Tech Talk, Solutions and Security! with Eightfold.io | Rise Grind Repeat 035

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  • In the 35th installment of Rise Grind Repeat we talk with Henry Ebarb & Steven from Eightfold.io
  • Henry & Steven are apart of an experienced Web Tech Company Specializing in Drupal Development.
  • We made a trip up to podcast with them about the value they bring and just overall how they market their brand. We love hearing about other companies marketing strategy and the value they bring to be able to pick up a few tips so hopefully you can too.
  • Come & join us on this podcast to pick the brain of a a few really experienced & smart developers!

WRITTEN VERSION OF THE PODCAST –

00:00:32 Love to hear kind of more of what you guys do what types of solutions you bring on the table one. I want to know because as you mentioned before we’re talking there’s a lot of opportunity on just pairing up marketing and technology and I think there’s so much opportunity in. Combining what we do together. I mean I know. I know there’s a lot that we deal with that even just automating workflow and all that stuff works even outside of marketing that I’m like Man if we could figure out how to get sales people notified quicker whatever it may be like there’s a lot on the tax side that can just create efficiencies and and so we’d love this kind of hear more about that so I would just love to get a kind of bird’s eye view of what you guys do what has solutions and companies you guys help.

00:01:29 Yeah. So. Hateful to hateful. Technology is in a full sense an absolute web technology company and I’m really careful with how I present that to people because most people hear web technology and they jump immediately to Web sites and it’s like yeah I mean I guess in its most base form Web sites is what we do. And I don’t want to I don’t want to stray from that because yes we want to build Web sites like we want that work. We want to do that work. We want to be involved in network but these days Web sites are not just simply that kind of like brochure Internet brochure that businesses have traditionally treated them. So for us it’s it’s evolving past Web sites. We need to be competent with CRM technology and how we incorporate it marketing automation technologies and how we incorporate it. We need to understand the different workflow systems that go beyond just that initial web page.

00:02:18 And so as we collect leads we drive business and opportunity through it through e-commerce channels and so on and so forth we’re making sure that the data is being tracked. It’s clean data. We know how the Web sites are being used. We know how the technology that’s being incorporated is being used we know what the value is. And that ultimately at the end of the day there’s a strategy behind every selection. I think to many businesses because websites are treated very much as still a brochure they’re thrown up too quickly without a lot of strategy into it.

00:02:47 And then it’s kind of like the strategy follows which is a bad method when you’ve already spent you know some companies especially enterprise level upwards of six even seven figures these days it’s kind of this process it’s like hey how do we have some more strategy at the outset understanding that we need flexibility like the web is constantly evolving and growing. So flexibility is really important. And I don’t want to ever negate that but understanding okay how do we take this from a creative strategy that we obviously need to be able to execute on fairly quickly and then get it to this kind of. Mid alphabet if I’m going to use letters as my kind of preferred method for demonstrating this let’s say how do we get it to em which is launch for us where we have a really good robust technology set at our disposal so that everything we’re doing from the marketing standpoint our FCO our social media platform advertising our content production we’re tracking all of that we’re seeing the impact and the results.

00:03:39 And even if they’re small I think that’s the problem as we tried to think of Esko or we think of advertising in these big number terms and it’s just a volume game but really a lot of the best opportunities for businesses are coming within the granularity of their of their data. So we want to build technology that complements the use of your data and that will amplify the effects of your marketing and all of this other effort you’re putting into your business which you know too many people want to silo online from everything else that they’re doing and it’s just not the case anymore. So for us that’s really what we’re trying to achieve is yes we build your website but we’re going to help you with all of this other technology and we have the capabilities that that go right along with it and it extends past that you know some of these organizations are like What can you do apps and things like that too.

00:04:23 Yes. If the app makes sense with our skillset we’ll absolutely do work like that. It’s for me the question results in. What does your business need. And that’s how we want to start that question and that conversation and kick off a project and eightfold is all about that and these are things we’ve learned from years of experience in the industry where we realized these types of things weren’t happening. And so people were coming in with like a pre configured idea of what they already wanted whether that’s what the salesman sold them or that’s what they told the salesman hey here’s our RFP. This is what we want built and then you get into the minutia of it you know six months in and you’re like OK this wasn’t properly fleshed out. No one asked this question internally and answer is usually no.

00:05:07 And it’s like OK well then find a good technology partner to co-opt that whole process with you even if you pay them initially is just a consultancy make sure that you’re getting an idea of what you need to achieve for your business and how can that be reflected in your online technology and what you’re showing customers and if you’re even be to be other businesses things like that. So for us that’s kind of the essence of what a full technology is we’re a technology company built with marketing and advertising in mind and the ability to expand upon that even further. So we don’t want to just get pigeonholed like some organizations do is like Oh we’re just a good website company. Yes we are. We pride ourselves on that. Our Web sites are absolutely designed to the best practices of the day. They’re fast. They always load fast because we know that’s of extreme importance especially with mobile technology and the importance of course of data consumption data use.

00:06:02 We know that these are things that you know the big technology companies are pushing out there is like hey this is what we’d like to see. Why. Because they really do want a better Internet. Now whether or not they’re doing some practices that some people don’t like that’s not really the discussion point here. They really do want a better more efficient internet because they know at the end of the day that’s going to give users a better experience and as a business I don’t care what you’re doing if you don’t have a web presence that gives the user a good experience. You’re losing customer opportunity. And I always simplify this to even the most basic businesses that I think of as like super local super homogenous. They don’t really do much else but the one thing they do which are restaurants not restaurant groups just a singular one restaurant. If you don’t have a web presence that tells people what’s on your menu. What are the dietary things that we can cater to what are we trying to appeal to in terms of our. What we produce good platforms out there for those businesses there’s no excuse. So that’s kind of the message we’re trying to deliver. So there’s no excuse anymore. Have a strategy know what your consumers and users are looking for and meet them there. So that’s the gist of it.

00:07:13 That’s what the motto is said that that super awesome.

00:07:17 So I mean it’s it’s it sounds like you take a different approach rather than getting RFP and saying Hey we could do this basically just taking orders it sounds like you take a step back and more of a consultative approach and really what is your problem. My question would be as a business it’s I don’t know my problem is what would how would you go about I guess there’s a lot of good on CRM tracking Web site. There’s a lot. And so how do you go about. Figuring out what is the most value. I mean it sounds like a lot of this is going to be a six 12 18 month relationship and a lot’s gonna be done. How do you prioritize what a business needs. They don’t need it. Or they don’t know they need it.

00:07:55 Yeah. What they don’t know is is always kind of the big question right. Especially in the middle middle of the road business as the businesses that are 100 plus employees but they’re not these juggernauts who just have infinite data to kind of pull from and see where their problems are at. So a lot of these guys come in and they say well we have you know and this may not be the nicest term to describe it but it’s the truth. We have a blind spot we don’t know what we don’t know. Can you help us figure that out. And the answer is yes because there are there is a wealth of data and resources available to organizations especially like ours and we know where to pull from that can help us find where you’re missing opportunity. So for us it’s just a matter of let’s sit down let’s talk about your business.

00:08:37 What are your business goals what is your business strategy if you’re a growth minded business how do we help you grow if you’re a business that’s like Hey we want to maintain we know we’re gonna be growing at some point in the future but right now we just want to make sure we’re meeting our consumers our users where they need to be met then we start to talk about that we start to map out what does the business do how do they go about doing it and then we start to look at their users and consumers and we say OK what are the competitors doing. What are people that have like businesses doing. If there’s not a direct competitor said we can just say hey one to one we matched you up. We start to look at what are the things that they doing. Are they are doing and and see the types of things that have success and we rate that and we say OK here’s how you prioritize the technology stack.

00:09:20 And I think that’s an important. Differentiator because we all always think of a stack as like a very development phrased idea but a technology stack is actually more than that now and it’s it’s for market as it’s for developers it’s for executives it’s everything from like data visualization platforms all the way down to literally like what’s what’s the base for the code you’ve built your web products on that’s your technology stack and I think that’s why the idea of a really relatively new field although it’s been around for 20 years marketing technology Ma tech that’s why that’s becoming a burgeoning field and more tech is really all about answering those questions which is when you sit down with the business and they say we don’t know what our problem is. How can you help us if we don’t even know what our problem is. We start to go in and look at and define a problem and it doesn’t always have to be problem driven. Sometimes it should be opportunity driven. It’s not hey we don’t have a problem or business is doing great. Okay. Is there more opportunity. Are you interested in and assessing. Could we be doing better because some businesses. Yes they are doing great.

00:10:23 But it’s always that question of like are there ways we could be bettering how we’re approaching our market. And the answer is yes almost always there’s very few companies that I think can just write things off and say it doesn’t get any better than this for us because we do everything we need to do. I think maybe one industry gets that pass and that’s oil because it’s pretty hard to get into the oil industry so you give those guys a pass and that’s about it.

00:10:46 Does that kind of answer the question.

00:10:47 Oh yeah. Problem. Yep.

00:10:49 So I mean everything that I’ve been thinking of it’s more marketing technology I know you mention that a lot but it sounds like you just take a step back and write business. What is your overall process and workflow and then you just kind of listen and to your point you’re not finding problems but problems are opportunity. Not so much this is your problem. You guys are killing as a business you guys are this large You guys are you know been around for this long doesn’t mean there’s not opportunity left on the table and so it sounds like you guys just kind of audit what a business is doing in the day to day process what their entire workflow on how the different departments communicate with each other how the website talks to people who visit how they’re tracking it and so it sounds like you’re just listening to that and along the way saying oh well we can piece this piece of technology to help with this we can free up 100 hours a month by bringing this technology in. And so it’s really just yeah. And that’s why now I I’m seeing why it’s so difficult to really say this is what we help with because each business has a unique problem or each business has a uniqueness in terms of what they’re leaving on the table and so it really does take that audit process. And so what are some the types of the questions I guess you would ask a business to help identify some of those areas of opportunity in which they are leaving opportune on the table.

00:12:02 So for us that that fundamentally comes down to pretty simple initial question is what is the business and what is the size like what is the scale. So when we sit down with the business and we start to kind of probe those questions it becomes a. What are you currently doing and how are you doing it and what is the size and scale.

00:12:22 And where do you envision yourself going. So those are real base level usually can get those questions knocked out in the first 10 minutes. And once you get that basic idea of what is it that we’re doing and how we’re doing it then it becomes how many managers do you have to have. How many kind of hands in the pot do we have going on. What is the cadence at which you’re trying to update content and push things out. There are questions of is the Web try to Web sites treated as a very stagnant thing or is it a very active constantly in motion thing. And where can we create efficiencies in terms of management and things like that. Another thing that we like to dig into is how many third party platforms are you relying on. That’s a big one for us because I think a lot of people are finding themselves now hamstrung by these third party platforms that they rely on too heavily so that they don’t have a lot of times that’s because they don’t have internal resources who can do things like splash pages instantly so they get caught up in the cycle of this platform as a service usage system and they think that I guy I’ve got to have these technologies when it’s really like can we trim these down.

00:13:23 Can we create some efficiencies. Can we better use what you already have at your disposal and can we find some ways to reinvigorate how you’re approaching the web now obviously these are bigger companies with more scale. But we can even simplify that down to smaller organizations. You know it’s like oh well we’re producing a blog. What are you doing with your blog. Do you network it. Do you have it integrated. Can you syndicate it somewhere. How do you use your content and what’s being done with that content is often a question even smaller businesses you know 50 to 100 employees aren’t really answering for themselves. And so when we begin to kind of scale that system for them and break out that conversation until like where we can help how we can amplify their efforts that’s really what we’re trying to do.

00:14:05 We’re asking them the detailed questions of how things are being used and why they’re using them. And is that really a best use scenario. And we’re not even saying like all you need to get rid of all these things. It’s just. Can we use them more efficiently.

00:14:17 So again I said I might say that sometimes depending on you know you once you get in there and start looking at all of that stuff that’s loading on a Web site to you know that’s that’s another discussion to have with people or it’s like OK you have seven different platforms are you actually using all seven of those platforms or are you just you know an agency put them on three years ago and you guys forgot about it.

00:14:37 He was not out with heat mapping tools. The sheer number of companies running heat mapping scripts and I’m like when’s the last time you looked at what’s actually running in there. I don’t know that that’s that’s a shocking response. And then and then another thing the sheer number of scripts I’ve seen on companies websites from old display networking partners or data providers that they’re like Oh we haven’t heard of them in a couple of years and I’m like well why is there scripts though on your website collecting your users data.

00:15:02 And even then last night that’s not sign of that.

00:15:04 How does that impact the Web site. Like just I mean they’re the enterprise level websites have been hours like 88 scripts and a hundred scripts are loading where to your point maybe only 10 percent are actually being used. How much does that actually impact an overall Web site.

00:15:18 I mean it could be a huge amount depending on how those scripts actually get loaded in. You know one of the things that we first start telling people you know if you’re using GTA or Google Analytics and you’re not using TDM like you’re in a bad spot from the get go right because GTA they they went out of their way to make sure that that script loads the way it’s supposed to and then loads any script after that essentially the way it’s supposed to. But what we’ve found is a lot of sites you go in there and a lot of those scripts just get hard coded in a header or in a footer somewhere and that’s not good especially if you have 70 different scripts loading and you’re only using really two of them. I mean you could you could see page times increase just off of loading external library scripts like that which is not good. I mean it is.

00:16:06 And so that just that simple little fact right there I mean just from a page that’s been I mean Google recommends three seconds or less. And they even say every second after that negatively impacts are conversion rate by 60 percent. It’s like just one little area of opportunity. Hey you’re not using these let’s get rid of them. You can have a Web site now load for seconds faster. And what I would say is to a business what happens if you convert three times more just because you have three times the amount of people actually seeing the content. That’s actually something to that I think.

00:16:34 In the context of this exact discussion we’ll want to provide a link to it to users to is something we’ve pulled up crosses. I think it was Wal-Mart did some research and then they’d worked on cutting slow times and it was literally adding percentage points of increased revenue for the amount of time saved you me every hundred millisecond improvement they saw they saw a 1 percent increase in revenue.

00:16:56 Yeah. Would you quit like literally 10 percent revenue increase for one second of load times speeds.

00:17:02 It’s funny I know that exact style your time about one of our first podcasts was like the importance of page load speeds and literally use that exact stat.

00:17:09 And yeah I mean WP stats has all of that information and a lot of different companies have put together information on those on this on how Page Speed has affected them and their business. And that was definitely one of the bigger ones. It was like wow like if if Walmart seeing that much of an improvement like we need to make sure that every website we build is.

00:17:32 And it just goes to show how much power or value you guys bring. Because that that’s something small and simple it’s a quick fix. Now imagine what happens whenever you just automate an entire company’s process. How many man hours would be saved and how many more. I mean you could be saving a company thousands of hours a month by. I mean these things are getting mass these phones the cracks are light here by giving everyone insight and like there’s a lot of things you do from a technology perspective where this small fix can literally save millions of dollars imagine what I mean doing a full blown audit and just well I think it’s important for like you as a company to go through an audit those scripts every once in a while and say hey like what are we actually using. Because I don’t you know I don’t want to just a wholesale like get rid of Google Analytics get rid of hot jar get rid of crazy ugly if you’re actually using those to better your website to better your product and better engage with your users then by all means keep them on there to make sure they’re implemented the right way.

00:18:30 Because see others there’s just so many of those sites out there that have so many of those scripts floating and again like we’ve we’ve dealt with a lot of companies thus far that have had a lot of scripts in there like we don’t even know if we’re using that anymore.

00:18:43 I mean I think to your point it’s I mean if you’re actually using them. So like I mean maybe landing page testing tools. I mean they’re going to slow the site down a little bit but and we just talked about how increasing the speed impact version. But it’s like if it’s in a low to half a second or second longer but that conversion rate you can get it to improve by 80 percent.

00:19:02 You know I mean the the performance that you’re gonna get from it outweighs the the one of the things we’ve learned is there’s a give and take with just about anything on the Internet. I mean it doesn’t matter. It could be a design feature design system. It could be the tracking scripts. It can even just be the CNS of choice. There’s going to be a given a take. Like if I had it my way you know and in Henry’s ideal world and I know Steven would even disagree with this but like everything would be flat file we would just do code. You don’t need CMBS. Like if that stuff drives me nuts now that I know how good and efficient you can actually make web sites perform. Hold on just let me finish. All I’m saying is in my ideal world I’m like that’s how it would be because like all of this weighty stuff but there’s business solutions that are being served by having as he admits there’s a lot of other things that you need for content distribution as to why those different programs exist.

00:19:50 So yes there’s always an important give and take and and I’ll never advise someone like you just said like Google wants that three second or last. Well they’re like well we’re going to lose this and we’re gonna lose this. And I’m like yes. So Google’s recorded recommendation while great is now null and void because you have to have those things. Yeah like they better your business don’t sacrifice your business to make Google happy and some because some people do they get caught up in a cycle of just like oh it’s kind of like I don’t even know what you’d call it. But the penultimate of a technological achievement is Google and best practice. Yeah. Like what they say to do is what we should be striving for and it’s a game.

00:20:24 Meanwhile a YouTube score is like a 12 on the page speed inside so it’s not even not as high as I point meaning there is there requirement. So

00:20:34 it’s it’s all well and good what Google’s putting out there. But at the end of the day everyone knows sometimes it’s not always realistic and sorry. You can go and knock down my whole CNS no commentary.

00:20:44 I was actually going to kind of piggyback on that point because you kind of brought up a b testing on landing on landing pages. It’s 2019 we can build landing pages that are A B tested without having to use javascript on page. Right. We can do that on the network level so when people hit your Web site they get a request and they get sent to a B or they get sent to an A and you don’t even have to worry about that page speed. It blew my mind. Yeah. So I guess there’s there are solutions out there for all of this.

00:21:12 And to piggyback on Henry’s point with the you know flat file stuff there’s ways to build you know WordPress and Drupal on top of a flat file static site generator now. So like if you’re less concerned about giving people like the ultimate customize ability in the back end you can do a lot more with your Web site and you can make it a lot faster just right out the gate. It’s just a matter of. OK. How important is that to you and how important is that to your team. Do you want them to be able to change every facet on that page. Well then yeah you’re going to be stuck with the CRM it’s a little heavier handed and it’s going to take a little bit longer to load that page. But if you’re less concerned about that you just want to get content in front of people’s eyeballs. You know a flat file static site generator is going to be the way to go. And again that’s where we take the technology side of this and we consider the business needs and agenda and we make that kind of the important.

00:22:05 Actor and how we build out what we build and that’s what we always want to do with things going forward as is consider that business need and requirement and then where is the business going from a business goal standpoint. And then we try to meet them there with the technology that we’re trying to provide. And it’s always again not just what Google recommends but like where the industry is going where are the standards of everything and and are we building products and things that other people can use because it’s no good if someone’s like check out this really sweet you know technology product and I won’t get any quirky nonsense words put in there but it’s not good when you have someone that approaches you with something and no one else knows how to use it. So like we try to make sure we’re a part of the gold standard of what people are very familiar with what’s currently being used know and there is an age out rate like people go how often should I have to rebuild my Web site.

00:22:51 I’m like well as often as your business requires it. And that’s the truth. Like I don’t have a better answer for you. It’s as often as your business requires it for some businesses that might be every year reshaping things reconfiguring things. But like I just saw you know the new linked in splash page before you sign up for Ellington. That changed probably for the first time since I signed up for Ellington in 2009. I mean it’s always been that pretty generic like checkered image collage thing that they’d had up there. I mean maybe a little tweaks here and there but you know seeing that change that drastically and you hadn’t seen a very major change in a long time. That just tells you that’s where Ellington felt like while our business doesn’t need this part of it which may probably was wrong. But that’s at least what they thought and a lot of businesses tend to think that way.

00:23:36 And I just say always like keep an open mind keep exploring and see where your business might be benefited from a technology change or a website update or whatever it is that you need to do to benefit your business. And. For me keep it simple like that. You won’t ever get into this overly nuanced like what’s the next best thing and it’s more just about like are we doing the things we need to be doing. The answer is yes then okay. Is there anything we could do to create the efficiencies because there’s always that. And then you can move on that. And if the answer is no it’s obviously OK.

00:24:08 Then we need to explore what are our next steps are and how we achieve a better version or a good version at least of what we’ve currently got which a lot of businesses they don’t even have a good version. So I don’t even know I get people that come to me and I’m like.

00:24:21 The whole new thing. Like a race. Let’s start with a clean slate. That’s a good thing about the Internet as you can actually get away with that a little bit and it’s not going to ruin everything you’re doing to rebrand a whole not as is. Yeah yeah. So. That is kind of. Again we bring everything always full circle. Doesn’t matter all this great technological advancement that we can get to and how great we can make the design and how fast the thing runs. Is it still getting those business needs met. That’s the important thing. And those conversations is to constantly be brought back to the forefront. You don’t want to lose sight of that. You know and I know you mentioned timelines six to 12 to 18 months. It’s like yeah but as a technology partner we should just be with you there constantly. Yeah like you shouldn’t not just like your marketing partner you want to hear from them weekly biweekly whatever it is your technology partner shouldn’t be that guy you call when the website’s down or when you want a new page you know once every three to four months like you need to be engaged with them.

00:25:15 If it’s benefiting your business that your web presence be engaged with your technology partner knows who they are know what they’re doing you know how can they help if you if especially if you’re spending money and marketing and advertising. Any partner would be you should be like here talk to this technology team make sure you’re getting what you need so you’re not like hey we can’t track this or hey this page is really slow and it’s hurting our ability to convert. That should not be an excuse. When I hear businesses say the guy would not have the ability to fix certain things it’s like why. Because I know there’s people out there that can fix them. So let’s start the conversation like that should not be an issue. So. From that viewpoint that’s again being in contact.

00:25:54 Being in touch with people and not being that sort of an organization that’s like our developers. So strange. What do they do. It’s like we you know we do. You can see it’s written all over the Internet.

00:26:07 Weird things like that. The dark web that you.

00:26:11 I mean you bring up a good point. How often should I take a Web site from society’s campaign. We’re out of time on marketing to help them so we change our keywords ad copy and it’s it’s their plan. It’s it depends on your business needs and what I would ask is Do you have any insight on I guess what what types of things should someone look for to know that. They’re ready for that new Web site.

00:26:34 I mean that’s the easiest thing to answer of all of the questions we’ve had is like when do we need to do it. Well there’s three things there’s advances and updates and technology. Pure and simple. Period was a big part of security too so. So it’s it’s not just the facet of like this. This device like revolutionized how we look at Web sites. I mean it really did. That was one of the biggest advancements. Yeah so.

00:26:56 So when you consider the mobile device like that suddenly now everybody’s websites needed to have a mobile component be mobile friendly and now we want it to be responsive we needed to change between a variety of screen sizes and device types so that that’s one thing as the advances in technology and unlike Stephen mentioned to security you know I can bark about this all day long. Security security security because most people don’t have any forms of security on a lot of what they do with the Web site.

00:27:21 So I mean that’s where you hear these these things of like oh you know someone says big companies website got hacked and it’s usually white like a password based issue yeah something simple and stupid that could have easily been prevented. But the rollout should be across the board like you shouldn’t have flaws. That are easily spotted and easily repaired anywhere. So you know again talking organizations that should be a part of any technology team’s audit if his website is down for a month he could literally create a revenue. Qualification and just say look this is what I’ve lost. And that’s that’s pretty shocking. I mean yes there’s always a chance like all of the Web site doesn’t work here’s their phone number but still that’s an inhibitor. Once you have an orbiter in place that person bounces because your website doesn’t work. They go to the next guy on this on the list and they dial them if they really wanted my dad’s company sure they’ll find a way to get in touch with them. But at the end of the day like that’s not the average user the average user is just going to be like All right on to the next guy they go to their website.

00:28:21 I’ll be working. They must not exist at the company anymore.

00:28:24 That’s the other thing. A lot of businesses even meet meet like mid-sized businesses. The assumption is I don’t see who you are you probably aren’t here. Great. You went out of business. And so it’s really important to maintain the security and maintain the updates to not have downtime and to not let that be an excuse. And that really is on you like the stuff that we just talked about with Google that’s not on you. There’s nothing you got a percent do about it.

00:28:49 And I was going to say too like they they obviously have SLA is like service level agreements with all of their higher end clients. You know people like Netflix are paying astronomical prices to to NWS to ensure that the servers that they’re paying for exist all the time. So there’s obviously ways that you can mitigate like that server level problem but then going back to your point with updates and everything else and yet you know if if you find out a year from now as we do.

00:29:18 We currently know Magento one is going out next year in June and you’re on magenta 1 Now you need to start planning for that transition.

00:29:27 Like so there’s things like that where it’s like you need to start thinking about things before it happens before it’s two weeks out or before it the day before and you’re like Oh my God what are we going to do. Yeah.

00:29:36 Your product fails and then you are out because I mean e-commerce platform goes out. That’s that’s going to take months to get set back up and rebuilt a proper properly so your business is just gone.

00:29:46 During that period waits without a partner that’s constantly looking for winter updates coming that what are the impacts it’s going to have it mitigates that. The week before.

00:29:55 What do we do. You know what. When is software end of life thing like that. That’s obviously a big play in the Internet anymore as you have to constantly be up to date with everything on your server on your front end whatever to keep up with security. And obviously some of the stuff like it’s written you know they can’t support it forever. You know they support it as long as they possibly can and then they give you that end of life date. All right. This is it. This is the last day you’re getting security updates you need to make sure that everything that you have on on this platform is upgraded to the next one.

00:30:24 And because so many S.M. these are on WordPress like you have to realize that that doesn’t just apply to just WordPress like plugins things like that. All of that stuff that goes with those those those bigger more robust platforms that rely on a lot of different little components.

00:30:41 You have to keep those updated too. And I can’t stress that enough because I can tell you how many times people like I keep my wordpress of today you go look at their plug ins and there’s like they haven’t touched it in over a year and I’m like Dude this is funneling like your e-commerce component and we could go into podcasts about WordPress and WordPress related plugins but I think that’s like another enough online.

00:31:00 But yeah that’s that’s another important question Where it’s like all right plugins are not inherently bad.

00:31:06 Like that’s what makes wordpress so great. Is it’s so extendable you can put in all of the things that you need to do. The problem is so many people go out there they’re like oh install the first one I find in this WordPress search results and it’s like OK. You just install a plug and that hasn’t been updated in four years and like the author is just MEAA.

00:31:24 So like you definitely want to make sure you’re careful about which polygons you’re using into Henry’s point. Just make sure you’re updating everything constantly.

00:31:31 Yeah. The other thing I would touch on from our business view standpoint is like all these little integration components I mean all of that stuff can be priced out. That can be done hourly that can be done in a way that it’s like OK well I don’t want a whole new web product can we work with what we got and what can we do with it. And that’s again I mean there’s a lot you can do with an existing product even if it’s not great. There’s a lot you can do. Doesn’t have to have you know a 50 thousand dollar design on it to be you know a truly well working product for a business. And I think that’s where some people get hung up is they’re like all I want is this product. But everybody’s like you know this is what you need. And it’s so overly designed that they get afraid to pull the trigger on getting a new product out there.

00:32:11 And for us I mean it’s it’s we can work with what you’ve got. We can plan things out until you’re ready to pull the trigger on that full new product and figure out what do you need from it in terms of design it doesn’t need to be an award winner. No but it needs to look good and function well the experience the interfacing needs to be good. You know I get people all the time like does it have to be a six figure type of a dollar figure to build a really great website product. My answer is always no it doesn’t. But it needs to fit your business need. Yeah. So like we can do a lot with 15 20 grand. But but at the end of the day if you come to me and you’re like well I want to do all of this and I throw you the price like that’s what it is like I don’t have a better answer for you they’re like we can do something for what you want to spend we could do something. But if we want everything OK. We’ve got to talk about what is everything cost. And I’m more than happy to break that out for people and I’ve done it quite a few times and some people walk away a little disheartened and they’re like well that’s a bummer and I’m like well bite off what you can chew. Start somewhere. The worst thing you can do in the Internet and online world is just go. I can’t have it all. So I’m not going to do anything.

00:33:14 And you guys help. It sounds like you guys can help but the phased approach. And where’s your budget. How. How do you guys go about that process.

00:33:22 It all depends again on the need but typically you know unless you’re e-commerce which like out the gates I always direct people to really simple solutions if they want to try to have an e-commerce platform but they can’t spend a lot of money on it initially and usually those simple solutions are self managed. Those are things like Shopify or using WordPress and using Woo commerce type plug in and the only reason I tend to say is direct them to something like that is you can do that for a lower upfront cost and let it build to where you do eventually need a more robust platform. But you know there’s not really a middle of the lane system. It’s either you do need to explain on spending well for e-commerce or manage or something simple and just know it’s going to have a lot of pain points initially because I can’t tell you the number of people that use those platforms. No like I like it but the pain points with trying to use the out-of-the-box solution are just a lot and it can become very arduous to manage and you always hear the bigger complaints there is like a lot of them just aren’t that. Like SEO friendly and that’s why you’re at it. That’s part of the kings of managing it. And then of course as you add more skews as anyone knows in the e-commerce world like those things become unwieldy like it’s just very difficult to take care of.

00:34:32 Yeah I mean this can come back toward WordPress and commerce in general too. So we could save that for an entire another podcast.

00:34:39 Right. And we and we probably should revisit that. But but to me it’s like we can help you with a phased and scalable approach so that you can get something out there and start working for you from day one. And sometimes like I just tell people like yeah it’s it’s a it’s a six to 10 page Web site that has some forms that have some contact information tells people what your business does it does it’s well-designed it’s fast it performs you know and I’ve still had some people balk at like 10 pages it’s going to cost me twelve grand I’m like Yeah but everything is now built into it that adding pages is not as expensive. And so it scales quickly for a lot less upfront cost. And so people still kind of hear that and they get a little bit shocked but I’m like but. But everything you’ve needed to do is now there. So now we just need to just add onto it. And it’s definitely an efficient and affordable thing to add from there. Once you have the base worked on the ground the ground work set dates. The concept is there. Now we just need to build on top of that.

00:35:34 And I mean that’s your point. I mean we can’t take the same approach when it comes to market answer like here’s all this. Don’t just walk away because it’s big let’s just figure out how to cut this out. Cut this out where basically find the lowest hanging fruit so that we can show some value get some revenue coming in and build upon that. So yeah it’s awesome that you guys don’t push away from people that aren’t going all and I mean I think that’s huge as well as long. And then I mean my biggest thing too for that is as we always talk about those three components you know.

00:36:05 Cheap fast and quality like those you get you get two of the three right. Yeah. And so that’s how I always want to try to break stuff down for people to is like. We can do that that lower cost product. It’s going to take us a little bit more time because we can’t always prioritize you over everything. Yeah and plus we just need a reasonable amount of time to discuss things to get you down to that kind of like what’s the best thing I can get for right now for the budget that I have. Well then let’s talk about that what is that and what do we get what are you going to walk away happy with so that you continue to want to work with us to grow so we can kind of grow in tandem. So we always want to kind of help set that that groundwork well and that does take a little more time. And I always recommend that if you came in and dropped a huge budget on me and you’re like I got this huge project and we need it done in six months I guess we could do that but that’s the key.

00:36:55 Huge budget six months. And here’s what we have for time. Yeah yeah. Ahead of time. So as long as there’s a recognition of the people we work with it’s fine. Like we will find a way to work with you. And like I’m never gonna be that guy that’s like Oh you only have fifteen thousand can’t do anything for you. That’s not true. We absolutely can do something for you. And we could. We can still turn out something that’s awesome.

00:37:16 You might not get Google doesn’t I’m forgetting thousand dollars. But yeah yeah we’ll do it.

00:37:22 Here’s what you’re going to get for that. And it’s a more realistic.

00:37:25 And yeah I just I mean but honestly the businesses that have started with that approach are now making gains with us and they’re growing with us and they’re happier because they started out with something simpler. Yeah wasn’t everything they wanted but they’re getting it to where it’s like now we’re investing more money and we’re building out the product and it’s doing more for their business they’re happier.

00:37:44 Yeah I see all that approach because then I see during times where just people push push push and get people to invest more in they’re comfortable with and then also it increases the expectations and in which they need to see a return on where it’s like instead of just pushing on let’s figure out how to how to work with what they have and then they’re more comfortable builds up that partnership builds up that trust. And even and it’s not like you had the results that much faster. You didn’t push me off a cliff. A cliff in order to do it.

00:38:11 And so I think it’s just I’m not sure you understand what you’re buying. And the price you’re buying it for. To sell you on something that you don’t understand but you think you’re getting everything you want. And then you get at the end the other end of the other end of the tunnel and you just spent all this money it’s not what I wanted. And then here I am now with the product that I don’t fully know is gonna do what I wanted to do. I don’t ever like that at all because I’ve watched it too many times ruin relationships screw up their business and their approach and now they’re soured. And actually we brought in a number of clients here that have come from that. It’s almost how do we make through all this money into this. And now we have this headache on our hands and we’re we’re pretty bummed out. And the trust is like I’m having a rebuild trust that I never broke in the first place. Well I was gonna say from a development standpoint to like that was probably one of the biggest takeaways from from.

00:39:03 Previous agency experiences is dealing with kind of that veil. Agencies like to pull over people’s eyes when it comes to technology and like the fact that all of this is kind of black magic to tell your clients when in reality it’s not like you’re paying me for my expertise but I’m not going to hide that expertise from you. I want you to know what it is we’re doing and why we’re doing it. And I think that plays such a huge. Not a code. You don’t need to know a lot of coding what it is but you need to know what it is you’re paying for and what it is we’re doing. And I think so many companies out there like to just you know they’re like oh well we’ll take your idea and we’ll run into the back room with it and spend the next six months building it and you’ll get your product more done.

00:39:46 And that’s just not the way I want to build products. I want people to know and understand how they’re getting from A to Z.

00:39:54 And that extends to apps because like that’s the next great mystery and like online technology is like everybody thinks they want an app. They don’t really know why they don’t even know how to benefit their business. But businesses are investing a lot of money in those areas and like I’m watching people build apps they have no clue how the app is actually built and then they’re like mad because the end result is not a product that does the things they are needing it to do. So then they’re trying to sell something to customers that’s not doing what they know it needs to be doing but they’re pushing it out to customers. And then this product is generally it’s not broken but it’s problematic. And then and then they’re finding the cost to keep it updated and the raw new features is getting astronomical and it becomes just as very heavy thing to manage. And between troubleshooting and bug management and dev ops and then on then separating that out and then feature building up new features this becomes an unmanageable product and service where you see a lot of apps languish because they haven’t had that strategy put into it where it’s like oh like Steven said the black magic has gone on and here’s this Sprite and even may look good but it doesn’t do what you needed to do. So the functionality is just not it’s not equitable it’s not meeting the user at their user name on it.

00:41:05 And I think too especially nowadays. I mean you’re definitely running into a lot more app fatigue. I mean I I use maybe the first screen on my home page mostly and the rest of these apps are one that’s a lot one time use things that all I’ll use once a year for something. But it’s it’s it’s getting to that point where you’re trying to grab attention away from from companies like Netflix and Hulu and you know G.M. and everything else that’s costly sending you notifications on your phone like hey we have new stuff we have new content.

00:41:34 How are you going to compete with that unless you’re spending a lot of money behind your app unless you know exactly it is what you’re trying to get your users to do inside of that app like Do you really need an app. I think this is an important question that a lot of people are not getting asked.

00:41:49 Well because if someone comes in and says hand in app you say yes because I’m getting paid for it and it’s like you could easily. OK well to me it’s like OK well you have money to invest somewhere me and then it’s taken a step back and do you really need it. And asking those questions like hey you think you need this but you really need this. You know you’re being a better steward of their overall money and it’s like a logical thing that they know what they want or need. But in reality they don’t. And so it’s like that. I love that approach because again it’s built that trust me and created that long term value. And and now it’s it’s awesome.

00:42:21 Yeah I hate to be the type of an individual who steers something somebody or an organization away from what they think they want but at the end of the day if like we revisit the strategy deck you know 10 times over and that strategy is telling me you don’t need this I’m going to move them away from what they want because I don’t want to see someone buy into and come out the other end on a product that they’re like It’s unusable users will not adopt it and there will be no future opportunity even if we add features a lot of organizations don’t understand that. And my bigger focus in the next 10 years will probably be on applications for B2B because there are so many now. I mean just in our industry alone consider the sheer number of products to help you manage your time. Hope you Manager with the project in general help you manage the design help you manage this that and the other thing you know most of the organizations like ours are probably you know what eight to.

00:43:19 12 apps deep. By the time they’re fully up and running with everything we’ve got going on so many go through the list. Now I don’t want to hear about it as it’s seen as what it is and then in most of those products you pay for.

00:43:33 And so for me it’s like I’m always questioning I’m like do we use the features in all this because we’re not using on the features can we find some that does most of what those two or three apps are doing and do it in just one. And that would be my advice to any organization that’s like I think this would be great. Can I integrate it and can I use it. And the question is. Does it actually do the things you are really wanting it to do. And if it’s not going to can we achieve some of that with the website with the things you already have at your disposal and roll it into that because there’s no reason to move it onto this device.

00:44:04 If there’s nothing that it’s going to do well actually it could be we rolled more features into your website at half the cost or a third of the cost or a fourth of the cost instead of you building an app.

00:44:14 So I think that’s a once a once a year use case scenario it’s a waste of money.

00:44:18 I’m just gonna roll that app once or twice a year one and especially how quickly you know Apple and Android I’d like to move Android a little bit maybe less so.

00:44:27 But I was definitely deprecated like a lot of their features pretty quickly and if you’re not updating and paying attention to that stuff Apple will dig you for it and they won’t kick you off the app store and to spend all of their money and then you know two or three years later just lose all of that money you spent because you didn’t want to continue updating it. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

00:44:47 So I think it kind of just a summarization a neat way to package it is like we are a technology company that can do a lot for online technologies. We’ve even kind of ventured out of our comfort zone on a number of different projects and looked at things that aren’t necessarily exclusively online technology but that is our wheelhouse that is where we like to be. That’s where we like to meet customers and meet businesses and sort of create a partnership around us like What are you doing online and can we better that. And that includes all of the online touch points. We want to know what are you doing with your products and could it even work with you know Alexa as Alexa able to communicate something. If someone asked about your specific brand or something online that can help even facilitate that communication through Alexa through through Google through Siri.

00:45:37 So anywhere and everywhere. When it comes online we’re trying to meet and help businesses ascertain that level of competency and then also just knowing a strategy. And we like to give like documentation behind almost anything we do so that they know this is what we did. This is why we did it. This is how we’re going to move forward and a lot of companies don’t even do that part well even if they build you a product they’re still just like not sure even how they came to the end result. And that’s a bit scary too. So we don’t even want to do that.

00:46:06 Like we’re we’re trying to make sure every basis covered in terms of that technology process so that way when when you marry up your marketing and your technology like they just seem to be this one cohesive working machine and there’s no question at the end of it like what did we just get you know and that’s how I feel too many times you watch people walk away from that table of a signed agreement and you can see this kind of like I don’t know if it’s worry but this this this this kind of hesitancy as they leave like hope that’s going to work the way we’re thinking it’s gonna work like you want to have that then leave confident that they can go back to their bosses or even better you know of the old age old adage you know can you explain this to your grandma. Like it not entirely what we do we can’t like it. It is more technical than that but at the end of the day I would hope that whoever it is even if it’s the CEO of an organization he could take that document walk out the room and go explicate to their wife to their husband to their grandma to their grandpa and say this is exactly what I just bought and I’m super confident that it’s going to work for us.

00:47:03 That’s a good thing. That’s a good feeling. That’s a that’s that’s a that’s a self of rest assuredness that you want to instill in customers. You know again going back to this throwback of my dad being a roofer like you want another that guy just got up there fix that and a lot of ceiling’s not going to come in on you the next time it rains like that’s the kind of a self assuredness that you want to have when you have someone work on something for you and you want to know. Even though I don’t fully understand what it takes to make sure that my roof’s not going to leak I want to know that the job that they did is the correct job. They explained it to me. They tell me how they’re going to do it. I’m confident that it’s going to be that it’s gonna be fixed.

00:47:38 And that’s what we’re trying to say we want you to be confident it’s like OK this makes sense strategically it’s sound it’s got my business goals in mind. I understand what they’re going to try to do and how they’re going to go about it. May not know all the Nixon crannies I might not know all the levers being pulled but I know what they’re going to do and we want that so that kind of assuredness to be the thing that everyone walks away with of it. All right so as we kind of start wrapping up this has been a lot A.

00:48:03 High level awesome stuff that I mean most businesses get excited about are you guys able to dive into a use case scenario where a business came to you. Here the problem here’s how you guys thought it through and able to speak into any of the successes that they’ve had and so that’s how have you applied all this stuff that we’re talking about in terms of automation CRM and all that stuff so that people can kind of.

00:48:25 See what was executed on and has an impact on real business.

00:48:29 Yeah. I mean because of the technologies that we’re using and how we’re cross applying them I’d like to use two big examples I can’t name and by brand obviously just because of the different agreements we have in place with them. One of them is a major national restaurant chain that had a lot of issues with their online data. The information that was coming through wasn’t lining up with one finance team was seeing based on what the platform reported and then the actual real sales numbers. So they had this divergence between multiple systems. The data from the platform was not accurate to what the data that was actually coming in and the dollars and cents from the stores to what the online system was reporting to what was being collected in the analytics. So they were just like it’s.

00:49:12 More importantly like there’s gonna be a little bit of like you know they talk about the bell curve there’s going to be a little bit of variance it’s expected Yeah but you don’t want to see 40 percent.

00:49:23 I mean even 5 percent like as a financier you don’t want to see a 5 percent discrepancy from what you’re online platforms are reporting and like okay. But this is what the restaurants are saying we got. So what’s going on. Like why is there this discrepancy like ours or how is there extra how is there less you don’t want to see these kind of wide ranging discrepancies and they were seeing some of those discrepancies and they said Okay we need a serious cleanup. And so we did we went and we we took a look at everything. Complete thorough audit that was going on in the background we looked at the platforms. And these are these are third party platforms that are provided by big international solutions companies so it’s not like these guys are you know not they’re not new to the game. These guys are big time players and and one of them oddly enough even acknowledged hey we know that this is a problem.

00:50:11 Here’s a company to fix it for you. We’re not gonna do it but here’s a company that can and it’s kind of like a backdoor handshake deal like hey his kids’ll fix the problem that we know exists but we’re not going to do anything to resolve it. So we came in and we worked through the steps of resolving that. Cleaning up the data sets cleaning up the tools that were either even gathering the data. It took a lot of weight off the website and created a resolution which is a much more cleaned up data set and the ability to have insight into if there is variation why do we think we’re seeing that variation. And is it enough variation that we need to be concerned. Or is the variation considered with what is considered within normalcy. Now I didn’t make all that decision in terms of what is normal what is not what variation is acceptable what is not.

00:50:55 But are we able to track it. Are we able to qualify it and are we able to internally then use that data to make better decisions and the answer was yes. Like now we know what channels are reporting what before they were just like mixed up across the board and google analytics. And then the platforms didn’t even fully understand because that data gets passed through a variety of systems that are on the Web site that we have to better for their use. So all of that was clean up in the end result was yeah. I mean they were successful and they now actually have a process and onboarding system that we drew up for vendors and an additional partners that there of course will be incorporating over the next several years. I mean this is how this company works there and in and out type of company. So vendors are constantly coming onboard and now they have a process a document that says hey whatever you need on the site you need to explain it. We need a time frame for what it’s going to be on therefore how soon do you need it. What marketing systems are we pairing this with. You know now we we even son understand something as simple as like we need this new data layer for the Facebook pixel.

00:51:58 Why what’s the purpose. What are we paying it with. So that’s one really specific example that that turned out really well just a complete data cleanup and the ability to now understand what are we seeing which again impacts your marketing because if your teams can’t see like what their marketing is doing how can they optimize how can they better that that service you allow multiple touch points including the stakeholders in the business to just get better insights and make better decisions.

00:52:24 CHRIS overall that’s going to make for a better bottom line correct.

00:52:28 And again like a lot of these organizations they hire a vendor and they’re just assuming that then fixing things for them is just part of the package and that’s like no we’re we’re hired to create the campaigns but the campaigns into the platform and then run the campaigns and optimize it.

00:52:43 And the problem is it’s the data that is collected through the various online resources you have it doesn’t even have to just be your website. If that data is inerrant and it has issues then I can’t properly optimize so then you start to do this shooting in the dark system that I think a lot of company get down the road in and they don’t know how to make better decisions or how to better optimize or worse the next set of campaigns that comes out there like well no just try something new because why not. Nobody can tell us what we did wrong or right the last time. So let’s just do this for the heck of it so we don’t want to do that. So we recommended Drupal as a solution for that and a lot of what went into that is you know the multi levels of management. You get a lot more roll control and then again to this multilingual capacity if your business is going to need to have something in multiple languages that is something that needs to be considered absolutely upfront that management system that will need to go into that and Drupal is a great product for that. And I don’t know if you want to kind of add or adlib in something to that from that standpoint like what that actually equates to means.

00:53:47 Yeah I mean I think one of dribbles biggest successes really is that multilingual support that comes out of the box. It’s probably the most well thought out system for multilingual use WordPress and Joomla have some like additional plugins you can get out of. And an add in there but it’s not a great solution in Drupal really considers that like a first class like you. We need to make this a priority because we have so many different. Countries and people. And you know authors and and everything else that goes into creating multilingual content like that that we need to make sure that it’s a first class citizen under a bill and they definitely have done a really good job of doing that. And on top of that I think Drupal is just a good platform for enterprise like organizations. There’s a lot of enterprise support there. There’s a lot of development. I don’t wanna say goodwill because Drupal definitely has had some bad will over the years but it’s it’s definitely considered a very strong enterprise CRM C-level system unlike WordPress which is kind of more like yeah we can we can make it an enterprise solution but it’s not really built for that. It’s not really built for for handling and the other component with Drupal that really made a lot of sense to us too is that there are. Other areas of support that come with Drupal that have.

00:55:11 Drupal in mind like hosting services. And I’m not going to get into the brands because there’s a million hosting organizations. I’ll get into the brand because I think it’s important to recognize aqui as.

00:55:23 The style store work company that they are.

00:55:26 If only because their CTO is the guy who created Drupal right. So they’re an organization that.

00:55:32 Takes a very Drupal first approach because the guy who’s running their technology is the guy who created Drupal but interestingly too they also will help you from a hosting standpoint if our issues within the code if there are security flaws and problems and concerns and you don’t get that out of a lot of hosting companies most don’t ever want to talk to you.

00:55:51 So. So if you write like a drivel like a custom Drupal module and have it on the actually a platform and run into some kind of issue they will actually have someone from their team go in and look at that code which like Henry just said is not a normal thing for a for a hosting company to go in there and do obviously you’re going to pay for that but it’s it’s probably one of the better solutions out there if you really are trying to run an enterprise level system like that. Yeah.

00:56:16 And that’s something that we consider as a part of what we do. So like you go and engage with an organization that can build quote unquote an enterprise solution for you but they don’t consider all those types of things they’re just like well yeah we’re just going to put you on the generic hosting that. You know Jim and Mary who have you know JJ is diner down the street on as well. And I’ve seen that. I mean we’ve gotten into products and I’m like here’s a website that gets millions of users a month hosted by the same organization that’s hosting literally a Web site that gets 50 users a month and yes there’s scalable hosting packages you can buy but at the end of the day. No one obviously considered like what is every piece of the puzzle being put into this and is it really truly an enterprise solution and sometimes it’s not one.

00:57:02 And again I can go into probably a multi our discussion on WordPress but like I had that conversation with one of the other developers here where it’s like WordPress is not really designed in such a way that it really scales infinitely well it can scale you can make it do the things you needed to do. And like I said earlier plugins make that a good solution for a lot of people but it’s not the best solution for for enterprise level stuff it really isn’t. I mean in a lot of that comes down to just the way that they built out WordPress. You can’t do things really easily like manage it under get you have to go through like a lot of different roundabout ways of getting that into some kind of version control software or use an offshoot of WordPress that is another company built out.

00:57:48 And this is development management right. Yeah. When you’re talking about a higher and higher dollar product you don’t want it to be more difficult for your developers to manage if the development requires a team. And so when we work on stuff as a team here we try to not get stuck into products that from a development standpoint are really difficult to manage and my developers are like pinging me upset about something I don’t want to hear that you know. So like annoying. Yeah. So when he’s phrasing it that way with with how we use our are our management protocols for the development development and what’s required in it it’s like you don’t want to get stuck in a system where it’s like woman I know I’m going to have to have a development team even if you want to like help outsource part of the product and you have your own internal developers which will do that type of work with teams you don’t want to be like well we’re gonna be on WordPress sounds like well you have your development team and you know. Houston and then you have your marketing team in Florida and you’re gonna work with us here in Arizona that’s gonna be problematic. Like you don’t want to be stuck on a platform that’s becomes really difficult and arduous to manage and.

00:58:52 Do what he’s talking about doing. And there’s ways to obviously mitigate that again but it’s not a solution that’s really super well thought out unless you’re starting from the get go with something like. I’m afraid to name drop.

00:59:06 Code related things because I don’t know how interesting that is to people but unless you’re unless you’re starting from the very beginning with an idea of like hey we want to make sure that this is manageable for every developer that comes on board a lot of WordPress things are not built that way.

00:59:22 You know somebody gets an idea and they’re like oh go create a Go Daddy account five minutes get a wordpress add a theme we’re good to go.

00:59:28 And that’s honestly how a lot of WordPress sites get developed and there’s nothing wrong with that. But once you start adding in like Henry said you start adding in different teams across the country you start adding in more and more people to development that becomes a bigger issue until you take a step back and you’re like wait a minute how do we make sure going forward that this is the right way to go forward. So I think Drupal and and I think even June 1 does a little bit of a better job than WordPress does on that but I do want to talk further to that that Drupal decision was also based on the fact that they had an existing Joomla site but nobody on their team could manage it. So anytime that they wanted to add additional content it was like they had to go through an agency and they had to wait months at a time to get a new page added because nobody nobody knew how to do it.

01:00:18 Or it was too complicated inside of Juma. So we took a lot of that complication now and we built out the back end for the Drupal CNS and we’re like hey like we know we’re gonna build this on modules that are pre-existing that are really well supported by the development community and and by us and give you the tools you need to be able to create the page as quickly as you need to. But still within the the bounds of the theme that we’re gonna co develop with your team. So we set up a design language and said OK. Here all the different components you can use as part of a page build out and then you guys can go in there and add whatever components you need to to that page and have it done. And I think ultimately that worked out really well for the team that we were building it with.

01:01:06 I mean yeah a little bit of upfront work and I use this to create a template process for them which then now saves them hundreds of hours over and over the years so one end and money because let’s face it developers are not the most cost efficient resource available to organizations. So it’s like anytime you’re going to have to engage a development team whether it’s pulling them off of something that really does need to be a priority because you have to reallocate to get something up because it needs to serve marketing and it interrupts the entire workflow of a team or you have to go outsource and pay someone an hourly fee to build out maintain whatever it’s to be it becomes a cost efficiency scenario where it’s like if you were to have marketing people in place and all they need to do is just go out day to see a mess to get a new page up perfect. As soon as you have to then double that that that team work force to get something done the marketer who has everything they need to do what they need to do but they have to then give it to a developer who has to do additional work.

01:02:06 Suddenly you’re now doubling that work process and usually it’s not even that simple because the developer will push back and say oh I don’t see how this works within our design framework. So we need a designer involved because I’m not going to just wing it because I know that ultimately what I spit out is going to frustrate whoever whoever is the marketer is the market is going to come at me like this is this is unusable I don’t want this page on my website this is hideous and the valve is like well I’m not a designer what did you expect. So now you’ve got three people involved. And once you’ve got three people involved in most organizations someone goes whereas the project manager. So we’re trying to help people like get it to where a single person can make a decision get some content up on a Web site serve a marketing goal and move. And that’s that’s an important thing especially. Again we’re talking about an enterprise solution but this applies to you know mid tier businesses.

01:02:53 If you’re the kind of organization that’s got you know 100 plus employees you’re doing two to three million plus a year in revenue and your website contributes to that. How are you managing your ability to get stuff up on your site and is it super difficult because that’s a problem. And we’re trying to help alleviate that. So that’s that’s a great case study right there and you know. I would have loved to have been able to use their brand because they’re they’re awesome but they’re a good team and a good organization. And honestly like I think they made a wise choice and pursuing this route because it’s going to make it better for them in the long run. But any organization can follow those exact steps doesn’t have to be Drupal but they can follow those exact steps to get to that same result.

01:03:37 Awesome. Well as we wrap this up I’d love to. What’s one piece of advice that you guys can give any mid to large sized business in terms of what to look for and take a step back when it comes to better technology stack.

01:03:52 For me it’s something fundamentally so simple and like and I know Stephen will have his his own thing. But for me when I when I talked to an organization I’m super super upfront like one Don’t ever just get one proposal. Can Get More than 1 and 2 if you don’t understand what you’re trying to do and no one in your organization obviously has like a really clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t be hesitant to hire a consultant even if all that consultant does is looks at your proposals and tells you whether or not they’re garbage. Because I’ve seen way too many proposals come across people’s desks for big dollars and they’re just like well I don’t know what’s in this proposal. I don’t know if this is something I can really qualify for my organization. They end up signing something and six months down the road they’re in a whole mess of a situation.

01:04:37 So for me it’s it’s vet vet vet and you know I don’t too often get into the habit or the trouble of consulting with people to look through proposals but honestly it only takes me a few hours and then the majority of my time is usually spent helping them decide Okay well then what do we do. But honestly it’s worth spending you know a thousand fifteen hundred dollars if you’re going to spend twenty to thirty thousand plus to have someone that your proposals you know so don’t hesitate to spend that money if you’re going to build a technology solution anything that’s that’s big in scope. Have someone vetted for you have someone make sure that you are going to get what you’re needing out of this product so that way you’re comfortable moving forward. So again there’s plenty of guys that really know this stuff out there.

01:05:22 It’s just a matter of asking around but get a consultant to help you vet those proposals don’t just inked deal. If you don’t know really what the terms of that deal are because I find more times than not people wind up with a situation on their hands where either that organization oversold themselves or that organization didn’t bother to fully clarify exactly what they were going to get. And so all of a sudden there’s all this like oh well you want that. That’s another five grand. Oh you want this ten thousand more here. And that’s where organizations become really frustrated with the technology partner because they’re like well why didn’t you tell me like I needed all this extra stuff. And it’s like well part of that goes back on you like make sure that proposal is understandable and that you know what you’re getting. So that those proposals that’s you.

01:06:06 Yeah I mean just piggy backing on that just strategy and in general is such an important thing to have when you go into any kind of project. What is your what is your goal with the project you’re trying to develop. Are you trying to inform users or are you trying to sell a product. All of the stuff that you do after that point should support that goal and to Henry’s point that that RFP that contract should support that goal as well. And if it doesn’t you’re you’re gonna be in a world of hurt later on. But as well I think one of the things developers like to do is and I’m guilty of it too is getting distracted by the new and shiny right. It’s it’s you know the framework of the legal yes.

01:06:43 It’s the framework of the week it’s the SAS product of the week you know it’s that kind of stuff we’re like oh man like this would be really cool to integrate but you’ve got to take a step back from that for a minute and be like hey does it make the most sense for the people that you’re working with. Doesn’t make something the most sense for the company that you’re helping build out that technology platform for. On the flip side of that don’t be discouraged from looking at new things right. Like you you don’t necessarily want to.

01:07:11 Pay a hundred thousand dollars a month to Salesforce if you don’t need Salesforce. Right. Like you want to make sure that all of the things you’re implementing for that particular project and make the most sense for that particular project and developer support behind any of those things is going to play a key role in making that decision I think to me many times and in a previous agency they made the decision to go with a CRM platform that most people probably have never heard of.

01:07:38 And I think that that’s going to set you up for future failure when it comes to teaching people how to use the platform and everything else something that so many people are used to WordPress. So many people are used to Drupal so many people are used to Juma so many people are used to you know site five to big commerce the shopify to woo commerce they’re used to these platforms and to give a marketer a different see a message me like have fun like that’s that’s going to Southern up for failure too. So you want to make sure that all of the things that you’re choosing to use and develop on make the most sense for the people you’re developing out with. Our industry is plagued by one very specific thing and it’s age old it’s it’s the age old marketing relationship status which is like.

01:08:21 Advertising and marketing was really based on creative capacity sixty years ago your ability to be really truly creative and create something that really caught people’s attention and hooked their their eyeballs to the situation so everything was very handshake relationship based and trust was established in broke in upon that and in our world now there’s still a lot of that going on.

01:08:40 A lot of handshake agreements like this was my buddy. He owns this company. Do I know if they actually can do anything. No idea but work with them anyways. So there’s that mentality and yeah there is that mentality still. But what we are really trying to help people understand is like them mentality is going to hurt you because you’re going to lose good people you’re going to chase away with that mindset because those people are gonna be like well that team gave us what we have and it doesn’t work. And I don’t know how to use it and nobody asked me what I know how to use you hired me because of my expertise. And now I’m working with someone that’s got something I’ve never dealt with and I’m just expected to get on board. Sorry. I’ll go find another job. You’ll chase away talent you create inefficiencies you create products that are unmanageable so I think as our industry evolves over the next 10 to 20 to 30 years you’re going to see the emphasis on like this is my buddy work with him start to kind of taper off.

01:09:33 I don’t think it’s ever going to go away because people want to work with people they like. Like you that’s just a fact. You want to work with people you like. Period. Like it doesn’t matter how competent people are sometimes if you hate that person you’re not going to work with them. You’re just like badass guys. He’s under I can’t deal with him his personality whatever it is the behavior. You know some things like that. That’s problematic. So I think our industry that we’ll see that begin to taper. But at the same time it’s like I think what it should be established re-establish with us like yeah this is my buddy but here I know what his competencies are. My team wants to help vet this because I want to work with you guys but I want to know that you can do what we need us to do. And so I think that ultimately is kind of the future you’re going to see those two things married up a little bit better because we don’t want to see some of that cycle continue armed.

01:10:17 So anyway I know this is great.

01:10:20 I got a lot of insight into what more you guys can do. And I think there’s a lot of opportunity and synergy for us to work together for service. I mean there’s a lot that. You guys are discussing where I know that we could figure it out but it’s not our line. And so yeah there’s a lot. You guys are going to bring a ton of value just to a lot of businesses and we’d love to just remind people who you guys are where they can find you and. Go. 

01:10:49 Yes. Eightfold technology that’s the business’s name you can find us at eightfold.io I know it’s one of those more unorthodox technology names and you spell eightfold out yet e I G H T F O L D I O if you google us don’t click on the Eightfold dot API. That’s a completely different company. They have an H.R. software we don’t do H.R.. You can check us out on LinkedIn and stuff like that too. We did technically have the full name long before these guys ever came along. So I’m just going to throw that out there. It just wasn’t in full operational effect. I had it since grad school. Yeah.

01:11:27 So we’re we’re just look for us online you know know that we’re business minded people too. I think that’s important. If anybody ever feels the need you can just reach out to me directly Henry at eightfold divo super simple. Spell my name though. Very traditional English way so it’s no confusion there on how to get a hold of me. I do respond quickly promptly to everything so I’m always happy to talk and chat with whoever and that’s things too is like if somebody comes through because they’re genuinely interested in what April does. I’ve always got time for a person like that even if we don’t end up getting to work together. I still think that enlightening people and better educating people is really important in this industry because you never know when that handshake comes back around someday and your future and can benefit mutually everybody so honestly I don’t ever consider it a waste of my time to just talk and see where you’re at and what I might be able to do. And hey if I point you down the road to to someone else that I know that can benefit you. Perfect. It’s all the better for everybody. So yeah don’t hesitate to reach out.

01:12:25 Competition and if you want to get real technical and nerdy you can always e-mail me to Steven@eightfold.io. Yeah. Awesome. Appreciate it guys. Thank you guys.

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