Category Archives: partners


Partner Spotlight: Outdoor Outreach

By | DO Good, partners | No Comments

Here at Digital Operative, living an active outdoor lifestyle is very important to us. Therefore, when we got the chance to partner with Outdoor Outreach – a nonprofit dedicated to connecting underserved youth to the transformative power of the outdoors – we jumped at the opportunity!

This summer Outdoor Outreach has gone above and beyond, leading several excursions for San Diego youth, ranging from surfing, rock climbing, snorkeling, and mountain biking. Through these outdoor adventures, kids and teens accumulate a sense of achievement, which increases their self-confidence and further enables them to see new possibilities for their lives. However, many of these adventures would not have been possible without the help of some of our favorite outdoor brands.

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In June, Outdoor Outreach received an in-kind donation of a screen house and two loungers from Lightspeed Outdoors as well as new medical kits and supplies from Adventure Medical Kits. In July, Body Glove Wetsuits kindly donated 10 new wetsuits, which were especially helpful during all of Outdoor Outreach’s summer surfing trips. Optrix also donated iPhone 4 and 5 waterproof phone cases – perfect for those surfing, snorkeling, and kayaking trips held during the summer. Outdoor Outreach is hoping to get donations of old iPhones from friendly donors so that the kids and teens can use them to take photos on their outdoor excursions.

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We recently reached out to Sameer, a participant in Outdoor Outreach’s Leadership Program, to ask how his experience with Outdoor Outreach has impacted him: “Outdoor Outreach gives teens the chance to experience nature, and realize all the cool outdoor places that are right in our backyards. However, I think the underlying affect OO has is that it opens our eyes to all the possibilities in life. We meet new people, and get to try so many interesting things – things we never even thought of. It makes us realize that we can have new experiences, and pursue our own path.” As Sameer explained, connecting youth with the outdoors opens so many doors and we love seeing the brands we love getting involved to transform these kids’ lives!

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For those individuals or companies looking to get involved, Outdoor Outreach will be the beneficiary of several upcoming events in the San Diego area. Puzzle Pursuit is an amazing race-style team event being held on Saturday, September 19th in Old Town. 100% of the sales benefit the Outdoor Outreach programs described above. For more information about volunteering, events, or donations, visit Outdoor Outreach’s website to learn more about their programs.


How the Outdoors is Taxing…

By | ecommerce, partners | No Comments

This is a guest post written by our partners over at Avalara.

Ah, the great outdoors. Fresh air, clean water, lush forests. Or maybe white snow, blue skies, and a crisp cold day. Whether for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing or any of the activities people are flocking outdoors for, the market is exploding both locally and across the internet for companies making time tested or new, innovative products that the outdooring public wants. Many of the companies creating these products may have started as a few folks and a better idea or two, but with growth and expansion, if they aren’t careful, their success can bite back.

The collection of sales tax is one of those areas a company can run afoul. Many outdoors companies have independent reps, a surefire way for a state to consider a company has “Nexus” – the relation with the state, and expect that company to collect, report and remit sales taxes on transactions in that state. Not to mention, a requirement to collect 1099’s for those reps. Many other activities can drive Nexus – participation in trade shows or conferences, fairs, festivals, traveling sales people, and the list goes on. In some states, it’s even possible that a that an operation to shoot a promotional video that involves employees or hired hands could be viewed as a nexus triggering event by some auditors out there. Having people on the ground for an unbroken period of time, existence of stock or promotional materials for the shoot, development of intellectual property, renting equipment in-state, buying insurance or even leasing a condo or soundstage could all be looked at as potential Nexus events. As more and more contacts or activities occur going out to shoot a video could all be drivers. In some states, even the types of products the company sells can get them on the hook. For instance, some states have taxes on clothing and apparel that might be different or additive to general sales tax.

Lots of these companies may work also with resellers or distributors, and, while they don’t need to collect sales tax on those transactions with their channels, they do need to maintain sales tax exemption certificates for all of them. Managing this for sometimes 100’s of resellers can seriously limit your kayaking time.

Automating sales tax calculation, exemption certificate management and even the filing of sales tax remittance helps eliminate the risks associated with keeping a company growing, and free your team up to enjoy the outdoors, not get caught up in a maelstrom. Limelight is partnered with Avalara to help outdoor companies (and many others) navigate the waters of sales tax confusion.

Want more information? Fill out the form and learn how automation can help your organization.

Outdoor Retailer

Tenzing’s Take on Outdoor Retailer Part Deux

By | partners, social influence | No Comments

This is a guest post written by Dave Geada, Director of Marketing at Tenzing. It’s part 2, of a 3 part series – read the first post here

So what makes communities (not markets) special? I posed this question in my last post as I shared my reflections on the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Event and the retailers that serve outdoor enthusiasts. In order to answer that question, I need to share a story with you about someone that I met at the show. His name is Dave LaSorte.

Dave LaSorte climbing

Dave LaSorte climbing

I first met Dave on the show floor at Outdoor Retailer, and to say that that meeting was memorable is an understatement. Dave’s presence hits you like a force of nature. It’s like a fierce summer storm that you didn’t expect that pummels your senses and passes as quickly as it appeared. The evidence of its passing is all around you, though. You and the landscape are soaked, the afternoon light casts a strange hazy sheen, and life begins to stir anew. And in that quiet, stirring moment you feel intensely connected to everything around you. That’s the effect that Dave has on people.

In the first 20 minutes of meeting him, Dave expressed his belief in our partnership and told the story of the rosy future both our companies had together. He shared a story about an impromptu sales meeting he had where he convinced a retailer to donate equipment to a charity he volunteers for called Outdoor Outreach. And then he asked if we were free for dinner and drinks, where he shared more stories about the restaurant, his sales deals, legends in the outdoor industry and more.

Dave LaSorte kicking back with the kids from Outdoor Outreach

Dave LaSorte kicking back with the kids from Outdoor Outreach

My favorite story of all was the one Dave told about the impact that his volunteer work with Outdoor Outreach had on the kids that he worked with, and ultimately the impact these experiences had on him. He talked about teaching at risk and disadvantaged kids how to climb. He described how the kids would stand at the bottom of a 100 foot cliff face, the bottom third of which was smooth weathered rock save for a seam in the rock face. How the kids would stand dejected at the bottom, saying how the climb couldn’t be done. How Dave, slight of build and in his 50’s, showed them how its wasn’t impossible by climbing up that wall like he was climbing up a stairwell, waving to them 100 feet above the ground. The looks of amazement on the kids’ faces at what the old man had accomplished, and the steely determination in their eyes as the bravest of them marched up to the cliff face determined not to let this old man stand them up. And the sheer transformative look of joy on the face of the first kid to make it to the top. That moment when the child realizes that they can climb that wall. And the moment afterwards when the child first realizes that if he can climb that impossible wall, then he’s capable of overcoming many more seemingly impossible challenges. Most touching of all is the way that Dave describes the effect of that moment on him.

“These kids ask for me. They ask if Dave is going to be coming along on the next trip, and when they tell them that I am they go nuts, man. Can you imagine that? These kids love to have me around, and that’s a real kick. Who’d have ever thought that? I’m just so grateful that I can share this with them. That I can help turn things around for them, because I know how hard that can be. To turn things around. And it’s beautiful when that happens. It’s a beautiful moment.”

So what can Dave’s story teach us about the nature of communities and how best to market to them? Well, three things strike me about Dave:

  • Dave genuinely believes that climbing and the outdoors in general can have a transformative effect on the human spirit.
  • Dave tells a lot of stories, and those stories reinforce and amplify his core beliefs.
  • Dave can’t help but share these stories, because they fuel his resolve and energize those around him. In short, he’s viral.
  • Dave’s greatest joy is in sharing his passion with a younger generation. Nothing gives him greater pleasure and satisfaction.

These same characteristics apply to communities:

  • Communities arise out of a shared sense of purpose and beliefs. These beliefs are the glue that holds everything together, overcoming even powerful disruptors like self-interest.
  • Communities maintain themselves through storytelling. Stories are the vehicle by which members make connections to each other, and the more authentic the stories, the stronger that connection.
  • Communities are viral. They seek to spread out as far and wide as possible.
  • Communities are generational and evolve. Each preceding generation seeks to impart its experiences to subsequent generations. Subsequent generations invariably view things through their own unique lens, and the stories evolve to reflect these evolving views.

Given this, how do we as marketers successfully leverage these dynamics to accomplish our mission? I’ll be covering that in my next post.


Digital Marketing Strategy Summit: October 21-23

By | Conference, digital marketing, partners | No Comments

Hey, wait a minute! You’re saying I have to make a decision?! It’s like trying to decide what restaurant to go to, there are a lot and they are everywhere. When deciding what conference is best suited for you, you must ask yourself these questions: Do I go to the closest city? Or, do we travel across the world? Do we go with the cheapest? Or, do I need more value? Well, here are 5 reasons why you should attend the Digital Marketing Strategy Summit: October 21-October 23, in sunny San Diego.

1.  It’s In Beautiful Downtown San Diego, Duh!

As if the educational components and networking opportunities aren’t enough, you’ll have the excuse to take a business trip to the best weather in the world. The conference is located downtown at the Westin San Diego. Not only do you have panoramic views of the San Diego Bay, the Coronado Bridge and the downtown skyline, but you can dive right into the Gaslamp Quarter from your hotel. I forgot to mention the networking reception with a free open bar! You will have the education of a lifetime in a beautiful city.

2. Speakers Are Crazy Good!

To be the best you must surround yourself with the best. This star studded line-up includes many industry leaders. Immerse yourself, engage, listen and learn from CEO’s, CMO’s, SVP’s, Directors, authors and experts in their space and prepare for the education for the ultimate edge! Tacks include strategy, analytics and data, customer relationship management and social and technology.

3. Get More Bang For Your Buck At The 3 Day Conference

Have you ever signed up for that conference that just never seemed to end? You know, the one that lasted for twelve hours a day with minimal breaks. Yeah, this one isn’t that! You will have three days to mix, mingle and rub shoulders with those who are well respected in the industry. By the way, none of the days will have more than eight hours of speaking time.

4. Build Relationships and Measure the Results

There is no better time than now to learn how to manage your corporate character in the digital space. Not only will you be creating a seamless customer journey, but you will be able to restructure your organization for the evolving digital customer. The agenda offers more than 20 leading case studies. With the skill set you acquire here, you will enhance your customer relationships through the online brand communities.

5. The Agenda

The agenda offers more than 20 leading case studies. With the skill set you acquire here, you will enhance your customer relationships through the online brand communities. There are topics that cover how marketing and IT can work together to create and execute a digital strategy, how to turn your employees into social media ambassadors, how to restructure your organization for the digital age, how to mine analytics and data and much more!

And because you are a part of the DO friends and family circle: If you’re interested in this event then click here to register and receive a 15% discount. Do not miss out – this event will sell out! We will be there and we hope to see you there, too!

outdoor retailer

Impressions of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

By | Guest Blog, partners | No Comments

This guest post was written by Dave Geada, Director of Marketing at our partner Tenzing.

I had the privilege this month of attending the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, an event that attracts over 10,000 manufacturers and merchants that specialize in outdoor sporting equipment. It was my first time attending the event, and the sheer scale of the show overwhelmed me. Picture an event so large that it completely encompasses the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City and then expands to three enormous outdoor pavilions. I lost my bearings at least a half dozen times (which led to some unexpected and amazing discoveries). Fortunately, on day two I downloaded the Outdoor Retailer event app for my iPhone. Suddenly I felt empowered, much like ancient mariners felt empowered when they were first offered sextants.

Now I’ve been to a lot of trade shows. And when I mean a lot, I mean a lot (I’ve got a draw full of badges to prove it). I’m always excited to attend them, because I always learn something. This is especially true when the event focuses on a market that I’ve never been exposed to before. Trade shows are a great way to soak up the gestalt of a market and tune you into what really matters to that audience. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be going to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. It was a new market with loads of great stuff to learn. It also gave me the chance to meet face to face with one of our best partners in the Magento space, an agency called Digital Operative.

Now every market, and by extension every event, has its own personality. Some are quirky and contrarian (think Linux World back in the day), some are serious, intense and driven (think Oracle World) and some are artistic, inspired, and visionary (think any Apple event). And sometimes this personality, this core ethos of a market, is something really special and a gift to experience. Sometimes it’s so pure and undistilled that it catches you by surprise and reawakens in you that special something that drove you be a marketer in the first place. The best marketing, after all, gives voice to something special. It gives expression to the universal truths that bind us all together as human beings. When we are at our best as marketers, we inspire others to do better and to be better and to reach for the seemingly unreachable.

There was something special going on at Outdoor Retailer. This impression didn’t hit me all at once. Little by little, as I met with our partner Digital Operative, some of our customers and a laundry list of manufacturers and merchants that I never met before, the sense grew that there was something more going on than just commerce. These people shared an intense passion for the outdoors and its transformative effect on the human spirit. And this passion manifested itself in an almost never-ending parade of innovations and stories and songs that they couldn’t help but share with me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the term “market” was a misnomer. These people were a community, one that was connected by a shared sense of purpose, history and vision. And I was amazed at how incredibly welcoming they were to an outsider like me.

All of this got me thinking about what makes communities so special, and the role that marketers can play in enhancing and prolonging them. I don’t claim to have all the answers, just a beginning, a framework for asking the right questions, as we think through this important topic together. Outdoor Retailer gives us an example to reference, and an opportunity for me to provide more detail around what I mean by “special”. But in order to do that, I need to share a story with you about someone special that I met at the show. Someone who epitomizes everything great about this ecosystem of kindred spirits. We’ll get to that in my next blog post.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn – see it here.

About Tenzing
As an ecommerce infrastructure specialist Tenzing has been helping retailers prepare for the holiday season for almost a decade. Tenzing combines scalable infrastructure, deep platform expertise, advanced managed services and extensive industry partnerships to help merchants increase revenues and deliver remarkable customer experiences. Retailers and Solution Partners choose Tenzing because we help them increase SEM performance, reduce shopping cart abandonment and ensure performance during peak seasons. To find out more about us visit or email us at


Digital Operative Press Release

Pro-Tec selects Digital Operative for its new Ecommerce Website

By | ecommerce, partners, Press Release | No Comments
Digital Operative will help Pro-Tec launch a new ecommerce website suitable for the actions sports lifestyle



Nikki Johnson
Agency Marketing Manager
Digital Operative


San Diego, California, August 28, 2014 – Digital Operative, a full-service digital marketing agency, is excited to announce their new partnership with Pro-Tec, the original action sports protective gear brand established in 1973

According to Thomas Coover the Director of Digital and Athlete Management,Pro-Tec was looking to take their web presence and e-commerce to the next level. “We decided to partner with Digital Operative because their passion for success was evident from the first meeting to the delivery of the new site. Since the delivery of our site, we have seen substantial growth of our organic sales month over month. Our newly formed partnership will change the success of our company.”

Focusing on content, commerce and community, Digital Operative will be using its full-service approach to ensure that Pro-tec receives the best solution mix covering strategy & planning, user experience, digital marketing, responsive web design and technology for their new ecommerce website.

“At DO, it’s all about working with brands and people who are passionate. Pro-Tec, Thomas and his team are exactly that, says BJ Cook, CEO of Digital Operative. “Pro-Tec is approaching ecommerce strategically and we’re here to guide them on this journey.”

Together, Digital Operative and Pro-Tec are looking to build a long-term partnership that will continue to pave the way for ecommerce in the action sports category and ultimately enable customers with protective needs to find what they need efficiently . For additional information contact,

About Pro-Tec

Pro-Tec is the original skateboard protective gear brand, featuring the market’s most recognizable style of helmets. Pro-Tec designs are often imitated but never truly duplicated; that’s because no other action sports brand has 40-years of heritage producing the most stylish and technologically advanced protective gear. Action Sports participants have always found a way to adapt and push forward; a mindset Pro-Tec engineers embrace while aggressively pursuing new innovative designs. Today Pro-Tec delivers the very best in modern protective equipment with a broad range of impact technology for a variety of sports. No matter your sport, no matter your style, Pro-Tec has a helmet that meets the needs for you. for more information visit

About Digital Operative

Digital Operative is an award-winning, full-service digital agency where transformative digital marketing meets creative commerce. We understand that today’s “anywhere customer” browses, compares and buys across many channels. That’s why our offering is fully integrated to cover Brand Strategy, User Experience (UX), Visual Design, Digital Marketing, Analytics and Development. We work with our clients to build better relationships with their customers at the intersection of commerce, content and community. Our mission is to deliver cross-channel customer experiences that ultimately help our customers’ businesses grow their awareness, engagement and revenue. Headquartered in San Diego, CA with a second location in Denver, CO, we pride ourselves in working with brands in Outdoors, Active Lifestyle, Fashion, Consumer Electronics, CPG and Non-profit. For more information please visit



4 Ways To Speed Up Your Site For The Holidays

By | Guest Blog, holidays, partners | No Comments

This guest post was written by our partners at Tenzing

There are lots of opportunities to find hidden capacity in your environment – and that capacity can be very valuable during the busy holiday season. Our partner Tenzing is here today to share four ways to free up your environment before the holiday rush hits.

It is incredibly important to regularly review your application performance and tune areas that are resource intensive, but as we come up to the holidays this type of tuning is imperative. As a specialist in infrastructure for ecommerce, Tenzing starts working with clients on holiday plans in August, well ahead of the holiday rush, to implement the following best practices.

Adjust caching timing

Caching can save system resources by holding information in memory, but when the cache has to be refreshed it draws system resources to complete this activity. During peak times increase the time between caches.

Adjust ‘type ahead’ search

Type ahead search uses additional sessions and threads within your application. Increasing the number of characters before the search is initiated or how long the system will wait before it starts searching will give you added capacity when you need it.

Remove/adjust view all options

Giving customers the option to view all items in a category is available on many sites, but if you have a large catalog the loading of these elements take time and resources. Review all the areas where the option to view all is available and restrict the number of items that can be viewed when it is selected.

Limit Publishing

Limit your publishing during peak times. Catalog updates en mass are resource intensive because in most applications the database and search engines need to re-index. In addition caching has to be refreshed.

For more information on how to prepare your site for the holidays download Tenzing’s free Ecommerce Holiday Guide – it’s full of advice and ideas on preparing for the holiday season including how to prepare your infrastructure optimize your application and coordinate your marketing.

About Tenzing

As an ecommerce infrastructure specialist Tenzing has been helping retailers prepare for the holiday season for almost a decade. Tenzing combines scalable infrastructure, deep platform expertise, advanced managed services and extensive industry partnerships to help merchants increase revenues and deliver remarkable customer experiences. Retailers and Solution Partners choose Tenzing because we help them increase SEM performance, reduce shopping cart abandonment and ensure performance during peak seasons. To find out more about us visit or email us at

Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14 – New Version and New Features

By | magento, partners | No Comments

Imagine worldwide ecommerce conference is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada this week, May 12-14 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. This Magento conference brings together merchants, partners, developers, experts and everyone in between. At this three day ecommerce conference there are breakout sessions, keynote speakers and numerous opportunities to meet like minded individuals who want to talk all things Magento.

Today Magento announced the release of their Enterprise Edition 1.14.This new version features many upgrades which include:

Price consistency. Merchants that operate across many regions and countries have the option the show one price across the board regardless of policies and tax structures.

Streamlined Checkout and new financing. Paypal can now be completed in fewer steps and will automatically try alternative options when a card is rejected. also, they’ve added Bill Me Later, which has shown to increase sales by up to 18 percent – with no additional cost to the merchant for instant financing.

Compatible with PHP 5.4. (No explanation needed)

Responsive design reference theme – The new responsive design theme will cut the development time of creating a responsive site in almost half. This theme encompasses all major flows products types, features and has a cleaner more modern code base – this makes customizing sites that much easier. Using this theme is Google’s preferred approach to optimizing mobile sites – so it will help you improve your SEO.

Search indexing support. Native support for Solr 3.6.2 is now available and features indexing improvements – which provides shoppers with up-to-date search results, and offers merchants better admin performance.

With all these great updates, Magento is making it easier for the merchants and for the end consumer. If you need help with your site don’t hesitate to contact us — after all, we are preferred Magento partners.

Magento Coming to San Diego for Ecommerce Forum Series – Hosted by Digital Operative

By | ecommerce, education, events, magento, partners, social commerce | 3 Comments

Magento San Diego event - partner

Our good friends at Magento asked us if we were interested in hosting one of their Ecommerce Forum events in San Diego this year. Why wouldn’t we? So next week on May 19, 2011 from 8am to 10am, we’re hosting the first ever Magento ecommerce forum at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego complete with all of the following ingredients:

  • FREE entry … if you’re ready to register go here
  • FREE catered food … Hard Rock doesn’t disappoint
  • A Magento overview from one of their team members
  • An in-depth demo of the Magento Enterprise ecommerce platform
  • Networking – Talk to Magento reps, Solution partners and other folks interested in everything ecommerce from current customers to potential customers
  • Other perks include – $20 valet for hotel, sweet David Bowie room, perks if you decide to stay overnight


If you have any questions about San Diego, Magento or the event please contact BJ Cook at our office – 619-795-0630

Digital Operative Becomes A Magento Professional Partner

By | agency life, Digital Operative, ecommerce, partners | 3 Comments

With the recent news of Digital Operative expanding its team in both development and design; we’ve decided to join forces with one of the fastest-growing Open Source eCommerce Platforms.

By offering both current and new customers the ability to leverage this great eCommerce platform and our experience providing direct-to-consumer marketing services; DO is poised to be well-balanced in our approach to creating engaging online retail strategies.

Here’s why we decided on Magento:

  1. Flexibility, scalability and modularity are at the top
  2. Established relationship with Rackspace (DO is a trusted partner with Rackspace and its cloud services)
  3. Utilizes one of our favorite frameworks – ZEND
  4. Backoffice integration points for over 37 accounting systems
  5. Powerful marketing toolset that offers personalized shopping experiences
  6. Multi-store management

Contact us about our Magento development experience.

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