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Lyndsey Wilson, VP of Signature Events, introduced the 2021 AMA Knoxville Virtual Conference – Crafting Campaigns: From Concept to Conversion. During this three-session, multi-day conference attendees gained valuable tools for optimizing the development and execution of marketing campaigns.

Next Chris Hill, owner of HumblePod and current AMAK Board President, spoke about the role of the local AMA chapter in bringing together Knoxville’s marketing community, providing education and networking opportunities, and supporting marketing students at the University of Tennessee through scholarships and endowments. To learn more about the impact of the local AMA chapter, please visit our website.


Jump to Session:


Data Ammunition: Start Analyzing the Data

The first session of AMA Knoxville’s 2021 Annual Conference began virtually with Courtney Jernigan, owner of Knoxville Graphic House, presenting tips to help business leaders sift through the mountains of available data to uncover information and use it to create successful campaigns.

As the owner and creative director of Knoxville Graphic House, Jernigan and her team help companies establish strong connections with their customers by creating brand awareness strategies. Jernigan earned a B.F.A. in Fashion and Apparel Design from Savannah College of Art and Design then went on to earn a Master of Fashion Design degree from Polimoda, one of the top ten fashion institutes in the world. In 2018 she was named as one of Graphic Design USA’s “People to Watch” alongside top talent from Adobe Stock, Etsy, and more.



Start By Analyzing the Data

Because of the sheer volume available it’s easy to drown in content and data. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not be quite sure where to start, but as we embrace the digital era it’s important to harness the power of data and use it to make smart business decisions.

General Electric’s Chief Innovation Officer, Sue Siegel, was quoted saying, “The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today” and she’s absolutely right. The digital landscape is constantly changing and it’s not going back. It’s our responsibility as marketers to learn about the new landscape, learn to navigate it, and move forth.

Developing a marketing plan using the following process is the best place to start:

  • Set Goals 
  • Set Objectives
  • Develop Strategies 
  • Create an Action Plan  
  • Monitor


How to Determine Marketing Success

Success looks different in every marketing strategy. This is because the measure of success changes drastically depending on what goal you want to achieve. Measures of marketing success might include: sales revenue, customer retention rate, social media engagement, site traffic, ROAS, and more.

So where does the data fit in? The obvious answer is in the “monitoring” phase of your marketing plan. However, if this is the only point at which you analyze data you’ll fall into a continuous loop of discovering problems, setting new goals, and redoing the process above. Instead, data analysis should take place at every stage of your marketing plan to ensure you have a holistic view of trends, predictions, customer behavior, and how those impact your strategy.


Common Marketing Strategies

As we move further into the era of digital marketing, digital strategies including blogging, email marketing, pay-per-click advertisements are favorable choices for the abundance of data that can be collected from them. However, if traditional marketing strategies are more appropriate for your business there are ways to track data from those efforts (tracking phone numbers, tracking URLs, etc…) so there’s no excuse for not knowing the impact of your strategy.

Some of the most common marketing strategies are:

  • Reputation management – Potential customers trust peer reviews more than they’ll trust your ads or web copy, so show that you’re personable by responding to reviews and providing excellent customer service.
  • Blogging – Hosting a blog on your website builds trust and credibility, increases SEO value, drives traffic, and offers valuable content to your web users. Be sure to include a call to action in each post!
  • White papers – Reach your most engaged audience and share your expertise. Build your email list by requiring web users to exchange their email address for your white paper download.
  • Email Marketing – Many think that email marketing is irrelevant, but email should always be a part of your marketing mix. Once you’ve built an email list you can keep in regular communication with your customers and segment your list by interest to provide the most relevant content to your subscribers.
  • Social Media Marketing – Show off your personality, tell your story,  and drive traffic back to your site. Do your research and find out which platform your target customers are using. Don’t waste time on irrelevant platforms.
  • Facebook Ads – Allow you to interact with the customers where they’re spending the most of their time. To measure success, keep an eye on ROAS (return on ad spend).
  • Referral – Turn your customers into your evangelists. Create a referral program with incentives and analyze sales with referral ads vs. how much that incentive cost you to determine the success of this strategy. 
  • Search Engine Optimization – Approximately 5.6 billion searches are performed on Google each day. 53% of all website traffic comes from organic searches. The goal of SEO is to show up in search results for the words and phrases your customers are searching for.
  • Google My Business – Local searches help you gain the trust of both your customers and Google. Businesses who claim their GMB profile earn higher rankings, better placement in Google Maps, and better placement in local search results.
  • Pay-Per-Click Ads – These highly targeted ads allow you to get in front of your ideal customers when they’re searching for what you offer. To effectively manage your budget you can cap your spending and only pay when someone clicks on your ad 


From Content to Customer

In the second session of AMA Knoxville’s 2021 Annual Conference, president-elect of the local board Holly Yalove shared her expertise on content and its role in generating leads, converting customers, and winning brand ambassadors.

Holly Yalove is the CEO & Founder of HY5 Consulting, an independent consultancy specializing in HubSpot training, HubSpot strategy, digital marketing, and talent optimization. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Roanoke College and is a proud wife and mom of two girls. Before founding HY5 in 2020, Holly spent over a decade as the owner and chief strategist for VIEO Design, an award-winning inbound marketing agency, and HubSpot Gold Solutions Partner. In 2019, she was awarded “Best Digital Strategist” in AAF Knoxville’s Big Wig Awards. 


What is Content?

In the world of marketing, content is the information and experiences delivered to your target audience through a variety of mediums such as web pages, blog posts, emails, social media, printed materials, and more.

Content is a key tool used in inbound marketing to attract customers, form connections, and solve problems. This strategic approach allows companies to tailor content to the individual customer and ultimately lead them to a buying decision. 

Research from Content Marketing Institute shows that 61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog on your site. Content plays a vital role in:

  • Attracting visitors – An estimated 3.5+ billion searches are conducted on Google every. Valuable, keyword-rich SEO content helps to ensure you are found in relevant searches. This content comes in many forms including website pages, blog posts, knowledge base articles, podcast episodes, and more.
  • Converting leads – Once visitors reach your site, the goal is to turn those visitors into leads. Having valuable content available to your potential customers is key to making this happen. Offering newsletter subscriptions, downloadable content, freemium subscriptions, contact forms, and more allows customers to trade their contact information for free information and solutions.
  • Nurturing customers – At this stage of the process you’ve learned more about your customer, their needs, and their buying journey. With the information in mind, content that’s highly segmented and relevant to your customer’s needs can be delivered in a variety of methods (email marketing, digital ads, social media, etc…)
  • Winning brand ambassadors – Nurturing doesn’t stop with a customer conversion. Providing valuable content beyond the purchase helps to build stronger relationships with your customers and endear them to your brand leading to improved retention rates and word-of-mouth referrals.



Planning Your Content Strategy: 10 Steps to Success

  1. Establish high-level marketing goals – What broader marketing goals or brand priorities should your content strategy support?
  2. Create SMART goals – Consider your high-level goals, document current performance, review historical trends, and set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
  3. Create / review your buyer persona(s) – Semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on research and data that help you understand their challenges and how your product/service can help them overcome these.
  4. Create / review your buyer’s journey – Be sure you understand the path a buyer goes through from awareness of a problem to consideration of a solution to buying decision.
  5. Perform a content audit – Evaluate your existing content and ensure you are offering resources to help customers at each point in the marketing funnel 
  6. Create a buyer’s journey map – Map existing content to the relevant stage of the buyer’s journey and consider how current and future content will help move the buyer along their journey.
  7. Prioritize content creation needs – Evaluate your content in relation to your SMART goals and consider short term wins and longer term needs. 
  8. Select your content channels – Determine where your customers spend their time online and plan those channels will help you reach your goals.
  9. Create and distribute your content – Use a content calendar for planning and scheduling purposes. To ensure you get the most out of each post, consider repurposing and reusing content where possible.
  10. Analyze and optimize results – Continually review the data, monitor progress toward your SMART goals, celebrate successes, and learn from unexpected outcomes.


Thinking Bigger: How the “Everywhere You Look, UT” Campaign is Evolving and Harnessing the Power of Community Partnerships to Grow Brand Awareness

In the final session of the 2021 AMA Knoxville Annual Conference, representatives from the University of Tennessee system join us to share the new approaches they’re taking to keep the “Everywhere You Look, UT” marketing campaign alive and growing amid the pandemic.

Tiffany Carpenter (VP of Communications and Marketing), Ellie Amador (Director of Marketing), and Sam Thomas (Digital Content Strategist) have more than 40 years of combined experience working in the marketing industry.


Campaign Background

Prior to launching this campaign, focus groups were conducted across the state of Tennessee to determine what the public perception of the University of Tennessee was. The overwhelming responses were “orange,” “football,” and the like. This was a great start, but there is so much more that the university supports (from research to healthcare to agriculture and more) that they wanted the public to be aware of.

So they began to ask themselves, “Where in Tennessee can you go to find the presence or impact of UT?” The answer is practically everywhere. And thus, the tagline “Everywhere Your Look, UT” was born.



Everywhere You Look, UT

The campaign began with a goal of reaching three primary audiences: state legislators who make budgetary decisions and need to understand why funding is crucial for the university to serve not only its students but the entire state, corporate partners who are hiring UT grades and need to understand the value of a degree from the university, and the general public who need to understand the overall mission of the university and its impact on the state they call home.

Beginning in spring of 2018, the team began formulating a strategy that involved a variety of channels from social media ads to radio spots on NPR, from online advertising to billboard graphics, to tell the university’s story in a number of ways and always pointing to the same message – Everywhere You Look, UT.

As the campaign evolved, the team moved away from traditional, high-cost strategies and gravitated instead toward an unusual channel: public art. Starting with a water tower in downtown Knoxville, murals have been painted on 20+ additional sites and can be seen in a variety of areas across the state. It’s only fitting to tell such a big story in such a big way!

The murals have allowed this campaign to tell the university’s story in a bigger way and involve its loyal fans and ambassadors who love the opportunity to pose for selfies with the murals. 



Marketing in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way companies market their products/services, and UT is no exception. Although budgets were limited and large group gatherings for mural unveilings weren’t possible, the team still found ways to continue their work.

To continue telling stories and fostering connections, the team began creating long-form video stories and testimonials that could be promoted on social media.They even managed to make a splash by unveiling a new mural in a small, socially-ceremony that was streamed for viewers everywhere to take part in.


AMA Knoxville is incredibly appreciative of all our presenters, board members, and volunteers who made this virtual conference possible. If you enjoyed the conference and are not already a member, we encourage you to consider joining. Please visit our website to learn more about membership opportunities and benefits.

Written by Jessica Sarten. Jessica is a an e-commerce marketing specialist and marketing blogger. She’s passionate about helping small business owners navigate the digital world and create game-changing growth for their companies. When she’s not working you can find her with a vanilla latte in hand, enjoying a podcast, crocheting, or spending time with her husband, Jairus. To learn more or connect with Jessica, please visit her website.

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