Atata might just be your Huckleberry

By Emma Everett, Guest Blogger | 7.25.17

Tombstone

I’m Your Huckleberry

Remember that line from the movie, “Tombstone?”  Doc Holiday catches up with nefarious Ringo and delivers one of the most quoted lines in Western movie history. And, just in case you didn’t see the movie or understand what Doc is talking about, Doc is basically saying, “When I shoot– I don’t miss.”

In Nashville’s wild west of product and software development companies, there’s a new gunslinger in town. (Did I go too far with the western analogy?)

Atata is now on the scene and they just might be your Huckleberry. How will you know? You might start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Do I need a rapid prototype or MVP developed?
  • Do I need wireframes for a new app I’m creating?
  • Do I need a software product fully developed from UX to product road-mapping?
  • Do I need a software expert(s) to come in and help me accelerate my build or help me get through a pinch?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then there’s a good chance Atata is your huckleberry.

Don’t worry, though.  We’re not going to oversell you or take on a project unless we’re confident we will hit a bullseye. If you’re looking for a general how-to guide on how to go about hiring a software development company, there are some great resources out there. And, rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ll simply share our favorite one with you.

So, how is Atata the same/different from the other “gunslingers” in town?

  • 100% Nashville talent
  • Senior level team
  • Transparency
  • Flexibility to pivot and meet a unique need

Atata’s core services include:

  • Project-based application development
  • Product development
  • UX/UI
  • Data science (i.e. machine learning, predictive modeling, natural language processing, statistical analysis)
  • Staff Augmentation

Since Atata is a young company, we’re interested in hearing from you about your needs when it comes to application builds and software development.  Drop us a line either through our website or by emailing emma.everett@atata.co.  More information can be found at atata.co.

Nossi’s Photography Certificate Program will help serious hobbyists and company employees

By Leslie Kerr, Guest Blogger | 7.6.17

A new Photography Certificate Program at Nossi College of Art will help serious hobbyists or business owners and employees who need to take better pictures for their company web sites and social media pages.

Starting this fall, the 16-week program will meet four hours per week at night. Professional photography instructors will utilize Nossi’s facilities to teach camera functions, lighting techniques, studio etiquette and software programs for post-production needs.

“It’s going to be fun, intensive and we’re going to be moving fast,” said Nossi Photography Coordinator Tom Stanford. “We anticipate having very motivated students who want to come in and, in four short months, really improve their skill sets.”

A major advantage for certificate students will be access to Nossi’s 2,500 square foot photo studio, the largest instructional studio in the southeast. They will also receive focused instruction to process their work in a professional setting. The course will be structured in segments that will include some beginning photography, software instruction, advanced photography and cataloging.

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“The idea is to shoot a little bit, learn about how to process those images, shoot more sophisticated stuff, and then learn how to do post-production in the Adobe programs Photoshop and Lightroom,” Stanford said. “Lightroom allows you to organize your photos in a logical way. It also allows you to make changes on photographs and, at any time in the future, go back and undo those changes or edit further.”

While classes are structured, students will be expected to shoot most of their projects outside the classroom. As techniques are explained, outside assignments will be assigned accordingly to help students hone a specific technique, according to Stanford.

Another important element of Nossi’s new photography certificate program is the partnership with Dury’s, a Nashville photography company established in 1882. Part of Dury’s mission is to help customers learn how to use their photography equipment most effectively.

According to Cyrus Vatandoost, Executive Vice President of Nossi College, a partnership between Dury’s and Nossi College is the perfect collaboration.

“Dury’s and Nossi have had a longstanding relationship,” Vatandoost said. “We at Nossi want to support the local photography community and Dury’s has the same vision. They work with our students on camera and lighting options and Dury’s owner Charles Small been a member of Nossi’s photography advisory board for a decade. They help us understand what’s new in photography equipment and what is available for students.”

Nossi’s photography certificate program will offer Dury’s customers a way to advance, either as a hobbyist or staff photographer.

“It’s a two-way street,” Vatandoost said. “Nossi will share knowledge of skill and technique while Dury’s offers insight into available equipment. Their experts will be able to offer suggestions on how to use certain cameras.”

Vatandoost hastened to add that the certificate program is open to anyone with an interest, not just Dury’s customers.

“This certificate will serve many markets,” he said. “Some serious hobbyists already have equipment, have learned all they can on their own and need someone to take them to the next level. Some students may want to start a small full- or part-time photography business and they will benefit from additional skills that we can teach them. Then there are those who work in corporate or business environments who find themselves now being the social media person for their company. This will help them and their employers.”

The Photography Certificate Program will begin in Fall 2017. Course and admissions information is available at www.nossi.edu.

 

Nossi College of Art launches new UX/UI Design program

By Libby Funke, Guest Blogger | 5.24.17

Improving one’s professional development isn’t always the most exciting thing to check off your professional to do list.

Everyone has been part of team building exercises, multi-day conventions to learn the latest (insert latest thing here) or classes making you more proficient in Excel, Word, or even social media. Rarely do these opportunities leave you feeling empowered to use or share these new skills.

Nossi College of Art wants to help change how you make an impact on your career.

Nossi_bldg_450x300_ school

Starting in the fall, Nossi College will offer a 16-week UX/UI Design certificate to help marketers, business owners, executives, and those looking to dip their toes into a new career field, find useful skillsets that can be transferred to the professional world.

UX/UI Design is in high demand, not only in Middle Tennessee, but also across the country. More companies are asking new hires to have knowledge in the tech arena, specifically around web development and design.

With hundreds of thousands of vacant jobs in the tech field, and an average salary of $90,000*, Nossi College saw this need when creating our Bachelor and Associate Web and Interactive degrees. Because of this need, we began researching and created a perceptive, 16-week UX/UI Design certificate course.

Whether you are a complete beginner, you have been dabbling with code and want to become more efficient, or you are proficient and want to learn about theories behind your design, this 16-week course was made for you.

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You will have an opportunity to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator skills on top of web design skills and by the time you have completed the certification, you can take measurable skills back to your job or you can start thinking about changing your path altogether.

Nossi College is also offering NAMA members an exclusive scholarship opportunity for half off tuition.

Interested in that scholarship opportunity? Simply sign up here for your chance to be considered.

During the certificate program, the NAMA scholarship winner will post to social media periodically, create blogs about their experience and give a testimonial at the end of the program.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Libby Funke with Nossi College. Call her at 615.514.2787 or email her at LFunke@nossi.edu.

 

*According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

[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.

 

A Marketing Home Run for the Nashville Sounds

By Edwin Acevedo, Guest Blogger | 4.27.17

The Nashville Sounds have partnered with technology company BKON Connect to create mobile digital experiences for baseball fans at First Tennessee Park. Taking the learnings from a four-game pilot in 2016, they are planning interactive mobile “hack the ballpark” experiences that give fans greater access to stadium information, promotions and on-field activities. The Technology Marketing SIG met April 25 with Alex Wassel, Marketing Director for the Nashville Sounds, Richard Graves, CEO at BKON Connect, and members of the BKON team that made it happen. Below is a blog post from BKON Connect describing the pilot with the Sounds, originally published September 14, 2016.  

 

A Marketing Home Run for the Nashville Soundssounds1

With our Bluetooth® beacon hardware broadcasting content, and our platform to manage the event, Sounds fans were greeted with live, rotating in-game content, including player stats that was like a second screen to the jumbotron, food, and beer menus, games, social media, promotions, and giveaways. It took less than a week to get the whole thing up and running, and fans enjoyed the experience. You could call it an inside-the-park home run.

sounds2About the Customer

Sounds Gameday Flyer

This year’s Triple-A Nashville Sounds ruled the regular season in the Pacific Coast League, finishing with a league-best record and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2007. They play their home games at First Tennessee Park, a gem of a ballpark that opened in 2015 with a capacity of 10,000. An affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Sounds have a reputation around the league of being technology early adopters, but their app hadn’t been updated since 2013 (the Sounds removed it September 2016).

The Challenges

  • The Sounds wanted to increase fan engagement on mobile devices through a variety of measurable channels, including Twitter, email, and text.
  • They also wanted to stay in touch with fans and generate buzz for the team and the stadium during the off-season.
  • One of the Sounds’ biggest fan frustrations is the design of the ballpark’s food venues. Menu boards are located high on the back walls of the main concessions. Because of this, they are difficult to see until customers reach the front of the line. Fans wanting ice cream or hamburgers could stand in the wrong line for an entire inning before realizing they needed to be at a different line to get what they wanted. The Sounds wanted to see if this could be solved through the Physical Web. (Spoiler alert: it could.)

 

 

“After 4 home games, we quickly realized that there were a lot of possibilities to use this technology to enhance the fan experience, engage with our fans in a new way, capture emails and fan information to build our database and enrich partnerships with our vendors and corporate promotions.”

Brian Mayhood, Vice President of Sales, Nashville Sounds

 

 

The Solutionsounds3

  • We delivered the first Physical Web deployment in a professional baseball stadium. Our proof-of-concept was set up for the Sounds’ final regular-season homestand, just five days after the Sounds green-lighted the project. This gave them a framework to build customized ballpark experiences for fans.
  • Our inbound proximity marketing tools made it easy to associate content to places and events in the stadium, and for people to discover nearby content.  We repurposed our existing PHY browser as an iOS app custom-branded for the Sounds. We called it Sounds Gameday. (Now known as “Inside FTP”) From start to finish, the new app was available for download in the App Store within a mere three days. Android devices also could see the same Physical Web content inside the ballpark with Nearby Notifications.
  • After dividing the stadium into seven proximity zones, we installed 30 Physical Web beacons inside the 10.8-acre stadium (which includes one on the mascot, Booster, and one in the Pro Shop). The PHY platform simplifies the broadcasting of content once beacons are in place. There is no need to configure beacons or pair them with a device. They just work.
  • Because baseball is dynamic and does not run on a timed schedule, we created CoverCardsTM content templates that could be quickly swapped out with each batter, each pitching change, each mid-inning promotion and each time-scheduled campaign. In all, we created more than 120 unique CoverCardsTM with relevant content for different aspects of a day at the ballpark and used Google Analytics to track engagement. This kept content fresh and inviting for fans.

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Game Day Cover Cards

  • At the same time, we developed a special microsite, (foodbeacon.com), to solve the problem of the menu boards inside the concessions stands. It included 110 food and beverage items found throughout the park and it provided location guidance for the hungry/thirsty fan.
  • All of the beacons were installed and checked in a single morning (by our marketing and sales crew), then fine-tuned on-the-fly throughout the four-game series with the Iowa Cubs.
Game Day Tap Actions

Game Day Tap Actions

Results

Dynamic content: With CoverCardsTM for each batter and pitcher, the Sounds were able to change content for every at-bat, featuring the current batter and pitcher. They also ran promotions for seat upgrades, playoff tickets and a variety of giveaways, which fans accessed through the browser app via tap-to-email, tap-to-tweet, and tap-to-text. These promotions ran in between innings and by scheduled time, and they could all be changed with just a few clicks while the game was in progress. The Sounds made hundreds of real-time content changes throughout the four-game pilot.

 

Persistent content: The Sounds decided to persist some content, particularly virtual concessions menus when it proved to be extremely popular. “We had some of our staff scroll through it and would be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know we had that beer,” said Alex Wassel, the Sounds’ Director of Marketing. “I also talked to a few fans who said it was great, that they didn’t know we had this menu item. I think that’s something that is helpful and useful and it’s not content that we have readily available on our website.”

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  • Onboarding:  For people who preferred an app experience, a custom-branded browser app helped get people to use the Physical Web to see dynamic content. For people without the app, they could still engage with content through browsers like Chrome or Opera for iOS, or through Nearby Notifications for Android. Engagement with Physical Web content was about 77% through the Sounds app and 23% through general Physical Web clients such as Google’s Chrome browser or Nearby.
  • Incentivized actions: Before our Physical Web browser, Sounds staff members randomly selected fans at the game to participate in promotions. The app gave the Sounds the new ability to run promotions requiring entry by emails, text, and Twitter. One promotion, a text-to-win a free T-shirt, had to end after an inning because it was so successful. Incentives easily translate to retail audiences, making content like personalized coupons or app-exclusive buy-one-get-one offers available after entering an email address. For trade shows and conventions, the content could be a whitepaper or a presentation deck.

Conclusion

We were thrilled to quickly demonstrate to the Sounds how our inbound proximity marketing platform could make it easy for fans to discover nearby content they value. The simplicity and adaptability of our platform, and the fact that it works simultaneously with browsers and apps, was proven in real time, real fast.

 

In the end, the Sounds said it best:

“The Sounds are always looking for ways to enhance the fan experience at the game and BKON helped create a ballpark app that provided interactive content for our fans. It helped bring First Tennessee Park to life on game nights. It’s going to be very exciting to see how the Physical Web trends over the next year or two, how it impacts the way people consume information from their smartphones and how it can be utilized more in the sports world.”

Brian Mayhood, Vice President of Sales, Nashville Sounds

UPDATE: There has been an update to the Gameday app. It is now affiliated with the ballpark itself and is known as Inside FTP (First Tennessee Park). This change makes the app and the network of beacons in the ballpark available during the different concert and community events throughout the year.

The New Era of Social Media: Private Messaging is The Next Frontier

By Tiffany Pack, Guest Blogger | 4.3.17

At their inception, traditional social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter gained wild, immediate popularity.

Why? Because they tapped into the basic human need to connect with other people and redefined how we do so.

Its spontaneity, with few controls and freedom from the intrusion of advertising we didn’t choose to see, spawned a second wave of social media channels such as Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram.

But, as with any new medium, platform owners and businesses began to lose sight of users and what drew them to social media in the first place. Users began to seek newer, more private messaging apps, hence the advent of Snapchat, Kik, and Facebook Messenger.

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As a result, we are experiencing a shift, or rebalancing, of the social landscape that effectively serves the platforms and brands that are present on them, along with the users themselves.

Messaging apps are evolving quickly. As Facebook, Microsoft and Apple continue to innovate in this space, we are in an era of change unlike any experienced since Apple introduced the iOS platform in 2008.

The Rise of Private Messaging Platforms

As evidenced by Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 million in 2014 and its more recent unsuccessful bid to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in cash – and Snapchat’s recent IPO with a $33 billion market capitalization – private messaging is the next wave of social.

Last year, the number of monthly users of these messaging apps surpassed the number of monthly active users on traditional social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This exciting shift highlights what made social media so appealing to users initially: the ability for humans to connect with other humans authentically – free from control and brand messaging being imposed upon them. 

What does that mean for brands?

Now, reconnecting with users on these new messaging social media platforms is entirely possible and should be part of any complete marketing strategy.

Consider these features that users, brands and the platforms can find mutually beneficial:

Human Needs                Messaging Apps                   Social/Business Needs
Authentic platform           Pull vs. push ads                  Marketing
Fun/Spontaneous            One to close friends             Mobile
Simple/Convenient          Ease and convenience         Ads/sweeps
Unobtrusive ads              Privacy                                 Data-driven

For example, on Snapchat, brands can purchase lenses to help promote their products. For sponsorship fees of $450,000-$750,000, brands can reach a potential audience of more than 100 million daily users age 13-34, which is what X-Men: Apocalypse did effectively to support its release.

Facebook Messenger App uses AI bot assistants that enable users to purchase directly from 1-800-Flowers and Urban Outfitters without leaving the app.

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Simple, user-friendly SMS interfaces let customers engage and purchase without having to navigate multiple apps. And, Facebook earns transaction fees from the brands providing measurable results.

The implication for brands is simple: private messaging is the new frontier and you should be there now.

 

Tiffany Pack
Tiffany Pack is director of strategy for Sparks Grove, a division of North Highland.

 

Still Fed Up With Millennials? Get Over It.

By Jordan Watkins, NAMA Blogger | 4.1.17

Gone are the days when a singular marketing approach was all that was needed.

Today’s marketing campaigns must be able to effectively target more than just a singular audience, generation, or demographic.

It’s true, a loyal customer is more valuable and affordable to target than a potential one. However, today’s marketers must not only take into consideration their current loyalties, but also audiences from which future brand loyal individuals can be gained.

Such audiences are largely made up of 18-34 year olds. You may know them better as millennials.

Unfortunately, the title often implies a rather negative stigma characterizing these youngsters as some of society’s rudest, most overly-opinionated, and annoyingly-entitled individuals.

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While this may be true to some degree, it is not an entirely accurate definition.

This generation was raised to believe they could become and do anything. As such, they are a generation of ambitious youngsters who harbor a plethoric sense of optimism. They are profusely motivated, overwhelmingly tech tech-savvy, and very well-educated.

Though they may be young, it can no longer be argued that millennials lack the spending power possessed by Baby Boomers and Generation X. Having been employed within the work force for some time now, such an argument is simply no longer true.

Based on information gathered from research done by the Center for Financial Services, Jim Higgins explains how millennials currently earn a collective total of roughly $214 billion annually and are expected to make roughly $3.4 trillion annually by 2018.

In his words, this means that millennial earnings will effectively, “eclipse the earnings of Baby Boomers, who are expected to have an annual income of $2.8 trillion at that time.”

Unfortunately, millennials are not nearly as brand loyal as their parents – and changing that is no easy task.

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Effectively marketing to these youngsters is an entirely different ballgame from days of old. They boast a rather inconvenient average attention span of roughly eight seconds or less. As such, your window for catching their attention and making a memorable impression is shorter than the average Snapchat story.

The only world millennials have ever known is one dependent on technology. A world in which a computer in the home, the school, and every family member’s hand (including their own) has always been the norm.

From day one, these youngsters have not only made personal connections with their closest friends and neighbors, but connections that span across the nation, and even globally.

Their very existence and entire way of communication depends greatly on social media – where popularity is not only dependent on the clothes worn on their first day of school, but also on the restaurants and stores where they check in, and the brands they review and mention in their posts.

With millennials as the target audience, traditional marketing strategies are a waste of time. Instead, millennials want to be impressed. They expect interactively-tailored advertisements boasting content that speaks to an individual’s personality, like “What do your jeans say about you? Everything! Take the quiz to find your perfect style and save 30%”.

As marketers we must befriend this younger demographic. Let’s engage them by getting personal and tell our brand’s story through a cleverly-built social media presence that speaks directly to millennials on a personal level.

You don’t have to like them. But you do need them. They are not only today’s largest and most diverse consumer demographic, they are also the key to the future success of your brand.

Nashville’s Super Bowl Moment

By Samuel Cowden, Guest Blogger | 2.26.17

The Super Bowl is still quite visible in our rearview mirror, and we have been exposed to the year’s most exquisite examples of advertising.

The big game was an opportunity for brands to impress, to excite, and to entice. With advertising spots, even the shortest, running bills of over a million dollars, brands carefully considered their advertising — making sure to make the most of an opportunity, and audience, that only comes once a year.

Here’s the thing, Nashville is having it’s Super Bowl moment. The nation is watching us, waiting to see what we have to offer.

Unfortunately — in the business world — we don’t have much to show them because our approach to advertising is about as refined as a used car salesman’s.

In 2012, my business partner and I moved to Nashville from a small town 20 minutes outside of Dayton, Ohio to start a commercial animation studio. Nashville seemed like the perfect place to begin — fertile ground, as they say — due to its burgeoning economic landscape.

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Only a few years after the economic crisis of 2008, Nashville was growing faster than almost any city in the country and we were looking to capitalize — and we did. Nearly five years later, we’re still here — and doing pretty well.

There’s just one catch, less than ten percent of our business will originate in Nashville this year.

In the beginning, we played the game. We paid ourselves next to nothing, taking every job that came our way — no matter the budget — just to get our foothold. Our studio began to grow. We hired new employees and started making livable salaries. We were given the opportunity to work with some of the biggest advertising agencies in the world as well as directly with businesses like Bad Robot, Amazon, and CBS.

However, Nashville advertisers quickly began to balk at our budgets. When working in Nashville we were constantly face-to-face with a question — make great work or make a living? We were at war with a culture of low expectations.

Of all the obstacles to overcome, low expectations may be the hardest. Once somebody tells you that what you’re doing is good enough, it becomes indescribably harder to be convinced otherwise.

Well, here’s your wake-up call. Here’s somebody telling you that the rest of the country is passing you by while you’re busy pinching pennies.

On the other hand, maybe Nashville isn’t ready for its Super Bowl moment. Maybe we should tell the world to avert their eyes for a few years while we figure out this whole advertising thing. Maybe we just need a little time.

As I write this, I’m sitting in seat 15F on a plane bound for Los Angeles, followed by stops in Seattle and San Francisco — places that, when given their moment, didn’t fumble the ball.

 

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Samuel Cowden is the founder and Executive Producer of IV, an award-winning animation studio focused on creating beautiful videos about the human narrative for design-conscious brands including IDEO, Edelman, CBS, Amazon, and Google.

[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.

Introducing NAMA’s new Entertainment & Sports Marketing Special Interest Group!

By Stephanie Protz, Guest Blogger | 1.24.17

NAMA’s newest Entertainment & Sports Marketing Special Interest Group (SIG) was created to promote and support the marketing profession within the entertainment and sports industry in the Nashville area.

It is our goal to present programs that facilitate the highest level of marketing excellence to serve Nashville’s entertainment and sports marketing professionals.

The SIG’s in-depth learning events will allow marketing professionals to connect with others in their industry, while hearing best practices from industry leaders. Top-notch luncheon programs, workshops, and social events are being planned for 2017.

NAMA Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG Graphic

We will bring in distinguished sports and entertainment insiders to learn how Music City’s chart-topping productions are created.

Participation in this group is open to both members and non-members of NAMA; however, membership in the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association is highly encouraged.

Join us at our first event!

Our first networking event will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 31st, from 5-7 pm at Double Dogs – Sylvan Park (just 5 days before Super Bowl 51) to kick off the NAMA’s new Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG!

Register for the event here.

Wear your favorite NFL jersey or team’s colors and join us for a fun night of networking with other Nashville marketing professionals as we all gear up for the big game. Registration includes appetizer buffet and one drink ticket.

Stick around after the event to watch the Predators game on the big screens. Puck drops at 6 p.m.

SIG Leadership Team is comprised of the following volunteers:
SIG Chair: Tim Earnhart; tim@werkshopbranding.com
SIG Co-Chair: Emily Fay; emily.a.fay@gmail.com
Program Development: Wayne Leeloy, Chair; wayne.leeloy@g7marketing.com
Venue Development: Sharon Kendrew, Chair; skendrew@championlogistics.com
Sponsorship: Monchiere’ Holmes-Jones, Chair; mhjones@mojomktg.com
Communications: Stephanie Protz, Chair; stephprotz@yahoo.com