Starting a Digital Transformation Journey

The Story of Grand Design RV

Mar 3, 2022 1:30 pm2:30 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

In the digital age, it’s vital that your company makes necessary changes to stay up to date. But how can you begin your digital transformation journey? 

For one RV company, an implementation partner made all the difference. Technology isn’t one size fits all — so having a knowledgeable partner is key to getting you on a customized path toward innovation. How do you narrow down options and find the best partner for your company? Search for a partner that is trustworthy, transparent, aligns with your culture, and shares your vision for the future of digital.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Tom Holt, Director of Brand Experience and Marketing Operations at Grand Design RV, Tyler Maynard, Chief Solutions and Innovations Officer at Hoodoo Digital, and Lauren McCumber, Manager of Solutions Consulting at Hoodoo Digital. Together, they talk about the partnership between Grand Design RV and Hoodoo Digital, tips for finding an implementation partner, and how to move your company from the dark ages to digital success.    

 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Grand Design RV’s rapid growth and why they decided to partner with Hoodoo Digital
  • When is the best time to launch your digital transformation strategy?
  • The biggest challenges that deter companies from making a change
  • Advice for evaluating your tech stack and efficiently integrating tools
  • The value of finding an implementation partner before a solution
  • What should you look for in an implementation partner?
  • Common roadblocks companies face in their digital transformation and how to overcome them
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Lauren McCumber

Manager, Solutions Consulting at Hoodoo Digital

Lauren McCumber is the Manager of Solutions Consulting at Hoodoo Digital. Her specialties include team management consulting and creative capabilities, product development, process analysis, and more. Before Hoodoo Digital, Lauren served as an Analyst for HashiCorp, Axis41, and Zions Bancorporation. 

Tyler Maynard

Chief Solutions & Innovations Officer at Hoodoo Digital

Tyler Maynard is the Chief Solutions and Innovations Officer at Hoodoo Digital, a full-service digital experience consultancy. In this role, Tyler works with customers to understand their current technology integrations and create a reactive culture that can quickly adjust to the ever-changing needs of the end-user. Previously, he was a Web Software Developer at Zions Bank and the Owner of Salt City Digital. 

Tom Holt

Director of Brand Experience and Marketing Operations at Grand Design RV

Tom Holt is the Director of Brand Experience and Marketing Operations at Grand Design RV, a company that manufactures high-quality, towable fifth wheels, toy haulers, and travel trailers. He specializes in areas like crisis communications, media relations, communication strategy, and more. Before Grand Design RV, Tom was a Category Business Manager at Universal Trailer Corporation and the Founder and CEO of Yellow Dog Media. 

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Lauren McCumber

Manager, Solutions Consulting at Hoodoo Digital

Lauren McCumber is the Manager of Solutions Consulting at Hoodoo Digital. Her specialties include team management consulting and creative capabilities, product development, process analysis, and more. Before Hoodoo Digital, Lauren served as an Analyst for HashiCorp, Axis41, and Zions Bancorporation. 

Tyler Maynard

Chief Solutions & Innovations Officer at Hoodoo Digital

Tyler Maynard is the Chief Solutions and Innovations Officer at Hoodoo Digital, a full-service digital experience consultancy. In this role, Tyler works with customers to understand their current technology integrations and create a reactive culture that can quickly adjust to the ever-changing needs of the end-user. Previously, he was a Web Software Developer at Zions Bank and the Owner of Salt City Digital. 

Tom Holt

Director of Brand Experience and Marketing Operations at Grand Design RV

Tom Holt is the Director of Brand Experience and Marketing Operations at Grand Design RV, a company that manufactures high-quality, towable fifth wheels, toy haulers, and travel trailers. He specializes in areas like crisis communications, media relations, communication strategy, and more. Before Grand Design RV, Tom was a Category Business Manager at Universal Trailer Corporation and the Founder and CEO of Yellow Dog Media. 

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Thursday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the co founder Managing Director at BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s organizations who do exactly that. We network, we now share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be shaping digital today, that's a lot different than it was two years ago. But super exciting. I talk with 30 to 40 different organizations and during those conversations on the same things come up over and over again, that's where we get the topics for the calls. And we try to stay really relevant, not doing anything more than like, you know, six to eight weeks out so we can stay on top of those newest trends, a couple housekeeping items, as we get started into the conversation today. One, we are starting three to four minutes after the hour. And just as I was saying, at the very beginning, you know, we're gonna wrap this up with four to five minutes to go at least in the hour as well, we want to give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late. Don't want to we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. So at any point in time, if you have any questions or comments, drop them in the chat drop into the q&a or you can always email them to me Aaron, aaron@bwgconnect com. And so with that, I want to kick it off, because you know, this idea of digital transformation. It was, you know, this crazy like buzzword that was flying around like two, three years ago. And then it rapidly became impactful. Over the past year and a half to a year that I would say in all reality where people say, hey, let's put some meat on this random discussion of not just added in a new tech partner here or there. But what does digital transformation look like? And so just had a lot of questions. We got some great friends, partners, supporters of the network, you know, over Hoodoo along with Adobe as well, but also, Tom, from Grand Design RV who is 45 minutes, South Demeter. So we're just joking about that here in the Midwest. And just that digital transformation journey that they've been on. I don't think anybody ever gets there in the end, but huge leaps have been made along the way. And so we go around, do a brief intro to everybody that's on the call, and then we can kind of jump in the conversation. But Tyler, I'll kick it over to you first, do a brief background yourself. Hoodoo that'd be awesome, then kick it over to Lauren. And then we'll go to Tom and then jump into conversation. Sounds good?

Tyler Maynard  2:36

Absolutely. Thanks, Aaron. So hi, everyone. My name is Tyler Maynard. I'm the chief solutions officer of Hoodoo Digital, you know Hoodoo Digital was founded on this idea that companies are going to be constantly going through some sort of transition, whether it's workflows, whether it's, you know, how do I better make a better impact with my customers. And so at the end of the day, we are a digital consultancy, right? We're learning about what people are doing. Very, very partnered with Adobe, and understanding, Hey, what are the tools that they bring to the table? How can we take these tools and give them to our customers and let our customers get the most out of the Adobe solutions? And so, you know, that's kind of how Hoodoo grew up. We grew up as a Adobe partner. And really, we're just really excited about all the things that people are doing businesses, and all the things that Adobe's are doing, and then putting those together and making, you know, really making magic happen between the two different groups. I'll throw it over to Lauren, to introduce her she's one of our favorites.

Lauren McCumber  3:48

Yeah, I'm I'm Tom’s favorite I know Just don't ask him to take my word for it. I'm Lauren McCumber. I'm a Solutions consulting manager over here at Hoodoo Digital. Basically, solution consultants are responsible for everything minus Dev and QA. I try to pretend like I can play those parts but I really can't. So everything else that falls between that really connecting Tom and the GDRV team, with the Hoodoo team and making sure all of this amazingness gets done.

Tom Holt  4:21

Tom already on channel and I'm the Director of Brand experience and marketing operations and Grand Design RV and we're a wholly owned subsidiary of Winnebago which is a widely known RV name. We're a new company and we were just inundated during the pandemic and glad to share the story with you so I'll kick it back to Aaron and we can get going

Aaron Conant  4:52

Yeah, awesome. So we're gonna kick it off with super interesting is, you know, you know, in conversations, you know, you're like, Well, what why? Why an RV company as a whole, why have they been so instrumental, it's just, you think about what happened during the pandemic, and how rapidly, you know, sales took off, it seems like every third person I know either got a trailer or an RV, even to the point where people are doing it on a business aspect where they just want to put it on outdoorsy or RV share, or something like that. Just everything ramped up on your side, I'm sure across the board, right, and, you know, everything from payments, to content to asset allocation, whatever it might be. And so, you know, I kind of kick it over to Tom first, like, you look at it, all these different things, like you have a before and after it Adobe Suite implementation. But, you know, what do you think is, is led to your rapid growth? And then the other side of it? Do you see it slowing at all? And then we can kind of jump into some other questions and just reminder to others, if you have questions, drop them in the chat or the q&a, and we'll get

Tom Holt  5:53

we'll get to him. Yeah, Aaron. So Grand Design is, is unique. And we were seeing tremendous growth, even before the pandemic, we went from zero to 400,000,000 in 4 years. And then since 2016, we've jumped to 2.4 billion. So we've had a tremendous growth trajectory. And, you know, you grow so fast, it's hard to become scalable. And there doesn't seem to be any slowdown in our growth trajectory from our business model that we have, which is unique in the RV industry. And there seems to be some pent up demand still today. We're typically the industry was cyclical. And, you know, no more than 500,000 units a year, across the entire industry that, you know, last year, the industry broke 600,000. And, you know, the economists are saying that it's probably going to go to 650 this year. So the industry in itself is growing. And I do attribute a lot of it to the pandemic and people getting out. But with that it completely changed the business landscape.

Aaron Conant  7:20

Where did you? Where did you find you? We're seeing the most challenges, right? Because I think, I mean, you have exponential growth. There's a lot of companies out there seeing growth, especially an inflection point on digital as a whole, you know, where do you where do you find you're getting the most, you know, challenges, you know, I would think on the technology side and what you were looking at.

Tom Holt  7:40

So the biggest thing that we found was when we had to work remote, this industry has always been the nine to five, go to the office, everybody's at the office, from nine to five, when we went remote, my creative teams all of a sudden became very disconnected. And I went looking for literally just a simple, you know, let's organize our assets. And as we started looking at this, you know, going down that path, we, we started seeing other things popping up the speed at which we need content, more and more of our dealer partners, who are looking for immersive content. And all of our platforms, were just so limiting, that we had to really start an investigation of what do we want to be? How do we want to be it? And then our company was founded on absolute amazing customer experience and customer support? How do we make that more digital? When our industry is is quite honestly, technologically still in the dark ages? So we basically jumped in with both feet, and said, How do we get to do what we need to do? And Adobe was there to, you know, provide some consultation. So

Aaron Conant  9:14

you just been, you know, I think about like your digital touch points. What were you going after? And then where did you see you like your actual business processes starting to lag behind a little bit like, you know, because I think at the end of the day is time, it's effort. It's money for any of the companies that are listening in here. Like, what was the make or break point that you saw? Or, hey, I need to go the next step. And then, you know, I have a couple questions for the Hoodoo team as well. But you know, how did you know like when's the right time to engage somebody and do you think you did it the right point? Do you think you did it too late? Do you think he did it? You know, just you know?

Tom Holt  9:52

I think we did it? I think we did it too late. Um, my team here is, is seven people. then handle the entire marketing function for the organization. And, you know, so we're small. And I think we did it too late. Because the time to get things up and running, and to have an impact with a small team, even when you have, you know, outstanding implementation partners and everything, the amount of work that goes into it. We as a business probably should have been thinking not on just today, two years ago, but on where we wanted to be five years from today. So, you know, the digital touch points, we have three websites, two apps, two portals, tech support, and an unbelievably large online community, a very rabid owners in social media. So I mean, we were looking for a transformation that literally could try to create efficiencies, just from a department standpoint across all those digital touch points. Not looking at how the digital shopping experience evolved during the pandemic. So I can get over like

Aaron Conant  11:24

Tyler, Lauren, like, is this like, is this really common something you see on a regular basis? And then on average, do you see people coming to you at the right time? Too early, too late? And then what would be too early? What is the right time?

Tyler Maynard  11:38

Well, these are great questions. First, let me jump into kind of a few things, you know, that we identified specifically with GDRV, is when we started talking to Tom and his teams and seeing that they saw the bigger picture that that really identifies a great partner with with Hoodoo, you know, they they were a company built on experience, customer service, they knew that they needed to change, but they didn't know necessarily the steps to make. And so that screams digital transformation. I mean, Tom knew, I think he's like, I have good ideas, I know, B, but I just don't know the steps to get there. And you know, that's when we kind of sat down and we looked at what they were doing. And we said, hey, there's a lot of things we could do. Let's kind of map out everything. But at the same time, let's focus on the quick wins, right? Like, what are the things we can do immediately to really drive some change? To answer your question, specifically, it's like planting a tree with digital transformation, the answer is always going to be the best time to do it was, you know, in the past, and the next best time to do it is now it's, it's just, it's just the way it is, things are changing so rapidly. And luckily, you know, we've aligned with Adobe to where Adobe's really setting the bar for a lot of this change, and, and really orchestrating that, and for us, as a partner to be able to learn from Adobe, and then basically pass that on to our customers. You know, we find we find a lot of great success. And, you know, really, what, what drives us is making our customers succeed, right? And so I'd say, when is the time, it's always now? It's right? It's always, it's always now. Yeah, I don't think there's ever like, oh, well, we'll change in the future. Well, you don't know what the future is at this point. Like, I think we can all attest to that with the past two years. You just you don't know what's coming. Even right now we're seeing a, you know, a shift AI. With everything that's happening in the world, all of a sudden, the narrative changes. And, you know, it's just crazy to try to keep up on that. And so, really, it's about what are you doing today? What can you do tomorrow? What's the quickest way we can like take that first step?

Aaron Conant  14:08

Awesome. Lauren, I love to hear your thoughts there too. And then we've got another question that I popped up in the back of my mind but others have bought questions drop into the chat or the q&a we’ll field them.

Lauren McCumber  14:18

I just have to second what Tyler saying. I think one of the biggest reasons you know customers or clients go to Adobe and then partner with us is because we we are the technical experts here. We're the ones who are going to help you know, championship view and getting your business into this digital world or moving it forward into the digital world. So if you didn't do it yesterday, you know, today is the greatest day to do it. Because here we are here we are to help partner with you and make everything amazing because we do

Tyler Maynard  14:52

and we're gonna have fun doing it. I mean, that's me That's an important part is, you know, we look at these challenges and we go, oh, man, this is gonna be a lot of work. But hey, what's not a lot of work anymore? Like, it's some sometimes getting out of bed is a lot of work. And so it's, I'm gonna go tackle, I'm gonna go tackle something today. And we're gonna do it with like, you know, the right attitude and smiles and, you know, we're gonna go through an implementation, there's going to be setbacks, like, what project Have you ever done in your entire life that has gone perfect? Like none ever, ever? Even working with my kids that we go to their school projects? And oh, that didn't work. I forgot the poster board way to go dad, you know, stuff like that. But it's again, it's about identifying, okay, we identified this small setback, let's continue to push forward with the right attitude, of course.

Aaron Conant  15:50

So what do you think? Because you mentioned Hey, the the best time to plant a tree right was a year ago. Right? That means it's got a lot of people are putting it off. Right? What do you what do you think the main reason people put it off? Are? By so I'm going to try this, like, first? I'll start with you like Tyler, and I like to hear Tom's answer. Like, you know, what was the breaking point? And what were the what was the mindset that he had that, hey, he was putting it off? If he thinks he started a little late, and then you know, I think there's gonna be a lot of people that kind of, you know, they don't have they're not, they're not on screen here. But their heads will be nodding. But like, Tyler, why do you think the biggest stress factor between people putting it?

Tyler Maynard  16:32

I think the biggest factor is we get so stuck in the day to day that we don't have the opportunity to kind of step back and evaluate what's going on. You know, every everyone is in their own fire drill. And I think that's where having a partner come in, and basically say, Hey, you don't have the space to maneuver and kind of see everything that's happening, maybe coming in from an external view, will be able to, you know, will have the space to kind of evaluate and give you the information, you need to basically say, hey, we need to change something, right? I know, from all of my past jobs, once you are in that day to day grind, it's it's hard to step out and see, you know, the forest from the trees. And so I think that's probably the biggest, the biggest challenge. So I kind of

Aaron Conant  17:19

get over to you like, was there anything in particular? Was it just the day to day? I think a lot of people relate to that. It's like, how do I find the time, it's like, almost like, you don't, you don't have the time to not find the time. So I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tom Holt  17:32

You have to, you have to, like constantly be is a what is a decision maker, something, you know, part of your day to day is gotta be looking at efficiencies and improvements. And, you know, for us, we realize our systems were broke, I mean, which made the expense and justifying the expense. Even, you know, more urgent, um, you know, I think a lot of companies sit back and be like, with typical marketing, and it's like, hey, you know, things are going great, you know, we're making a lot of money. You know, we've got a backlog that's 18 months, well, you know, long, and they just, they're not realizing that you have to invest in keep that going. Because at some point, it could change. And, and I think having people on your team, that are are looking at what could be is important, and you need to make that part of your day to day. Otherwise, you end up with a situation like, we're where I was where, I mean, as a department being disconnected. We were challenged to even make the day to day work. So

Aaron Conant  19:09

I mean, you mentioned earlier, so just a question that comes in, how do you evaluate and decide which Adobe products are the ones you wanted? When I extrapolate on that a little bit, because it seems like there's tons of startups that just got funded, and they put all their money into sales team, and I think we're all getting, you know, an infinite number of calls on a daily basis, right around, Hey, these are all the different solutions that are out there. So there are a lot of solutions, you know, out there, you know, how do you start to narrow down your options? And then, you know, how'd you end up at Adobe technologies? We'd love to hear your thoughts

Tom Holt  19:43

there. What did that process look like? So our creative team uses the Creative Suite. And so one of our big drivers was how do we integrate those tools efficiently with Whatever form and we looked at, at multiple different platforms, and it all came back to that it was a very clunky interaction with Creative Suite. And then I went in, and I started looking at what the investment that Adobe was making in the experience space. And saw that, you know, through acquisition through investment base seem to be, you know, on a trajectory, very summer grand design, where that was going to be a major piece of Adobe's business, you know, when we looked at Salesforce, it was, you know, it, it didn't fit. And it didn't, it just didn't work with with one our business, our integrations. And then the others, it was the FBI, you know, once you get past Adobe and Salesforce, they're really not enterprise level, you know, for me, I'm grateful for many companies. But you know, when you get to what I consider enterprise level, you've got two choices, Adobe, and Salesforce. And Salesforce just doesn't have the stack like Adobe does when it comes to customer experience. Hey, it's in there's a lot of people

Aaron Conant  21:32

out there trying to evaluate their their technology stack today. Right. So first, I'll kick it to you, Tom, like any advice, where people take a step back to evaluate their tech stack looks like and then we can kick it over to Tyler and Lauren as well. But I, you know, piece of advice you give people because that's what I think a lot of people just grab things off the shelf and started plugging them in at the beginning of the pandemic. And now they're taking a step back, say, hey, what's the best way to integrate all these? What's Digital 3.0? In my mind, right? There's no more just checkboxes. It's getting everything to work together towards a common goal. And that's kind of where we're getting to now. So if you're evaluating their tech stacks, like piece of advice, and then we'll get into Tyler and Lauren as well,

Tom Holt  22:19

I think the piece of advice is, is that you try it, you can continue to put band aids on things, but look at it bringing your entire stack or as much of your stack into an integrated platform, like a Salesforce or or an Adobe, because those are the ones that are going to be able to to continue to grow and transform as the digital transformation continues. And then you have to look at it what your business is, and how do those platforms fit into your business. Awesome. Tyler would love to

Aaron Conant  23:00

hear, hear your thoughts? And then Lauren as well. Yeah,

Tyler Maynard  23:02

I mean, I'll definitely echo what Tom just said, it really it's about, you know, it's kind of this combination of processes, you as a business, what you're trying to do the technologies that are going to support that effort. And then I think the biggest thing that people fail to realize is like, what is it going to take from an enterprise perspective to maintain to run to actually use this tool? You know, a lot of the things that people will say is, here's the tool, and the tool is the solution. And there you go, and then it's like, okay, I got a solution. Now, what do I do? It's really about No, no, no, the tools, I mean, that's just a tool, you still need someone to use the tool to, you know, leverage the tool to get the work out of the tool. And that's something that I think a lot of people don't understand, and you know, that they look for a solution. And they say, here is the solution. I am done. That is like Tom said that that is checked. Now I move on, I go find another problem. And that's not the case, it's really is. And so when you start looking at multiple solutions that share a common infrastructure, you know, in Adobe's world, that's the experience cloud, the training can really cross pollinate between, you know, the tools, it's like, they use a standard UI, that all of their tools are on and so is a marketer, you know, someone like Tom, hey, I need to go do some personalization, I can jump into Target, oh, this UI is very similar to what I was doing an analytics or even inside of ATM, because they, you know, got that unified granite not reading UI that's getting to ATM stuff. But they've got that unified, you know, user interface. And so it's very intuitive for them to pick up the tool. And I believe that you can do less, but sorry, let me say again, you can do more with less. There we go. That's the that's the term just because it's easy, you know?

Tom Holt  24:56

Yeah, that is that is better. That that is huge. It's, you know, our old marketing stack, I think at 42 Solutions, each one of them had its own log in, and you know, it, they weren't integrated, you had to go one place for here, another place for here, having it all in one place, with one integration, and being able to touch every piece of your experience is so much time savings from a creative side to an operation side to an analysis side. If you're talking the same language, the same, you know, troubleshooting, yes, it just makes things easier. And then even

Tyler Maynard  25:48

on the on the solution, and it's like, now, even your, your vendors, they speak the same language, right? Because you gotta just you just go to Adobe now. And they, they can speak that language. And it's not, oh, I, you know, personalization over here. And oh, like, I don't I only speak CMS sorry, like, I don't know what you're talking about. And so even from like business to business interaction, the communication just flows in a much more, you know, just with more ease, I'd say because it's not hodgepodge. I'm a firm believer that the more things that you add in just the complications, like we talked about this, when we build our teams. If we add more and more people to a team, the communication is just going to get weirder and weirder. And what Tom says that if it goes through 12 people to get to the delivery team? Well, there's a whole room there that people can, you know, misconstrued what Tom was actually trying to do. Hope that's the right term. Language has never been my strong suit. It's been technology. But um, you know, it's the same with technology. It's like how many layers of technology deeper, you're going to go to get a single job done, when you could go with like, one stack, it's everything is going to become easier at the end?

Lauren McCumber  27:04

Yeah, I think the one thing that is sometimes hard for people to grasp is, you know, technology isn't one size fits, all right, everything is going to be different, no matter the client. And with Adobe, when you're kind of evaluating what you're using, and you're trying to integrate with different technology stacks, you can start with a small piece of the Adobe Experience, and then add on to it, which is super great, right? It helps you get started. And then as you are building your website, building your experience, just like I feel like with Tom and GDRV, you're like, oh, wait, hey, this is another great thing that we can do with Adobe, all in the same platform, let's kind of pull our experience over into that add on to it. It's all here in one spot. It makes everything just simpler. Plus, it can integrate with, you know, some of the the your own homegrown things. And that's, that's another thing to really keep in mind when you're trying to evaluate, like technology stacks, what, what are we currently using, that we still want to integrate with? Or what can we you know, move over to this other platform that will do things better? How we can grow in the future, what will kind of help us along those steps?

Tyler Maynard  28:17

Just like GDRV just like our bees, right, Tom? You can't. You don't just make one.

Tom Holt  28:24

No hotter than 36th floor plans as of this morning,

Tyler Maynard  28:30

but it's kind of like using that analogy, you know, of Grand Designs RV sure same platform, right? They're there. They're very similar, but they're all customized to a specific use case, right? I got a big family. Me personally, when I look at RVs, I need those double box, right? Just like when someone might be shopping for a damn solution, hey, I need dynamic media because I need the ability to transform or transform images on the fly. Right? That's not for everybody. That's a little add on to the dam. But for customers that need that that's an option. Right? And so it's again, it's like standard platform, and then sprinkle in the things that make sense for your business. Or for your trip in the RV world. Yeah,

Aaron Conant  29:20

love the comment box. Because I got four kids and we just, you know, read one for a couple weeks and that was key like I need this. But you know, so you know, Tom want to kick this to you. From the partner side. You know, you don't just go up and sign up for Adobe right?

Tom Holt  29:39

What, that's what we Yeah. I'm gonna tell you that's a mistake. Backwards. We went through Adobe first and if I hadn't do it over again, I would find the implementation partner and bring them in Just because you get to be like a kid in a candy store, especially if you're somebody like me that, you know, has got this vision of where you want to go. But Adobe does a great job of selling the platform. But when it comes to the real intricacies of how to make that Ferrari run, you need that implementation partner before you start looking for the solution. And I think that's a place where a lot of people make a mistake, is they find the solution and find the implementation part. If I had to do it over again, I would hire him to do and then have them evaluate what it is that we needed, and what we need in the roadmap to get to where we're going. Because I can tell you things accelerated infinitely, once who came on board, and we realize, from driving the old Chevy Chevette to the Ferrari, really what we can accomplish as a company. As, you know, identifying efficiencies, and how we could actually make the entire digital experience better. Yeah, I mean, it is that idea

Aaron Conant  31:24

of if you have a Chevette you got a bunch of Chevette mechanics inside, when you get a Ferrari, you need a Ferrari mechanic, or it's always gonna run like a Chevette. And that's where I think a lot of people, they'll get into, like, you know, a, like, hey, it's not working, how I wanted it to work. It's not quite as powerful as I thought it was going to be. And it's kind of like, did you hire the right people internally? Or do you find the right partner to help implement as a whole? Right? Anything special, like, you know, what made you decide to work with Hoodoo and then I have a couple questions for the Hoodoo team as well. So

Tom Holt  31:58

honestly, that, you know, we, again, doing this backwards, we got a list of implementation partners, from Adobe, and we started interviewing him. And, you know, we had three of them. And the first two, spent maybe 25, 30 minutes, talking to us asking us what we were trying to do. And 45 minutes after those conversations happened, we had our quote, so to speak, Tyler, and John, and everybody at Hoodoo actually got engaged with our business. I mean, they they actually went and looked at our digital properties, they actually went and understood what a travel trailer was versus a fifth wheel. And they came back to us with a very personalized implementation plan. That you, it just, it wasn't about dollars and cents. And, you know, that made it so much easier. And then the personal aspect, you know, I joke with Lauren all the time, especially now, you know, she has my calendar, my wife doesn't even have my calendar, because there's so much interaction as you're going through these implementations, that you have to have that really close personal connection to get what you need done done. And, you know, grand design believes in partners, and for us partners, our family members, and in that's why we ended up choosing Hoodoo was they were the closest to us from a family standpoint. And with the other vendors we use in I mean, they're no different than our air conditioner supplier. I mean, you know, we have long standing relationships with these people and and we don't make decisions based off of price. It's, it's about that relationship. Thanks. I just

Tyler Maynard  34:10

thanks for saying all that Tom, and we totally, you know, feel the same way. For you know, one of our core values is, you know, transparency, really relationships with our, with our customers, because let's be honest, we go into these projects with a whole bunch of uncertainty on both ends. This, you know, GDRV doesn't know who we are. We don't know who GDRV is. And so it's really about you know, being vulnerable at times and just being like, Hey, Tom, this is everything like this is all that you This is everything. I'm not going to hide anything from you. This is what it's going to take this is, you know, the challenges we see. And you know, they do the same thing. They they opened up their doors and said, our processes aren't perfect. Like we're not going to be like we're not going to have everything you need right when you need it and then Is this like, cool? Well, hey, look, we're already building the strong relationship that we expect from a partnership. So let's let's do this thing, right? And so and that's really, you know, just wanted to call that out and say, Tom, you're the best Cheers. I got my GDRV cup.

Tom Holt  35:17

Well, it's so gotta teach you guys how to handle swag.

Aaron Conant  35:28

This, uh, you know, so to team, like, What's one thing people should be looking for? With their implementation partner? You know, so openness, transparency, is there other things? And then, on the flip side, you know, it's, you know, there's gonna be people who already have a partner that's out there. And, you know, what are some things that they can use to help that? You think what would help them work with their implementation partner, if they already have somebody on board? I mean, if you don't have somebody on board, I have reached out to Tyler and Lauren, for sure, we can connect you after the call. We know a good reference for them. In connection with Tom as well.

Tyler Maynard  36:10

But yeah, I think I can answer a few of those questions. So there's a couple of there's a couple of sides of that coin, right. I guess there's only two sides to a coin, but maybe we can make three or four? Or maybe we get the dice done. Anyway. There's, for us personally, there's the health professional, from a technology implementation perspective, are we like, do we have the actual capabilities that are going to make this successful and, you know, for our team, we do that through certifications. And so it's very important for us, and for, you know, from down to the individual, because we understand that our team members are the most important, you know, part of our business, and we want them to be, you know, a bigger part of, of everything. And so we really push to have them certified. And that way, if you're shopping for a partner, you can say, Hey, is your team certified? Like? Do they actually know what they're talking about? Or do you have devs that are, you know, web devs, that you're going to throw at an ATM project? So that there's that part of the scenario? Are they professional, you know, mechanics? Are they the mechanics, you're hoping for this Ferrari, right? The other part of that is just, I don't know, it's more of a gut like, hey, does this feel right? Like, are they do they? Do I feel like I'm being looped a bunch of ways around just to close a deal? Are they actually listening? Do they understand what my problems are? When it's approaching digital transformation? You know, can they reverberate that back to me? Like, it's always interesting, like when I've been on a pitches before, and we got a lot of like, when you do sometimes you get brought in with other companies. And sometimes the partner, it's, it's just them, it's all them, it's never the customer, right? And so it's like, this is everything we do, we're the best, whatever. But they never even say like a dress. Oh, but Tom, what are you really trying to do? Like, it's just, oh, we're gonna come in here, we're gonna do all this stuff, but I never hear them say, you know, in the customers work, or in their words, what the customer is trying to do. And if they if, if a partner can't do that, like say, This is what I hear. This is the challenges. And they're not giving that feedback, then that's probably, you know, that would be a red flag in my mind.

Lauren McCumber  38:39

And I think, Tyler also, you mentioned, like, communication and transparency, right, when, when you and probably the community went and chatted with Tom and GDRV. You guys are are really, you know, one confident in our people here Hoodoo who are just masters of their jobs, which, again, is what we really value here. But also, I think that like communication and transparency that Tom saw, then it's something that continues along the project, right? We, I mean, we've come into our roadblocks, right? We, we know that there's things that along the way that you know, have popped up, but I feel like, you know, we try to be as, like, open with one another. And, you know, we I chat with Tom every day. He like, I have his calendar, he has my cell phone number, like we just make sure that we continuously are communicating. And when these things arise, you know, we're not afraid to be like, hey, you know what, Tom, I know you want this really cool, Adobe thing. We are masters of this, but let us help you figure out who can provide that support and who is the best person? I think that really helps. You know, this partnership, especially is being able to just work as a team with CDR we instead of working for them, right, we really team up.

Tyler Maynard  40:06

Yeah, I think I would call it goose bump test. Because when Tom and I get into a room and we start getting crazy about all the things that, you know, hey, what are the possibilities, I leave the room have goosebumps, like, this is gonna be awesome, we're gonna, we're gonna pull this off, and it's gonna be crazy. Like we went, when you were last down here, Tom, when we talked about taking social media content and pumping that into ATM and then making that automatically show up on your product pages from people that are doing social media? Yeah, when I start talking like that, and we get in a room, and I have goosebumps about the things that we can do together. Like, that is probably the best sign of a good relationship out there.

Tom Holt  40:45

Yeah, and, and, you know, I like that, you know, being on the other side, I like the fact of, in your implementation partner has to be somebody that is willing to kind of throw the flag and say, you know, the direction you're going may not be the best one Hoodoo saved us, a ton of frustration and money, when it came to how to integrate social media and, you know, pointed us in the directed direction of a completely unknown solution, that, you know, we've got up and running, and not only did it help from a marketing perspective, but it trickled down into our customer service, and our call center. And we're gonna, we're getting ready to be able to actually serve as customers and social media. So I mean, that's what an implementation partner is supposed to do create goosebumps. Have an imagination, be able to go out and throw axes when you come visit them, and, and get you

Aaron Conant  42:00

didn't know what's gonna come up today, but I completely agree. I mean, I know it's awesome is it's like that that cultural fit, right? That's a Tom said it. Like, they feel like they're part of the family or not. Right? I mean, you know, highly skilled, highly intelligent, I know exactly what they're doing, but do they fit? They fit culturally into it? And can they get on board with what the vision is, as a whole? But were there any, like roadblocks that you encountered, that people might want to be aware of, you know, that you think and then, you know, maybe Tyler, Lauren, are there any, like standard ones that, you know, cuz it's like any other like my mind, like, the implementation or any other project, right? You kick it off, you're like, yes, it's amazing. And then all of a sudden, you you run into a couple of things. And then it comes out the other side, and it's amazing again, but any, like roadblocks or

Lauren McCumber  42:52

I think our biggest roadblock really that we run into is just finding the like, this database that we're integrating with, it was a lot more complex than we originally had scoped it out to be. And that's kind of been our, one of our biggest speed bumps is just trying to make sure that that works, exactly how we need it to work. There's a lot of DEV work that's gone into it to make, you know, all of these other pieces that aren't Adobe related, but we still needed to integrate into their site. They're just not they're not easy. It's not all a plug and play. And I think that's one thing to keep in mind is sometimes things aren't easy. Sometimes things are more complicated than originally thought. And then just taking that, you know, app with stride, trying to, to, to cope and and move with that.

Aaron Conant  43:45

Awesome Tom from your standpoint, like anything that was like a speed bump or anything that was exceptional. But he get into that side of things like, hey, what we're really good, and what could have gone better? What, what he loves a project go and what, you know, was slash project now. I would say yes, Tom got the call.

Tyler Maynard  44:13

Do you need us to get off the call before you know, it's pretty transparent.

Tom Holt  44:19

I'm more concerned if my team watches the webinar

Aaron Conant  44:25

or an interesting point that you bring up though, because it's another question that came in was like, how did you sell it to the team? Was that a hard sell or not? So because that's change in a lot of people drivers change? It's there's different personalities that are a little bit they hold their breath when you say change,

Lauren McCumber  44:44

and change is hard, right?

Tom Holt  44:47

Change is hard. And the chair, I would say the biggest roadblock we've had is taking our team that's used to function We're in kind of a wild wild west scenario, and trying to get them and rope them in to a process. And that process has milestones and deadlines, and things like that that previously was like, Oh, I can just get done. You know, I can get into code, and I can go do this. And that's been probably the biggest challenge there. There haven't been any challenges with the HooDoo team. But internally, there have been a lot of challenges, and then also trying to sell or explain what this transformation means from a business sense. And that business case? And how do we work in the RV industry on an immediate gratification. And if they write a check tomorrow, they expect the website and whatever tool or whatever thing up the next day, and they don't understand all of the intricacies that come into it. So I'm constantly being asked, you know, where are we at with this? Where are we at? Why isn't this done? And, you know, they don't realize that there's, you know, like 20, or 2000, or more hours of work on the data side, plus the offering, and they're just, you've got to be able to have some free rein as you're going through the transformation. Yeah. So,

Aaron Conant  46:45

you know, Hoodoo team, are you helping them, like, craft that story as well, because that is very, very common, it is his vision, and usually have somebody internally that sees it, and connects with, you know, the, you know, Adobe, or the agency partner really, really well. But then there's a whole group internally, both above and below that, there used to be two different stories made totally in this. So yeah,

Tyler Maynard  47:10

yes. Like, I could definitely talk to that. I mean, they're Tom's point, change management is the thing that nobody likes to address, it's definitely part of a digital transformation. You know, and we definitely will, like, that's part of our process. And as much as we want to be, you want us to be involved is kind of, hey, do we do we need to be there and lead that change management process? Or, you know, is it like, we can create the tools that then you read the internal change management process? So like, we're flexible in that regard. But absolutely, I 100% believe it is, whose responsibility to help sell the story internally. I know, Tom and I were supposed to meet in January, but, you know, I was gonna go up and talk to the other people and basically say, this is the vision, you know, like, we're, this is the vision of the future, we're going to build it and we're going to, it's going to be amazing. Fortunately, travel restrictions happen. And Tom disparately got back from Salt Lake, and, you know, so many axes were thrown that he I think, was a little a little dizzy from all that axe throwing. Yeah.

Tom Holt  48:21

COVID from my wife.

Tyler Maynard  48:25

I was gonna say that, Tom, that was our that was our internal dialogue. But, um, yeah, so I think, you know, we are more than happy to, to help build this story internally, and sell that story to the to the appropriate stakeholders in a business. Because ultimately, if Tom's more successful, he's another champion for us. And it could, you know, potentially lead to more work, but at the same time, we firmly believe in what we're doing. And so it's not hard for us

Tom Holt  48:56

to tell that story will be goosebumps doing it. It's it'll be awesome. Yeah. You know, the other thing I'll add to that is, you know, your implementation partners got to be able to pivot and Hoodoo was really good with pivoting with my lead designer, who is used to coding his own, you know, style sheets and everything, and giving him and finding a way for him to be successful. And it's completely changed his entire acceptance and, and excitement in the project. Yeah, I'm happy you mentioned

Lauren McCumber  49:37

that Tom cuz I was gonna say the same I know, just even with our key players, we did have to really work with them to to show them one like, this is, this is our best practice. But let's work with you to find the best practice that works for all of us, so that you can still get what you want out of this and we can still you know, make sure we're not taking yourself Write down and, you know, things like that. So,

Aaron Conant  50:02

you know, I love it from the standpoint of, you know, it's a digital transformation, but we put on this journey, right? Because that's what it is. And what makes the journeys aren't always easy, but what makes them a lot easier to handle and fun along the way, it sounds like you guys have a lot of fun, which is cool to see. Oh, yeah, is that you find the right people to be on the journey with you. And to figure out, you know, you know, who's doing what, how to do it, there's a lot of trust, there's a lot of transparency that's required, there's probably a lot of like, straightforward honesty that's required. But there's a lot of collaboration, and I just, you know, journeys are, are better with family. So it sounds like you guys are right in that spot. You know, we have about a minute, a minute and a half left here, I will do want to roll through some key takeaways, you know, you know, Tom, if you want to start off key takeaways, then we'll go to Lauren, and then we'll go to Tyler and and wrap it up, like a quick key

Tom Holt  51:02

takeaway, Tom, you know, quick key takeaway is, don't be afraid to go to your C suite, and say, we've got to do this. Um, there are people out there that can help you sell it, and you can't be afraid of budget, you can't be afraid of, of of change, you just have to jump into it with both feet. Awesome, Lauren, key takeaways.

Lauren McCumber  51:32

I think my biggest key takeaway is just find yourself a partner who's willing to communicate with you and work with you really closely, just to make sure that everyone gets the best out of this partnership. And my, there's going to be roadblocks, no relationship is perfect. But as long as there's like communication, then at all, I'll be fine. We'll make it work.

Aaron Conant  51:53

Awesome. Tyler, we'll wrap it up with you.

Tyler Maynard  51:56

Yeah, so I'd say my key takeaways would be, you know, is there a shared vision? What is you know, can you guys create excitement off of one another? What does that relationship feel like? Again, we it's called partner for a reason, right? Like, we are partners we are we are in a relationship and a relationship should be fun. And you should get you know, all tingly when you when you guys first meet. And then over time, you're gonna be like, Oh, I'm kind of is this working out? And then you know, you'll be like, Oh, wait, we struggled a little bit. And now we're now we're solid. So you know, I would say that the key takeaway is just dream big. And, you know, we say around here slay dragons.

Aaron Conant  52:44

Yeah. Love it. I love it. Well, you know, thanks, Tom, Tyler, Lauren, for your time today all around. Fantastic discussion. Thanks, everybody who sent in questions, you need to follow connection, you're looking for any more information on this, you're looking to implement anything in the Adobe Suite, or just have a chat on what it might look like more than happy to connect you with a Hoodoo team. But it Tom as well, I'm sure he's a wealth of information having been through it, that'd be a great contact as well, more than happy to make those connections. The other thing is, I'd love to have a conversation with you as well. We don't sell anything here at BWG Connect. We're a giant networking group love to pick your brain and see what's going on in your neck of the woods, things that you're struggling with, or things that you've championed and are doing great. So we get the ideas for our next webinars. With that we're going to wrap it up. Hope everybody has a fantastic Thursday, a great rest of your week. Everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to have you at a future event. Alrighty, thanks, everybody. Thanks, Tom.

Lauren McCumber  53:39

Yeah, one more thing, I just want to just mention that all of the stuff we talked about today is really like groundwork for our Adobe Summit presentation we have going on next week, where we really super dive into like how we made this happen. So if you're more interested in like that technical implementation, or you want to see how we did the cool things we did with grand design, then go sign up for Adobe Summit. It's free to register. You can go find our presentation, the Hoodoo and GDRV. It's called the ground the grand journey driving content management workflow and UX. You can find out more about what we've been doing. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  54:19

Love it. Yeah. So the Adobe Summit next week. Yeah, sign up. I'm sure we go even deeper into the implementation as well. And with that, Oh, thanks, Lauren. Like, throw that in there. Without knowing. So we'll probably see everybody next week at Summit already. Take care now. Thanks.

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