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March Luncheon: Integrating Sales & Marketing

March Luncheon: Integrating Sales & Marketing

BY: ANNA HUGHES

On March 14, AMA Knoxville hosted its March Luncheon in Knoxville’s Old City at the Alliance for Better Nonprofits in the Regas Building. Brandon Bruce, co-founder of Cirrus Insight, shared his experiences and observations since his business vision came to life six years ago. Recently named no. 41 on Inc. 500’s fastest-growing companies, Cirrus Insight works to seamlessly integrate sales and marketing.

Bruce began his presentation by briefly explaining what the software company offers. Cirrus Insight is a browser extension for Gmail and Outlook and was the first software of its kind. It features email templates and tracking, drip campaigns, reminders, meeting scheduling, attachment tracking and salesforce integration.

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After admitting that he believed the company would only last about two years, Bruce shared that roughly 250,000 people are now utilizing this time-saving email software. In an era when social media was anticipated to end the use of email, he explained that “email still dominates the internet,” correctly – and humorously – pointing out that to open any social media account, you must have an email address.

Through years of marketing and selling their own product, the team at Cirrus Insight has discovered what works best for email campaigns. Bruce told the audience that for marketing emails, an email blast should be more generic with graphics and a flashy designs. On the other hand, sales emails should be short, sweet and completely text.

He has found that if you use the wrong format for your purpose, your open rates will be drastically lower, and it will be harder for your emails to stand out in an inbox. Knowing your audience and how to reach them makes a drastic difference in terms of email effectiveness.

He also emphasized the necessity of “short emails from real people” in sales. These emails gain much more attention than computer-generated emails and drip campaigns. Although these systems are decent at pattern-recognition, Bruce joked that “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is long on artificial and short on intelligence.” Because of this, a human touch still prevails in the world of sales.

Although the majority of its customers are in sales, there is an upward trend of marketers utilizing Cirrus Insight for the first time in six years –  showing that Bruce and his team are meeting their goal of bridging the gap between sales and marketing.

Want to learn more? Check out this blog post from Cirrus Insight – “What to Include & Avoid in Sales Emails.” 

January Luncheon: Branding The Maker City

January Luncheon: Branding The Maker City

BY: ANNA HUGHES, DIGITAL CONTENT SPECIALIST

AMA Knoxville’s January Luncheon, hosted at The Square Room in Market Square, was a great start to 2018! Joseph Nother, executive creative director and founder of Designsensory, guided the attendees through his team’s journey to brand Knoxville as “The Maker City.”

On the eve of Designsensory’s 16th anniversary, the team decided they want to give back to their community and approached Knoxville leadership in search of public work that aligned with this theme. When the city pitched the idea of branding Knoxville, the team immediately said yes, stating that this was something that they could “sink their teeth into.”

“It was wonderful to see the city and the mayor and those in public office see this as something important,” Nother said. “I think we should all look at that and be proud of the leadership and what they’re trying to do.”

Nother and his team began their eight-month journey by first outlining the Maker Movement and decided it uniquely applies to the Knoxville community. Ultimately, the Maker Movement was defined as an “umbrella term for individual inventors, designers, and tinkerers that tap into an American admiration for self-reliance…”

When describing the “why” behind their creative process, Nother explained, “More and more people want a more meaningful consumptive experience.” Trends like localism stem from “the desire to infuse meaningfulness in the consumptive actions and behavior that we have, so it is not so transactional.”

“The future of Knoxville’s economic success belongs to individual innovators and artisans,” he said.

Inspired by Knoxville being named as Etsy’s first “Maker City,” Nother and his team wanted to expand on the idea of localism and meaningfulness. As Nother explained, “branding is essentially short for meaningfulness.” Their job at this point was to capitalize on the meaningfulness of the Maker Movement in the Knoxville community.

The Designsensory team set to define Knoxville’s niche in a “sea of ambiguity” that surrounds the Maker Movement. Through an extensive trial-and-error process, the team strived to name and define the movement that represents the collective. Eventually, they decided on a name and idea that is “broad and representational” as to not “lose people and their relationship to the movement.”

Moving on to the visual identity, Nother and his team wanted to channel the look and vibe of the Knoxville area. They began by developing a universal design that appealed to everyone in the Maker Movement, both businesses and individual tinkerers. By creating flexible brand guidelines, they created a system that allows Knoxville natives to adapt the logo to their unique and diverse needs.  In the end, Designsensory was able to create a “unified vision” that successfully encompasses the entirety of the Maker Movement in the Knoxville community.

KAMA Hosts Its First Ever Sellout Luncheon!

The August 12 luncheon featuring Jimmy Delaney, UTK Assistant Athletic Director, Sales & Marketing, was the chapter’s first ever sellout luncheon! Ninety-four professionals attended the event, sponsored by HoundDogs.

Delaney discussed the marketing strategy behind the recent, very successful July 1 launch of the new Nike-UTAD merchandise. He took the attendees through the 17-month process of developing the brand with Nike in the lead-up to the launch.

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Highlights from the luncheon include:

  • #OneOf119 social media campaign added 10K followers
  • July 1 launch concept was developed on a plane ride
  • The entire UT sports website was rebranded in the middle of the live launch on July 1st.
  • YouTube was used to broadcast the Nike launch. Noon was chosen as a good time for several reasons, including reaching multiple time zones in the US and hitting the sweet spot of lunchbreaks for many UT fans on the East Coast.
  • Broadcast launch viewership was comparable to a national signing day.
  • Launch garnered 55K online views and broke sales records for both the online and Gate 20 store.
  • Delaney confirmed what we all know: Coach Jones is the coolest coach in the SEC!

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This was the highest attended KAMA luncheon in recent history, and only the first luncheon of the chapter’s new year, which runs July-June. Other exciting luncheon topics are coming your way, so keep an eye on your inbox (or sign up for our mailing list), and be sure to follow KAMA on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, if you haven’t already.

The next luncheon will be on Wednesday, September 9 and will feature Communications Coach Ellen Kern.

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