Archives for September 2009

Washburn Connections: major branding turnaround for rebounding urban high school.

WHS internet marketing and social media

Washburn High School in South Minneapolis had enjoyed a proud tradition as an excellent public school for nearly a century. In the late 1990s, facing budget cuts and drops in enrollment, Washburn also faced a branding crisis..its reputation was at stake. The Washburn Foundation approached Zosel&Co about helping provide internet marketing assistance on a pro-bono basis, and we came to the rescue and helped develop washburnconnections.org.

A full featured WordPress website, Washburn Connections is dedicated to helping all Millers, young and old alike, learn more about what’s going on at Washburn High School, especially all the new developments already underway. The site offers find tons of good info and fun facts about the school, and allows needed two-way communications with it’s blog and social media capabilities.

Phenomenal Facebook Success

In addition to providing branding and site development, we also helped establish a powerful facebook presence that encouraged countless Alumni to join in the effort to revitalize the school. The facebook group gained over 1,000 members in less than a month and contributed to the success of a huge fundraising event late last Fall. The site and facebook presence will serve a foundation for all future marketing and fundraising efforts in 2010.

Facebook for Washburn

Go Millers!

Shavlik Print Ad Campaigns 2002-present.

Some great branding ads created for Shavlik Technologies over the years that have help them emerge as the #1 player in the IT security, and network configuration management software industry. Give company founder Mark Shavlik a lot of credit for having a lot of vision and bold attitude toward marketing his company. These ads are a testament to his marketing savvy.

August 2002 -- A virtual unknown in the security patch management market, Shavlik chose to make a bold statement with their first major branding ad. Principal Mark Shavlik was a bit nervous about the direction, but did not regret it later as brand recognition improved steadily, and lead generation improved.

October 2002 --This appears to be a fairly standard corporate ad, but it caused quite a stir in the IT industry, particularly with the target audience -- Network Administrators. It seemed unbelievable to admins that such attractive young ladies could be found in the IT environment, wearing such fetching attire. As it turned out, the attention was good for brand recognition.

January 2003 --This ad is a testament to the marketing genius of Mark Shavlik. Mark felt offering a fully functional version of the flagship HFNetChkPro (up to 100 users) was a sure fire way to hook the industry on Shavlik's Network Security Product. By July 2003, sales for HFNetChkPro were approaching $15 million. Not bad.

September 2003 --Pictures of attractive women. If it worked once, could it work again? Turns out, Network Admins approved. And sales kept soaring.

October 2003 --Shavlik needed an impactful ad to promote its Security Services Group. Who could ignore a mug like this?

November 2004 --Now that Shavlik had the attention of its primary target audience, Network Admins, the branding strategy was to continue to show them that we understood their daily problems, and could offer a simple solution.

November 2004 --More of the same: we feel your pain. And here's a way to solve it.

Looking to generate leads on the internet? You may not need a website.

RFIsite

Many small businesses looking to connect with new customers via the internet share a very common misconception about internet marketing. They believe the solution to lead generation is paying a web developer to build a search engine friendly website that will attract their prize customers, and close the sale.

Makes sense, right? Wrong.

When it comes to truly effective lead generation (B2B or B2C), a well-designed landing page system connected with a highly targeted paid search (adwords, PPC) campaign is the magic bullet that most business owners really need. If all you’re after is reaching as many customers as possible for the lowest cost, shelling out big bucks to build a website doesn’t really make sense.

For example, a few months back, we were approached by home realtor who was bound and determined to build a new website that targeted his area of town, and promoted his firm’s unique home buying and selling specialties. And, as usual in this down economy, his budget was as tight as they come. His expectation for a search engine friendly website that would meet all his lead generation needs for a tight budget was way off base. Long story short, we built the site for him, but sadly, his budget was not sufficient to really get his site rolling. 

A few weeks later, we were approached by another small business looking to accomplish the same objective: generate targeted leads from specific Twin Cities are zip codes for very specific promotional offers. And then we had an epiphany:

 this guy just wants leads. Why waste his time and money building a website? The client was an established home handyman business, looking to generate leads for small home repair and remodeling projects. So this is what we recommended:

  • Create a Google Adwords campaign targeting Minneapolis Western Suburban Zip Codes using ads and keywords promoting their capabilities and testing special promotional offers.
  • Create a series of specific landing pages each connected to specific ads, each with appropriate conversion forms.

Done deal. The home handyman’s adwords campaign and landing page system were up and generating leads within 10 days. No fuss, no muss. Here are the other advantages of our adwords/landing page internet lead generation system:

  1. Low upfront cost – a fraction of the cost of building an entire website dedicated to promoting your business.
  2. Start generating leads immediately – total project time is less than 10 days.
  3. Change on-the-fly marketing – change promotions, ads and landing pages in a heartbeat, at very little cost.
  4. Precision targeting – create a unique combination of ads and landing pages targeted by geography and demographics.

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