Why Viral Solutions
Strategize. Execute. Grow.
Who We Are
Viral Solutions is a full-service digital marketing agency founded in 2011 by two people with 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the trenches who saw a need for businesses to adapt to a growing digital world.
Recognized by CIO Review as one of the 10 Most Promising Web Design and Development Consulting Service Companies of 2019, our team believes…
- Marketing is a marathon NOT a sprint
- Collaboration and teamwork is the only way to win
- Guesswork is removed by using data-driven marketing
- Marketing strategy should always be developed first and used to determine your tactics
What We Do
To succeed in today’s digital world and be scaleable, a business needs to have a sound marketing strategy that matches the market they are after.
From there tactics need to be chosen based on that strategy and not only be user friendly but also integrate with each other in order to produce data that proves, or even disproves, the strategy and tactics so that our focus is always on continuing to do what is working OR to improve what is not working.
Our in-house team consists of several highly skilled professional business advisers, designers, developers, copywriters, and advertising specialists who are dedicated to seeing the best businesses, products, and services succeed.
Put into simpler words, our process for what we do is as follows:
- Start by establishing a baseline of your data, strategy, and tactics as they stand today by conducting a marketing audit
- Research and develop a plan for moving forward towards growth and stability through our Marketing Strategy Workshop and On-boarding Protocol
- Assign you a dedicated project manager and team to execute and implement tactics based on your marketing strategy
- Watch and review your marketing and sales data on a regular basis for signs of growth to ensure goals are being met and shift when they are not
Why We Do It
There is no shortage of digital marketing consulting and implementation agencies out there. However, very few of them have true business knowledge and understanding of the sales process.
Most digital marketing agencies are focused on tactics and implementation, have a cookie cutter method and believe in a one size fits all marketing approach.
This is the essence behind why we do what we do and how we do it.
We believe in the timeless quote “Tactics before strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Our team is passionate about solving problems and personalizing their approach to fit the market a business is after.
We are on a mission to outperform, outwork, and outthink our competition in order to truly make an impact on the businesses we serve.
Strategize. Execute. Grow.
Meet Your Team…
Joined the VS Team: At its inception (incorporated in 2011)
Favorite Tool(s): Infusionsoft
Tip for Small Business Owners: Set aside time to write and review your goals. Review them weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. WRITE them down. As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of running a business and forget the big picture. Also, treat everyone with respect. It will come back to you.
Bio: Christine’s passion for small business began at a young age, as her family owned a chain of Hallmark stores. After earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing/advertising and sales promotion from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Christine moved into a sales position with a management consulting company. She then worked her way into a district management position, and eventually into the chief executive of sales position for the Western USA and Canada—overseeing more than 100 field managers/salespeople and 75 telemarketers. She met her now business partner, Thomas, and together they introduced digital marketing to the management consulting firm. Soon after, in May 2011, Viral Solutions was born, allowing Christine to do what she enjoys most—working on conundrums and helping business owners with difficult-to-solve problems.
When she’s not assisting small business owners in achieving their goals, Christine is playing with her dogs or working with the Front Range German Shepherd Rescue—a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and re-homing purebred GSDs.
Joined the VS Team: At its inception (incorporated in 2011)
Favorite Tool(s): PlusThis, Infusionsoft, and Wicked Reports
Tip for Small Business Owners: Make sure your business model and offer match the needs of your avatar and not your own wants.
Bio: With more than 30 years of experience in B2B sales across various industries, Thomas has unique insight into both the offline and online sales sphere. It was during his time in the trenches that Thomas noticed a recurring theme: Though business owners are knowledgeable about their craft or trade, they often struggle to market and sell to their prospects. This realization is what prompted Thomas and his now business partner, Christine, to bring Viral Solutions to life. Since starting the company, Thomas has been able to assist countless business owners in developing a solid marketing plan based upon sound marketing strategy, then assigning the marketing tactics to a team of talented employees, and, finally, watching those actions unfold—his true passion.
Though Viral Solutions is on Thomas’ mind 24/7, he does occasionally take a break to cheer on the Green Bay Packers and catch a Wisconsin Herd game. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Wendy, and adorable granddaughter, Lily.
Joined the VS Team: 2012
Role: Project Manager
Favorite Tool(s): Infusionsoft
Tip for Small Business Owners: Know that you aren’t your own customer, even if you created your business and product based upon your own experience and a problem you share. As the business owner, you have biases and therefore can never see your business and product as your customer does.
Bio: As Thomas’ daughter, Lindsey was introduced to the world of sales and marketing at an early age. Curious about what her dad did, Lindsey would jump at every opportunity to help and ride along on sales calls. Always quick to take charge and lead the group—a trait that has only grown with time—Lindsey was frequently told by her parents that she was destined to be a manager or CEO of some sort. While working toward earning her bachelor’s degree in human services from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lindsey interned with the UW Office of Equality and Affirmative Action and served on several councils, which gave her the opportunity to develop her persuasive writing skills, researching skills, problem-solving skills, project management skills, and more. After working as the lead teacher of the 4-year-old room at the local daycare center, Lindsey decided to switch gears and join the Viral Solutions team. In her position, Lindsey is able to help clients think through an end goal and reverse engineer it into the steps needed to achieve it.
When she’s not working, Lindsey loves spending time with family, be it traveling somewhere together or just hanging out at home.
Joined the VS Team: 2011
Role: Advertising Manager
Favorite Tool(s): Wicked Reports
Tip for Small Business Owners: You should all be retargeting on both Google AdWords and Facebook, even if it’s just $5/day. This is regardless of your business size or industry.
Bio: Jordan’s love of mathematics, statistics, and technology began at an early age, when he would memorize stats and facts about football players from cards he collected. Later on he attended Lakeland College, where he played men’s soccer, as well as the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he was an ambassador for the College of Business—an AACSB-accredited business school. While serving as public relations chairman for the Sigma Pi fraternity at UW, Jordan took part in many PR and marketing efforts, such as managing outbound communications for the fraternity via social media, website, and other university-owned channels. Shortly thereafter, Jordan joined an Inc. 500 cybersecurity company as marketing manager—a role that entailed handling such tasks as email marketing, sales processes, blog copy, event marketing, social media, vendor relationships, and CRM maintenance. At Viral Solutions, Jordan is passionate about solving problems for more mature businesses, such as building marketing attribution models for cross-channel marketing, ROI reporting, cohort analysis, customer lifetime value analysis, and budgeting.
Outside of work, Jordan enjoys hiking and hanging out with his dog, Milo. He’s also a huge sports fan and has been rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since he was 5 years old.
Joined the VS Team: 2015
Role: Graphic Designer
Favorite Tool(s): WordPress and Adobe Creative Suite
Tip for Small Business Owners: Get started. Don’t stress out about tiny details that won’t affect your overall business vision or goals. We’ve seen more small business owners fail because they stressed too much about the small stuff.
Bio: Marisa’s appreciation for art and design began at an early age, when her grandparents gave her a wind-up camera on her 5th birthday. Since that time, her mind has been set on pursuing a career as a creative. After earning her BFA in theatre from Emporia State University, Marisa worked for nationally recognized theatre companies across the United States as a professional production stage manager. These experiences solidified a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and ability to break down a complex project into actionable steps for success.
Eventually, Marisa’s focus began to shift, as she caught the digital marketing bug that swept the country by storm. Her love for marketing, promotion, art, and design—combined with her interpersonal skills—has allowed her to serve businesses of all sizes. Marisa has sought out extensive training both as a designer and as a marketing expert. Since that time, she has served on thousands of design projects for clients in various industries.
Her greatest joy is developing data-based UX designs that enhance the customer journey while building a long-term brand identity that lasts.
When she’s not working, Marisa enjoys teaching art to small groups, cooking, and travel with friends and family.
Joined the VS Team: 2016
Role: Web Developer
Favorite Tool(s): The ‘git’ command-line version control system for my code and the ‘neovim’ command-line text editor for just about everything
Tip for Small Business Owners: Find someone knowledgeable and trustworthy for advice; the main advantage the established business has over the newcomer is not invested capital or customer base but rather experience.
Bio: Jeremiah’s interest in computers and electronics led him to Bluegrass Community & Technical College, where he earned an associate degree in biotechnology. Jeremiah has worked in various roles throughout his career, from emergency room clerk to accounts receivable associate. All of these jobs have taught him valuable skills that he applies at Viral Solutions. In his current position, Jeremiah enjoys producing software that is clearly defined and fixes a problem the client is experiencing.
When he’s not working, Jeremiah still likes to program, usually on small tools/projects for fun. On the rare occasion he has time, Jeremiah also enjoys playing video games and studying different languages.
Joined the VS Team: 2018
Favorite Tool(s): WordPress
Tip for Small Business Owners: Put the time and effort into defining your avatar, as this will give you a much better sense of what your prospect’s problems/desires are and will help you create content that is more effective.
Bio: Caitie’s passion for reading and writing is what pushed her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in English from Kent State University-Stark. While attending college, she worked as an editorial assistant at a local newspaper, which helped further develop her editing and fact-checking skills. After roughly 5 years working in the content department at a marketing firm, she relocated and took an editing position at a proofreading company. Caitie’s current role at Viral Solutions allows her to apply her writing, researching, and editing abilities daily, ensuring the quality of the content provided to clients. Additionally, she enjoys having the opportunity to take on challenging projects and discover how to manage, distribute, and measure content the best way possible.
When she’s not working, Caitie enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and spending time with loved ones.
Joined the VS Team: 2016
Favorite Tool(s): Word, SEMRush, and Grammarly
Tip for Small Business Owners: Take a serious look at who your ideal customer is—demographics and all—then think of them as a friend. What would they tell you they want? Also, stop writing only diary entry posts about yourself and start writing intentional blog posts that are keyword rich to help improve SEO and that read naturally enough so your customer feels as if you are sitting down with them explaining your product over a cup of coffee.
Bio: Shannon’s deep desire to help others is a trait that was developed early on, as she has always enjoyed seeing people, groups, organizations, companies, and families thrive and make positive changes that encourage growth in all areas. That combined with her love of learning is what drove her to earn her master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. For more than 15 years, Shannon worked in a variety of settings as a behavioral, family, young adult, and group therapist. As a behavioral therapist and case manager who has worked with people from nearly all walks of life, Shannon has a knack for helping others reach their desired outcomes, which she applies to her work at Viral Solutions as a content marketer. In addition to possessing keen insight into what drives human behavior, Shannon strives to find various ways in which she can relay each client’s message and vision to their prospect so that it hits every angle and sinks into the prospect’s mind. Likening her role to that of a detective, Shannon enjoys gathering information about each client’s prospect and competitor, then fitting it all together with the client’s product/service as the answer to the problem.
When she’s not working, Shannon enjoys reading, skiing, painting, and spending time with her family.
Name: Katie Carpen, PhD
Joined the VS Team: Dr. Carpen has been a VS contributor since 2014.
Role: Thought Leader
Favorite Tool(s): Market research tools, such as Ad$pender, Business Insights Global, eMarketerPro, Emerald Insights, IBIS World, MarketLine, Mergent, NexiUni, and Statistica. Data analysis tools to aid in storytelling, such as Tableau and NVIVO.
Tips for Small Business Owners: Research may sound boring, monotonous, or downright scary, but it shapes strategy. I recommend setting aside time on a regular basis to hone in on research most relevant to your business. Use that time to identify the best resources, tools, and techniques to help you find, organize, analyze, and use the information. Whether it is a monthly or quarterly process, the information uncovered in that process will aid in making creative and strategic decisions that drive short and long-term initiatives.
Bio: Katie has 14+ years of experience in higher education, consulting, recruitment, and mortgage finance industries. Her areas of specialty include change management, conflict management, corporate social responsibility, emotional intelligence, leadership, organizational culture, strategy, and work-life-balance. Katie has served as a relationship manager, associate dean, consultant, subject matter expert, and coach. She is currently active in higher education, coaching, and various causes. She enjoys fostering critical, creative, and strategic thinking by applying concepts across a variety of domains.
Joined the VS Team: 2019
Favorite Tool(s): SEM Rush
Tip for Small Business Owners: If you want to see the change, you’ve got to be the change that other people see.
Bio: Katie’s passion for writing comes from her drive to help others. Katie has been involved in non-for-profit organizations for a number of years, helping youth groups, women’s organizations, education programs, and local ministries get their messages out to their community. Also, being a small business owner for more than 20 years has given her insight as to how important it is to put the customer first.