Just what the Doctor Ordered! Evan Tardy on DrAxe.com’s Digital Success

By Georgia Cross, Guest Blogger | 1.17.18

DrAxe.comWhat do you get when you put an entrepreneur doctor and a curious marketer together? Digital marketing magic with a lot of content.

Nashville AMA’s January 2018 program featured Evan Tardy, President of DrAxe.com, a Nashville-based brand that touts growth of 5,000% in just 4 short years. Evan started working with Dr. Josh Axe when the brand was in its infancy, seizing the opportunity for online growth.

The method behind the madness? A well thought out Content Marketing Strategy, based on the teachings of Gary Vaynerchuck’s books on giving value in the form of content. 

The prescription is simple: Content = Value, and Value = Trust.

People buy from brands they trust. Give them content they are looking for. Most marketers know this part. Here’s the vitamin-induced part of Dr.Axe.com’s digital marketing strategy that helped amplify its growth:

SEO/ SEM- Skyscraper Method: Tells Google you are a subject-matter expert.

  1. Do keyword research to find broad search terms (keywords), such as “coconut oil.”
  2. Write an “epic keyword-rich” article (2,000 words) around “coconut oil.”
  3. Write 4 additional articles on that topic, but these are “long-tail-keyword-rich articles” (400-500 words) linking back to the skyscraper article, such as “how to make a coconut oil face mask.” 


Social Amplification: Sends a message to Facebook to boost the algorithms.

  1. Share the articles (as mentioned above) to your brand’s Facebook page to get organic reach.
  2. Pay to boost the post on Facebook (budget around $100/article) and promote on sister Facebook pages (DrAxe.com has a community recipe page).
  3. Partner with other blogger/brand/business Facebook pages to cross promote.

Maybe not every brand is as well-positioned to provide educational content such as DrAxe.com; however, you must have pain points your customers want to be addressed or points of differentiation from your competitors that you can talk about.

Give value in the form of education to cut through the clutter. Create various levels of content- long articles, short articles, webinars, quick lists, etc. Sometimes the quick and easy content is the most valuable. 

Keep a healthy digital strategy in place by taking the time to figure out what value your brand or products can bring, and then play with your SEO, Social Media, and blogging strategy. Cheers to your brand in 2018!

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.

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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. 

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.

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.


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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

 

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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.

 

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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.”

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?