Borrowing from Banksy: hope he doesn’t mind but it makes a really makes a nice header for email template.

If you haven’t heard of the graffiti artist Banksy, you should really check out his work. A mystery man going only by the alias ‘Banksy,’ this cat is one awesome environmental artist who finds a unique way to intelligently mix images into urban landscapes, and provide needed editorial comment on culture and society at large. We used one of his images in our new newsletter banner and attempted to do to him what he does everywhere. If you look at his work in the video below, perhaps you’ll see what we mean.

Simple, yet awesome ecommerce platform: BigCommerce is a no-brainer.

If you’re looking for a simple, yet sophisticated ecommerce store, look no further than BigCommerce. It’s easy to set-up (days not weeks), even easier to manage, and their live phone support is truly unbelievable, and essential to any tech-squeamish ecommerce first-timer.

Setting up two different stores (Happytown Trading and MyNurish.com) was a snap, although the Nurish store was a little trickier because we needed to maintain main wordpress site for marketing and SEO purposes. But skinning the store to look like the main site was not too difficult.

For more info, go to BigCommerce for all the details.

 

BEPA takes WordPress and runs with it.

Business and Estate Planning Analytics (BEPA) is the brainchild of Attorney William White, whose new firm counsels business owners, families and individuals on how to reduce expense, risk and complexity through proactive planning. As Bill puts it, “the cost of doing nothing far outweighs the price of planning ahead.”

Zosel&Co had the pleasure to work with Bill, thanks to a nice referral from lawyer pal and fellow parochial school chum T.J. Conley, one of our first WordPress clients. We designed the branded website using the Genesis Framework which allows to create lots of nice functionality through widgets that allow you to place content in key spots all over the site, pretty much wherever you want.

 

The MESA Group: all about passion, not profit. Believe it or not.

MESA Group brand development

Zosel&Co recently had the pleasure of designing a brand with a group of C-level technology executives who have dedicated themselves to working with Minnesota technology start-ups in hopes of hatching the next Control Data. Technology entrepreneur and founder Todd Krautkremer knows that the Minnesota has a rich history as a home for software giants such as Control Data, Lawson Software, Univac and many others over the past decades. His vision for the Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA Group) is to assemble a group of seasoned technology executives who can provide experienced counsel in the areas of marketing, operations, finance, capital investment, personnel and any area that can help a technology company start off on the right foot. The group of advisers will provide resources and needed connections on a pro-bono basis, believe it or not.

Why? As Kraukremer points out, he takes a lot of pride in Minnesota as a state that fosters technology, and simply wants to see it return to prominence as a hotbed for software start-ups. More on this project as it develops. Zosel&Co will develop a wordpress website to help the group blog, share ideas and communicate with advisees.

Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory

 

You don't mess with the Chief Alchemist.

The world of organizational development is serious business. As a Chief Alchemist, Laura Delavie works with America’s corporate leaders and teams to help them improve their ability to deliver sustainable growth. No small feat. By moving people to think and act differently, she helps her clients develop strategies, lead change, improve communication, increase organizational effectiveness and drive innovative efforts forward.

And that’s just before 9 am.

Zosel&Co helped Ms. Delavie create her first wordpress site so she can spread the word about her organizational leadership consulting organization. Playing the on “alchemy” theme that reflects change and transformation, the ALCEMIS goal is to help leaders build on the values of authenticity, leadership, creativity, risk-taking, value and innovation. But sometimes this serious endeavor means fun and games, like LEGO® Serious Play™. Check our her site for more information.

Building a custom CMS: whatever you do, please don’t try this at home.

Custom CMS Development

Client’s lofty ambitions create search engine lovable tourist portal, but one heck of a complicated CMS.

Open source Content Management Systems (CMS) are fine for the vast majority of marketing websites in today’s world. Not so for Visit Minneapolis North, a convention visitors bureau targeting Minneapolis’ Northern most suburbs. Working with full-service agency partner IANinc, we helped design and manage this mammoth 50+ page portal-style visitors guide from the ground up, ensuring that it will boost the company’s search engine rankings, and it revenue. Pulling from both an internal CMS database and external Customer Relationship Management (CRM) the site is packed with every marketing feature you can think of (and then some):

  • Create custom promotions and discount coupons that link to their partners
  • Custom calendar that’s searchable by event type
  • Highly complex RFP system tied into its CRM that sends notifications to partners and staff
  • Complete control over every feature on the site from a simple to use dashboard

MyNurish.com: rebranded product line and ecommerce store.

In the past year, Zosel&Co has entered into a marketing agreement with Nurish, a health foods and greens supplements  startup manufacturer. As part of the partnership, Zosel&Co has created new branding, packaging design, and an e-commerce website that is now selling a complete line of health supplements online. In 2004, Nurish was the first to distribute a major ”greens” blend in North America. A blend known for its sweet, minty-tasting flavor and its high concentration of dried fruits and vegetables. The blend was an instant success. So much so, that within one year it became their #1 selling dietary supplement.

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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WordPress – not just for blogging anymore.

When most people think of WordPress, the popular, easy-to-use blogging software used by millions immediately springs to mind. Here at ZoselCo, we think of WordPress as the website building tool without limits. You see, the WordPress platform is continually improved through a worldwide open-source community of developers that create plugins and modules to offer virtually any type of functionality any business needs.

In the past four months, we have done some great work making great strides in offering WordPress as a powerful, easy-to-use content management ssytem for businesses of any size who need a powerful marketing website that’s ready to take advantage of the many up-and-coming social networking opportunities.

Learn how a simple, inexpensive WordPress site can help your business:

RFIsite

Rockford Handyman ‘Change-on-the-Fly’ Landing Page System — To generate leads, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to create an entire website. All you need is a change-on-the-fly landing page system connected to your localized Google Adwords account. Setup is fast and easy. Perfect for any business that just wants a no-frills marketing system that allows your to easily add as many different landing pages as necessary, until you find the right formula to convert leads.
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FURsite

Instant ROI for Government-mailing-lists.com — This is a fully Search Engine Optimized website for the Toronto based government marketing firm has already paid for itself, according to owner Richard Furlong. ZoselCo connected with Furlong through marketing discussion groups on the popular social networking site LinkedIn.
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Globaltecsite

Multiple Templates — Globaltec is a worldwide engineering firm that specializes in large, public infrastructure projects. The dual-language site (spanish/english) is a powerful, easy-to-use content management system that allows the company to easily publish current project news that is based on a keyword strategy designed to generate significant targeted traffic
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GRBsite

Greenbonds — the goal is to establish a renewable source of national and local investment capital for green technologies and solutions by introducing a new federal savings bond program. Green Bonds is modeled after the World War II era ‘War Bonds’ program. The site is intended to help generate 10,000 signatures necessary to make the concept a reality.