My Strategic Marketing Plan

Cropped-edited-bustshot I'm pleased to announce that I've joined BirdDog (a part of the 14 year old Industry People Group, Inc.) as its Vice President of Marketing here in Urbandale, IA. BirdDog is a Candidate Acquisition & Management System for the Construction, Infrastructure, Engineering, and Facilities sectors. Watch the video below and check out the awesome animation work of Adam Beecher.

Many of you know that I've been spending most of my time there since June of this year in a full-time contract engagement. The early July announcement of my partnership with Andrew Clark (@thebrandchef) was the first phase of my transition to this new role.

The completion of BirdDog's round of funding from Dewaay Investment Partners I, LLLP announced a few weeks ago meant that I could execute the next part of the plan which was fully handing over all operations and client relationships, and taking a more public role at BirdDog. That process is complete. I cannot express enough gratitude to all the passionate clients and freelancers who propped me up and helped me build a success story. Thank you.

Some of you may ask, why? Small business in multimedia and web strategy...growing client base and revenues...low overhead and a recovering economy...etc. Well the decision didn't come lightly...but I had a nagging voice in the back of my skull that kept craving "focus". My body and brain were craving a nexus around which my efforts could orbit. After 3 years of cranking, a long term contract was the initial desire but the team here at BirdDog was such a great fit, the business plan was aggressive and well funded, that I couldn't pass this up.  I am truly getting to execute everything I did for 15 companies...inside one organization and toward one goal with a great team. This team is aggressive like a 14 year old start-up and anyone who knows me knows that I thrive in that environment.

I'd be lying if I said spending more time with my busier than ever family wasn't on my mind too. The timing was right for me to simplify things and reacquaint myself with being there and not just "being there". We're moving into a great new office at 2900 100th St. just up from Hickman this weekend and by Monday, my office will transform into a full blown multimedia studio as we ramp content production of all kinds. I welcome you to stop by and see what we're up to on this new adventure. Thank you so much for your support and know that you're in good hands with Andrew at createWOWmarketing. He's absolutely the perfect partner to keep creating WOW in Central Iowa.  

What about Doug? OperationRedState has always been a passionate pursuit and will continue to be so. It has always co-existed with our other work and projects and it will continue to do so. I still have an excellent team of content ninjas and strategists that develop winning online campaign strategies. ___________ I'm still speaking and would love to do more and I'm about 11,000 words into my new book "The Multi-Thread Marketer" and I anticipate its release in December/January time frame. This is my first full length business book and I find myself rising at ungodly early hours with chapters burning across my synapses. I can't wait to get this into the market and see how it does. I will print a few copies for hand outs at engagements...but this will primarily be ebook driven on iBook/Amazon/etc. Until we meet again in person or virtually, thank you.


Official Release Text:


Kelly Moore (for BirdDog)
[email protected]

BirdDog Adds VPs as Part of Re-branding Effort

DES MOINES, Iowa (October 26, 2010) – Niche talent acquisition and management company BirdDog has added two vice presidents to its team of associates. The hires are part of a strategic re-branding the company has launched to expand its employer client base in the construction, infrastructure, engineering and facilities markets.

Doug Mitchell has joined BirdDog as vice president of marketing. In 2007, Mitchell founded interactive marketing firm createWOWmedia, which delivered marketing strategy and execution services to Iowa companies. The company, now createWOWmarketing, continues under the ownership of Des Moines marketing professional Andrew Clark, a.k.a. The Brand Chef.

Hailing from California where he spent five years as vice president of marketing for a technology company, Mitchell authored the ebook, “Confessions of an Ex-Enterprise Salesperson:  What I Really Meant When I Said _____,” and is currently writing “The Multi-Thread Marketer: How to Identify and Hire Marketing Leaders in the Hyper-Economy,” which is scheduled for a December 2010 release.

“Doug’s experience in driving demand and customer engagement through online media is precisely what this company needs,” said Marc Sampson, BirdDog’s founder and CEO, “Thanks to Doug’s expertise, BirdDog has already made a quantum leap forward in its marketing efforts.”

Now BirdDog’s vice president of business development, Scott Prohaska has worked closely with engineering, oil and gas, refining, petro-chemical and power plant customers throughout his career. A mechanical engineer, Prohaska spent more than 11 years with Emerson Electric where he held various positions, including hiring manager. In this position, Prohaska sourced, recruited, hired and managed engineers, sales specialists, mechanics and service technicians. As such, he is uniquely qualified to understand what is important to BirdDog employer clients.

Like Mitchell, Prohaska is a former business owner. Prior to joining BirdDog, he owned and operated L.R.S., a high performance parts and race chassis manufacturing company, as well as Magnum Fabrication, a manufacturing and service-based business.

Mitchell and Prohaska will work toward several goals that come as a result of BirdDog’s recent influx of funding, led by DeWaay Investment Partners I, LLLP. The pair will drive market and customer development, as well as execute an extensive interactive marketing campaign for BirdDog’s candidate acquisition and management system.

About BirdDog
Founded in Des Moines in 1997 as Industry People Group, BirdDog hunts and retrieves specialized candidates then tracks and manages them through to the hire in the construction, infrastructure, facilities and engineering industries. The company powers niche job boards,,, and, connecting employers with jobseekers online. In addition, BirdDog offers a robust Web-based tool providing employers with simplified cross-posting and paperless management tools, reducing the time and investment required to bring top talent on board. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @birddog_jobs.

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One Crazy Summer in Clive

The kids just left with Mimi for one last cool "spend time with grandparents" vacation before school starts later this month.  They will have driven with us and grandparents over 7000 miles this summer hitting CA, OH, and AL and everything in between. 

Now that they're 6 and 4, they have a bit more "outside freedom" that stretches a couple houses up and back too where they play from morning til dark with the neighbors.

Add into the mix the fact that we've become much closer with our amazing neighbors and you've got the formula for a weekly "camping trip" through our backyards that starts Friday at 4PM and leisurely takes us through Sunday afternoon.  "Plans" on weekends have become much more lax which is a dream for me.  "Let's see how things develop" and "What should we bring" are as deep as we get lately...and that's perfect.

The kids aren't overloaded with structured they can focus on bikes, scooters, doing "chalk art" on the driveway, or swimming in the 12 foot pool in the backyard.  They're getting up after 8 and staying up til 10 (or later) as the moms and dads bend the rules a bit since there's no pressing schedule the next day.

I wouldn't say this summer is flying by.  Rather, I'd say it's been like watching a super cool kids dream in slow motion. I've had some time in the kids absence to ponder what this summer must be like.  Are they enjoying it as much as I've enjoyed watching it evolve?  I think so. 

Each night as they climb into bed and literally pass out from a full day of "being a kid off of school" I'm very thankful for our neighborhood, our friends...and One Crazy Summer.

Des Moines on cutting edge of access to Honda Air Taxi or "VLJ mini jet"

Here's an article that caught me by surprise.  It's from the Des Moines Business Record and it discusses how Des Moines Flying Service is building a facility in Chicago to accommodate their becoming a dealer/sales outlet for the planes.

Des Moines Flying Service (DMFS) will break ground on the HondaJet Midwest headquarters this spring and hopes to move in by summer 2010, a few months before Honda Aircraft Co. Inc. plans to begin delivering its new HondaJet. DMFS will continue its presence at Des Moines International Airport and Chicago as a Piper Aircraft Inc. dealer with its current staff of 35 people, and form a second company of about 25 people in sales and service focused on the Honda aircraft.

Dialog about Angel Financing in Iowa

Looking through search stats on this blog a few moments ago, I noticed that this search "angel financing in Iowa" produced a first page result for your humble author.  I've written about how Central Iowa needs to organize and bring together:

  1. The amazing talent and tech (not just software mind you) sub-culture that thrives here.......with
  2. The entrepreneurial minded angel investor who is willing to attend regular pitch meetings and put up RISK capital for prototypes and bootstrap launches.

Not so tough right?  Wrong.  The feeling among many here in town is that we have no truly open Angel funding network.  Central Iowa start up funding seems concentrated into small groups of Angels that are intertwined with business and government.  To the outsider with great ideas and little funding opportunity who gets pushed into the same funding funnels, this can be frustrating.

A couple of days ago, a lapse in my Twitter attention span excluded me from a heated exchange that resulted in this upcoming meeting at Impromptu Studio in Des Moines.  I will be attending for sure and can't wait to hear how our perception of reality is received.

I believe we could coalesce central Iowa under the moniker so we don't have to see the results below when someone searches for capital to fund the next massively successful idea that could have been.

(Taken from Gaebler Ventures website, the result just below my post in the search results)

Join me next Wednesday at 6PM for a talk called: Help! My Business Is Invisible - Increasing Your Internet Findability Factor

 Yours truly will be giving a talk for the New Iowa Entrepreneurs Coalition Meet Up Group next Wednesday, November 19th at 6PM.  Click here for full details and to RSVP and/or Join this meet up group.

Description of the talk is below.  I hope to see you there meeting, interacting, and building relationships with other progressive Iowa entrepreneurs.

HELP!!! - My Business is Invisible
Increasing Your Internet “Findability” Factor
6:00 PM - Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ask 100 people, "What's the first place you look to find a business or information on a business?" and 98 will say Google. Yet phone book ads, glossy brochures, and static "cobweb" sites still make up the bulk of many small and medium sized company marketing budgets. Break out of the old routine and hear some low cost - high impact organic Internet marketing strategies that will give your firm a fighting chance online. Doug Mitchell, Founder of createWOWmedia ( will show you how to increase your Internet Findability Factor and amplify your online brand with a focus on web video and multimedia.


6000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

Come and learn with me through the robust QA that I KNOW will break out.  If you're already "in the know" or a super web traffic findability guru...please come and share your knowledge with the crowd through the QA and interaction. 

The Power of Networking, Relationships, and Referrals

Last night I attended a talk given by Tom Steen over at Bank Iowa.  (notice the feedback in the right column if you click into that site's excellent!)

During our self-intros around the room, someone mentioned the possibility of franchising their business.  From the tone and big exhale when it was mentioned, I could tell that the concept of franchising...while exciting and invigorating...was also a nightmare of what-ifs.

I sought this person out afterward intentionally to refer her to my attorney and franchise specialist Rush Nigut.  Rush's expertise in this area is undeniable and documented.

I told her I knew the right one for the job, she said, "Oh wow you're about the 6th person in the last few months who's referred me to!"  (nice work Rush)

There were other attorney's in the meeting.  I overheard them approach her as well with referrals to lawyers in MN, etc.  While I'm sure those attorneys are excellent, she said, "You know I already have someone right here in Des Moines who's widely recommended." 

That's the POWER of relationships that spawn referrals during networking events. 

(She's never met Rush by the way...but I bet she feels like she has)

Blogging for Business - class 4 (the last hoorah...for now)

I had a great time teaching Blogging for Business in Des Moines.  We had a wonderful class filled with robust QA and fantastic people.  Our last class was held at Mars Cafe on University where we had wifi drinks, and a much cooler environment to conduct class. 

A special thanks to Rush Nigut for stopping by and impressing the class with his #1 business blog talk and pointers for our newly indoctrinated students.

It was a pleasure and privilege to teach the class. It was very pleasing to hear those "aha moments" and some oohs and ahhs :)

We can probably lobby for a 201 level course or simply make this one longer if we build some momentum.

Thanks to all!

Joel Kotkin Writes another Home Run Piece

Joel Kotkin has a piece appearing in Forbes called, "The Triumph of the Creative Class".  In the piece, Kotkin deftly explains the implications of an Obama Presidency as our economic and cultural leadership has shunned a more conservative industrial economy in favor of a more liberal brain based society.

The term "creative class" was popularized by former George Mason professor Richard Florida, who used it to describe those with both brainy business acumen and a very liberal cultural agenda borrowed from the bohemians of the '60s.

I swear that Kotkin must have accessed the part of my brain remotely that stores my "favorite words and phrases list":

Today the traditional business leadership, like their Republican allies, present a spectacle of utter disarray. The commercial banks have been effectively nationalized. Many traditional manufacturers, notably automakers, also yearn to suck on the federal teat. Reduced to supplicants, these companies have surrendered their standing as independent players. At the same time, the traditional energy companies, long the whipping boys of Congressional Democrats, will be fully occupied trying to survive the onslaught of anti-carbon regulations now all but inevitable.

The article is a telling and realistic analysis of where we're headed and how lost the Republican party is for now.  Today someone pointed out a website from the Republican challenger to an incumbent Senator in a blog post.  Can't find the link but will if my fellow Des Moines'ian chimes in to tell me who it was. 

The commentary that followed was tragically true and I paraphrase:  OMG.  This website looks like a student project from the nineties.  There was a link to a blog on the site.  Last update:  Early September.  There were a few YouTube videos but they were canned political speak.  Unreal. 

The creative class social liberals "get it" with regard to leveraging their economic power and their online power.  I was the FIRST to sign up for Obama's "Text Message alert to be the first to know who his VP pick was".

Check out Brett Rogers and see how following your passion can open doors

I saw this video piece on Brett Rogers and was really impressed.  I've seen the art from his phone...I'd NOT actually appreciated that he was creating his imagery on such a small "canvas".  Wow.  For those of you who've not seen what Brett does....he creates artwork using the drawing pad feature on an LG Dare cell phone.  Mind you the screen is roughly a 2 inch square.  Fascinating.

Take a look and see what a passion for the "artsy" side of cell phones can do for you.  I hope you end up not only with free cell phone usage...but as a paid marketing consultant who discovered a brand new niche market by following his passion.

Nice work.  Keep it up.

Brett's blog found here.

I'll take a 28 step commute with a side of productivity please"


I'm always happy when Joel Kotkin comes out with a new piece because he injects a dose of reality into the trendy headlines about demographic/economic trends shaping our world today.  Today I found, "Skipping the Drive:  Fueling the Telecommuting Trend on  In this piece Kotkin shares some great statistics on the rise of the telecommuter/remote worker.  I highly recommend that you click through and read the entire piece.

Although current data and thinking doesn't support my aggressive assertions about home working trends in this post I wrote last October, our economy and desires seem to be pushing us toward a more flexible and remote work mode.

Nationwide, according to the Gartner Group, in 2007 13 million workers telecommuted at least one day a week, a 16 percent leap from 2004. That number was expected to reach 14 million this year. In addition, more than 22 million individuals, according to Forrester Research, now run businesses from home.

What the data doesn't cover yet however is the rise of "Co-Working" or shared office space.  Our own Impromptu Studio seems to be the first attempt at bringing this environment to the Des Moines metro.  I know that there are multiple other people floating business plans for the same concept too.  Instead of driving the usual commute, workers can bike, walk, or drive much shorter distances to these hubs that offer social interaction, light services, a mailing address, conference rooms, etc. I'll be very interested in seeing data on this trend as it evolves.   

Planned or not some "organic savings" occur when home working or remote working becomes reality.

The potential energy savings --- particularly in terms of vehicle miles traveled --- could be enormous. Telecommuters naturally drive less, not only to work but for the numerous stops to and from work.

When I executed Geographic Arbitrage in late 2005 to begin working at home, I had no idea how much the environmentalists and greens would fall in love with me. 

  1. I went from a 64 mile per day commute to 28 steps from the bedroom to the boardroom.  I affectionately call my home office "Midwest Command."
  2. I went from putting 20k+ miles per year on a car to putting less than 8k on one.
  3. I am actually abandoning my car altogether when the lease is up in March since I can use my bike and my wife's car to be where I need to be.  I'm close to what matters to me, the kids school, the store, etc.
  4. I can bike to a farmers market to buy local organic produce.

Des Moines has such a light commute (don't tell anyone else they move here) that we may actually be behind on this trend.  Although with a high concentration of sales and support staff for the insurance / financial services industry...we may be a national leader in home work/telecommuting.  Either way, I believe the trend will only continue and "work" as we know it will morph into something entirely more palatable for the information based business masses.