DK New Media > Clients

We don’t share as much as we’d like about all the clients we’ve helped or are helping, but here are some posts that provide some insight into how we do business.

Douglas Launches Roche’s Digital Marketing Workshop with Butler University

It’s been months in development, but proud to announce that I’ll be teaching a digital marketing workshop on a regular basis to Roche’s marketing team. The course was developed in coordination between Roche’s Corporate Training Team, Butler’s Corporate Education Department, Roche’s Marketing Leadership and myself.

Roche does an amazing job at developing and cross-training its international marketing team members. Because much of its team is transient within the organization, they wanted a real-time workshop that developed internal processes, familiarized the team to their Martech stack and resources, and exposed them to external trends.

The workshop does all of this, and incorporates team exercises, structured debate, and even a Jeopardy-style game. Employees also have to effectively use the training in a capstone project across multiple workshops.

Professional development has been at the heart of my business so I’m excited to formalize this engagement as well as assisting Butler with a certification program. If your company would like information on this service, please contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Butler University!

Clear Software: Order-To-Cash Business Process Automation

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some client news. It’s not because nothing is happening, I can assure you! It’s been a huge January. Marty Thompson is currently the CMO at a startup in robotic process automation, Clear Software. Marty and his team have an incredible product that helps automate ERP processes through both front-end and back-end automation.

On the front-end, ClearWork is a highly customizeable user interface that integrates directly with on-premise, software as a service, and third-party APIs. To put it into perspective, one client has over 20 screen changes in an order to cash process initiation. With ClearWork, it’s a single screen. This makes the process simple, easy to teach staff, and more accurate. Check out their use cases where they’re adding millions to their bottom line.

On the back-end, ClearProcess is the other product that comes with their implementation. ClearProcess can filter, modify, and inject data to directly with on-premise, software as a service, and third-party APIs. That means clients no longer have to have other synchronization and data dump processes. Unattended automation processes are seamless.

The two together are referred to as hybrid robotic process automation. Working in parallel, they can consume entire processes and maximize the large investment that companies are making in their ERP.

The implementation for Clear Software has been one of the largest I’ve done in years. Working with Marty, I’ve implemented a WordPress site, Hubspot CRM, Lead Scoring, and Landing Page development, a Terminus ABM implementation, researched the industry and competition, and are helpiing the team produce premier content. All in the last couple months.

The founder and CEO, Jon Gilman, recently wrote an ebook if you’d like to learn more about robotic process automation:

Download A Better Way to RPA

What Dell Luminaries Has Done For My Business

When Mark Schaefer invited me to help him with the Dell Luminaries podcast, I knew it was going to be a spectacular opportunity. In our second season, that may be one of the biggest understatements ever!

Working with Mark

I’ve always been a fan of Mark’s, but his relentless pursuit to help companies reveal their humanity has transformed my own clients. Clients who have listened and showed the talent, personality, and empathy within their company via their marketing have succeeded. Those who fought it and relied on jargon and aggressive sales have languished… and I’ve ended relationships with them.

Working with Konnie

Konstanze Alex, a leading, global B2B influencer and leader of Dell’s communications, saw an opportunity with Mark to reveal the humanity behind Dell. In a company that size that’s aligned with tech entrepreneur Michael Dell, there are thousands of stories that can be told every year with leaders in the organization. Konnie had to blaze a trail within the inner workings of a global corporation to make Luminaries happen… and she succeeded. Where adoption and promotion was a struggle last year, this year leaders are asking to be heard and our audience is already asking us to revisit some of our spotlighted leaders. It’s amazing what Konnie has accomplished.

Working our Podcasts

I’ve always enjoyed podcasting over the last decade, but the weight of not letting Mark and Konnie down has raised the bar for my own podcasting efforts.

  • Technically – struggling with location and technology has pushed me into sound engineering deeper than ever. While my team has never complained, sometimes the audio just hasn’t been as good as it could be. Every episode gets better and better, though, and I can’t thank Dell and Mark enough for the patience and support they’ve given.
  • Technique – Konnie gives Mark and me incredible research on every guest. And Mark has held me accountable to dig into that research to find the nuggets that will make every interview worthwhile. It’s made me a better interviewer, better prepared, and that maturity is showing in my other podcasts which continue to grow dramatically every year.

I know I’m a pretty average voice and fairly average engineer, but by pushing me, Mark and Konnie have helped me reach new potential I otherwise never would have.

Working with Dell

Every episode has taught me one thing… digital transformation is more about culture than it ever is about technology. The culture at Dell is aligned in some ways… where innovation and change are a constant pursuit. But the leaders of Dell also have incredible autonomy in the pursuit of innovation.

This Is another lesson that’s helped each and every client of mine. I’ve been better at managing culture than simply deploying campaigns and technology. My clients are transforming their marketing… but also their business.

Be sure to subscribe today and listen to our previous episodes. From cleaning the ocean, to feeding the earth, to exploring the universe, to curing disease… there aren’t too many topics we haven’t touched. I can’t even put into words how proud I am of this work.

Subscribe Today!

More to come!

Bolstra: Custom Site for an Enterprise Reboot

What are you missing out on when you just buy a website? There are quite a few of them:

  • Will your website be easy to manage once you’ve made the purchase?
  • Will everything that worked previously for users on your old site work with your new site?
  • Will the new site be faster, rank better, and achieve better conversions after your launch it?

Well, if you buy a website, these questions are not only not asked, the answer is unfortunately no. We’ve worked on hundreds of sites for our clients. Most of them come to use not only because the site doesn’t perform well, but they can’t actually change anything. Settings are hard-coded in the theme, old URL structures are broken, functionality isn’t ported. The result is frustrated users and a site that may look great but can’t be updated nor capture new business as it should.

Our clients sign up with us for annual engagements where we’re still around to ensure that the site both performs and that they can manage it. We don’t want to be your agency of record, we want to make a living, breathing site that you can work on yourself. We spread the payments out for new sites over months – helping with your budget and ensuring that we’re held accountable.

Here’s what we do when we develop sites for clients:

  1. We build a child theme from the best WordPress themes available. A child theme enables customization while ensuring you have a fully robust, supported parent theme with all the bells and whistles.
  2. We ensure everything that worked before, still works. Sometimes, this is by migrating code over to the child theme, other times its building custom plugins for the client. Either way, we ensure that moving code never has to happen again.
  3. We test the site for speed, mobile responsiveness, cross-browser, search engine optimization, and conversions. A site is no good unless it’s optimized for every user that makes it there.
  4. The site launch date is the start line. The day we pause our relationship with the client because they’re performing well is the end line.

Bolstra is one of those clients that we love to work with. They’re in technology, a software as a service vendor, and are rapidly moving upstream to larger enterprise clients. We developed a custom look and feel for them that both matched their brand and built a beautiful user experience for visitors. By building it on a framework, our clients can drag and drop panels on any page, use dozens of elements like image carousels, tabs, modal windows, etc. out of the box. No code necessary.

Take a look around their site and you’ll see what I mean. We even build the shortcode functionality that does the replacement word animation on the home page – we shared it here if you’re interested. We also build a fully scored assessment with branch logic using Gravity Forms and fully integrated with Pardot.

Now that the site is launched, we’re working on content and search engine optimization to drive the relevant visitors that this client is looking for.

A Custom WooCommerce Implementation for the Speak Easy

Sometimes we get handed quite a complex implementation, and the Speak Easy’s site has been one of them. The site was built off of a custom WordPress theme from a custom framework that’s not externally supported. Because of this, we’ve really had to do quite a bit of work to improve the performance of the site, make it accessible to the administrators for editing and upkeep, as well as add new features.

WordPress isn’t a development framework, but it is a structured site with a ton of features and a robust API. If you’re a good WordPress developer, you can produce a fantastic site that’s fast, easy to use, and does the job. More often than not, we find that companies are frustrated with WordPress… not because of WordPress… but because the customized theme and plugins they’re using are terrible. WordPress is only as good as your theme and the plugins you use to extend that theme.

The Speak Easy has some rigid branding requirements and wants to keep the theme they’ve invested so much in. So we’re slowly deconstructing the site and broadening its use of WordPress’ robust API. One feature the Speak Easy wanted was the ability to sell products through the site. Because the theme wasn’t WooCommerce compliant, we had to develop this integration. While not every issue has been resolved, the site is now fully functioning for E-Commerce utilizing WooCommerce, The Speak Easy Shop is live!

  • We customized the menus with a shopping cart.
  • We built out custom WooCommerce shop, cart, product, category, and account pages.
  • We customized e-commerce confirmation emails.
  • We integrated Stripe along with Apple Pay.
  • We added additional e-commerce snippets for better organic search optimization.

The result is a beautiful shop that works seamlessly with the rest of the site. Shoppers have their own account pages with purchase history, and the staff are notified of any orders instantly. We even customized shipping since all products are delivered via the Speak Easy’s locations.


Thanksgiving 2017: A Year of Graduations

I’m not sure someone could have had a bigger roller coaster ride than I’ve been on this year! I’ve been truly blessed and want to extend my gratitude to so many people who have supported me. I’m sure I’ll forget someone – but I’ll try to remember them all.

One person had more of an impact than she would ever realize – my Mom. Without her support, I’m not sure where I or my kids would be. I only wish my business didn’t steal so much time from seeing her the last few years.

Let’s announce graduations first:

  • Bill and Katie – My son got his Ph.D. in Math from the University of Illinois, and Katie graduated with her BA in Events and PR… on the same weekend. I’ve been on a cloud ever since… nothing could take me down. My parents and grandparents helped make their schooling possible. As a single father, I didn’t have the resources, and I’m forever thankful to everyone involved from the teachers, friends, and family. Watching my son and daughter working alongside the businesses and entrepreneurs I respect has been awesome. And my daughter-in-law is just an amazing human being and incredible wife. I couldn’t be any more proud of my family.
  • Jenn – Jenn celebrated a few graduations of her own, from moving from my right-hand to getting married and owning her own agency. I always wanted to show my appreciation for Jenn’s dedication these past years. That didn’t happen the way I had pictured it, but the outcome was even better. We had some incredible years and some tough ones. Seeing Jenn blossom as a strong leader, an incredible friend, and now a wife, home-owner, and business-owner has been nothing short of amazing. I was never surprised. I’m so very happy for her and Ryan!
  • AJ – AJ went from a graduate I was introduced to by his Uncle and my friend, Sean, to ramping up his own business. He’s doing excellent video work for everyone in town and is now planning his studio on the Southside.
  • Harrison – Amplify was just some scribbles on the chalkboard, so watching Harrison pursue his vision of what networking should be in Indy is fantastic.
  • Ashley – A single Mom who was interning for me and bartending to make ends meet is now crushing it for the Speak Easy. I used to tell Ashley to relax and stand tall… no one has to say that to her anymore. Everyone loves Ashley!

There are so many folks that I need to thank for helping my business skyrocket this year, too! Harry, Mike & Wendy, Adam & Kim, Danielle, William, Diane, Ioana, Ryan, Stephanie, Lidia, Filip, Andrea, Marty, Randy, Jennifer, Thaddeus, Jason & Chris, Tim, Josh, Matt, Nathan, Ryan, Travis, Nick… all of you had such an impact. And of course, my clients – Korena, Emeric, Mark & Konnie, Alex & Rich, Aman & Amber, Bill & Kelly, Howard & Christine, Brad & Marty.

The reset that I did with the business is working out incredibly well. I let some clients move on this year where there wasn’t a fit, and brought on new clients that are amazing. I’ve upgraded the studio with live video along with 8 new podcast programs (some mine), and I’m helping launch Veterans initiatives with the Speak Easy, city, and state. I’m growing my speaking and training revenue and investing in some solutions I’ve built and partnered on. While I never feel caught up, I’m seeing some amazing leaps and bounds and can’t wait for 2018!

Thank You!

DK New Media: Speak Easy Membership Profile Video

To state that the Speak Easy in downtown Indianapolis is our home may be a bit of an understatement. We love being a resource for the space on everything from rolling out enhancments to their website, wifi network challenges, to providing personal mentoring to some fo the young entrepreneurs there. We now have spread into 2 offices in addition to our podcast studio – which is being transformed into a real-time video studio as well in the coming months. It was really special to get treated by the Speak Easy and Train918 with this incredible spotlight video. Click the play button above to see it in action!

Speak Easy: WordPress, Google Maps, Advanced Custom Fields… and More…

If you’ve been down to the Speak Easy in Downtown Indianapolis, you know how vested we are in the organization. We absolutely love the coworking movement, the ability to support entrepreneurs in the city, and we just love our space there.

The Speak Easy started with its first location in Broadripple, but now has expanded with 2 other locations as well as 2 other outposts in the region. While the organization has been keeping up with all of their growth and popularity, the website hasn’t. Built beautifully by another design firm in town, the custom-themed WordPress site didn’t have multi-location capabilities.

The agency that developed the site did an outstanding job by incorporating custom post types and custom fields to accommodate the existing design and messaging. As the site grew, it also grew in complexity and, to save time, many elements were just hard-coded to get it up and running. As part of our growing partnership with the Speak Easy, we engaged with them to ensure we maintain brand integrity, but begin to roll out a multi-location site that promotes all the locations.

Over the last month, we stripped the site to its roots and began building up the new features. We incorporated new menus, sidebars, custom widgets, new archive templates, and template pages. The two most obvious pages that we rolled out after completing the modifications were a locations page that mapped each location and then independent location pages. Each location has a featured image, map, and photo gallery. We’re going to continue populating the content and photos, but here’s how it’s looking today!

[ef-slider title=”WordPress Locations” type=”slider” autoplay=”yes” infinite=”yes” duration=”4000″ fx=”slide”]
[ef-slide]Speak Easy WordPress Locations Page
[ef-slide]Speak Easy WordPress Location Page[/ef-slide]

Future versions will also have events, staff, and even membership tied to the locations. Long-term, we’re even looking at building out a member section that’s fully integrated with Salesforce!

Our Portable Podcast Studio

You’ve probably seen me discuss our full podcast studio in downtown Indianapolis. However, next week I’m heading on the road to Dell EMC World to co-host a number interviews for the Dell Technologies’ Luminaries Podcast.

While I’d love to package up my studio and move it to Vegas, that wasn’t really an option. I needed to portable podcast studio that I could put in a suitcase and bring out there with me. A good friend, audiophile, and my #1 source on anything audio is Brad Shoemaker of Creative Zombie Studios. He talked up the Zoom H6. Then Chris Spangle, another podcasting expert, brought down his Zoom and showed it to me. I was smitten.

To reduce the room I needed and to accommodate recording of panels and presentations where the speaker may be walking around, I looked for a wireless microphone setup. I settled on the Shure BLX188/CVL Dual Wireless Lavalier system. I purchased 2 of them at different frequencies to ensure I wouldn’t have any interference between the units.

With the two units, I can set everything up for 4 wireless lavalier microphones and the included microphone. I may purchase some desktop microphones for sit-down discussions in the future, but this is going to work great for now.

I’ll also have a Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone to record everyone on my iPhone as a backup.


Full disclosure: I’m using Amazon Affiliate links in this post and the team at Shure sent me the MV88 to test out and then gave it to me!

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