Adobe® Business Catalyst® Success Story
Chicago Digital
Small agency, big results
Courtesy of: Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce,
Chicago Digital
Chicago, Illinois
• Created long-term, strategic client
relationships by continuing to add
functionality and value to projects
over time
• Kept focus on client results versus
costs with affordable Adobe
Creative Cloud membership
• Used web apps to enable nontechnical
customers to easily update websites
• Streamlined workflow and
accelerated production cycles
using integrated tools
Strategic marketing agency standardizes on Adobe Creative Cloud™
and Adobe Business Catalyst to create web solutions that empower
clients to promote products and services online
Organizations in the Chicago area that want help with digital marketing need look no
further than Chicago Digital—an innovative marketing agency that builds integrated
digital media solutions that help clients become smart web marketers. Chicago Digital
began in 2009 as small web design firm that created one-off web projects for local
clients. Today it is a full-service strategic marketing company publishing dynamic
online solutions for organizations across business sectors.
In addition to website design and development, Chicago Digital’s scope of services now includes
content authoring, mobile and tablet website development, digital sign design, social media, and
search engine optimization. While most of the agency’s customers hail from the Chicago area, its
client list includes organizations across the world in the fields of healthcare, retail, professional
services, and entertainment, as well as architecture, engineering, and construction, to name a few.
Picking the platform
Six months into its first year, Chicago Digital discovered the Adobe Business Catalyst platform and
decided it was the state-of-the-art, hosted subscription service that would enable the company to
scale its business model from a web design and development shop into a full-service marketing
agency. The team at Chicago Digital now builds and deploys all web-related projects using Adobe
Business Catalyst, leveraging the platform’s predefined functionality, to create comprehensive web
solutions for clients.
Chicago Digital’s unique implementation of Adobe Business Catalyst is used to run a website
and digital sign for The Surgery Center.
• Grow small, start-up web firm into full
service strategic marketing agency
• Deliver robust web-based solutions
that solve real-world challenges
for clients
• Empower clients to self-manage
content with no technical expertise
• Leverage the predefined, scalable
functionality of the Adobe Business
Catalyst platform
• Access all Adobe Creative Suite
applications and services, plus
upgrades to all new versions and
exclusive new features between
releases, through Adobe Creative
Systems at a glance
Adobe Business Catalyst
Adobe Creative Cloud. Components
used include:
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Dreamweaver
• Adobe Illustrator
• Adobe TypeKit
Adobe Proto
“Adobe Business Catalyst does more than give us the ability to rapidly build robust sites the first
time out,” says Mike Sallander, president of Chicago Digital. “It allows us to add functionality to
client projects over time as the platform’s capabilities continue to advance, resulting in multiple
repeat engagements and long-term strategic relationships with our customers.”
Cutting-edge workflow
Adobe tools and technologies dominate Chicago Digital’s workflow, where designers and
developers work together to rapidly prototype and complete a wide variety of web-based projects.
Agency designers use Adobe Photoshop® and Illustrator® to create, edit, and repurpose creative
assets, while developers hand-code sites in Adobe Dreamweaver®, making extensive use of code
hinting and jQuery syntax to support web apps in Business Catalyst. Dreamweaver is the agency’s
preferred editing environment for building new projects as well as adding functionality to existing
Business Catalyst implementations.
A Premium Business Catalyst partner, Chicago Digital made a key business decision to join Adobe
Creative Cloud, which became available just as the agency was set to update its Adobe Creative
Suite® licenses. Adobe Creative Cloud gives the entire Chicago Digital design and development staff
upgrades to all new Creative Suite software versions upon release, plus exclusive features between
releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the core web and design software integral to their
daily workflow, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver, as well as Adobe TypeKit®.
Having the latest technology is a top priority at Chicago Digital, and a definite advantage when it
comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. Joining Creative Cloud proved to be an incredibly costeffective measure that provides all agency staff with the most cutting-edge tools at their fingertips,
and makes it possible for the agency to bring new staff on board at a low monthly software cost.
“With Adobe Creative Cloud, we can quickly and easily add employees to projects as needed, keeping
us focused on delivering great results for clients, rather than worrying about costs,” says Sallander. “My
business partner, Scott Shefler, was so sold on the benefits of Adobe Creative Cloud that he waited
at his computer until midnight so he could sign up the moment it came online.”
According to Sallander, Adobe TypeKit—which the agency previously purchased as standalone
software—is a valued-added bonus in the Creative Cloud membership. With it, Chicago Digital
designers can choose from a vast library of fonts from premier type designers that bring just the
right style to web projects.
Using a custom practice dashboard built in Adobe Business Catalyst, The Surgery Center staff
can easily make changes, such as adding doctors or new practice areas to the website.
“With Adobe Creative
Cloud, we can
quickly and easily
add employees to
projects as needed,
keeping us focused
on delivering great
results for clients,
rather than worrying
about costs.”
Mike Sallander
President, Chicago Digital
Sallander and his client team are also beginning to work with Adobe Touch Apps in Creative Cloud
including Adobe Proto. They like the idea of being able to rapidly sketch wireframes on tablet devices
while brainstorming and meeting with clients. The files automatically sync to the 20GB of storage space
each member has on Creative Cloud, so team members can access them from anywhere. From there,
the site prototypes can be opened in Dreamweaver for coding and then published using Business
Catalyst. The workflow helps Chicago Digital bring ideas to life and iterate on them more quickly,
helping to further fuel agency efficiency.
Added opportunities
Chicago Digital’s portfolio of successful Business Catalyst implementations serves to continuously
attract prospective clients. When The Surgery Center, LLC— a group of medical and surgical facilities
in the Milwaukee area—selected Chicago Digital to design a new website and companion digital sign
program for its lobby, the results exceeded the client’s expectations. The project also provided the
agency with the opportunity to use Business Catalyst in a whole new context—building a digital sign
program that is functionally integrated with a website.
The Surgery Center wanted a new website that captured the essence of its organization with a clean
look, as well as a reliable, easy-to-manage, digital sign in the lobby that busy doctors and nontechnical
office staff could easily update. Above all, the client wanted to minimize cost and have both systems
share one content repository, as well as a similar look and feel across screens.
“We used standard protocols on the Surgery Center project, including HTML, CSS, and jQuery in
conjunction with Business Catalyst to cost-effectively create a solution with greater functionality and
ease of use than any other technology could deliver,” says Sallander. The crux of the project’s success
is that functionality and content management are separated in Business Catalyst, resulting in an
implementation in which the client has full control over content without touching the solution’s
performance or underlying functionality. For example, when a staff member revises a practitioner
profile, they simply fill out a form from a secured login area on the website. They edit the information
in just one place, while the program pushes it live to both the web and digital sign.
The dual web and sign project also accommodates four pre-built 30-second image ads designed to
promote various medical services and specialties. To build a digital signage ad, staff simply selects
the type of ad and fills in the corresponding text information. This innovative Business Catalyst
implementation also allows uploading of custom image ads, which is particularly useful when it
comes to advertising local sponsors, introducing new medical services, and showcasing participation
in community programs.
The Adobe Business Catalyst website created by Chicago Digital for the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce
is a community-oriented site that handles membership dues, events calendar, deals, itineraries, and more.
Website Graphic Design: Marian Williams Design,
“Adobe Business Catalyst and Creative Cloud have really brought
the web workflow full circle, enabling small agencies like us to
confidently approach new web projects knowing that we can hit
home runs for clients.”
Mike Sallander, president, Chicago Digital
Multiple industries, powerful solutions
Another example of Chicago Digital’s work that showcases the breadth of functionality within the
Business Catalyst platform is The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce website. The goal
of this site is to be the central hub of information for the Wicker Park Bucktown community. A key
requirement of the project was to utilize a content management system (CMS) that would enable
nontechnical chamber staff to manage the website.
Staff can easily create neighborhood and chamber calendars that receive payments and handle
RSVPs, process new member applications, keep chamber members informed on the latest news,
create neighborhood itineraries, manage member directories, add new commercial properties, and
feature local business in their community blog. Leveraging web apps in Business Catalyst, the Chamber
site promotes exclusive offers to members and public offers to non-members.
Previously, site visitors had to click on a variety of links to accomplish what can now be done in one
place. Chamber members can comment on events, blog posts, deals, announcements, and more. They
can also take advantage of member-only special offers and purchase advertisements on the site to
reach a local audience. Members and nonmembers alike can browse, search, and find business listings
on a map. A popular feature for users is the ability to view neighborhood event calendars and filter
by category, date range, and quick select options.
While these two projects highlight the success Chicago Digital has achieved using Business Catalyst
for clients today, Sallander and his staff are excited about new ways to work with Adobe web tools
and technologies moving forward. “Adobe Business Catalyst and Creative Cloud have really brought
the web workflow full circle, enabling small agencies like us to confidently approach new web projects
knowing that we can hit home runs for clients,” says Sallander.
For more information
Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
© 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.
Adobe, the Adobe logo, BusinessCatalyst, Creative Cloud, Creative Suite, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, and TypeKit are either registered trademarks
or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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