Be Inspired!

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker


Marketing & Communication Strategies, Inc. (MCS) is a growth strategy firm specializing in the convergent disciplines of marketing, advertising, branding, strategic development, public relations, web development and graphic design. Founded in 1988 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the firm has steadily developed a national and international clientele, providing services to both B2B and B2C focused organizations. The power-packed staff is experienced, versatile and innovative, with emphasis centered on creativity and responsiveness.

MCS employs a comprehensively consultative approach to help clients advance in rapidly changing marketplaces and increasingly short planning time frames.

Meet the Team

Nancy Garberson, Founder, has more than 30 years’ experience; she holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications, and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership.

Christa Nelson, Marketing Strategist, Web/Graphic Designer, SEO and Social Media Guru, holds a BLA, and graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s of Business Administration.

Chris Weaver, Webmaster/Senior Art Director, holds a BFA in Graphic Design, and has 18 years’ experience with MCS.

Marc Valenta, Director of Operations/Graphic Designer, holds a BA in Graphic Design, and has 18 years’ experience with MCS.

Tami Garvin, Director of Public Relations, holds a BA in English, and has 11 years’ experience with MCS.

Anna Patty, Communication Strategist and our resident non-profit expert. She has extensive experience in fund development and is a self-proclaimed data geek. Anna holds a BA in Journalism and Spanish.


Thought Leaders: It is time to embrace change

by:  Christa A. Nelson, MBA Are you using webinars, white papers, blog posts and podcasts to help build your brand and reach your target audience? BRAVO! Are you presenting the same old tired topics to your audience? BOO! We all know that, great content will engage your target audience and drive new business. Being positioned as a subject matter expert (SME) and thought leader in your industry is an invaluable

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Take Time to Breath

by:  Anna Patty The “buzz word” of today’s workforce is work-life balance. It is not that employees in 2017 don’t work hard, in fact it is much the opposite. Today’s workers have simply learned that it is equally as important to take time for yourself and your family. But sometimes we forget. A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend The Global Leadership Summit. If you have the

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Exploring Color in Print and Digital Media: It’s Complicated

By: Chris Weaver Most of us probably remember the color wheel from our elementary school art classes. The primary colors are yellow, red and blue, and by mixing them, we can get secondary colors like green, orange and purple. Depending on the percentages mixed, any number of color variations are possible. Ah the good ol’ days of the color wheel and our Crayolas. In the worlds of print and web

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All a buzz…

Naturally Sweet Marketing Activities By:  Nancy Garberson, MOL Since September is National Honey Month, I thought I’d write about the naturally sweet marketing activities that every business should consider for fall! Okay, I’ll be honest, I only know about this recognition because I visited a farmer’s market in Okoboji this weekend, and they had honey for sale. It looked so good I couldn’t pass the booth without buying some. The

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Fall is a Cool Time for a New Product Launch

By: Nancy Garberson, MOL Fall is an exciting time in business because everyone is serious about kicking-butt before the end of the year! We want those numbers up before December 31st and fall provides the potential for remarkable achievement. With the cooler weather upon us, we ignite our push for year-end success! A new product launch calls for a different approach than managing an existing campaign. A successful product launch requires

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Typography 101 – Beyond the Subjective

By: Chris Weaver Typography can make or break almost any piece of writing. The fonts chosen for a document can reinforce the information or completely tear it down. Ideally, type should communicate the emotion and feeling of the message in an appropriate manner. Unfortunately, emotion and appropriateness, good and bad, pretty and ugly, are subjective at best. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as we know, but common

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Keeping Brand Integrity on a Shoestring Marketing Budget

By:  Christa A. Nelson, MBA With a tightening in the economy, marketing departments are being asked to find ways to cut expenses. While most marketing professionals would not advise drastically reducing marketing expenditures during an economic downturn, reality often dictates some budget cuts. What can you do if your marketing budget has been cut? Are there ways to do things less expensively and still maintain a high level of marketing

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The Basics of Strategically Driving and Delivering Digital Marketing

By:  Tami Garvin Should Your Business Have An Assessment? It starts with .com Your website is foundationally crucial to your business as a digital marketing strategy. It serves as the first integral frame in building your business’s online presence. To maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your digital marketing strategy, it’s vital to continuously assess and develop your website in order to achieve the highest possible conversion rate. The

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