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Reflecting on the past, while planning for the future

Insight Creative, Inc. celebrates milestone anniversary as it continues to grow

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July 12, 2023

GREEN BAY – When Jim von Hoff founded Insight Creative, Inc. in 1988, he said his mission was to fill a gap he saw in the industry.

“I felt there was a hole that was in a market back when we initially started – which was the pre-Internet era,” he said. “There were graphic design firms, there were photography studios, there were video production studios, there were ad agencies that handled media, photo labs/color separators, but it seemed like nothing really existed that brought everything together under one roof.”

Von Hoff – a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate – said though he had seen the concept in larger areas throughout the country during that time, he hadn’t found anything like it in Northeast Wisconsin.

“I feel like we were really the first to bring truly integrated marketing into the Northeastern Wisconsin market, where our clients could find everything under one roof,” he said.

Those integrated services, von Hoff said, included media planning and placement services, graphic design services and a photography/video production studio – all in the same facility. 

As technology evolved, so too, did the services that Insight Creative offered.

“As technology changed, we brought on social media and web development to bring all of the creative and strategic – everything that a client needs – pieces under one roof, making it really turnkey for them,” von Hoff said.

35 years and counting
This year marks the 35th anniversary for Insight Creative, a milestone von Hoff said “is a testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of our incredible team.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate 35 years of creativity and good ideas in the marketing industry,” he said. “We’re grateful for the trust our clients have placed in us over the years and look forward to delivering exceptional marketing solutions for many more years.”

Today, Insight Creative continues to house all its services – including web, creative, digital, media, public relations and a full-service video/photo studio – under one roof at its Green Bay’s location (1816 Sal St.).

Insight Creative houses all its services – including a full-service video/photo studio – at its location at 1816 Sal St. in Green Bay. Submitted Photo

The Insight Creative team is currently made of 12 employees, though von Hoff said the plan is to add an additional two team members in the next year to support the accounts and content departments.

To commemorate its 35th anniversary, the agency plans to share content and photos of its history and growth on its website ( and social media channels.

The evolution of technology
Von Hoff said what Insight Creative provides a client hasn’t really changed over the years, rather, the tools to provide those services have.

“We have way more tools than we ever had before,” he said. “I think one of the advantages of being a regional agency is that it is so important to be able to talk with your audience in a way they understand – and that varies from region to region. So, utilizing these tools that are now available, we can really create a very personalized, purpose-driven marketing campaign and plan for our clients.”

At the core of all of that, however, von Hoff said, is the idea.

“That’s the one thing that has really never changed,” he said. “As technology has changed, the core idea that we create is still the most important element of everything we do.”

Von Hoff said the availability of metrics has also been a game changer for his company and its clients.

“We can provide analytics to our clients that we’ve never been able to do before,” he said. “We have way more access to metrics to be able to really understand an audience more so that we can really tailor communication to them. We also have more marketing platforms and channels to create a perfect mix to reach that intended audience.”

Remaining relevant
Reflecting on the company’s growth over the last 35 years, von Hoff said it’s exciting to think about all the things Insight Creative can now offer its clients.

“We’ve got clients that have been with us since the start, and we’re able to remain relevant, which is so important for a business to remain a business,” he said.

With the company working with a variety of different businesses in a variety of different industries, von Hoff said no day is ever the same.

“We have clients in health care, and in finance, and in retail and in manufacturing – it never gets old,” he said. “I love learning. We get to see how these companies tick, what they’re made of and how they work. It never gets boring because it’s not the same thing day in and day out.”

Von Hoff said he enjoys coming to work every day.

“Not a lot of people can say that,” he said. “We are very blessed to have such a great team of people who feel the same way I do, who are as passionate as me and who are down to earth without an ego.”

Von Hoff said the team at Insight Creative is focused on getting good results for all clients.

“When we see our clients’ businesses grow and become stronger, and they credit or acknowledge something we’ve done for them that allowed them to achieve that growth – that is really gratifying,” he said.

Technology advancements
Von Hoff said Insight Creative has integrated many different types of technologies into its offerings over the years.

“We will definitely continue to grow as more tools become available,” he said. “We really try to stay up on what’s next.”

But yet, von Hoff said his team also recognizes when technology may not be the best route.

Jim von Hoff

“We’ve been testing AI (artificial intelligence), as I think a lot of agencies have been, but you can’t rely on that to do your job,” he said. “I think one of the areas that it’s lacking in, is the creative realm.”

For example, von Hoff said he asked an AI, “How do you teach a raccoon to play a tuba?”

“And the response was, ‘you can’t teach a raccoon to play a tuba, because it is a wild animal,’” he said.

Von Hoff said in the world of advertising and marketing, “that’s something we could do.”

“We write ads all the time where we really have to get outside the box,” he said. “A recent example is personifying tires (in an ad for a client of ours). We personify the tires and you are seeing the road from their point of view, and they are talking to the driver about what they are experiencing.”

Von Hoff said AI might get there eventually, but it goes back to Insight Creative’s focus on the core idea and “coming up with great ideas that resonate with the audience, and make people want to listen.”

A multi-purpose name
Von Hoff said the Insight name had much to do with what the company wanted to, and still does, offer.

“The name served a (multi) purpose,” he said. “One, it goes back to that initial idea that we do the research and provide our clients with ‘insight’ on how to best market their company.”

Von Hoff said it also had to do with how people used to find a company’s contact information in the 1980s.

“Back then, when we started, people found agencies through the phonebook and Yellow Pages,” he said. “As we looked through it, we found that there were very few businesses that started with the letter ‘I,’ so we thought it would be easier for people to find us.”

Von Hoff said it also had to do with the visual component the agency provides.

“A lot of what we do is visual, so being able to see – insight – into some of these company’s visions (is important),” he said.
Von Hoff said the world has more than 329 million people, and those 329 million-plus people all have their own interests and behaviors.

“In our job, we really need to try and understand who they are and be able to reach them and connect with them,” he said. “We call it communication with substance.”

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