[PODCAST] Staying focused on healthy marketing with Evan Tardy

As president of the wellness website DrAxe.com, Evan Tardy not only knows how to build a healthy mind and body, but also a healthy marketing strategy for businesses.

It’s that secret of strategy he’ll be sharing as 2018’s first AMA Nashville Power Lunch speaker on Thursday, January 11 at City Winery, diving into the history of DrAxe and how the company has been able to connect with people around the world.

“Our company exists to transform lives. That’s been the vision from day one,” Tardy said.

“Day one” happened around eight years ago, Tardy said, when he first met successful clinician Dr. Josh Axe with a site and newsletter dedicated to getting holistic, empowering nutrition information to patients.

“‘If I have to stack chairs to be a part of what you’re doing, then I’ll do that. I’m in,’” he remembered saying to Axe on the phone after learning more about the founder’s mission.

A month later, Tardy had moved to Nashville and jumped headfirst into DrAxe.com, making pivotal decisions at Axe’s kitchen table and shipping the site’s products from the garage.

And as the business started small, so did the marketing. Starting with Axe’s first 200 newsletter subscribers and 300 to 400 likes on Facebook, the team tracked followers by the 1s and 5s, Tarday said, aspiring to one day have a page with thousands of followers like that of entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.

“I remember looking at all of that and looking at people that were ahead of us and thinking ‘Wow, how could we get to that level?’ But through trying and trying and continuing to push through, we started throwing stuff against the wall and starting to see what stuck,” he said.

Today, 2.5 million people follow the Dr. Axe Facebook page. 2 million people receive the newsletter. And the business’s website registers 14.5 million unique visitors per month. According to Alexa’s metrics tracking service, this makes them the No. 1 natural health website in the world, Tardy said.

Two major factors played into the road from 200 to 2 million, Tardy said. The first part of Dr. Axe’s strategy was one of Tardy’s favorite lessons from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It!”

“Give value, give value, give value. Then ask for business,” Tardy said

By creating valuable content for consumers before asking for their business, Dr. Axe built a foundation on providing educational content – 2 to 3 articles per day – and established an audience for the product before it even existed.

It also means actively trading providing “information” – which, in this day and age, is readily available for anyone who wants it, Tardy pointed out – for “insight,” creating relevant content on how to apply knowledge for lasting change.

The second factor in the marketing plan was the company’s choice to not strike out in many directions at once with their marketing campaign, but rather to make every move very intentional.

“For us, we decided to really focus our efforts on being really, really good at one channel, mastering it. Once we got past the 80/20 of results on that channel, then we started working on another channel,” he said.

For Dr. Axe, that first, main social channel was Facebook. By zeroing in on one platform and “proactively ignoring” others four years ago, the team was able to consistently create content built specifically for a certain community, investing energy, time and care in one place and seeing major change as a result.

The team’s efforts on social media, content development, SEO, article marketing and email marketing all tie in together to create a cohesive marketing strategy that has rocketed Dr. Axe from $2M to over $100M in less than 4 years.

But perhaps the real secret of success lies in the advice of one of Tardy’s friends.

“He says that the key to being successful is to have one really good idea and then be extremely careful to never have another good idea. It’s making sure you don’t get distracted,” he joked.

Tardy will be the keynote speaker at AMA Nashville Power Lunch’s The 4 Pillars of Digital Marketing on January 11. Register now.

Moving Forward with AMA Nashville is brought to you by Relationary Marketing, specializing in turn-key B2B Podcast Production, and Astute Communications, a web design and digital marketing agency.

[PODCAST] Company culture as marketing with Buffer’s Courtney Seiter

By Chuck Bryant | 5.3.17

Sometimes, the way a company upholds its values can be just as valuable a marketing point as its product, and perhaps nobody knows that better than Buffer Director of People Courtney Seiter, who will be presenting “Company Culture as Marketing” at NAMA Power Lunch on May 4.  

Buffer is a platform for scheduling, sharing and analyzing social media for small businesses, pursuing a two-pronged mission: In addition to giving people a greater voice on social media, Buffer also aims to create the future of work.

“It’s a little bit of a lofty mission there, and it’s kind of up to interpretation sometimes, but we often will talk about what the future of work looks like and how we can get there and how we can help other people talk about that and have those conversations to get there too,” Seiter said.

In order to accomplish this goal, Buffer takes radical approaches to traditional workplace practices.

First, its more than 75 team members are fully remote, with employees living across the world, fostering a global community of both flexibility and creative problem solving.

“We have to create unique ways to work together. If I want to talk to Adnan in Sri Lanka and I want to talk to Hannah in the UK, we’ve got some timezone things, we’ve got some asynchronous communications to overcome,” Seiter said.

Second, Buffer seeks to pioneer a culture of transparency, maintaining measures that not only keep everyone up to date on happenings in the workspace, but giving customers information access as well.

“We have a set of ten values that guide everything we do. One of those is ‘Default to transparency.’ That means, to me, unless there’s a clear tangible reason why you wouldn’t share something within the team and possibly to the wider public, go ahead and share it,” Seiter said. “For us that has created a really wonderful situation where there are no secrets on the team as far as how we work, as far as how we get paid, as far as why we price our product the way we do. And there are no secrets between us and our community and us and our customers.”

In one of its biggest moves of transparency, Buffer began making salaries public in 2013, publishing income numbers for every team member. This move, Seiter said, was a reaction to the lack of guidance available for deciding salaries in tech.

“The idea is when we began to build Buffer in the very early days, there’s a lot of high-level advice on how to pay people, how to structure benefits, but there wasn’t a whole lot for our founders to look at — it was really in the weeds– about how to structure pay and how do you pay people and make sure it’s equitable,” she said.

The move was anxiety-inducing for some team members who were concerned about how people would react once the information was available. However, in the years since Buffer published the numbers, it has proved itself a blueprint for more fair pay and applications to the company have increased by 40 percent.

In addition to transparent salaries, Buffer also allows for email conversations between two or more people to be viewed by any other members of the company, allowing for email trails to be traced back and referenced by anyone who needs them.

Employees also take turns helping out with customer support, allowing them to take part in other means of external transparency as well, showing customers how their money is being spent, and, in Seiter’s experience, seeing how much people appreciate the level of transparency the company upholds.

“The idea is that you as a Buffer customer should know where your money is going to. We respect our customers enough to recognize that’s information they want to know and that it will benefit them and make our relationship stronger to have that knowledge,” she said.

While it takes significant time and effort for a company to implement radical workplace changes like widespread transparency, Seiter said that companies can start by looking into the heart of the company and what drives its mission. Without these goals, it can difficult for companies to put into place future-thinking ways of changing the workplace.

“One thing that people, founders and organizations can do is to look to their values. If they do have values, they tend to be written on a wall or in the breakroom or somewhere not referred to all that often,” Seiter said.

Once those values are identified or created, founders should look for creative new ways to hold people accountable for making progress in company culture, backing them up with policy and experimenting with new methods.

This isn’t something that can be done without a passion behind it, however, Seiter said.

“It has to be genuine and authentic. I don’t think you can start out in this mission thinking ‘Oh, if we share this, the New York Times is going to want our story.’ It has to come form an organic and helpful and authentic and genuine place. People will recognize that and will respond to that. People can also recognize that false note really, really quickly,” she said.

But, if done with a genuine and creative spirit, radical changes in company culture can be a piece of the marketing platform in and of themselves, attracting customers and personalities that are interested and excited to contribute.

“People want to see companies doing good. People want to align themselves with mission, with values they believe in. You have so many choices today; you can choose from any number of products to solve any sort of issue for you, but with that choice there needs to be something else you hang onto. I think values are quickly becoming the thing that I personally choose when I choose a product or a service. And a lot of folks feel that way: They want something more,” Seiter said.

For more information about Buffer, visit them online at buffer.com and check out their transparency blog at open.bufferapp.com.

Seiter will be the keynote speaker at NAMA Power Lunch’s Company Culture as Marketing featuring Buffer on May 4. Register now.

Editor’s Note: The NAMA Power Lunch podcast is a production of Relationary Marketing in partnership with the Nashville American Marketing Association. This episode was produced by Chuck Bryant and host Clark Buckner, edited and mixed by Jess Grommet, with music by Zachary D. Noblitt.


[PODCAST] Busting the myths of brand storytelling with Lindsay Jamieson

By Chuck Bryant | 2.26.17

In today’s advertising environment, selling a product based on emotion is just as important – if not more – than selling based on reason.

“It’s very much about emotional positioning or creating emotion in the narrative. Some people are good at that. Some people don’t dare do it,” said Lindsay Jamieson, founder of brand-strategy company Jamieson Brand.

To Jamieson, however, it seems as though advertisers have taken that narrative strategy a little too far – an idea that he will bring to the table on as the speaker at NAMA Power Lunch on Thursday, March 2, at City Winery.

“I think for the last 10 years, people have been sort of rambling along about, ‘That’s how you do marketing—you tell a story.’  And a lot of marketing companies and advertising agencies make big claims about being storytellers, and ‘We’ll tell your brand’s story,’ and that sort of stuff,” Jamieson said. “But some people are looking at that the wrong way ‘round.”

At the intersection of marketing, branding, and business, different means often come to the forefront of industry attention as the new best solution, Jamieson said.

And while using brand storytelling as a method of advertising is effective in building a two-way relationship with customers, advertisers often forget that what the product has to offer is just as important.

“There’s the product story – which is the buy, which is all of these features, and what color it is, and how much it is, and everything literally tangible around the product offering,” Jamieson continued. Then there’s the brand story, and that’s where you begin to explore higher level concepts, abstract values, beliefs, intangible elements that build personality into the bigger offering

One brand that does this particularly well, Jamieson said, is Louis Vuitton, which manages to seduce potential customers with a big picture that’s full of emotion.

“They take you into another world that you can relate to and desire to be in,” he said.

Jamieson explained how successful ad campaigns can help sell not only the product, but the brand itself; a brand cannot really be owned, but only influenced in how it is perceived. This means that it’s often difficult for people on the inside to gauge a brand’s effectiveness.

“The reason I have a job is because marketing yourself is really, really hard,” Jamieson said.

In order to combat this, advertisers must stay open-minded, listening to the perspectives of those who know the industry, and gathering an arsenal of knowledge by observing how other brands solve or don’t solve problems.

That also includes getting distance from the industry sometimes. Jamieson said he frequently DVRs television to skip the ads, closes his computer for the weekend, and takes walks in nature every single day to avoid overstimulation.

“The last 10 years have been exponential in the growth of noise,” he said.

All of it chalks up to members deliberately disrupting themselves from an industry that is overflowing with new content, even if it’s no7t always good content, Jamieson added.

“I’m not looking for failure, I’m just seeing it. And then I’m getting excited when I see good creativity,” he said.

Jamieson will be the keynote speaker at NAMA Power Lunch’s Debunking the Myths about Brand Storytelling on March 2. Register now.


Editor’s Note: The NAMA Power Lunch podcast is a production of Relationary Marketing in partnership with the Nashville American Marketing Association. This episode was produced by Chuck Bryant and host Clark Buckner, edited and mixed by Jess Grommet, with music by Zachary D. Noblitt.

Why going ‘Glocal’ with your Social Media Marketing is an undeniable necessity

By Jordan Watkins, NAMA Blogger | 2.22.17

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat are no longer simply means of staying in touch with friends. A carefully-tailored online presence across various social media platforms is now essential to any successful marketing campaign or branding strategy.

Establishing a social media presence gives your brand a humanly-relatable personality to which users feel they can connect with in the same ways as they do their closest friends. In his article, “The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing,” Jayson Demers discusses the specifics of how social media marketing leads to increased brand recognition, increased inbound traffic, improved brand loyalty, and better search engine rankings.

In his words, “social media is a place where brands can act like people do…people like doing business with other people; not with companies.”


Last fall, Pew Research Center published its Social Media Update 2016, in which the group states that 86 percent of Americans are Internet users. According to the update, that means 8-in-10 Americans – or 68 percent of all adults in the U.S. – are Facebook users.

Without even taking into consideration global statistics, it’s clear that social media marketing is an undeniable necessity. However, the geographical impact of it is by no means limited to the United States or to any locally-based audience for that matter.

Social media provides marketers with an outlet through which to directly communicate with audiences located in various geographical locations.

These user-based platforms are designed to operate beneath the surface of cultural and societal differences. However, such platforms alone are not enough for a brand’s social media presence to effectively resonate with culturally diverse audiences.


Despite the growing popularity of a mindset focused on a homogenous global identity, society, and culture, societies of the world still function as separately-governed entities that each have uniquely different cultures. This diversity presents a number of challenges that are most effectively addressed by adapting what is popularly known as the “glocal” approach.

The term itself is derived from the concept of “glocalization.”

In his work The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Friedman defines glocalization as, “the ability of a culture, when it encounters other strong cultures, to absorb influences that naturally fit into and can enrich that culture, to resist those things that are truly alien and compartmentalize those things that, while different, can nevertheless be enjoyed and celebrated as different.”

For this reason, the glocal approach is derived from this same concept.


In “Achieving ‘Glocal’ Success,” authors Michael Czinkota and Ilkka Ronkainen describe it as an approach that “provides clear global strategic direction along with the flexibility to adapt to local opportunities and requirements.”

In short, a glocal social media marketing strategy establishes a global social media presence while focusing a brand’s marketing efforts on resonating with locally diverse audiences.

Facebook’s Global Pages is an ideal platform through which to execute glocalized social media marketing. While not appropriate for every brand, it is ideal for those with an already established global footprint.

Through one URL, Global Pages allows a brand to maintain a singular global presence that is applicable to all culturally diverse audiences. Based on a user’s geographical location and set language preferences, they are automatically directed to one of the brands pages. There, the user can view, share, and interact with content specifically generated to correspond with the locally present cultural and societal differences.

This platform is just one example of the many effective methods of implementing a glocal social media marketing strategy. Once a brand has adapted a glocally-organized social media marketing approach, it has the ability to effectively market to any number of audiences globally.

Whether locally-focused or globally established, implementing a social media marketing strategy is undeniably beneficial to any brand’s marketing success.

If you haven’t yet, take a leaf from the books of today’s youngest generations to whom social media is seemingly necessary for survival. What are you waiting for? Your brand has a unique personality and social media is waiting to help you tell the world its story.

Being Authentic on Instagram Can Help Grow Your Business

By Chelsea Kallman, NAMA Blogger | 9.7.16

#LiveAuthentic — the potentially overused hashtag encouraging people to live an adventurous life, filled with risk and emotional honesty.

It seems harmless, but because of this hashtag’s common usage it has gotten a bad rap. Photos tagged with #liveauthentic are typically communicating curated moments far from everyday life.

The New Statesman blog post talks about the “cult of authenticity” shaping a supermodel’s worldview, provoking her to rebrand all her sponsored and perfect photos with actual honest captions.

This Gription blog talks about #liveauthentic representing a generations-deeper cry for a unique life with a meaningful story.

If you manage social media for a small business, then you’ve experienced how #liveauthentic makes it that much harder to post actually authentic material. You have to toe the line of being real and relatable, but not so real or authentic that it’s fake.

So, how do we move past the contrived and use Instagram as a powerful social tool?



Social media is meant to be social. Posting pretty pictures won’t give your customers the personal connection a conversation can.

Marketing for a small business is the long game. You need repeat customers and loyalty.

The Nashville Sounds, our minor league baseball team, is actually winning at this concept.

Early in the 2016 season, I brought my bulldog to an event called Bark in the Park. While there I snapped a photo of him, tagging The Sounds.

The Nashville Sounds commented, saying how much they loved it and how the photo was an official selection for The Sounds Choice Awards.


As a fan, this made me feel so special. They offered me a pair of free tickets to the Sounds Choice Awards and a chance at winning a gold bobblehead of Booster, the team’s mascot. I ended up winning and got to go on field to accept my award.

The Sounds paid for the time to find my photo and the cost of my tickets. But, they got a lot more in return.

I came to the game and happily spent money on food, drink, and merch – totaling far more than the worth of my tickets. I boasted on Instagram about winning, tagging The Sounds in all my photos. All my friends saw and were excited for me. They also saw how much The Sounds engage with their fans.

This is an easy and affordable way to make your followers feel special. It can be as simple as commenting on and reposting a photo your business is tagged in.

This has happened to me with several brands and I always feel like a rockstar when it does.


Coffee shops can only post a picture of a beautiful latte so many times before it gets old. It’s the same with any business selling a product and not an idea.

In June 2016, John Frieda hair products launched a campaign making their brand about more than what kind of shampoo you use. It was called Shades of Me.

The program connected to your Instagram account so an algorithm could find out what colors are most present in your photos. It took into account your hair color, then told you what shades you are, and what that says about you. It also suggested different hair care products to use.


The entire campaign communicated that John Frieda cares about who you are on the inside (and that your hair looks good, too). Read this Convince and Convert blog about John Frieda embracing personalized content. The blog post quotes John Frieda’s marketing manager, Alex Bradbury, explaining the power behind content marketing.

“Everybody wants something that nobody has; that’s the crux of it,” she said. “They want something that’s tailored to them, something that gets a layer deeper.”

This sentiment gets at the same idea behind #liveauthentic. Everyone wants to be unique and feel like they’re doing something important.

Use your Instagram to show and live the authenticity of your brand instead of just telling them.

Marketing Automation – Benefits and Pitfalls

By David Waldron, Guest Blogger | 8.23.16

One of the things marketers need to know about to be most effective in their work with clients is the strategy and use of marketing automation as a part of an omnichannel marketing effort.

Marketing automation pertains to software platforms that allows a digital agency to automate some of their marketing tasks, and also can be much more effective in creating deeper relationships with clients in all phases of the buyer’s journey.

Most marketers today automate tasks that are repetitive in nature, which include social media, email, and other online actions. These automated tasks can also be timed to be delivered and interacted with at the most optimum time based on data gathered in previous marketing activities.

With the use of marketing automation, marketers are able to streamline their segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, lead generation, marketing ROI measurement, customer retention, customer lifecycle marketing, and a lot more. It can be used for all types of businesses, whether it is a B2C or a B2B company.

Marketing Automation Graphic

Below are some of the main benefits (and a few pitfalls) of using marketing automation:

Better Lead Generation
Marketers attract people to the brand through an overall brand strategy, including both outbound and inbound marketing and lead generation. However, the effort will be wasted if the people are not interested in buying or are jarred or alienated by the marketing touch. With the use of marketing automation software, marketers can reach out to more people during the exact right time in the sales funnel.

That exact time is when consumers have expressed interest in what was written in a newsletter, signed up for a content offer,  or have been browsing a blog for a long period of time. The lead list will be more targeted, and useful, instead of using a list of random (or purchased) email addresses. This is one of the main reasons why thousands of B2B marketers use automation for their digital marketing campaigns.

The data collected by platforms such as Hubspot, Adobe Marketing Cloud, or the IBM Marketing Cloud include open rates, delivery times, visitor engagement times, pages and features viewed, and conversion rates from visitors to leads to customers to brand evangelists.

Nurture Potential Customers
Leads are nothing if marketers can’t convince them to buy something. That’s why one of our main tasks is to nurture leads and existing customers. A marketer must know how to keep potential customers interested in their clients’ products and/or services, and make them ready to take action towards a purchase.

Nurtured leads often make larger transactions compared to leads that were not nurtured. With the use of marketing automation, you will be able to nurture the leads without the need to personalize the emails manually.

Instead, the software will do all the work for you. The marketer can focus on making the content of that outreach engaging, immersive and remarkable.

Convert Consumers Faster
There are instances in which there’s a gap between the time when a person shows interest in the business and the time one decides to buy something. Our prospects lead busy lives, and they deal with many distractions. Whether it means an abandoned shopping cart or suspended product research, these gaps can easily be created during all stages of the conversion funnel. Marketing automation can help decrease this gap.

Automation software can convert leads faster than any other digital marketing tool, through the delivery of great content at the perfect moment. This will help boost the revenue of your or your client’s company without having to greatly increase the effort of the marketing department.

Improve the Company’s Bottom Line
One of the objectives of running a business is to make money. And marketing automation can help companies improve their revenue by ten percent within six to nine months. Users of marketing automation software have reported that they improved their sales by an average of 34 percent.

Get Maximum Results from Digital Marketing Strategies
Another benefit of using marketing automation is that it can be integrated into the company’s CRM platform. That will allow you to check whether the digital marketing strategies are working or not. By monitoring the progress of the campaign, you will be able to tweak it in a continuous improvement cycle so that you will be able to get more leads and conversions.

Pitfalls of Using Marketing Automation
Most marketers think that the software can provide an instant solution to their lead generation and email marketing needs. That’s why they use marketing automation without a clear goal in mind. To get the job done, they need to have an effective strategy in place. They should understand that the system is just a tool that will be used to implement their strategies and not the other way around.

Some marketers buy marketing automation software to use for their email marketing campaign with very little thought as to its integration. These are very complex systems. Before purchasing the software, be sure to know what its capabilities are, if it fits into your overall strategy, workflow and team, and if you really need it for your company.

Another problem that companies face is that they don’t have team members that have the required technical skill sets to run the marketing automation systems. Some platforms require people who have a background in development, data architecture, and IT instead of pure marketing skills. The company may need to hire a marketing technologist to maintain and implement the platform or would be better suited to outsource the work to a qualified digital agency.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Investing in marketing automation can greatly help the profitability of your company. It is important to find the right software or the right digital agency that can handle all the requirements of your marketing campaigns. That way you can drive the best quality leads to your sales team by targeting the right market, at the perfect time.


David Waldron

David Waldron is a digital marketing and website development veteran with 18 years of experience in the field. He is a partner with Darkstar Digital, a digital marketing agency specializing in inbound or content marketing and website development. He is also a foster parent for Tennessee Scottish Terrier Rescue and is also a beekeeper in his spare time. Contact David at david@darkstar-digital.com.

Incoming NAMA President: Get Ready to Have Some Fun!

By Jamie Dunham, NAMA President | 7.24.16

Happy New Year, NAMA!

It seems a little funny to say, “Happy New Year,” but for the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association (NAMA), it’s a New Year, and our talented new board has been busy with plans for new NAMA year 2016-2017.

www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)

So in the spirit of the season, let’s throw some confetti and thank last year’s leaders for a great foundation on which to grow. And let’s countdown this New Year with some new goals and initiatives – because that’s what marketers do.

Here are some of the changes in our new year:

New Venue for Our Power Lunches
That’s right, we are moving our lunch meetings to the fantastic City Winery venue that will well accommodate our speakers and programming with state-of-the-art staging and audio-visual.

And we will have discounts for Lyft to get us there in style.

Our Hospitality Chair Teresa Faust is working with her group to get us ready for our first Thursday Power Lunch on Sept. 8. And our programming committee led by Ann Howard is planning smart insightful speakers.

New sponsor Relationary Marketing will create podcasts with our speakers to allow us to know them better.

What’s your jam? Ours is The One Hitters, a fun One Hit Wonders Band, where NAMA member Peter Cronin and his band mates rock out.

2016 NAMA JAMA Graphic

So “Baby Come Back” to our NAMA JAMA Mixer on Aug. 9 at Stagepost. You like it “More Today than Yesterday,” and you’ll be “Fallin’ in Love” with NAMA and your new friends.

Mixing Up Our Mixers
After NAMA JAMA, we’ll be hitting the road for our mixers, exploring offices of some of the top marketing groups in town and visiting some interesting businesses in town.

A big thanks goes to Lynn Bennett’s membership team and the Grand Mixer Bill Selph for getting us out on the town.

Also, look for impromptu invitations to pop-up events for drinks in a popular watering hole.

Serious about SIGs
President-Elect Lori Whitbey and the SIG chairs are working on new SIG events for B2B, Healthcare, Non-Profits, Marketing Technology, Research and Collegiate Relations.

Get to know our SIG Chairs – B2B’s Paula Milam, Healthcare’s Andrea Gillotte, Non-Profits’ Bob Duthie, Marketing Technology’s Knight Stivender, Research’s Sheila King and Collegiate Relations James Scherer and mark your calendar for your favorite group.

We will also be extending the invitation to members interested in SIG start-up events in new categories like entertainment.

Free Member Events
Sometimes we just like to roll up of sleeves and learn some new things.  Sponsorship’s chair Austin Harrison is working with our sponsors on some casual member-free events to allow us to learn some new skills. Stay tuned.

Our Sponsors are leading the way in making our year successful. We thank each of them for their contributions.

And our treasurers Jason Hoard and Jeff Peden are keeping us fiscally responsible. Oh, and they love a good party.

Our historian Julie McReynolds is providing continuity, and our secretary Kurt Kirton is working on updates to our Job Board.

Our Communications team, led by Melinda Hudgins Noblitt and our Social Media team chaired by Elizabeth Duffey, will make sure you are informed with new blogs, a newsletter, website updates, and social media. Mark your calendars!

And our Volunteer team chaired by Tim Earnhardt will make sure you find a place to plug in.

Our goals are pretty simple: this year is about making long-lasting marketing friends, learning some audacious new skills, and having a little fun.


Please take the time to make new friends at NAMA. Instead of just coming to “network,” wouldn’t it be great if you got involved, made lasting relationships, learned some new skills, and found great business partners?!

That’s something to toast about! Happy New Year, NAMA!



Jamie Dunham is 2016-2017 President of Nashville AMA. She is founder and president of Brand Wise, a brand strategy firm with a focus on building culturally relevant brands. She authors the popular blog Lipstick Economy offering perspectives on marketing to women. Brand Wise is hosting Red Letter Day, a one-day marketing to women event on August 5. 

B2B or B2C? It’s All About B2P!

By Paula Milam, Guest Blogger | 3.8.16

Marketers know every good decision centers on understanding your audience.

This is remarkably true for those in Business to Business (B2B) marketing.

That’s why we, at TruStar Response Marketing, are sponsoring this month’s NAMA B2B Special Interest Group: Create Buyer Demand with B2B Personas featuring Pat McAnally of SiriusDecisions. The event will be held from 7:30-9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22, at Maggiano’s, located at 3106 West End Avenue in Nashville.


What exactly is a B2B Persona?

You can think of it as a personal portrait of the decision-maker you want to reach. Not the industry, not the company, not the department, not the title or function – a persona is a portrait of the real human person who will say, “Yes!” or “No.” to your offer.

This person has emotional beliefs, opinions, likes and dislikes, family, hobbies, and community involvement – individual traits that cannot be summed up in demographical statistics alone.

The more realistically you can draw each individual portrait, the more successful your business-to-business marketing will be.


We talk about B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) separately, because the roadblocks, environments, and complexities can be quite different.

But in the end, the most successful marketing, the marketing that delivers more sales, is really B2P – business marketing to the PERSON.

In the past, much B2B marketing success focused on differentiating products and services from the competition by communicating clear benefits and features. But technology has changed the game.

In today’s highly connected, digitally prolific marketplace, everything is different. In fact, much of the decision making is made before your prospect may reach out to your business for a quote.

Already, B2C consumer marketers have struck gold by building personas and marketing to the individual needs and wants of the person. Yet B2B has lagged behind.

That’s why NAMA’s B2B Special Interest Group (SIG) invited Pat McAnally of SiriusDecisions to shed some light on the topic and to show how personas work in business marketing.

“Do interviews with your clients,” she urges. “Find out what keeps them up at night, what their pain points are. Then you can begin to have a meaningful conversation.”

McAnally will explain how small, medium, and large B2B companies can jump on board to gain deeper audience knowledge and get more real human people to say, “Yes!”

For details or to register for the NAMA B2B SIG Event, click here.

Additionally, SiriusDecisions, will host its 2016 Summit at Gaylord Opryland Hotel May 24-27. Learn more here.

NAMA President: This group is on fire!

By Courtenay Rogers, NAMA President | 1.5.16

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Courtenay Rogers

There is no question Nashville is part of the “it city” movement.

Our city was recently named the top destination of 2015 by Travel + Leisure readers, beating out international hot spots like Adelaide, Australia, and Korea, as well as domestic cities New Orleans and Detroit.

NAMA is capturing that momentum and moving full speed ahead.

Our year officially started in July and kicked off with a sold-out mixer at Amerigo of 100 marketing professionals, students, and thought leaders gathering for good company and great food.

Speaking of Amerigo, they are our mixer sponsor and have done an amazing job with all of our mixers, treating us to lavish appetizers, and top-notch service.

The best part about these events is the genuine connections that actually happen over cocktails and handshakes.

Our Power Lunch series launched in September with a panel discussing experiential marketing, then continued with programming that included innovation in video and engagement through passion.

Our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offered multiple, excellent events in the areas of B2B marketing and Healthcare marketing.

Our membership committee coordinated monthly coffees for folks who may be interested in joining NAMA. In fact, we added quite a few members over the past six months!

One of our newest sponsors, Alcott Whitney, has been working diligently behind the scenes helping us to analyze our data and engage our members more effectively from a communications perspective.

We’re getting geeky, learning more about using Google Analytics and integrating our vast collection of tools.

NAMA has more than 380 members, and our programming, networking, and educational opportunities have been abundant in 2015. This year is sure to offer even more!

Our research committee continues to ask event attendees and members what most interests them, and our programming reflects their feedback.

Marketing automation is a hot topic and was chosen as the theme for our Jan. 7 Power Lunch that includes quite an impressive panel of experts in the field.

NAMA is one of the most robust chapters of the American Marketing Association (AMA), and the national chapter offers local chapters like ours extensive support with weekly training calls, virtual events, case studies, and white papers.

President Elect Jamie Dunham is taking a handful of our board members to the AMA Regional retreat in Birmingham at the end of January to learn best practices from other chapters in the area.

We’re excited to support one of our sponsors Emma again in 2016 as a partner in their second annual Marketing United conference this spring. Keep your ears open for special discounts and volunteer opportunities for what will be one of the most inspiring marketing events in Nashville.

We’re all about supporting the Nashville community and are very grateful for the support that our sponsors offer us and our members.

Being President of NAMA is an honor and a privilege, and I’m truly excited to see what 2016 brings for our members, guests, and volunteers. Thank you for a wonderful 2015 and cheers to a productive and positive new year!

Ten Things You Should Know about NAMA

By Jamie Dunham, NAMA President-Elect | 12.29.15

top 10

I am a sucker for Top Ten lists, and 2015 has been a good year at the Nashville AMA chapter, so I thought it would be helpful to reflect on the Top Ten Things You Should Know About NAMA:

  1. Informed Marketing Insights
    Our members say that learning the latest marketing trends is one of the top member benefits. To ensure that learning continues, our NAMA Programming team spends hours juggling calendars, contacts, hot topics and research to bring us programming from informed leaders in their fields.Some of the topics from 2015 Power Lunches have included Experiential Marketing, Video Innovation, Non-Profit Marketing, Marketing to Women, Social Media experts and Sports Marketing leaders. Each speaker provided current information and insights not found by just reading blogs or reading books, and they were very generous in sharing their current experience in their fields.After the 2015 Super Bowl, we heard from Nissan on its approach to the Super Bowl campaign from enlisting top bloggers early-on to actual advertising and social media, and we were able to hear first-hand results.
  1. Shared Expertise
    At NAMA, we have hosted member-only events that provide shared expertise in a variety of subjects from how to hone your presentations to how to deal with clients. Karl Sakas, an agency consultant and business coach, met with us this month to provide his insights on creating great client relationships and how to deal with difficult client situations.
  1. Category Knowledge
    We have several special interest groups within NAMA that provide excellent programs targeted at specific categories – Business to Business, Healthcare Marketing, Non-Profit Marketing, Technology Marketing and our newest group Research. Our Healthcare group regularly brings in market leaders like Rebecca Climer, SVP of Marketing and Communications at Saint Thomas Health to discuss their marketing strategy. Research hosted a round table as their initial event this year.  And our B2B group brought in Gannett to talk about marketing strategy.
  1. Relationships
    NAMA is an extremely welcoming group. With the growth in the Nashville marketing community, NAMA provides a home for marketers where they can make peer relationships not available elsewhere. Getting involved, attending meetings and working on committees provide opportunities for marketing relationships that live beyond your current job.I have several close friendships with persons I have met through NAMA. These relationships have made my life richer and my professional life more relevant. I count on these friends for important advice, special insights and referrals to specialists I might not know.
  1. Inside Scoop
    I have a friend who always says, “What’s the scoop?’ Well, when you are involved at NAMA, you have inside information on business changes, corporate changes and new jobs. This information makes your cocktail conversation richer, and friends will look at you as the “person in the know.”
  1. National Perspective
    NAMA is part of the American Marketing Association, a national organization that provides an array of resources (also a top member benefit). Its website provides excellent resources, events, webinars, publications, and content helpful to marketers. Take a minute to read The AMA’s Top 10 Marketing Stories of 2015.
  1. Local Leaders
    Where else are you going to meet some of Nashville’s top marketing leaders? We host top leaders across all disciplines and brands. In our friendly and inclusive environment, we encourage NAMA participants to learn from these leaders. And, many times, these leaders are looking for talent. Win-win!
  1. Experience and Career Growth
    We encourage all volunteers and board members to add their NAMA experience to their resume and LinkedIn profile. NAMA is a great way to gain leadership experience and to build competency in a different marketing discipline. Prospective employers are always interested in your passion for your industry and participating in NAMA is a great way to exhibit that passion.
  1. Valuable Partnerships
    NAMA has been asked to participate in several other marketing events throughout 2015. We provided volunteers to Emma’s Marketing United Conference and the Fuel Lines New Business Conference.In exchange, discounts were available to our members. These conferences were highlights of the marketing year in Nashville and were enjoyed by our members.
  1. Networking
    I left networking for the end of the list. Most people say networking is an important benefit to participation in NAMA; however, I think participation is the key to networking.Just showing up at a meeting, collecting business cards, and pestering people for coffees and lunches is not effective networking.Networking comes from really engaging with fellow members, getting to know about them on a personal level and working/learning together provides the foundation for real and sustained networking. I’m confident that many of my fellow members will join me in this insight.Getting to know folks at NAMA is easy. We provide many venues – monthly coffees, monthly mixers, breakfasts, lunches and parties. So jump in!

If you are not currently a member of NAMA, 2016 might be a good time to join so you can enjoy more NAMA benefits. By the way, 95 percent of our members say they are satisfied with the NAMA membership.