year.

Here’s a rundown of our award winners:

Our tongue-in-cheek Western Idaho Fair campaign won three silvers: one for the animated TV spot, one for the full radio campaign, and one for our social media initiatives. This engaging illustrated campaign took eight Fair characters we invented (think: a thrill-ride-seeking chicken named Ferris Fowler, a drama-loving llama named Shana Llama Ding-Dong, and a just-moved-here-from-California bull named Bo Vine) and matched them on a meet-up app. Fun and chats ensued. We also picked up a citation for the character trading cards we passed around at the Fair.

We won a silver for a photo collage for the Intermountain Hospital. I loved driving by this billboard when out on the town. I found it enchanting—the way the dreamed-for life came through in vivid color in the black-and-white face of someone suffering from addiction. It’s simple and beautiful. And a total winner, obvi.

An eye-catching D&B brand book won a silver too.

Our new website for Big Creek Lodge snagged a citation. We developed a new logo, and did all the writing and programming for this backcountry luxe destination.

And last but not lame, our “extra sauce” videos for Pioneer Federal Credit Union received a citation too. I loved writing and producing these videos, which we filmed quick as a wink in some stolen moments of our commercial shoots. When you get to reference The Notorious B.I.G. in a script for a bank, you know you’re in the right career field.

Judging by our work so far, we’re in it to win it in 2019 too.

Jessica Holmes | May 10, 2019

Oblique Strategies for Idea Creation

Oblique Strategies for Idea Creation

What do you do when you’re in the midst of creating something or trying to build something new and the ideation process stops or abruptly stalls out? Suddenly your brilliant idea doesn’t have the freshness that you originally planned, or everything about the idea seems flat and similar to what somebody else already did. “Panic!” “Copy someone else!” “Start completely over!” These typical reactions aren’t always the best ways out of this situation.

One of my favorite creatives, musician Brian Eno, and his art school painter friend Peter Schmidt, created card decks called Oblique Strategies to help keep the good thinking juices flowing. They are designed to help break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. They sold small quantities of these decks in the 70s and went on to re-release them over the years following. They were hard to find and waiting for a collector to post a deck on Ebay was the only way to acquire one. This eventually convinced Mr. Eno to mass produce card decks and sell them on his own website.

I just ordered a deck for myself after watching a documentary about Brian Eno. If you don’t know who Brian Eno is, you surely know many artists that he worked with—Roxy Music, David Bowie, David Byrne, Paul Simon, and Grace Jones to name a few. Many other artists were later inspired by Eno such as Coldplay, Phoenix, and MGMT. His card decks were originally used by musicians to inspire song and lyric writing, music making, and even sound production and engineering.

It’s an interesting strategy to randomly pick a card out of a deck to shift thought laterally and stimulate a newer, unthought of idea. As CLM continues our focus on challenger companies for our upcoming Dog Eat Hog speaker series, the real-world impact of looking at a situation from a different angle really hits home. Oblique strategies yield out-of-the-box thinking to create disruptor brands in crowded marketplaces, and disruptor marketing that stands out too.

Examples of the cards:

Some cards evolved from observing underlying principles: “Not building a wall; making a brick.” “What to increase? What to reduce?”

Some cards recognize in retrospect: “Look closely at the most embarrassing detail and amplify.” “Honor thy error as a hidden intention.”

Many cards were simply formulated: “Work at a different speed.” “Try faking it.” “What would your closest friend do?”

Don Gura | May 3, 2019

4 Components of an Effective Landing Page

4 Components of an Effective Landing Page

Digital advertising has become more and more sophisticated and effective over the years. From a digital marketing perspective, a campaign should be looked at from the top down. This means everything from the strategic planning, targeting, and copy needs to be examined and reexamined to ensure the right mix and delivery.

But a digital advertising campaign doesn’t end with the copy, imagery, and call to action of the ad itself. A complete campaign from start to finish needs to look at the destination the user is sent to as well. That’s why having an effective landing page to go along with a digital campaign is so important.

When a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser is often charged for that interaction. That’s why marketers need to make the most out of that interaction. A well-crafted and designed landing page will minimize bounce rates and increase the chances of a typical user to perform the action that you wish them to perform.

4 components of an effective landing page include:

It Passes the 5-Second Test

One of the easiest ways to test a landing page once it has been designed is to subject it to the 5-second test. This test is simple to perform and only involves a few different members of an office. Show the landing page to someone. If they are able to discern what the landing page is about and what it wants a user to do within 5-seconds, the landing page passes the test.

If, however, if a person cannot tell what the purpose of the landing page is within 5-seconds, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Tweak the design, call to action, and the content to find the optimal layout for your landing page.

It Corresponds to the Campaign

Another thing to keep in mind when planning any digital advertising campaign is to be as specific as possible with a landing page. Ideally, the landing page should exactly match the campaign that is running. This means that if a user clicks on a specific product or has found the landing page via a specific keyword, that keyword should be prominently displayed on the landing page.

This will help convey to the user that they are in the right place and will minimize bounce rates on landing pages. It will also increase the chance that the user will fill out a contact form or purchase a product.

It Contains a Clear Call to Action

What exactly is it that a user should to perform when they reach the landing page? This question is often overlooked but it is very important to the success of the campaign. Make sure that when designing a landing page that the form or call-to-action stick out and are above the fold.

Conversions should be the easiest thing to attain on a landing page, so don’t make the user search for what they have to do. Make it easy for everyone and place the conversion tool front and center.

It Undergoes A/B Testing

Measurement and optimization are important pieces of any effective digital campaign. The conversion rate on a specific landing page is the KPI to evaluate when judging the efficacy of that landing page. But even a landing page with a stellar conversion rate could be improved. That’s where A/B testing landing pages comes in.

A true A/B test only changes one aspect of the design or content, which becomes the “challenger” in the experiment. The change should be small but noticeable. An example would be using a different color for the call to action button, or a different content in the header. The smaller and more specific the difference in the A and B version of the landing page will pinpoint where the optimization lies.


The fun doesn’t stop here. A marketer should be constantly testing, improving, and optimizing every aspect of the digital campaign. Contact us today if you need help with your landing pages!

Ben Adams | Apr 24, 2019