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AMA Knoxville June Luncheon: Maximizing Your Marketing Budget

AMA Knoxville June Luncheon: Maximizing Your Marketing Budget

At the AMA Knoxville June Luncheon, Dr. Todd White discussed the wildly popular brewing industry. As president of The Brewing + Distilling Center, he shared his knowledge of how small breweries can fully utilize their “shoestring budgets” to maximize their impact in the ever-expanding market.

After starting out in the veterinary field, Dr. White decided to tackle a new career. In 2008, he opened a craft beer department in The Market in Maryville, TN. This was one of the first, if not the first, craft brew store in East Tennessee. After meeting Marty, the pioneer of the Smoky Mountain Brewery chain, Dr. White began to entertain the idea of opening his own brewing education school. In 2013, he was finally able to convince South College to work with him on a brewing education course. This eventually led to him opening the Brewing + Distilling Center, which is a trade school and professional certification program.

The Brewing Industry

When diving into the history of the brew industry, Dr. White shared enlightening numbers on the history of brewery economics. In 1873, there were over 4,000 breweries in the United States. A century later in 1978, there were only 89 due to prohibition. The brewing industry has been steadily increasing ever since. As of 2018, there were over 7,000 craft breweries in the United States. Ninety-nine of those are in Tennessee, with 20 alone being in the Knoxville area.

These breweries have had a huge impact on the Knoxville area. It has created $1.14 million dollars of revenue in Tennessee alone. In Knoxville, it has created roughly 195 jobs and created $7.9 million dollars in wages and benefits. Sales and output of all breweries in Knox, Blount and Anderson counties totals a whopping $43.7 million dollars.

Knoxville Brewery Marketing Strategies

Despite these big numbers, most craft breweries are small businesses with even smaller budgets. A case study of the craft beer industry in Knoxville revealed some valuable information about the marketing strategies of these businesses. Since most of them are on a small budget, they will have non-traditional marketing and their overall strategy will not be defined.

Most craft breweries strongly utilize social media as a low-cost way to promote their new beers, events and collaborations. Dr. White suggests that it is important that all posts be positive in nature, avoiding “edgy or controversial” content. He notes that craft beer has become mainstream and that these tactics do not resonate with the general public.

The most important things that craft breweries will spend money on are logos, trademarks, and label imagery. Almost as important, craft breweries will spend money on merchandise for customers to wear. These items are to serve as promotional marketing in the community, not to create profit for the business. Beer events are also an important aspect of the craft brewery marketing plan. These events help build relationships with the community, promote their name and product and lastly, but not any less important, support causes in the community.

With small budgets, it is important to pitch small projects at a time. It would be better to spend $400 for a two-week campaign instead of a $5,000 campaign for the entire year. Developing relationships with the brewer and understanding their customers is a must for a successful experience. By working with all of these things in mind, the marketing budget will grow and allow the brewery to further expand.

Wrap Up

To wrap up the June Luncheon, AMA Knoxville presented a children’s book that will be donated to the Leaders for Readers program in honor of Dr. White. Also, a special presentation was made in honor of the last luncheon under the current board. On behalf of AMA Knoxville, President-Elect Jessica Gutman gifted current President Erica Coffey with a limited-edition Patricia Nash Designs handbag in gratitude of a fantastic year of leadership. This python-inspired tote benefits the new Amphibian and Reptile Center at Zoo Knoxville.

Photos courtesy of Colby’s Photography

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Christine Smith

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Christine Smith

NAME: Christine Smith

COMPANY: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

TITLE: Assistant Director, Enrollment Management Communications

WEBSITE: https://admissions.utk.edu

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR PRESENT JOB?
I’ve been working at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville since 2015, but have only recently transitioned to Enrollment Management Communications. Previously I worked as the Digital Marketing Director for the Center for Transportation Research.

WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING THERE?
I like working at UT because my core values and beliefs directly follow those of the University by “serv[ing] the people of Tennessee and beyond through the discovery, communication and application of knowledge.” Particularly in the field of Marketing––education and advancement is incredibly important to continued success within the industry.

WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO BEST?
We provide digital and print communications to prospective and current students attending the University regarding admission procedures, scholarship opportunities, enrollment specifics, housing information, etc. We are best known for our devotion to the student experience while they make Rocky Top their Home Sweet Home.

WHY DID YOU JOIN/RENEW AT AMA?
I joined AMA and the Knoxville chapter after first volunteering on the Conference Committee by creating graphics for the 2016 event. I continued to volunteer on the Communications Committee until I was asked by then President, Susan Napier-Sewell to join the Board of Directors as the Brand Design Director. AMA was preparing for the launch of their new branding standards and Susan thought I would be a great fit to help the Knoxville chapter with those efforts.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AN AMA KNOXVILLE MEMBER?
I’ve been a member of the Knoxville chapter since 2016.

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GET OUT OF YOUR AMA KNOXVILLE MEMBERSHIP?
I’ve had great networking opportunities being part of AMA Knoxville. The frequent events that are hosted bring in large audiences and I have learned a great deal from the presentations that have expanded my professional development within the Marketing industry. What I value most however, has been the opportunities I’ve had to volunteer on the Board of Directors by helping the community with partnerships like Leaders for Readers and the annual Honors event which raises funds for scholarships that our chapter provides to UT and particularly the students associated with the UT chapter of AMA.

WHAT DO YOU FIND BEST ABOUT WORKING IN KNOXVILLE?
The people, especially within the Marketing Community. I have found everyone to be extremely welcoming and genuine. Networking in Knoxville does not feel overwhelming or intimidating and I would encourage those who have had hesitations to come on out to one of our events and see for yourself how great it can be to meet everyone.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME?
I am passionate about health and wellness and have been an avid crossfitter for several years. A recent injury has put a pause on my frequency at the gym, but I still continue to help promote nutritional events in the community and participate heavily in the BeWell programs on campus.

DO YOU READ, WATCH MOVIES, OR TV AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?
Game of Thrones was my favorite TV series despite the way it ended.

May Luncheon – Frontiers Magazine: The Transformative Journey from Print Publication to Dynamic Digital Stories

May Luncheon – Frontiers Magazine: The Transformative Journey from Print Publication to Dynamic Digital Stories

Jesse Bunch, Marketing Services Coordinator for the University of Tennessee Medical Center, led the audience through the transition that his team made as they transformed Frontiers Magazine from a print publication into an interactive, digital storytelling device.

In 2017, Frontiers Magazine was mailed to the homes of over 18,000 alumni and friends of the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Two weeks before the next issue was scheduled to drop, the published decided to move to a digital platform. To keep the publication on time, Bunch and his team had to learn to adapt to this new storytelling channel.

Aside from formatting to a new platform, Bunch and his team had to rebuild their mailing list from scratch. Moving from a physical address mailing list to an email address list is an enormous undertaking. When the first digital mailing was sent, the list had around 7,000 email addresses. While this seems like a huge hit, from 18,000 to 7,000, the open rates of the new, digital Frontiers Magazine proved that it was still reaching a substantial audience. With an open rate of 24% and a click rate of 19% (well above industry average), it is obvious that the audience of Frontiers Magazine was open to the new change.

This new, digital version of Frontiers Magazine started out as a Flipbook. Users could use their mouse to digitally “flip” the page. While this was more interactive than a typical PDF document, Bunch and his team knew that they could do more.

Dean Baker, Graphic Designer for the University of Tennessee Medical Center, described yet another transition that the Marketing Services team made in order to improve Frontiers Magazine. Adobe Digital Publishing Suite allowed Bunch and his team to create an interactive publication for subscribers. They were able to “flow information into and flow information out” of this more dynamic medium.

While this was another giant leap forward a truly interactive platform for Frontiers Magazine, Bunch and Baker were worried about their readership’s ability to digest a 30 to 40-page document. With this in mind, they decided to make another change to engage their audience. By moving to Adobe Spark, the information is broken down into much more manageable, “bite-sized” pieces of information. They were able to present three to four stories at one time, instead of an entire magazine. This made the information more mobile and social-media friendly.

As all of these changes were implemented, the number of subscribers continued to climb. Currently, the Frontiers Magazine subscription list has around 10,000 emails and maintains an open rate of 20% and a click rate of 28%. While the number of subscribers is still not where it was before the transition to digital, Bunch and his team are better able to track how many people are reading and engaging with this publication.

Bunch believes that their process can be applied to anyone looking to make a switch from traditional print to digital platforms. He recommends genuine, visual storytelling to which your audience can relate. He also reminded the audience that we are in an era where “video is king.” If there is a way for you to tell your brand’s story through video, this is a definite way to get more audience engagement.

To view the new Frontiers Magazine for yourself, visit UTMedicalCenter.org/Frontiers

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Macy Brink

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Macy Brink

NAME: Macy Brink

COMPANY: The IT Company

TITLE: Marketing Coordinator

WEBSITE: http://theitco.net

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR PRESENT JOB?
1 year––I began working at The IT Company part time while in my last semester of undergrad, and transitioned into full time after I graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND AMA KNOXVILLE?
I joined AMA around April of last year. I have been attending as many monthly luncheons and other events as possible since then.

WHAT DO YOU DO AS A VOLUNTEER WITH AMA Knoxville?
My time volunteering was primarily centered around AMA Knoxville’s 2018 Conference: Wonder. I served as the Sponsorship Coordinator on the conference committee. I have since joined the AMA Knoxville Board and will be serving as the VP of Membership next term.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT VOLUNTEERING WITH AMA KNOXVILLE?
What I enjoy most about volunteering and being a part of AMA Knoxville is the people. Everyone that is part of the organization is so willing and so helpful. During my first few months after graduation, the people of AMA Knoxville were a huge resource for me. Not one person has hesitated to meet with me and provide their knowledge, expertise, guidance, and companionship. Every member brings different experiences, knowledge, and resources to the group. There is so much that can be learned from one another, and I believe that AMA fosters an environment that allows for people to grow and learn from one another in a positive and welcoming way.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECEIVED BACK FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIP WITH AMA KNOXVILLE?
From volunteering for AMA Knoxville, I would say my biggest take away was being provided the opportunity to learn. As I mentioned, everyone brings something different to the table, so being able to work with a small group of people on the conference committee brought me the opportunity to expand my knowledge. It was also a great opportunity to get to know more people as I worked with them to become sponsors.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME?
My favorite past time is teaching dance. I grew up dancing since the age of 3 and continued it through college where I danced on The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Dance Team. To keep dance part of my life, I teach a couple nights a week to kids ranging in ages 6-18. I not only love it because of my passion for dance, but I also love getting to mentor kids and invest in their growth.

DO YOU READ, WATCH MOVIES, OR TV AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?
I love to read. My current favorite books are Love Does and Everybody Always by Bob Goff.

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Chris Hill

AMA Knoxville Member Spotlight: Chris Hill

NAME: Chris Hill

COMPANY: Smallball Media

TITLE: Chief Operations Officer

WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA: www.smallballmedia.com; Smallball Media Facebook; Follow on Twitter @smallballmedia

WHY DID YOU JOIN/RENEW AT AMA?

I really enjoy the AMA community and the opportunities to learn and expand my marketing knowledge that come with being a part of it.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MEMBER?

This will be my second year as an official member. Unofficially, I’ve been involved on and off since college.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GET OUT OF YOUR AMA KNOXVILLE MEMBERSHIP?

In addition to continued learning, I hope to continue to grow existing AMA relationships and make some new friends through AMA in the coming year.

WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO BEST?

We make shareable content for messaging apps, or, to put it simply, we make stickers, emojis, gifs, and apps.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF CLIENT?

I love clients that bring a creative challenge to the table.

WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING THERE?

Working in a startup is its own ongoing creative challenge. Each day can look drastically different, and there’s always a new opportunity around the bend.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THAT JOB?

About a year and three months.

WHAT DO YOU FIND BEST ABOUT DOING BUSINESS IN KNOXVILLE? 

It’s a big city, but everyone seems to know each other or be just one degree separated. And growing any business is about who you know.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME? 

That’s a though one. I really enjoy creative projects. Depending on the time of year, you can find me doing anything from costuming to photography to podcasting. On the less-creative side, I enjoy playing Xbox with my friends online.

DO YOU READ, WATCH MOVIES OR TV, AND IF SO WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings
Fiction: The Shadow of the Wind
Non-Fiction: Good Strategy / Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters
Movies: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Brick
TV: Arrested Development, The Office, Parks & Rec, Better Call Saul, Top Gear, and The Grand Tour

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