All Posts tagged Web design

Nina McKinster Joins Team Trivera

Nina McKinsterNina McKinster has joined Team Trivera as Project Manager.

Nina's most recent experience includes Project Management at the Garvey Group. Before that, she was a Digital Content Production Co-ordinator and an E-commerce Merchandise Specialist at Kohl's. In addition to project management, her previous duties also included creation and implementation of social media, marketing and advertising strategies.

Nina's educational background includes the foundation of an Associate Degree in Graphic Design and Communications from Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, along with an active continuing education program which has included courses in advanced Adobe techniques, team building, process improvement and conflict resolution. That experience, plus her great personality and excellent communication skills will make her a great primary point of contact for our clients, and an excellent leader for our production team.

When she's not busy helping Trivera design, develop, launch and improve the ROI of client website projects, she and her husband are cheering on the Green Bay Packers, spending time in Door County and visiting local wineries. Nina also enjoys plying her design talents in her spare time as a talented painter, and lover of anything art, fashion and design. 

Trivera Affiliate Program Creates Opportunity

c4afd7b4-9dd5-4ad4-8125-e33bea2f8cd21.jpgA powerful inititative conceived and driven by our operating partners at BOSI Global is our new affiliate program. That program is already a key to the success for several other BOSI portfolio companies, and has gotten off the ground quickly at Trivera. 

Over the years, Trivera has formed informal partnerships with other companies to fill competency and skill gaps.  However, the affiliate program formalizes the relationships to create a more permanent partnership, and also to provide financial incentives for bringing each other into projects and existing vendor relationships. Two of our affiliates have already deepened the partnership to the point of moving into Trivera's offices.

Companies and individuals being chosen and invited into the program meet the following qualifications:

1.) They provide best-in-market services that are complementary, but non-compettitve, to Trivera's core competencies.

2.) They work primarily with the same size and type of businesses and organizations that represent Trivera's target customers (Manufacturing, service, healthcare and/or ecommerce businesses, with $10-$100 million in annual revenue, and the appropriate budgets for companies that size).

3.) Their primary contact within those companies, and the person to whom they will refer us, is the CMO, VP of Marketing or Brand manager.

4.) They understand the importance of "wins" for every party in the relationship.

Under the terms of the program, Trivera pays a referral fee for any new client we acquire that was referred to us by an affiliate. If the affiliate doesn't want to accept a fee, a contribution will be made in their name to the charity of their choice.

The goal of the program is to build an affiliate network that will provide the opportunty for the region's best Digital Marketing service providers to collaborate with us, create new opportunities for each other and produce success for our clients. 

For more information, or to inquire about becoming an affiliate, contact Trivera COO Scott Rasmussen at

Jamie Rinehart Joins Team Trivera

Jamie RinehartJamie Rinehart has joined Team Trivera as Digital Marketing Strategist. Jamie comes to Trivera with 10 years of Digital Marketing and Advertising account management experience, most recently, the Advertising Sales manager at Kalmbach Publishing Company. At Kalmbach, Jamie managed successful sales teams for Discover, Astronomy, Cabin Life, American Snowmobiler, and Art Jewelry magazines. His experience with high level national accounts helped him create and execute successful advertising and marketing strategies in partnership with global companies such as Allstate, Arctic Cat, BASF and Citgo. Jamie was instrumental recognizing and understanding the need for these publications to move from being print focused toward digital focused.

Jamie holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in Mass Communications with a focus on Advertising where he still is an active member of the Alumni Association.

When not working, Jamie is an avid rec league volleyball and softball player. In addition, he enjoys running, from Marathons (has ran 5) to a jog in the neighborhood with his wife and dog. Jamie is also a huge Brewer, Packer and Bucks fan. Whether it’s going to the game, or watching at home or streaming it on his phone, Jamie will always find a way to keep up with the local Milwaukee sports teams!

Open Source: The Clear Choice for CMS Development

by Tom Snyder

My digital agency opened its doors in January of 1996. Back then, there were no proprietary Content Management Systems. Microsoft was still dismissing the notion of the web as a viable platform for business or e-commerce activity. If a website needed functionality, unless we could find something at Matt's Script Archive to accomplish the task, we built most of it from the ground up in Perl.slideshow01.jpg

As time went on, we simply continued to ride the open source path. We assembled a huge collection of functional applications we had built for client sites that could be added to and modified for new ones. Shopping carts, contact forms, opt-in email list managers, employment opportunity listings, content editors, slide shows, all built as open source using PHP.

A few years later came the emergence of Content Management Systems, which contained—as a package—many of the functional elements we previously had relied upon our own resources to create. Drupal, Joomla!, Wordpress, and others were emerging as the default new development platforms for most digital agencies who had followed the same path as ours.

Then came platforms like Magento and Concrete5, which began with a view to eventually evolve into enterprise solutions with a price tag designed to achieve profit motives. But the initial efforts of their foundational community editions were still fueled by the passion of development communities who helped to develop the core functionality. Along with them came a huge array of $5, $50, and $100 plugins and extensions to add custom functionality to meet almost any client needs. And because the open source model extended to those plug-ins and extensions, individual developers could make further modifications to meet even more demanding client requirements.

And all of this was designed to run on license-fee-free Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP operating systems running on low-overhead hardware.

The common thread was that all of these were—and still are—tools developed by people with a common purpose. That purpose was a desire to help the internet achieve its potential by providing individuals, businesses, and organizations with amazingly robust and fully functional, but still cost-effective, web presences.

During this same time, several software companies used investment money to create expensive proprietary content management and e-commerce systems designed to run on operating systems and databases with enormous licensing fees, and requiring lots of expensive hardware. Total cost of implementation and ownership ran five to 10 times that of their open source counterparts.

For the mega-corporations with huge budgets that are used to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on just about everything they do, and that believe no credible solution comes without an equally huge price tag, it provides the opportunity for lots of money to change hands.

That's fine if that's your business model. However, for a smaller digital agency, it's hard to start every web development project watching tens of thousands of dollars pass through from the client to the software companies just to create the development platform. That takes a lot of money off the table that could have been used to create more functionality, or pay for a year of post-launch support for inbound marketing and other enhancements.

Additionally, the open source model has always provided us with the flexibility and customization possibilities to always provide the client with a user experience and backend functionality that adapts to their specific needs and business model. Many closed source proprietary systems do just the opposite, forcing the business to accept the rules and functionality limits built into the system.

Smart digital agencies know that if providing value, return on investment, and total customization are all key components to their brand and value proposition, the open source model is, and has always been, the far better choice.

This article originally appeared at

Think Your Website is Mobile? Think Again!

Man-frustrated-with-phone.jpgAs a web marketing pioneer since 1995, my life has been in a constant state of frustration with marketers who have never been as eager to embrace the power of new possibilities as quickly as I thought they should.   It began with a survey taken the year I opened my agency that said 87% of all business owners believed they would never have a need for the web… EVER! It has taken a path through resistance to search engine optimization (which we began doing in 1996), e–commerce (which we began doing in 1997), email marketing (which we began doing in 1998), online Social communities (which we first did in 1999) and social media marketing (which we began doing in 2009). Eventually, universal best practices caught up to include each of those, and we were able to use the several years of experience our competition didn’t have to meet the needs of clients now willing to explore each “new” tactic, method or technology.

Frustrations of a Mobile Early Adopter

We created our first mobile websites 14 years ago for ourselves and Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport. With the Kyocera Smart Phone being the only mobile device in existence back in 2001, we were admittedly way ahead of the curve. But we knew that mobile’s amazing proliferation in Japan foreshadowed a similar explosion in the US. It wasn’t until the 2007 debut of the first iPhone, and emergence of Android phones in 2008 that it actually began to happen here. That was the beginning of our push, via our recommendations and our blog, to urge all businesses to create a web experience for their customers who preferred to interact with them via mobile devices. A handful jumped onboard immediately, and more followed.  However, 8 years later, still less than half of those clients have a website that is mobile-friendly.  And only our newest clients and a handful of fellow-visionaries have a site that is fully responsive to be viewed intuitively on any device or display size.

Introducing the “Mobile-First” Best Practice

While some would say we should be happy that we’re making progress, the sad fact is that we’re falling even further behind. The call to accommodate a mobile experience actually ended several years ago when it was replaced with a new best practice: designing your web presence with a mobile FIRST experience.

A design process that just accommodated mobile began first with a desktop user experience. Then, using a practice called graceful degradation, it removed the elements and formatting that prevented the desktop experience from displaying satisfactorily on tablets and smart phones.  Mobile first is just what it says. The first user experience, wireframe and design comp is the smartphone portrait mode.  Then, using progressive enhancement, features and design elements are added as the larger platforms and displays allow.  That approach is more difficult, and as you’d expect more expensive. But wise site owners who embraced that approach early on had their sites ready to capitalize on the shift that happened in mid-2014 when the number of website visits via mobile devices permanently surpassed that of the number via the conventional desktop machines.

That change in mobile first focus is causing a whole new analytic: users who begin their desired transaction with you on their smartphone, but frustrated with the functional or UX limitations you’re imposing on them had to go to a tablet or desktop to complete the transaction or desired task, or even decided not to do business with you at all.

What Comes Next?

As a result of those statistics, the next step in UX is emerging: The Mobile-ONLY approach. A recent report from the Altimeter Group demonstrates how fast the paradigm is shifting, and how quickly website owners and other developers are falling behind.  In my next blog, I’ll share some of the alarming statistics from that report and tell you how developers like Trivera are adapting.

More on the Trivera BOSI Global Partnership

We announced today that have entered into an operating partnership agreement with BOSI Global. Here's more info on that partnership and what it means for our clients, partners and vendors.

BOSI Global, based in Chicago with offices worldwide, is an operating partner to high-potential companies. While BOSI Global has an ownership stake in Trivera, Marjie and I will continue to retain majority ownership of the company. BOSI Global will invest in our company by inserting a fractional C-suite management team who is tasked with the objective of deploying a multi-year strategy for sustainable and scalable growth.

The newest members of Trivera’s leadership team include:

Joe Abraham, Chief Marketing Officer - Joe is an internationally known serial entrepreneur and brand/marketing expert. He’s also the author of Entrepreneurial DNA. He’s given several Ted talks, and he’s been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News and CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. Joe will be helping us develop Trivera’s marketing efforts, which include a series of CMO Summits as well securing speaking engagements for us at larger, national conferences and shows. Additionally, he will be facilitating our newly expanded client brand discovery and strategy development offering.

Scott Rasmussen, Chief Operating Officer – You may already know Scott. As a USBank VP for 17 years, an a partner at the Waterstone Group for 14 years, it seems like he knows everyone! Scott will be managing our sales team and working with us to make sure our KPI’s and metrics are where they need to be.

Leonard Kang, Business Intelligence and Technology Specialist - Leonard is a business technology guru, with an MBA from Booth School of Business who will be helping us identify, implement and execute new initiatives in our internal business technology infrastructure. Leonard also serves as the CIO for the U.S. Minority Contractors Association.

Andy Baker, Human Resources Director – Andy has had an illustrious career in HR leadership in companies like Allstate and Travelers – as well as operating his own private practice. In his new position with Trivera, he’ll be leveraging his network of recruiters, trainers and HR professionals to find new talent for TeamTrivera as we begin our accelerated growth trajectory.

Additionally, Charlie McClary, BOSI Global’s CEO will be a resource for guidance, leadership and mentoring for us as we grow. With his track record record of growing multimillion dollar companies to ten times their size, we’re honored to be among those he has chosen to become a part of the BOSI Global portfolio.

As one of the first steps of the new partnership, Trivera has opened a new office in Arlington Heights, IL at BOSI Global’s headquarters. That location will enable us to grow our digital marketing offerings by better serving existing and new clients in the Chicago market. Our Menomonee Falls office in the historic Mill Building will continue to function as our flagship headquarters.

So what does this mean for you? 

As we grow, you can expect to see a broader, deeper and higher quality range of services to help your digital marketing efforts create greater results and Return on Investment. Our new focus will be businesses and organizations who know they not only need a great, responsive website, but also understand the importance of a complete ongoing digital strategy that leverages, measures and improves every possible opportunity to drive meaningful, ROI-producing traffic to that site.

I will continue as CEO, and Marjie will remain the CFO. My role will focus on being the ambassador, face and brand champion for Trivera. To that end, I will no longer be handling any sales or account management. I’ve already been handing off most of my accounts to my awesome sales and account management team, and will finish that transition for all my clients in the next month or two. I’ll still be involved in the accounts where I’ve developed a great relationship with my contacts, but my team will now handle the process details and daily minutia.

I will also be ensuring that every member of TeamTrivera, every process implementation and every client engagement continues to represent and reinforce the Trivera brand: A commitment to your corporate, professional and personal success as a digital marketing decision maker.

I thank you for your support in the past, and am excited about our future as we provide increasing value to all our clients: past present and future!


How Much Should You Invest in Digital Marketing for 2015?

website-development-budget1.jpgAlthough most companies planned their 2015 marketing budgets in the last months of 2014, a new Gartner report will give you some guidance as to whether your planned investment will match that of your competitors.

According to the report, most companies plan to allocate a little more than 10% of their topline revenue for marketing in 2015, with 50% planning to increase their spend over 2014 levels.

Two thirds of companies these days still separate digital marketing as a separate category out of their overall marketing budget, with the average amount allocated to the digital efforts at a quarter of that budget.

Most companies plan to make Customer Experience their highest priority for the upcoming year, allocating 18% of their marketing budget on improving that.

The typical company will allocate 13% of their budget for Digital Advertising, with content marketing and website development just behind at 12% each.

The following chart shows how those numbers break out in dollars for various size companies:


Those numbers may seem large to some. But there is plenty to spend it on. Our own observations confirm dozens of other studies that show how far many businesses have fallen behind in their digital marketing efforts. Few companies have responded to the shift in paradigm from desktop to mobile as the preferred customer experience. Most companies still fall behind when it comes to the latest best practices for SEO, PPC and content marketing. With email marketing and Social Media competing as the tool that creates greater results, and new transactional functionality emerging all the time, there is no shortage of digital initiatives to add to a company’s arsenal of marketing tools. 

Smart marketing decision-makers already know what they need to do to take full advantage of digital marketing to build their brand awareness, generate leads, and serve existing clients. But many have had difficulty convincing their CEOs, and CFOs to invest enough to drive efforts that will produce meaningful results.

These numbers will provide them with the evidence they need to argue their case and make sure they have the necessary dollars allocated to stay ahead of their competition.


Craig Schneider Joins Team Trivera


Craig Schneider has joined TeamTrivera as a designer/front-end developer.

Craig is one of those guys who possesses the unique talent of being able to create awesome, intuitive, user-friendly website designs and then using frameworks and content management systems to turn them into fully functional websites. 
Craig comes aboard after a long tenure at Kalmbach publishing where most recently he was Interactive Art Director. In that role, he had been overseeing all of Kalmbach's digital properties including their 20 web sites and a team of 2 designers.  He has also been part of their Internet Strategic Development group and participated in the ideation and planning of their web-based products.
Craig was instrumental in leading Kalmbach into the Digital realm. On top of building the layouts and interactivity, he also worked with their in-house development team to build custom storefronts for 3 of their publications that had in-app purchases. And most recently, Craig helped lead them into responsive web design, moving 10 of their sites in that direction.  All of that experience has combined make him the perfect fit for our team.
When not working, Craig is an avid golfer, loves playing softball, outdoor recreation. Like the rest of the members of TeamTrivera he enjoys spending time with his family. He is also a loyal cheesehead who loves going to Packer, Badger, and Brewer games.

Jessica Dunbar returns to Team Trivera

5b26b353fbeaea51b91dc5dd4c8cc19a1.jpegJessica Dunbar left us for a little while to explore other opportunities, but recently clicked the heels of her ruby slippers three times, said "there's no place like home" and found herself back as part of Team Trivera.

Jess has returned as our Emerging Technology Sherpa. Whether it's SEO, Content Management Systems, Platforms, Frameworks or Growth Hacks, Jess is the team member who explores, identifies, recommends and helps us implement all the next "Best Practices" in our space.

When she's not helping to direct our paths, Jess fills in wherever and whenever we have a need. Jess is experienced in organic Search Engine Optimization, web development, system administration and project management.

Jess has spoken on Search Engine Optimization both in the US and Europe and recently was featured in the European edition of Web Designer Magazine. Jess' preferred development platforms are the Joomla! and Concrete5 CMSes, using them to develop international, multilingual websites. Jess is an active member with the Joomla! Community, and assists in producing regional Joomla developer events throughout the midwest. Prior to joining Trivera from 2010 to 2013, Jess was a developer at Open Source Support Desk and a network administrator for A Plus Business Forms. During her time away from Trivera, she was Marketing Director for Anything Digital and Watchful LLC. She was also Marketing Lead for Joomla!, a role she will continue.

Trivera Turns 18!

happy18thbirthday.jpgRegardless of our age, we all celebrate our birthdays every year. But, there are a few birthdays that mark milestones.  Sweet 16 marks a passage to the age where one can drive a car. 21 is when one is legally allowed to consume alcohol. 30, 40 and 50 are often marked with black balloons and taunts of being over the hill. I'm big 6-0 in February (or as I've chosen to call it, my second 30th birthday), but I digress.

One of the most special birthdays is the 18th. It marks the passage from youth to adulthood. You're reckoned by society as wise and mature enough to vote, get married without parental consent, and serve your country in the military. 

Today, Trivera celebrates our 18th birthday.  Back on January 16th, 1996, we became one of the very first...and one of only a handful of...web design and development agencies in Wisconsin.

At the time, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari didn't exist, just Mosaic and Firefox's predecessor Netscape. There was neither a Google nor a Bing  - the top search engines were Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, Webcrawler and Infoseek. There was no eBay, Netflix or Wikipedia.  Joomla!, Drupal, Wordpress and Concrete5 were all years from being born. Email marketing and Social Media didn't exist. Nor did Digg, Tumblr or even RSS. Smartphones, mobile devices, tablets, iPhones and iPads hadn't been invented. Pinterest, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or even MySpace? Not even on the drawing board! There was no broadband or wifi - internet connections came via a slow dial-up modem.  And 87% of all businesses polled in a survey said that the web was a fad, and they would never have a need for it. Ever. 

Our name back then was Websight Solutions, and our tagline was "web sites with vision." Fitting because back then, anyone who was doing anything on the web had to be visionary. Jeff Bezos had just started Jerry Yang and David Filo had just incorporated Yahoo!. Craig Newmark had just launched Craig's List.

And there was us.

But we convinced Usinger's, Mitchell Airport, and FrankMayer and Associates to take their first leap onto the web. In those early years, our other early adopters inlcuded Aurora and Ministry Health Care, Holy Hill, the Marcus Center, Milwaukee Harley-Davidson and Mustela. Since then, we've been proud to have also helped other noteworthy locally-based brands like Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Strattec Security Corporation, Simplicity, Perlick and Dental Associates, as well as national brands like Motorola, Lotus, Frabill, and Panasonic.  We just started working on Frank Mayer and Associates' 43rd project, and are just wrapping up Mitchell Airport's 30th. In a few weeks, InvestorsBank becomes the most recent member of the Trivera story with the launch of their new site

Despite the fact that over 18 years we've seen the web go from infancy to youthful exuberance and on to a mature and necessary component of every business' marketing arsenal, for most marketers, how to make it work is still is a mystery. So we've been honored to have hundreds of other clients ask us to help them figure it out. Some big,  some small, some household names, others obscure to all but their niche customers.  But the one thing they all have in common is that they needed someone to help them navigate through the rapidly evolving, and quite confusing world of digital marketing, web design, e-commerce, email marketing, search engine marketing, Social Media and mobile, and they chose to trust us, originally as Websight Solutions, then as wirestone, and now for the last dozen years as Trivera.  

2014 will be a year of bold new plans: new customers, new partners, continued expansion, and the 5 year reunion edition of 2009's Social Media University. So Happy Birthday to us! Thanks to our awesome clients for their years of support, and our awesome team members who helped us earn that support. As we blow out the candles on our birthday cake, our wish is for another 18 years of success for us, but more importantly for all our clients because they've given us the opportunity to help them succeed.


5 Visitor Groups Your Website Needs To Be Ready For


Your presence on the web has never been more important to the success of your brand.  It's also never been subject to more circumstances, elements and efforts that can damage it. And the only thing necessary for every bad thing imaginable to happen to it, is for you to do nothing and think your site is doing fine. So it just boggles my mind that so many marketers and business owners choose to sit back and let failure happen.

Website success has always been about who will be coming to your site, how they will access the site, what they're hoping to accomplish, and what will..or won't...happen when they get there.  While everyone hopes that it will simply be customers who will come and engage in a business transaction, it's a lot more complicated than that.  There are actually 5 easily identifiable groups of visitors who require strategic efforts that you'd better be prepared for.

Because, ready or not, here they come:

1.) Hackers, Crackers and Internet Miscreants  

Unless it's more than a few years old, your website is likely built on a Content Management System (CMS). Just like any other software product,  that system has likely had improvements made to it over time. In addition to feature improvements, every upgrade since it was first built also contains critical security enhancements. Legions of hackers are scouring the web every minute of every day trying to find old and vulnerable installations of Joomla!, Drupal, Wordpress and Concrete5 and using them to execute mass identity theft. I don't know if it's a fear of change or just a reluctance to spend the money on repairs should a CMS upgrade "break" the site. Regardless, the thousands of out of date websites are a jackpot for hackers.  Unless you have an upgrade plan in place, there's a good chance that someday thousands of people will be getting a fake email that looks like it came from their bank, but actually came from your site. Not only that, but then they'll click a link to log into a fake bank login page on your site and give identity theives the info they need to drain their real bank account. Because this activity leads to blacklisting, site shutdowns, and even potnetial legal consequences it's not the kind of traffic you want. But if you're not regulalry upgrading your CMS, it's the easiest and mosty likely traffic you'll get.

2.) People With Browsers Newer Than Your Site 

Every time a new version of a web browser is released, design and functional elements on your website that may have worked before  potentially malfunction or totally fail on the new one. If your website was built in 2009, it was tested to work on Firefox version 3. The current release is version 24.  Internet Explorer was on version 8. They've just released version 11. Safari 4 was the current version, but has now been replaced by version 7. Unless you've upgraded your site, or conducted ongoing browser compatibility testing, you have had people coming to your website to do business with you, but either can not or choose not to because the site doesn't work for them. And while that number has grown every month, that's a growth metric you don't want. 

3.) Mobile Device Users

Smartphones and tablets are no longer just for "people on the go." For millions of people, they are the preferred method of acessing the web. If your website isn't formatted to provide a visitor an optimal visual and navigational experience regardless of the device they'e using, you've essentially told half your potential customers that you're really not interested in their business.  And they are happily taking that business to sites that are. 

4.) Social Media Enthusiasts

Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective forms of marketing. Social Media takes that power to a new level.   Does your site have a blog? A pressroom? Videos? Do your pages have Facebook "Like," Twitter "Tweet This," Pinterest "Pin it," and Google "Plus 1" icons?  The jury may still be out on the extent that your execution of a Social Media plan will create meaningful inbound traffic. However, your site still needs to be updated to include the kinds of content that is easily shared in Social Media channels, and the tools that make it easy to do so. If it doesn't, you are missing the opportunity to take advantage of the viral referral power of your visitors' social savvy and their inclination to share your brand with their professional and social networks.

5.) Search Engine Traffic

The sad fact is that, unless you've been keeping up with the major changes in the way Google produces results to search queries and making sure your site has been adapting to accommodate those changes, the number of qualified customers coming to your site as a result is steadily declining. If you think that Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird are zoo animals, and an algorithm is a catchy tune about a former vice-president, your share of the 125 billion searches per month is pretty close to zero, and getting closer every day. Those are the people who aren't coming. But if your site isn't set up to show up on page one with meaningful and accurate search results and instead send unqualified visitors to your site, the ones who do come will leave your site as quickly as they came. Those are called bounces, and the more of those you get, the lower Google will rank you in their searches.  A strategic Search Engine Optimization plan is the only way to get meaningful numbers of qualified visitors to come to your site. 


While there are other elements that will contribute to a successful web strategy (email, direct and traditional marketing), this list represents the minimum effort necessary to just avoid failure.  With a new year beginning in just a few months, now is the time to plan your budget for setting up and executing a strategic plan that systematically optimizes your site to create the right outcome for every one of these groups and help your web presence reinforce, and not erode your brand, and more importantly, contribute to your bottom line.


About Trivera:

Your growing business is faced with more challenges than ever before. Managing your online presence in the face of tightening budgets and steadily increasing customer expectations can be a difficult and complex task.

Trivera’s proven approach to web design and development builds your online brand with smart design and creative technology. We’ve been helping companies like yours since 1996, growing our capabilities along with the web to serve the needs of our diverse mix of clients.

For most compnaies, the web is a cloud of confusion. Our experienced team excels in managing your projects for the greatest return on your investment using a proven, collaborative process that delivers results on time, on budget and on target. Our mission is to provide you with the knowledge, service, products and ROI that will make you a hero.

Trivera is looking for a Web Designer

t_logo_sqTrivera is looking for a passionate, experienced Web Designer that can design compelling websites and user interfaces based on the right composite of client direction and current best practices for navigation, design and UX. While we have a deep bench of dedicated front and back end developers on our team, an ability to efficiently produce clean code using PHP, HTML and HTML5/CSS3, JavaScript and jQuery to integrate that design into Content Management Systems and E-commerce platforms is a plus.

If you are like us, you:

  • are a total team player, and love to collaborate with other professionals
  • take pride in your work and keep up on the latest techniques and trends
  • have an informed opinion and enjoy being a part of the creative and strategic process
  • are self-starting, detail-oriented, and passionate about building attractive websites and interfaces that work in all current browsers and devices
  • appreciate the fact we don't expect you to work evenings and weekends, but also aren't a "40 hours and out" employee.
  • are proud to be a part of one of the area's most prestigious, high profile and soon to be fastest growing agencies


  • Ability to conduct a thorough creative discovery with every client, and presell their design to the client before the reveal so the first comp presented to the client exceeds their expectations.
  • Proficiency in Photoshop
  • Strong knowledge of code (PHP, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, etc.), and browser compatibility a plus.
  • Good understanding of CMS platforms is required (WordPress, Concrete5, and Magento are preferred).
  • Responsive and mobile production experience a plus
  • Excellent communication and problem solving skills
  • A team player who can engage enthusiastically and professionally with clients and staff.
  • Is comfortable with the concept of "tracking billable hours" and capable of accurately entering time in a project management system like Basecamp.
  • Can provide a portfolio proving an ability to create clean, professional design and web interfaces

This is a full time employee position that would require you to work on site in a crazy cool historic building in the center of Menomonee Falls, WI. We offer good pay and benefits, including health and life insurance, PTOs, staff birthday lunches, an amazing culture and we wrap up the week with the legendary Trivera Happy Hour, except when we're cutting out early on Friday for summer hours. We are a casual but focused work environment. If you have had the your fill of a soul-less corporate culture, and are looking for a fun place that is like family, this position is for you.

Email your resume to with links to your professional portfolio, and tell us why this is the right position for you.

(Women and minorities are enthusiastically encouraged to apply!)

Trivera Office - A gallery of Photos

Trivera Interactive is one of Milwaukee's oldest Web design and digital marketing agencies. We have an amazing space located in the historic Mill building in downtown Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Here are some photos of our amazing creative and collaborative space.


Trivera Interactive - Serving Milwaukee and the world from the Mill Building.


Trivera Interactive - The view from the loft


The megadesk - Command and control for all Web site design projects


Wall of Fame of Trivera Website design clients.


Miss Muffett guarding Trivera's Icon wall.


Trivera upstairs small conference room


Trivera - Website design...and air hockey...happens here.


Inside Trivera's small upstairs conference room

Future Web: Skating to Where the Puck is Going

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky attributed his success to a simple philosophy: "Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is. It ain't where the puck is, it's where the puck will be."

What your company is doing with the web is a lot like a hockey game. If your only focus is a web site based on an assumption that all your visitors are sitting at their desks viewing your site on a 1024 x 768 resolution desktop monitor, you're skating to where the puck was. Even if you've begun to toy around with making your website more mobile friendly, you're still skating to where the puck is.

As an early adopter of the Internet as a powerful marketing tool, and founder of one of the Midwest's first Web development firms, I remember the days when 87% of all businesses polled said they would never have a need for a website. My challenge for over 16 years has been to be chasing after the future and dragging clients kicking and screaming behind me, hoping they'll keep up.

And it's about to get even harder.

Over the past few days, I've been spending time with the presentation Stephanie Rieger gave to the Breaking Development conference in Orlando, Florida. It's an eye opening look at how the web is evolving. Where it used to be something you'd go to the computer or your mobile device to "do," it's rapidly becoming something that's always on, connected to everything we use to provide us with any knowledge we need just as we need it. As Brad Frost aptly put it:, you need to get your content ready to go anywhere because it's going to go everywhere. Skating to where the puck is going means moving to a world where internet touch points go beyond browsers, smart phones and tablets to now include treadmills, refrigerators, cars, and a million other "smart things" that we haven't even begun to imagine. A world where search engine queries are replaced by contextual information fed to us based on our interests, needs, and location, the keyboard having been replaced by GPS's, our voice or even our retinas. The journey to where the web is headed has shifted into hyper drive, and in the process is shattering the paradigms. And it's about to leave many businesses, and even some self-professed "web development firms" in the dust.

That's why I'm so fortunate to have the team here at Trivera. While still understanding the need to provide superior, best practice web experiences for our clients (delivered on time, scope and budget), we take regular time out of the office every Friday to talk about, and plan for, the technologies, platforms, tools, ideas and directions that will help us embrace the future web.

As a result we've continued to push the envelope and come up with some pretty amazing stuff:

  • You have an e-commerce-enabled B2B website but still achieve your highest sales with your independent distributors? How about a fully integrated tablet-based tool for them to use in the field to coach them real-time to up-sell, cross-sell, check inventory, lead times and create and submit an order.
  • Your customers are voicing a common complaint that's not your fault, but due to their forgetfulness? How about a reminder with the appropriate information sent to their mobile device when it detects exactly when and WHERE they need it?
  • You have a brand with a huge community that needs Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and Flickr functionality, but has huge archival resources you don't want to trust to those Social Media sites? How about an online community with full desktop, mobile and tablet compatibility with check-ins, photo uploads, topic threads, member chat and any other features the members say they need?

I've always been totally flabbergasted by traditional ad agencies who say "Oh, yeah, we do web too." Many are still trying… and still failing…to embrace even 10 year old best practices, and thus skating to where the puck was. A few conceptually get it but don't have the breadth, depth and length of experience to hire, manage or direct a team with the necessary skillsets, and so also are still skating to where the puck is. In the minority are the brave, visionary few who not only are embracing concepts like responsive web, but even seeing that as an experience we'll one day look back on with the same quaint nostalgia that we have for stuff like Cue Cat, Flash, 56k dial up and AOL.

I guess there are parts of the marketing world where a business just needs a small desktop-sized brochure-ware website, and the agency that does their direct mail, yellow page ads, and print handouts can create a cute little site for them. And there are other parts where an agency is able to convince a business to pay megabucks for a pay-per-click-supported big honking Flash landing page.

You won't find Trivera or our customers there. We're all too busy skating to where the puck is going.

Trivera Websites Win National Design Competition

Trivera Interactive, one of the Milwaukee area's most established digital agencies, has been recognized by New York-based Graphic Design USA for its excellence in website design.

Seven websites created by Trivera were recognized for outstanding work in internet and interactive design. They include:

. "The 2011 American Graphics Design Awards attracted a remarkable 8,000+ entries; a very select 15 percent are recognized with an Awards Certificate of Excellence," said editor/publisher Gordon Kaye.

'We are thrilled to have our work recognized as part of this national competition," said Tom Snyder, President/CEO of Trivera. "Our designers have been doing great work for clients since our founding in 1996, and it's great for them to be recognized on a national stage" Snyder added. Andy Frahm and Ian McDowell are Trivera's designers who will be listed, along with examples of the winning designs, on the Graphic Design USA website and in a full-color 300-page annual in the near future.


Graphic Design USA has presented national design competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals For nearly five decades. The American Graphic Design Awards is the origi­nal and the flagship, open to everyone in the community: advertising agencies, graphic design firms, corpo­rations, institutions, publishers and more. It honors outstanding work across all media: print and collateral, advertising and sales promotion, corporate identity and logos, internet and interactive design, packaging and p-o-p, broadcast and motion graphics.

Trivera Interactive has been helping businesses re-enforce their brands by leveraging Web technology since 1996. As one of the Midwest's oldest and most respected digital firms, Trivera continues to lead the way in Web and application development, Search Engine Optimization and Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media and Mobile Web and Applications creation from their location in the historic Mill Building in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

For more information, contact Tom Snyder, 262-250-9400

Trivera Becomes an Ingredient in Regal Ware's Recipe for Success

Regal Ware Worldwide™ is the leading United States manufacturer and marketer of high-quality stainless steel cookware.  Creating world-class multi-ply cookware, stainless steel cookware, gravity-cast aluminum cookware, and in-home water purification systems for nearly 100 years, with quality and consistency second to none.

An established Direct Sales brand, Regal Ware had decided to leverage its manufacturing expertise by re-entering the retail market and focusing on mid- to high-end retail cookware. With two major conventions on the horizon, and a Web site falling short on clearly and professionally communicating their branding message, they needed a polished team to rescue their Web site in short order.

Regal Ware turned to Trivera, another company with a long history of quality and consistency to help take their new message "bring people back to the family dinner table," to the public. Trivera was awarded the responsibility to develop a new site that would quickly and precisely convey the new brand, all in a matter of weeks for their first convention in Germany.

Tasked with creating that new Web presence, Trivera quickly became part of the Regal Ware  team, first understanding what their hosting, design and marketing needs were and then getting to work. Trivera's programming team implemented a powerful, open source content management system solution that would run on Regal Ware's servers and be feature-rich while still easy to use and manage. Trivera's strategy team reviewed the highlights of their new marketing and branding message and crafted a clean, intuitive site map to address it all. Using their expertise in best-practice, Trivera's design and development team built the new site. And finally Trivera's trainers made sure the Regal Ware internal Web team was fully instructed to take over the administration of the site. It was a total solution that not only addressed their needs but exceeded their expectations.

Trivera's ability to oversee details, work with Regal Ware's other outside vendors, understand and communicate clearly and efficiently the overall marketing message, all came together to produce a first rate, search engine friendly site, all in time for their first convention.

The momentum created by the initial engagement is continuing with ongoing strategic consultation, analysis of success metrics and discussion of new initiatives like Email marketing and Social Media as tools to help re-enforce this powerful brand to old and new markets alike.

Trivera Proves the Third Time is the Charm for Frabill

For 70 years, Frabill has been one of the most trusted names in the fishing industry. While Frabill is an industry leader in creating the world's best fresh and saltwater fishing products and accessories, their ability to find a Web services vendor wasn't as successful. A product of two different developers, the Frabill Web site was an underperforming, malfunctioning pain point. Needing a new developer and not having any room for error, Frabill made the decision to trust Trivera.

Following an analysis that identified deficiencies and uncovered new opportunities, the Trivera team embarked on a search and repair mission. The first phase of the project migrated the e-commerce portion of the site to Magento, currently the world's fastest growing e-commerce platform, and the rest of the site's content management to Wordpress. The selection of those tools, combined with Trivera's process, passion and proficiency quickly convinced Frabill's decision makers that they had made a wise choice.

While the site was still under construction, Frabill was already enthusiastically recommending Trivera to others.

"How refreshing it is to work with a design company that values communication," said Frabill's Jim Horvath. " Between the staging area, email updates, and 24/7 access to the project portal, the whole team has done a superb job to date in making sure we are apprised of improvements to the is deeply appreciated."

Since the site has launched, they have become even more enthusiastic. Frabill immediately began experiencing the increased sales due to Magento's shopper-friendly features and improved performance. Their content developers are appreciating the ease with which they can maintain the site and keep it fresh and relevant.

Having earned their confidence, Trivera is now a true partner, with both companies working together to develop and execute a strategic plan over the next 12 months for further improvement of Frabill's online presence.

Frabill is happy to know they have found a partner that won't leave them flapping like a tip up on windy winter day.

12 Interactive Marketing Resolutions for the New Year

by Chris Remington

Here are 12 things to think about as you take your interactive marketing to the next level in 2010:

Have a plan - Yes, there are many tentacles to the interactive marketing beast, but with a well-crafted strategic plan it can be tamed. Start small if you must, but the important thing is to have a plan, execute it, and refine it over time.

Analytics are your friend - WebTrends, Omniture or Google Analytics; no matter which one you use (you do have analytics on your site, don't you?!) take time to mine for the nuggets of information they offer about your site, your customers and how they consume your interactive content. Use this to power your plan (see H above).

Pretend you are your customer - You are too close to your product(s) and your industry. Think like your customer would think. Knowing what they would call your product(s), how they would search for it on a search engine, and where they gather online to converse about it, will help you massage and finesse your web content so it speaks to them in their language.

Performance indicators are key - What are the top two or three goals of your website and interactive marketing strategy? Customer engagement? Brand awareness? eCommerce transactions? Lead generation? Pick your goals, ensure you can monitor and track them, tailor content to achieve them, and track the effectiveness of your actions.

You can do it - While others would argue the fact, interactive marketing is not rocket science. It is still about the 4 P's from Marketing 101 - product, place, price and promotion. Smart online marketing is no different than smart offline marketing. Research, plan, execute, monitor, refine. Repeat. Know the limitations and aspirations of your internal team as they relate to your interactive marketing efforts. Empower them. Empower yourself. You and your team know your strategy best. Go for it. Hire outside help when (if) needed.

Not doing anything still has a cost - Yes, the website you built and paid for in 2003 still functions, but does it still work? A website with old or static content and a tired look sends a message that you are complacent, not innovative, and don't care to engage your customers. Can you really afford to NOT spend money on your interactive strategy?

Embrace change - See N above. Research to see if your customers (and your internal team) have an appetite for consuming your web content in video form, on mobile devices or via Social Media. Don't change for change sake, but if your customers and industry are 'going there' you should too. With a plan, of course (see H above).

Web-enable content - See E above. Your website can likely streamline workflows and improve customer service with only minor enhancements. Would product installation videos on your site reduce customer service calls? Would a password protected media room enable your customers, dealers or distributors to download their own sell sheets, logos or ad templates? If so, web-enable this content and free up your marketing support team to pursue more important projects.

YouTube? Twitter? Facebook? - Social Media is all the rage. Make sure you are ready to embrace it. If a goal of your Social Media presence is to drive traffic to your website, ensure the site is rock-solid first. If the answers are yes when you ask yourself if your website content is compelling, if it is up-to-date, if it is user-friendly, and if there is no doubt about the site's call(s) to action, they you are ready to develop a Social Media strategy. Think of your website as the bull's-eye of a target - only when the bull's-eye is rock-solid should you venture to the next ring of Social Media.

Engage your audience - Your customers are talking about you online. How good of a job does your site do to encourage and facilitate that conversation? Do you know where else these conversations are occurring online? If not, learn. If so, what value are you bringing? Recognize and thank those who talk positively about you. Reach out to the naysayers and turn their lemons into lemonade. You will be viewed as someone who cares and 'gets' the new transparent world where your customers, not you, are in control of your brand.

Authority, Relevance, Popularity - These are three things that search engines consider when ranking your site. Look at your website content and interactive strategy through these lenses and if what you are doing shows search engines (and the consumers who use them) that you are an authority, your content is on the mark and others find it useful, you are on your way to better rankings and more traffic. If your interactive marketing efforts aren't enhancing your authority, relevant, or positioning you as a popular player in your space, don't do them.

ROI - The great thing about interactive marketing is it is quantifiable and measureable. Return on investment is easy to analyze. Assign action items to your interactive marketing strategy like obtaining more leads, increasing eCommerce transactions or reducing customer service calls. Measure, adjust and measure again. Repeat. The important thing is to have a plan, make the investment (see N above) and monitor the effectiveness.


crthumbChris Remington is an account executive for Trivera Interactive. Trivera specializes on Online Brand Management for companies and organization that understand and appreciate the power of the Internet and Social Media to re-inforce their brand. In addition to helping Trivera clients, Chris also speaks at local business events, and teaches at the University of Phoenix.

Out with Old, In with the New

It's been said "Don't look back, unless that's where you're headed."  But I hope you'll accept my apology as we take a look at the adventure that was 2009 one last time before we launch into an exciting new year.

One year ago, my wife/business partner predicted that something big was going to happen this year. We had no idea at the time, but she was definitely right.

A big story of the year was the economy.  As budgets were cut and some  companies even went out of business, Trivera committed to keeping our staff intact, a move that enabled us to superserve existing clients, but also helped us gain the confidence of a large list of new ones. New to our staff this year was a great addition: account manager Chris Remington, who has also added "Trivera blogger" to his duties with a great end of year contribution.

Major new Web projects for existing clients Mitchell Airport, Usinger's, Halquist Stone, Zach Builders and Nuemann Development worked their way through our pipeline this year. We also worked with long time partner ClearVerve Marketing to implement a re-design of their site. Frank Mayer and Associates, Mustela USA and ATL continued aggressive Search Engine Optimization programs with us.

But new clients represented the lion's share of our traditional Web business in 2009.  Among the clients who were able to experience the joy of working with Trivera for the first time: Frabill Manufacturing, Strattec Security, Sellars, Vaportek, US Peacekeeper Products, Renewable Energy Solutions, Chemrite Copac, Breckenridge Landscape, SoHoBizTube, Amici's Restaurant, JailHouse Restaurant, Deductive Energy, Studio 5-D, Western Racket and Fitness, Fresh Coast Partners, and South Shore Dentists.

We also began a great partnership with Chicago agency TargetCom, which resulted in projects for US Cellular and Kellogg School of Management.

But the huge story of the year was the emergence of Social Media as a powerful tool in brand strategies. Our Social Media University - Milwaukee event in July drew nearly 400 people to the Italian Community Center for a day of hands-on learning. As a result of that event, Trivera has helped dozens of businesses create their Social Media program, and several of them have contracted us for more significant ongoing SM implementation. Those include Mitchell Airport and two major political campaigns. The event, our ongoing work and a dozen speaking engagements by Trivera staffers has launched Trivera into the media spotlight as an authority on Web 2.0. And the power of Social Media manifested itself in a big way by creating dozens of new collaborative partnerships with other businesses in our space.

As you can see, 2009 has been a year worth looking back at. But as we wrap up a solid year, we look forward in anticipation to an even better 2010. Our move back to a historic building in Menomonee Falls will give us an infusion of great creative energy.  A large project with a national brand through our partnership with TargetCom is slated to begin in first quarter. Several other big projects with companies whose names you'll recognize should fall in line in January. And we we begin our first major collaborative relationship with Hartman Design, a neighbor in our new space, in serving new client Regalware.

And we're planning on an even bigger and better sequel to Social Media University - Milwaukee in March.

So with seatbelts and tray tables in their upright and locked positions, we're ready for takeoff. We hope you'll grab a seat with us as we wish both you and ourselves a shamelessly successful New year!

Trivera Moving Back to the Falls

After 5 years in the Fountain Square Business Center in Germantown, Trivera Interactive is moving to Menomonee Falls. The 13 year old Wisconsin Web site development, Email marketing and Social Media consulting firm is moving from their current office space to the top floor of a 119 year old historic landmark. Effective January 1, 2010, Trivera's new home will be the Schlafer and Huebner Mill Building, erected in 1891 on the bank of the Menomonee River in downtown Menomonee Falls.

Trivera founder Tom Snyder says "Having been raised in the Falls, I've always had a love for that building. And when space became available with our current lease ending, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to move our business there."

Said Snyder, "These old buildings have such character they just radiate creative energy. Milwaukee's Third Ward is replete with firms in our space that occupy similar buildings. We love the concept, but didn't want the daily downtown commute."

The new office is actually two floors tall with a high ceiling, rustic wooden beams and a loft that overlooks the conference room, reception area, production and sales areas. Snyder's office will occupy the loft. Large windows provide lots of natural light as well as views of Menomonee Falls' signature waterfall in the heart of the village and Lime Kiln park.

Although Trivera has spent the last 5 years in Germantown, they are no strangers to Menomonee Falls. After a few years in a basement in Butler, they moved to the Falls Business Park on Hampton and Lilly Rd in 1998. Further growth spurred by the dot com boom, and acquisition by a West Coast firm required a move to larger office in the same park. After 6 years there, and the unwinding of the acquisition to return the company to Snyder's ownership, Trivera moved to their current location on Rivercrest Drive, just North of the Germantown and Menomonee Falls border.

Snyder recounts: "It's sad to leave the space we've been in. With thousands of cars driving by the freeway right outside our front door, we've had tons of visibility. Everyone knows the blue fountain next to my office. The building owners, JBJ Properties, did an awesome job creating a productive workspace for us. And we'll miss our patio out back. Some lucky business will grab that space quickly."

But Snyder only looks back briefly. "As one of the region's oldest and most respected Web firms, our vision has always been forward looking, so we're excited about the change and a new 5 year commitment to our future, the relationships we have with dozens of existing clients and the new ones we are about to build."

Photos of the new space as construction continues can be seen here.

The new address as of January 1, will be N88 W16447 Main St Suite 400, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051-2891. The phone number, 262-250-9400, will remain the same.


Trivera Interactive is an online brand management firm that uses Web and Interactive technologies to help their clients reinforce their brand with their customers, communities and media. For more information, contact, Tom Snyder at 262-250-9400.