CEDAR RAPIDS — Over the past 25 years, the internet has changed by leaps and bounds. Just ask the team at Informatics Inc.
President & CEO John Osako was there from Day One, joining his father, Frank Osako, who started the web design and internet marketing business in 1998 when he foresaw how the internet would be a game changer for many industries.
“My dad had been a consultant and had a project he wanted to work on, so that is how Informatics was started,” Osako said.
“I was living in Coralville at the time and would drive up here to Cedar Rapids to go to work in my old bedroom, which could not have been on my radar of things possible in the world to do,” Osako said with a laugh.
But it was the start of something that would grow and evolve into one of the Midwest’s best known web marketing agencies.
“We help businesses solve problems online,” Osako said. “For some, that is building a website or apps and then for others it’s more from a marketing standpoint. We do branding, email marketing, social media analytics. You name it and we do it.”
“We are kind of nerdy’
Informatics, Osako said, has blended technical side of marketing with clear communication.
When the company started, “people were amazed to see a photo of themselves online,” Osako said. “Nowadays, they want to upload their own photo, plus crop it online and send it and integrate it and have it automatically blast out and all those kinds of things.
“We’ve really grown in our strength of coding but also having experts on our staff that can help our clients set up their online systems, get going and help them use those platforms more effectively. We have strong web roots, but now strong marketing roots as well.
“We are kind of nerdy,” he added. “We really do have a better understanding of how all the large technical things fit together. And then when we weave it with great storytelling and writing and content development like videos and podcasts.”
Working with clients
Every Informatics client is a little bit different but all are looking for a strategic partner, Osako said.
“I enjoy sitting with clients and learning about what they’re trying to achieve,” he said. “Then our team works on coming up with ideas on how they can achieve those goals. … It’s an old cliche to surround yourself with people smarter than you but that’s something that we’ve worked hard to do.”
Osako’s wife, Stacie Osako, joined the business several years ago as chief experience officer and helped Informatics shape its company values, namely their emphasis on people, both employees and clients.
“We really want it to be rooted in what our values are because they are the foundation of everything we do,” she said.
“We believe that if we create an environment where people can be their best and thrive, then the clients get the best work and the best results,” she said. “And we are really passionate about constantly learning about what’s going on in the world of technology and adapting and being experts as quickly as we can.
“Improving and innovating is crucial to surviving in a technical world,” she added. “So we have intentions of growing steadily and providing great opportunities for our people. And lastly, we believe in giving back and are passionate about our community.”
Every Informatics employee, she said, has a “grow plan,” and community involvement is part of that.
Slow, steady growth
While the company started as a small family business, it has grown slowly and steadily over the past two decades to now employ more than 30 people.
Clients come from all over the country.
“We work with an incredibly wide variety of clients,” John Osako said. “We’ve kind of avoided getting into niches, and that’s been useful in a couple of different ways. … We’re able to understand how things are working, let’s say, for a large national retail client and then take the best parts of it and see how it might be something that could be adapted for a local nonprofit organization.”
It’s also helped the business navigate choppy waters in the economy because the company works with a wide client base in different industries, he said.
“The internet obviously is changing at an ever increasing range,” John Osako said. “We help clients navigate it most effectively and find opportunities that could increase their sales or boost their brand awareness or be more effective in recruiting.”
Know a business that should be considered for a “My Biz” feature? Let us know by emailing [email protected].
Leaders: John Osako, president and CEO; Stacie Osako, chief experience officer
Address: 215 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
Phone: (319) 363-3795