Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Earnhart

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Tim Earnhart
Founder/CEO of Werkshop Branding
NAMA Board Member, Chair of Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I re-joined NAMA in 2014 as a board member. However, our company had been a member since 2008. NAMA is a great place to find industry thought leadership, networking opportunities, potential business, and amazing friendships.

You currently serve on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
I enjoy giving of my time to valuable organizations that I personally will benefit from. NAMA provides multiple volunteer opportunities in various areas. It was easy for me to find a spot where I thought I could be of benefit to the organization. 

What has been (or was) your proudest moment in this role?
Upon joining the board in 2014, I initially served on the volunteer committee as co-chair and then chair. During this time I talked and met with countless professionals who wanted to get involved with NAMA and volunteer just like me. It was very fulfilling for me to meet these people and learn more about their passions and what drove them to want to get involved with NAMA.

Within the last few months, NAMA has launched the Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG – their newest special interest group – and I have agreed to chair that SIG. It only makes sense for NAMA to have such a group given the impact both entertainment and sports have on Nashville.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
The past three years have been extremely positive for me. I have learned so much interacting with fellow board members, members, and speakers/panelists. You get out of anything what you put in it. I live in Kentucky, so I’ve made it a commitment and priority to attend as many of the NAMA events as possible.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
NAMA is diverse. It’s that simple. Meaning, those who are involved with NAMA come from various professional disciplines like marketing, branding, advertising, communications, PR, social & digital media, C-suite, management, and even business ownership.

You will find a great mix of agency and corporate. I love this about NAMA. The diversity of our membership is great. This is what I think sets us apart from other groups.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
I’m what they call a serial entrepreneur, so I have had many memorable experiences. I’ve been a co-founder or partner of seven start-ups/companies over the last 16 years. I enjoy the excitement and challenges behind launching a new brand or growing an existing business.

I was honored in 2004 as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Bowling Green, KY Chamber of Commerce. My most proud moment was in 2012 when I was honored by Junior Achievement USA with the national Impact Award for my service to that non-profit organization. I’ve served on a local JA board for 20 years. 

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
Our time as professionals is precious. However, if you make a commitment to NAMA and all that it has to offer, it will be time well spent. You get out of it what you put in it. There’s plenty of other organizations and events in Nashville that can consume your time. However, if you are at all in the global world of marketing, you need to be a part of NAMA.

Mayor Megan Barry’s Marketing Plan for 2017

By Chelsea Kallman, NAMA Blogger | 1.23.17

With a fresh year in front of us we decided it was time to get a unique marketing perspective – from the public sector.

I spoke with Sean Braisted, Press Secretary for Mayor Megan Barry, to find out how our mayor plans to market Nashville in 2017.

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A common tagline for our great city is “Nashville – A great place to live, work, and play.” Mayor Megan Barry plans to continue marketing our city as such, which is great because there has been plenty of news that confirms its truth.

Travel and Leisure named Nashville one of the friendliest cities in America. Braisted says this is due to local residents and workers who ensure all visitors leave with a great impression.

Another accolade: Forbes named Nashville the fourth best city for tech jobs.

“We have been very successful in bringing tech companies from the Bay Area to Nashville, while also growing our homegrown tech community through organizations like the Entrepreneur Center and Nashville Technology Council,” Braisted said.

The Mayor plans to play up what is already great about Nashville. This means embracing Nashville as Music City, including the television show ‘Nashville.’ He says the show highlights our culture and many entertainment venues in our city.

It is one of the best investments we can make from a marketing standpoint in helping to ensure the show will remain on the air in this coming year and have the number of episodes necessary to be syndicated,” Braisted explained.

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Because Nashville is comprised of many different types of people, it would be difficult to look past all the artists in our population.

“Nashville’s creative community enriches the quality of life for all of our residents and sets our city apart from others,” he continued.

A tangible investment in this branding has been The Ryman Lofts, an MDHA project providing affordable housing options for artists.

“Additionally, we are looking at ways to expand the availability of maker space in Nashville so that creative and talented people have a physical place to turn their ideas and dreams into reality,” Braisted said.

Mayor Megan Barry also wants to embrace diversity, inclusion, and equity. She doesn’t want to shy away from shining light on difficult, yet important topics.

“As the Mayor often says, it doesn’t matter where you come from, how you got here, or whom you love – Nashville should remain a warm and welcoming place to call home,” Braisted said.

He also reminds us of last summer when, following the nationwide officer-involved shootings, Mayor Barry held a Race, Equity, and Leadership summit bringing nearly 1,000 community members and Metro officials together to discuss areas where they could improve the community.

The Mayor also hosted a youth violence summit, bringing together more than 400 students from Nashville’s public high schools to discuss key issues and ways to proactively address them.

Stemming from this summit came Opportunity NOW, an initiative aimed at connecting youths age 14-24 with meaningful paid internships or jobs over the summer break. This is a private-public partnership, and the goal is to employ 10,000 youth in 2017. Businesses and nonprofits around the city are being asked to step up to be a part of Opportunity NOW. One of the first companies to sign on was HCA, which donated $250,000 to fund 100 internships.

Another driving force in Mayor Megan Barry’s plan to continue Nashville’s growth is nMotion, a $6 billion, 25-year strategic plan for mass transit. She is developing nMotion so Nashville can join other major cities that have a “robust transit system.” This project is currently working to establish long term funding streams.

At a time when Nashville is quickly growing in both popularity and population, we are all fortunate to have such a goal-oriented leadership team in our local government.

What are your growth plans for yourself, your company, and Nashville in 2017?

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Stone

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Karen Stone
Director of Marketing, Amplion
Programming volunteer (2003-2004)
Programming Chair (2004-2005)
President Elect (2005-2006)
President (2006-2007)
Past President – CEA Award (2007-2008)
AMA Professional Chapters Council (2008-2014)
AMA Professional Chapters Council President (2011-2014)
AMA National Audit and Finance Committee (2014-2016)

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I joined NAMA to quickly increase my marketing knowledge. When I joined the organization in 2003, I was transitioning from my career in broadcast news and needed a way to rapidly ramp up my understanding of marketing principles and best practices. NAMA became my go to resource and still is today. The programming is consistently outstanding and my professional network is my lifeline.

You have served on NAMA’s Board in the past. Why did you decide to volunteer?
At my very first meeting, I made a programming suggestion to the current president. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it must have been somewhat intriguing, because he asked to continue the conversation over coffee. Before I knew it, I was tapped to become programming chair and was hooked.

I learned that being a volunteer provided a valuable test environment for my budding marketing career. Every volunteer experience was a chance to learn something new and collaborate with incredible marketing minds from a variety of industries. Many of the people I met through those experiences became mentors who helped shape my career and are now some of my most cherished friends.

Having volunteered with NAMA and with the AMA at the national level for more than 13 years, I can tell you that I have received far more than I have given.

What has been the proudest moment as a volunteer?
My proudest moment by far was in 2008 when NAMA entered the national AMA Chapter of Excellence Awards for the first time ever and won first runner up.

It was my year as president of NAMA and the culmination of several years of work alongside a dynamic group of volunteers. Accepting that coveted award on behalf of the many hardworking volunteers who believed in the vision and mission and poured their heart and soul into the chapter to receive that validation and recognition was thrilling.

Since then, NAMA has grown to be such a respected force locally and nationally. I am very proud of the legacy of leadership in this organization and the committed volunteers that kick it up a notch year after year.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
NAMA is most definitely one of the best decisions of my professional career. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without having joined this organization and invested my time as a volunteer.

The knowledge I gained and the friendships that formed laid a strong foundation for me to grow personally and professionally. From landing jobs and informing my marketing strategy to growing my leadership skills, there is no doubt NAMA has played a pivotal role in my career and continues to do so even today.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
The people and strong programming are two of the biggest differences in my mind. I visited several other organizations in town before deciding to join NAMA. There were none where I felt the warmth and immediate sense of belonging I felt here.

When I attend events or even just attend a mixer, I always take home some new piece of info I can use. I would say that’s a pretty strong ROI!

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences in my career, it’s difficult to choose just one, but if I have to narrow it down, I would say my current role has probably been the most fulfilling. Being a healthcare marketer, I get to go to work every day in a mission-driven technology company focused on improving the consistency and quality of patient care in hospitals.

The work we are doing at Amplion is transformational and disruptive. Developing the inbound marketing strategy and a thought leadership platform that is attracting attention from many of the top hospitals and hospital systems in the country gets me very excited.

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
I’ve already mentioned this a number of times, but I would say as a marketer, there is no greater way to build your knowledge and network than being a part of NAMA.

Volunteering, in particular, can enrich your membership experience and your career in valuable ways that cannot be replicated any other way. Of course, like anything, it’s only as good as the quality of your investment. I’ve found the more you give, the more you gain. After 13 years of AMA membership and volunteer experience, I think I’m a pretty good case study for the benefits of volunteer service.

The changing attitudes of consumerism in healthcare with Mark Lee Taylor

By Chuck Bryant, Relationary Marketing | 1.4.17

Healthcare in Nashville is a billion-dollar industry, but not all of what drives consumers’ medical decisions is based on what happens on the operating table or in the physician’s office.

With more than 20 years under his belt, Mark Lee Taylor knows a thing or two about how to inform and advertise to those looking for care for themselves or their loved ones.

Taylor is the Director of Communications for the Clinical Services Group at HCA, where he develops new and innovating ways to connect with consumers in the healthcare sector. He will be moderating a panel on how to navigate the shift toward consumerism in healthcare marketing at NAMA’s Power Lunch on Thursday, Jan. 12, at City Winery.

According to Taylor, many people see healthcare as a consumerist service or product until they or a loved one need healthcare, at which point it becomes a vital need. This urgency sets healthcare apart from most other industries in which major decisions can be postponed or researched over time.

That’s where healthcare marketing comes in – providing information as immediately and seamlessly as possible, while also minimizing negative experiences and impact, Taylor explained.

“People have to look at a lot of information fast and have to find a lot of answers fast. The marketer that can provide the easiest pathway to give them information and solve their problem really has the upper hand,” Taylor said.

Having worked as a healthcare marketing pioneer in the ‘90s with St. Thomas Heart Institute, Taylor has noticed a significant shift in both the focus of the industry and its consumers in just a couple of decades.

“A lot of the advertising campaigns for hospitals were centered around caring and how much the hospitals provided care, what great care they provided. It focused on advertising and community outreach more than any other marketing technique. Things have certainly changed since then,” Taylor said.

Today, he said, there is an inherent expectation that there is caring in the service industry, so people are more interested in good outcomes and cost transparency. Taylor believes that easy access to healthcare information – both true and false – has contributed to this shift.

“There’s so much more information available than there was previously. Before that, you had to rely on a physician or someone else or word of mouth to find out what you wanted. Back when we were doing advertising for healthcare systems, we were just trying to get people to indicate that they wanted to make a choice about where they went,” Taylor said.

Today’s healthcare consumers not only have more of a choice in where they seek care, but they are also “savvier” consumers with a higher service expectation, Taylor continued. Whereas patients might previously have been willing to wait two hours at a physician’s office, consumers today place emphasis on access and convenience in each step of their healthcare process

“There’s a lot of internal resistance in healthcare to refer to patients as consumers, and I think that point has finally hit the tipping point where people understand ‘Oh, they’re patients and consumers. Consumers have choices and are not going to blindly go where they’re sent.’”

Looking toward the future of healthcare marketing, Taylor said that big focuses will be on implementation of service standards in the physician’s offices and quick, convenient means of response between health care services and consumers.

“There’s two ways of looking at anything, and life’s all about how you look at it. In this case, it’s a really exciting time to be in healthcare. We’re going to need creative, innovative ideas more than ever. And who is it that comes up with those things in America? It’s marketers,” he said.

Connect with Taylor on LinkedIn.

On Jan. 12, Taylor will moderate How Consumerism is Affecting Healthcare Marketing alongside SmileDirectClub’s Hal Hassall, Nicole Provonchee of MissionPoint Health, and Celina Burns, consultant to Healthcare Blue Book at the NAMA Power Lunch at City Winery. 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.


chuck-bryant
Chuck Bryant is co-founder and CEO of Relationary Marketing, a podcast production agency that creates broadcast-quality interviews for rich content marketing, event promotion, relationship nurturing and thought leadership.

10 Steps to Create Successful Mobile Apps for Your Organization

By Sanjay Pathak, Guest Blogger

 

Vector Sphere made from a Application Icons. Abstract Design Object. Isolated on White Background.

Welcome to the app world.

While an online presence is still mandatory to be relevant in business, the landscape of how information is accessed – and how commerce is conducted online – has changed.

 

The desktop browser is no longer a leader; mobile devices are taking over. Most enterprises have at least one App that provides information or transaction capabilities to their customers. And some companies (e.g. Uber) are solely focused on mobile devices.

It is an App world.

As a marketer, understanding how to create a successful mobile app is important to its ROI.  Whether you are building an App for your external customer or internal users, following these 10 App development best practices will not only provide productivity improvements but also provide greater user experience and adoptions – all resulting in greater success for your business.

  1. Identify Your Audience Characteristics
    These include age, geography, current relationship to your business and control over your audience.  These will affect the complexity of functionalities, need to include geo-diversity.
  1. Select Device/Platform
    Identify which devices and platforms you will be supporting.  If devices are supplied by the organization, focusing on limited device platforms will simplify the process.  For external audiences, you should review your audience and consider limiting the type of devices platforms you support (e.g. iOS and Android).
  1. Select App Architecture
    Identify your App architecture to balance between best user experience and fast time to market. A native app provides richer experience but takes extra effort. Whereas non-native Apps can be developed relatively quickly and provide to time to market advantage.
  1. Select App Form Factor
    Consider what size of mobile device that your users will be bringing. App design will be simpler if you can control the device size. Otherwise your App will need to respond to varying degree of device sizes and that can take a little longer to develop.
  1. Select Mobile App Deployment Model
    Most Apps require back-end business logic, data storage, and integration with other systems. This code and databases have to be deployed somewhere. Choices include:
    Dedicated hosting – useful when security is paramount or utilization is expected to be high 24/7
    Shared hosting – less expensive, adequate performance, and security for most
    Cloud deployment – similar to shared hosting but more cost effective with enhanced performance. A virtual private cloud can provide improved security.
  1. Plan for Signal Strength
    Mobile device network connectivity is more than on or off.  Weak signal or high signal to noise ratio and unpredictable network disconnects must also be considered to ensure good user experience.  For external audiences, use the 80/20 rule – plan for 80% coverage unless your App is mission critical.
  1. Leverage What Is Already Out There
    Avoid duplicating the functionalities of existing social Apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.).  When possible, consider integration instead.
  1. Leverage New Mobile Platform Capabilities
    Device-embedded features (camera, location services, compass, etc.) provide data you can use to enhance your App productivity and user experience. Wearables, IoTs, iBeacon, and similar devices can provide additional data either directly or via cloud interfaces to enhance user experience with your App’s functions.
  1. Decide on Tools and Technology
    This is the easy part. Leverage what you already have and choose the tools and technologies that you, your architect, and your developers are comfortable using. That’s right – there is no best set of tools.
  1. Define App Distribution Strategy
    Your App needs to go to your customers’ hands. The major ways for App distribution are:
    Web link on a managed web page – most well-suited for internal audiences. This does not allow for automatic updates, but gives you better control of your audience.
    Public App store (Apple, Google Play, etc) – best for B2C customers. It provides a better downloading, installation and upgrading experience.
    Enterprise App store (i.e. Apperian, Mass 360, Appaloosa) – recommended for B2B audiences. This provides good App upgrades and secure distribution.

As more organizations adopt the power of mobile computing to improve productivity, following mobile App development best practices will enhance user delight with the Apps and help businesses achieve greater success.

 

sanjay-pathak

Sanjay Pathak, PhD, is a Master Practitioner and Sr. Manager at The North Highland Company, a global consulting firm that has changed the model of how a consultancy serves its clients.

Three Holiday Marketing Campaigns to Bring in the New Year

By Jordan Watkins, Guest Blogger

For many, the holidays are an exciting time of the year spent with family while retelling old stories and making new memories.

It is also an exciting time of year for the marketing industry as new and unique holiday marketing campaigns are launched and become popular topics of conversation among consumers.

Familiarize yourself with three of this year’s most popular campaigns that make perfect conversation starters at family gatherings or a New Year’s Eve party.

#RedCupContest – Starbucks Holiday Red Cups
Some of this year’s holiday marketing campaigns uniquely depended on consumer involvement in ways that deserve recognition.

One in particular is the annual Starbucks Holiday Red Cups campaign. These red cups have been an iconic symbol of the holidays since Starbucks first introduced them in 1997. After all, warm festive drinks are an important part of getting in the holiday spirit!

This year, Starbucks lovers everywhere were encouraged to post their own holiday red cup designs to social media using the hashtag #redcupcontest. Thirteen submissions from six different countries were chosen to be used as the designs for this year’s cups.

NAMA Blogger Chelsea Kallman accurately describes this year’s Starbucks holiday marketing campaign as one which “evokes emotions and promotes sharing by making everything personal.” Read Kallman’s article, How Starbucks Nails (Holiday) Marketing – and how to implement it in your brand that delves deeper into this campaign.

#BusterTheBoxer – John Lewis
As the holiday season began, the European department store John Lewis launched an unforgettable holiday marketing campaign involving a trampoline and “Buster the Boxer,” the featured family’s dog.

On Christmas morning, the family’s daughter, Summer, is not the only one who gets her wish. Buster beats her outside for a long-awaited turn on the new trampoline.

John Lewis has turned “Buster the Boxer” into a brand of its own.

An entire section of the John Lewis website is dedicated to the buzzworthy pup where you can purchase plush toy versions of Buster and other themed merchandise. In the spirit of giving, the department store announced that ten percent of its proceeds from Buster the Boxer merchandise sales will be donated to The Wildlife Trusts charity.

Moreover, John Lewis didn’t stop there. In addition to heavily promoting the hashtag #BusterTheBoxer across social media platforms, a 360-degree interactive video experience is available to view online and is compatible with your Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset. The company even made custom Snapchat filters available for fans to download.

Although past holiday marketing campaigns from John Lewis have been impressive, the company took this year’s campaign to an entirely new level. Watch the full John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 – #BusterTheBoxer.

#Barbour Christmas – Barbour’s tribute to Raymond Briggs
The Raymond Briggs children’s tale The Snowman holds an important place in many consumers’ childhood Christmas memories. Over the years, both an animated television special of the original tale and an animated sequel titled The Snowman and the Snowdog have been produced.

This holiday season, Barbour teamed up with Lupus Films to produce a tribute to the classic tales. The advertisement aims to appeal nostalgically to viewers who remember the tales fondly, and features all three characters from the Briggs tales.

The tributary advertisement frames the brand in the same timeless light with the concluding campaign slogan: ‘gifts they’ll remember.’

Barbour launched an email marketing campaign encouraging consumers to nominate and share why they felt a certain loved one deserved to win a gift from Barbour.

Not only did Barbour launch a uniquely nostalgic holiday marketing campaign, but they also incorporated the consumer – leveraging a personal touch to the campaign. Watch Barbour’s tributary holiday advertisement.

Strike up a conversation about one of these three holiday marketing campaigns of 2016 with your family, coworkers, or friends to kick off the new year. Who doesn’t love an adorably heartwarming video in which a group of animals jumps on a trampoline?!

 

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Jordan Watkins is a recent graduate of Sewanee, The University of the South, and serves as an Associate Project Manager with Mailer’s Choice.

Creating On-Brand Promotions in Your Small Business

By Chelsea Kallman, NAMA Blogger

‘Tis the season for finding a good deal. With the holidays over, most shoppers are finished buying gifts for others, which means now they’re shopping for themselves, and everyone wants to pay the best possible price.

But what if your brand is considered luxury, craft, or indie? How can you actually afford to give deep discounts like Walmart or Amazon?

In short, you can’t.

Here’s what you can do: create promotions that tie your customers back to your brand and create loyalty for the future.

Look at Small Business Saturday and Record Store Day. Both are rooted in making small businesses thrive, and according to this article published by Nashville Business Journal, this one-day-a-year brings in $16.2 billion dollars. That is not a small number.

The lesser known (yet still recognizable) Record Store Day gets the fan base of record collectors excited. There are special releases just for RSD, plus fans learn of new music and celebrate the bands and artists they already know and love.

Bringing this idea to a smaller, more personal level is Steadfast, a Nashville-based coffee roaster and cafe, which recently ran a Free Coffee Day promo.

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Steadfast is unique. It’s beautiful. Not only is the coffee and food delicious, but the service is impeccable. It is a curated experience.

Even still, this coffee shop decided to give away free black coffee all day long, and one lucky winner now receives a free bag of coffee every month for a year.  

Why?

To build their customer base.

I spoke with Dani Stewart, content specialist with ConvertKit, the brains behind the promotion. (Full disclosure: she’s also conveniently my good friend and the wife of Sean Stewart, one of Steadfast’s co-founders and operating partners.)

ConvertKit came up with this promotion with Steadfast’s mission in mind: to give back to the community.

When coming up with this promotion, we knew it needed to be something that put the customer first,” said Stewart. “Yes, the goal was to grow the Steadfast email list, but it had to be done in a way that served and celebrated the community.”

While keeping true to Steadfast’s core values, the group assessed the best way to captivate Steadfast’s guests attention is through email. Stewart says this is a business owner’s most valuable asset because it’s the only way to directly communicate with an audience.

Steadfast collected emails by using ConverKit’s app that plugs into the coffee company’s website; opt-in forms were linked to from social media and email content.

With all the new algorithms and overpopulation of social media, there’s no guarantee that your messages are being seen by audiences in those channels. But with email, you know you’re in their inbox, and that’s a safe, usually guarded, and privileged place to be,” Stewart said.  

Jamie Cunningham, partner and general manager of Steadfast, explained how they chose an email campaign because of its directness.

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Not only that, but they’re able to learn more about what their customers are interested in by seeing if they opened the email, redeemed a code, or even unsubscribed.

“We want our email correspondence to be an extension of our in-shop customer service: personalized and meaningful,” Cunningham said.

Because this promotion was marketed as a “Celebration of Nashville” — and frankly, because Steadfast’s coffee is incredible — people got pumped. They ended up collecting somewhere around 1,000 email addresses, plus media outlets Tweeted and Instagrammed about it.

At the end of the day, Steadfast’s loyal customers ended up loving them even more, and I would dare to say they ended up gaining quite a few new customers, as well.

It might seem like a lot to give away free coffee all day, but to Steadfast, it was worth it. The coffee was given in exchange for an email address. This information was volunteered, rather than gathered out of necessity, like when you have to enter your email address to use Wifi.

“Ultimately, we want to have tons of fun and connect with guests, both old and new,” Cunningham continued. “Giving coffee away was a great way to create some buzz and grab the attention of folks that we likely had never reached before.”

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Now Steadfast can go and use the newly-collected email addresses for future marketing campaigns and new product announcements. The coffee company even used the list to promote its monthly coffee-subscription as a holiday gift idea.

Convince and Convert wrote a blog that echoes exactly what Dani says. It talks about what marketers can learn from sports marketing fan engagement.

The basic idea is this: the best way to convert anonymous users into a registered fan is to give out incentives. Whether you’re a sports team or a local coffee shop, this idea works.

Building loyalty gives your fans (or clients) a deeper experience. You allow fans to become a part of the story., and they’re excited to be a part of something they care about.

The Winnipeg Jets are cited in the post for creating something called “Jet Points.” Fans receive points if they’re season ticketholders, and they can receive more points if they opt to pay with a check instead of a card. This not only saves The Jets’ money on credit card fees, but fans get special points to spend on memorabilia in the Jets store. It’s a win-win.

Promotions have to be worthwhile on both ends. It has to be thoughtful, and it has to be something clients truly want.

Jamie offered one last piece of advice for small business owners interested in creating promotions:

At the end of the day, I believe, guest are attracted to the heart of the business, the values. So fight hard to be you and to connect with guest who like you for who you are. They are the ones that will come back again and again.”

Driving Home The Less-Is-More Lesson

By Karen Cronin, Guest Blogger | 12.8.16

Like most Nashville drivers, I spend a lot of time these days crawling along in the city’s increasingly crazy traffic, longing for some clear, open road.

Stopped dead in a recent rush hour, I was struck by the number of ads for lawyers all around me. Splashed across billboards and plastered on the sides of passing city buses, they’re everywhere.

I did a bit of homework on attorney advertising, and quickly found out that before 1977, a lawyer publicly soliciting services was considered by the American Bar Association to be below the dignity of the profession, and it was pretty much illegal across the country.

A Supreme Court decision back in ‘77 changed all that, and the floodgates opened for attorney advertising.

While advertising is used across a wide range of specialties, the most common ads are those from what are known as “tort” lawyers – things like personal injury and medical malpractice. Frankly, in both design quality and tone of messaging, the vast majority of these ads don’t do a lot to dispel the “ambulance chaser” stereotype.

The traffic finally increased to a crawl, and rounding the next corner I came upon a billboard that took a different tack, immediately catching my attention.

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About 75 percent bright, white space with very little copy, the ad features a striking profile shot of the handsome young attorney in his “I’m-listening-very-closely-to-you” pose, planting a feeling of ease and integrity in the mind of the viewer, and distinguishing the firm in a sea of competitors.

Thankfully, I haven’t had any need for a tort lawyer recently, and I know nothing about Ponce Law or the designer or agency that created the campaign. But as a certified branding nerd, I love to see strategic disruption and true differentiation make a difference in effectively communicating a brand.

It’s a great example of less-is-more and proof that there’s always something to learn, even when you’re stuck in traffic.

karencronin
Karen Cronin is COO & Co-Founder of Nashville-based Cronin Creative, and serves as NAMA Nonprofit SIG Co-Chair. Learn more about her here.

Time to invest in a CRM system? Here’s how to make it happen!

By Knight Stivender, Guest Blogger | 12.6.16

Are you a marketer struggling to keep up with your customers and would-be customers Are you finding it a challenge to send them the right emails in a timely fashion? Or make sure they see your digital campaigns?

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Do you know when they’ve visited your website, and do you communicate with them accordingly? Do you know which of your customers are no longer buying from you, and why not? Have you thought about creating a loyalty program to reward your brand cheerleaders?

These are the sorts of dilemmas that can get you thinking about whether it’s finally time to invest a real CRM – customer relationship management – tool. Or – if your organization already has a CRM – to make sure you have access to it and are using it to the fullest extent.

How can you convince your higher-ups to pony-up for CRM?

This blog post breaks it down in six easy(ish) steps.
Knight Stivender
Knight Stivender is Director of Marketing & Development for Alcott Marketing Science and serves as NAMA’s Tech SIG Chair. Follow her on Twitter

How Starbucks nails (Holiday) marketing – and how to implement it in your brand

By Chelsea Kallman, NAMA Blogger | 12.4.16

Picture this: it’s Halloween weekend, and I’m kind of craving a sweet treat. I’m just having a relaxing evening, scrolling on Instagram, when up pops an advertised post from Starbucks talking up their Frappula Frappuccino.

It’s a white chocolate mocha Frappuccino with strawberry sauce added to make it look like Dracula himself has bitten into the whipped cream.

Now, to preface, this isn’t my typical drink, and Starbucks isn’t even my go-to coffee shop. I indulge in a frappe maybe four times a year. But, darn it, if this drink doesn’t look down right spooktacular.

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The next day of my Halloween weekend, I suddenly find myself driving 15 minutes out of my way just for a “treat yo’self.” 

How did I go from not really caring about a drink (or its associated brand) to being called to action and spending my time and money in a place I don’t typically visit?

Two words: Incredible marketing.

Although a global corporation, Starbucks has a lot of marketing tips that even the smallest shop on Main Street America can employ.

Starbucks makes you feel like you’re a part of the story.

Hubspot wrote a blog about some great holiday marketing campaigns. No surprise, Starbucks is included.

The post talks about how the brand evokes emotions and promotes sharing by making everything personal. Starbucks gets at the core of what its company is all about: you, the consumer. Its marketing always goes beyond the product and speaks to the lifestyle associated with the brand.

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Starbucks for Life is one campaign that does exactly this. It’s a sweepstakes that you enter to try and win one beverage and one food item every day for the next 30 years of your life. That is a pretty incredible giveaway — equating to roughly $75,000 per winner.

Of course, everyone wants to win, so everyone signs up. All of a sudden Starbucks has multitudes of customers’ (and soon-to-be customers’) email addresses and information to further find out how they can market to their target demographic better.

Oh, and everyone loves Starbucks more than before because how kind and generous of a company are they?!

Starbucks markets its brand as a verb.

Yet another call-to-action Starbucks marketing tactic is the #redcupcontest. During this contest, coffee-aholics have a certain number of days to post the best red cup photo using the hashtag with one lucky person taking home a prize. Last year’s winner received a $500 Starbucks card. 

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The giveaway was so popular that for the first two days a #redcupcontest photo was shared to Instagram every 14 seconds. It engaged customers and got them participating in the brand. Starbucks made its customers feel special, while giving us (read: marketers) a perfect example of user-generated content.

#PSL

Pumpkin Spice Lattes have become a staple of any fall weekend. Pumpkin-flavored everything is so popular now, but what Starbucks has done is use nostalgia and that “warm and cozy lifestyle” to make this drink the cultural phenomenon that it is.

Not only does pumpkin spice latte have its own widely-accepted abbreviation, it also has its own hashtag AND its own social media presence AND PSL actually interacts with its fans. Since launching PSL in 2003, Starbucks has sold more than 200 million (and counting) of just that drink alone.

Outside of @TheRealPSL, all of Starbuck’s social media focuses on doing something. It’s not just a picture of their drinks. It’s people hiking with their drink, cheersing, or going swimming. Starbucks makes it clear that it want the brand to be about doing something.

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Mottis talks about how spot-on Starbucks is with knowing its target audience (which, if you were wondering, is men and women age 25-40).

Starbucks launches campaigns that demonstrate how its company embraces life — by living in “the now.” These folks are witty with their marketing. They have fun. Their content is personalized. It is active.

What about you? How can you make your brand about more than just a product?