Champlain College (Computer Forensics)


We started by solving a significant problem related to the serving environment hosting the college’s website. The old servers were on-campus, had not been properly maintained or updated. For the back-end of the site, the first thing was to set up a new server that allowed control over caching and compression to speed up the delivery of files to visitors, as well as more memory to cover the increasing traffic we were expecting from the ad campaigns and eventual organic traffic. We then set up the foundation for the new site on a platform that allowed us to perform customizations to further our goals of speed and SEO optimization. The new platform would also allow us to integrate with the CRM system in place at the school, and therefore track ROI from the ad a visitor first clicked on down to the enrollment.

We enhanced the user experience (UX) by updating the navigation to allow visitors to navigate the site with less clicks and reach the enrollment stage more quickly. As part of our re-education efforts within the college, we identified the need for consistent content generation in order to sustain high levels of organic traffic to the website. We enlisted the help of those individuals who are responsible for making Champlain College so well respected in the nation for its Computer Forensics programs: the students and faculty. Students were enlisted to post case studies they created for class onto the micro-site’s blog. This tactic ensured that the content being generated was unique, authoritative and in many cases, the first of its kind. Some of the students were performing forensics work with their professors on devices that had only been publicly available for weeks or months and they were often the first to suggest ways to use these devices during forensics investigations. One particular post on forensics on the newly released Kindle became a popular destination within the professional forensics community. We encouraged the creation of unique forensics content, and helped the college produce a “blood splatter video” that also received significant viral traffic.

We also realized the importance of the synonymity of web page content to our paid search campaigns, carefully orchestrating content and keywords as well as compelling content to maximize search optimization. In many cases, we were able to create unique landing pages optimized for the paid search and paid social campaigns we were running in the market.


The results were immediate and dramatic. Within the first four months of our efforts, keywords most related to Champlain College’s online forensics programs shot up to the first page. Within another month, we had displaced our national competition, and have essentially owned the top two results in Google for the past year and a half. This, from a broader marketing perspective, has been extremely profitable for the college. Overall traffic increased by 42%, while out-of-state inquiries rose by over 208%. See the above screen captures, which illustrate the degree to which our SEO efforts have allowed Champlain to dominate nearly all relevant key search terms related to computer forensics and digital investigation.


NMC Brand Pyramid

After reviewing five agencies, NMC selected us to guide their branding efforts in November, 2007. We led a two month multiple focus group, and then we did our homework with patients, hospital staff, and local physicians. The result was the pyramid you see here.

NMC Tagline

We identified three areas of emphasis for NMC's communications: intimacy, collaboration and excellence. Research revealed that the hospital's smaller size provided a meaningful and differentiated benefit versus Fletcher Allen's unwieldy, institutional feel. Rather than focusing on NMC's "smallness," however, we decided to focus on the positive aspects its smallness conveys: intimacy and collaboration. We focused on the "excellence" theme to reassure patients that being treated at NMC does not mean compromising the quality of health care they receive.

Northwestern Medical Center: Logo System

Click on the above image to experience our work.

Champlain National Bank Brand Pyramid

With so many national competitors (Citizens Bank, Key, HBSC) coming into their Northern New York service area, CNB asked us to participate in the pitch process with five other agencies. We won, and went on to help them define and differentiate themselves and their positioning using the results of multiple focus groups throughout their service area.

Vermont National Country Club Brand Development: Brand Pyramid

The marketing challenge for Vermont National -- especially in a time of economic downturn, and a market where the golf season is limited -- is to convince people that the overall value of the club is worth the significant monthly dues...

Champlain National Bank Logo/Tagline

Our tagline is a validation of their local market focus, and a call to action.

Vermont National Country Club Tagline Lock-up

Right there in the Vermont National name are two competing ideas; Vermont (with its local brand equity of recreation and nature) and National (the idea that this course raises itself to a national level of quality). The tagline romances both of these aspects to best advantage, with Jack Nicklaus providing the reason to believe the course's national stature.

Central Vermont Medical Center Brand Pyramid

In 2003 we started working with CVMC. We helped them identify for and communicate meaningful reasons why their central Vermont community should embrace the hospital and its services--no small challenge given the close proximity of both Fletcher Allen to the north and Dartmouth-Hitchock to the south.

Central Vermont Medical Center Tagline Development

We developed the tagline "Central to your well-being." The line came out of consumer research we conducted that revealed that consumers believed hospital systems needed to transition from places "where things are fixed" to places where they can achieve wellness. The "Central" plays off the Central Vermont Medical Center name as well as underscoring the convenience of the hospital's proximity.

Northern Insuring Brand Pyramid

Northern Insuring came to us after a board member saw the quality of the work that we were crafting for Champlain National Bank. Northern's challenge (as the largest insurance agency based in the North Country) was to start communicating how its size and superior professionalism creates more value for its customers.

Emphase Logo Development

When Emphase asked us to help develop a logo for their brand, we knew we were in for a challenge. This logo had to easily readable and recognizable on over 70 different product forms. The logo would need to be recognized online, in print, and on products as small as the flash modules included in their embedded solutions. We decided to go with a logo that  incorporated a graphic right in to the name. The result is what you see above.