1993-2003: Modernizing from the Ground Up

Holly Tolbert

Holly Tolbert

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During the 90s and early 2000s, Stamats was at the forefront of the digital revolution. The company embraced emerging technologies and spearheaded cutting-edge strategies. Magazine publishing had hit its peak and the slow decline of print advertising began.

“This period was where we began to see a significant transition,” said Stamats President and CEO, Peter Stamats. “The need for our company to recognize the transition away from what had really been its leading marketing medium, which was print, either direct mail or magazine publishing, and moving towards the beginning of the digital age.”

The Rise of the Digital Era

Stamats launched its first website in 1996. At this point it was purely informational, the Internet’s capabilities and level of sophistication were still in its infancy. The company also secured URL’s and launched B2B websites for its Buildings and Meetings brands.

But as the decade progressed, the Internet became a force that transformed every aspect of life. This era transformed the way that organizations could reach their audiences. The emergence of new technologies and platforms like email, CD-ROMS, and search engines opened new possibilities for marketers.

“A lot of people were forecasting that advertising and marketing agencies would go out of business in the future because people were now able to produce their own creative materials on their computers,” said Stamats. “But that never really panned out because there’s still a real art to design and creativity and it takes the right people and expertise to execute high-quality, effective materials.”

Implementing New Concepts

Higher education began rapidly evolving during the digital boom. Colleges and universities desperately needed new ways to capture the attention of their audiences and Stamats was equipped to take on the challenge.

Bob Sevier, one of Stamats’ influential market research leaders, championed the concept of integrated marketing in the education market. This strategy challenged colleges and universities to think about the whole picture of marketing efforts—from the beginning of the funnel, connecting all the dots on your lead generation and nurturing those audiences. To the end, leading to qualifying materials and decision-making materials for prospective students. This approach was relatively new at the time, and Sevier’s expertise helped Stamats become a leader in the field positioning us at the forefront for branding work. Stamats’ integrated marketing strategies included everything from traditional print materials to digital content which at that time was on CDs and mailed out. Stamats was the first marketing firm in higher education to create a digital viewbook on CD-ROM for Villanova University.

Stamats continues to uphold these practices and approaches today. Leveraging their expertise in market research, creative design, and storytelling, they provide clients with the most effective and comprehensive marketing solutions possible.

Building for the Future

As the business shifted away from print, they wanted to create an environment that harmonized with their creativity and growth. In 1999, the Stamats headquarters in Cedar Rapids underwent a major renovation. They focused on creating an aesthetically pleasing and architecturally modern look that would attract prospective employees in a competitive market. As well as a place they felt proud to host clients.

During a decade of rapid change, Stamats continued to find avenues to showcase their expertise, creativity, and willingness to adapt and modernize. They were able to connect their clients to the right audiences and help them thrive during evolving environments.

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