Meet The Team: Eden Hutchinson

As Green Apple’s Client Relations Intern, Eden’s role in our agency is supportive and varied, helping us work on projects that revolve solely around Green Apple Strategy. Whether it’s assigning new blog posts to be written, brainstorming social media ideas, or researching and identifying new award opportunities, Eden works closely with the entire team to cultivate continuous growth and connection between Green Apple Strategy and our audience. 

As an Enneagram 3, Eden’s innate motivation to achieve and thrive makes her a valuable asset to our team. She’s a Knoxville native who currently lives in Hendersonville as she completes her undergraduate degree at Lipscomb University. As a business student who is double majoring in management and marketing, Eden is always seeking out opportunities to grow her experience and knowledge in both areas. She was introduced to Green Apple Strategy during a Lipscomb University career fair and was instantly drawn to our tight-knit team and the role she could play within the agency.

“When asked what field I would like to pursue in a future career, my answer always held a level of ambiguity since I wanted to incorporate both my management and marketing skills. It was not until I interviewed with Green Apple and Sam explained to me that the Client Relations Specialist role is a ‘manager of marketers’ that I was finally able to put a name to the career I wanted to pursue. The CRS role allows me to use both the marketing and management skills I have worked to gain.” 

When Eden is not in class, doing homework, or working for Green Apple, you’ll probably find her outside. She’s an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves a good game of pickleball and also enjoys cooking for friends. All of us at Green Apple are thrilled to have Eden as part of our team, and we’re excited to see the path she takes after she graduates from Lipscomb in 2024!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Event Marketing: Lessons Learned from Our Experiences

There’s nothing quite like an event to boost enthusiasm and excitement around your brand. Virtual and in-person events each serve a unique purpose for connecting with your target audience. While events are effective, they can also consume a lot of staff time and financial resources. 

Effective event marketing strategies can help you get the best return on your investment. Using our experience as professional marketers and event planners, our team at Green Apple Strategy has put together a list of practical tips to ensure your next event is successful. 

The Do’s 

Do Set Goals (and a Budget!)

When it comes to strategic event planning, always begin with the end in mind. Before you set a date, reserve a venue, or book entertainment, you must determine the goal of the event. Is it to position your brand as a stakeholder in the community? Is it to tell a story about your brand? Or is it to generate leads and make sales? 

Once you set your goal, be sure to set your budget. Your event will look very different if you have a $5,000 budget versus a $50,000 one. 

Knowing the answer to these questions—and staying true to them—will guide you when making choices about venue, food, entertainment, marketing, and more. It will set you down the path of pulling off a successful, cohesive event that meets your strategic goals. 

Do Amplify Partnerships 

Most events require partnerships with third-party vendors and sponsors such as entertainment, catering, AV equipment, corporations, and more. Capitalize on these partnerships by highlighting them on social media or in a company email newsletter. Showcasing your business as a collaborative brand is great PR because it demonstrates your involvement and investment in your local community. Additionally, tagging these vendors in your social media posts can expose you to new audiences. 

Do Use Text and Email 

In today’s multi-channel, digital world, you have to meet your audience where they are. This means connecting with them on their phone and in their email inboxes through personalized, well-thought-out, and well-timed text messages and emails. Text messages are a great way to send key event information that doesn’t require a lot of copy. At the same time, an email drip campaign can spark interest and move your target audience to attend. 

The Don’ts 

Don’t Limit Your Focus to Ticket Sales  

Yes, you want to sell tickets to your event. Besides, you can’t have an event if no one comes! However, be careful not to focus your messaging only on ticket sales. Your audience needs to know where to buy tickets, but they also may be interested in what to wear, nearby hotels, or participating vendors. The purpose of all of your event-related content will be to drive ticket sales, even if some of it takes a more subtle approach. 

Don’t Set It and Forget It 

We love strategy so much that we included the word in the name of our business! But just because you have a strategy doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible if needed. When marketing your event, be sure to pay attention to all the analytics you have access to. Some numbers to look at are email open rates and click-through rates, social media impressions, and engagement levels. If you aren’t getting the desired results, adjust your approach to capture greater interest from your target audience. 

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Congratulations! Your event is over, and your work is done! Well, almost. Post-event follow-up offers another opportunity to connect with your target audience. In fact, it’s so important that we consider it one of our best practices for event planning! After the event wraps, send out surveys to gather meaningful feedback that can be used to assess the event’s success and plan future gatherings. You can also use this time to connect with new leads and thank vendors and sponsors to further deepen your working relationships.
 

Get Started on Your Next Event 

Ninety-five percent of marketers believe that in-person events can have a positive impact on achieving their company’s goals. Green Apple Strategy understands that events can boost awareness, community connections, and revenue. But we also know they can take time, resources, and staff to pull off. 

Our team is here to help! Reach out to us today, and let’s talk about the benefits that the right special event can bring to your business.

How to Create a Marketing Moat 

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, businesses are constantly searching for ways to stand out from the competition to achieve long-term growth. Just as castles were fortified with moats to protect against attacks, today’s business owners can create their own “marketing moats” to maintain a competitive edge and better protect their market share.

Build a Strong Brand Identity

The impression that your brand makes on a customer can help you stand out from competitors. Develop a memorable brand story. Brand storytelling explains your differentiators and humanizes your brand. It helps customers understand who you are and why your business exists. Building a strong brand or achieving brand recognition can create a marketing moat that keeps customers returning because people prefer brands they recognize. 

Another impact of building a compelling brand story is creating a bond with your customers. This connection can foster trust and loyalty, which can turn into positive feedback and testimonials. You can use this feedback to promote the strong relationships you build with customers, which strengthens your marketing moat. 

Clearly Define Your Unique Value Proposition

Identify what sets your brand apart from competitors and communicate why customers should choose your products or services. Here are a few ways to identify your unique value proposition:

1. Understand your target audience. 

2. Analyze the competition and identify gaps in what they offer. Capitalize on these gaps.

3. Determine what makes your business unique and highlight those aspects.

Be sure to integrate your unique value proposition into all of your marketing and messaging consistently. Check out Green Apple’s approach to building a marketing strategy for tips to ensure your strategy is set up for success from the start. 

Invest in Consistent Content Creation

Produce relevant and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, curated social media content, paid media efforts, email marketing, and more. Establish credibility by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry and offer valuable insight through white papers, webinars, online courses or trainings, and free consultations. All these resources can be promoted on social media and through email marketing. A well-executed content calendar and email marketing strategy can help you plan and organize your content so it remains relevant and consistent.

Work With Us To Build Your Marketing Moat 

At Green Apple, we help business owners execute ideas with a solid strategy behind our approach. Let us help you build a marketing moat that will lead to long-term success by establishing a presence that stands out from the competition. To learn more about our process and discuss how we can help, contact Green Apple Strategy

From Chaos to Clarity: How Process-driven Operations Keeps Marketing on Track

Everyone who’s worked in marketing knows what it’s like when things don’t go according to plan. It could come in the form of a last-minute request from a client or realizing you need to rush ship an important resource to an upcoming industry tradeshow. There are days — sometimes seasons — that feel like your marketing job description should include being a part-time firefighter. While you may not be able to completely prevent chaotic moments, having a process-driven approach to putting out fires and staying on track with responsibilities can ensure you (and your marketing team) can keep moving forward with clarity and confidence.  

Recognizing there will be chaotic moments and proactively developing a plan to address them is one of the most important lessons we’ve learned over the past decade at Green Apple.  

The Most Common Chaos Creators for Marketing Teams

Here are a few of the most common disruptors that marketing teams and agencies must learn how to navigate: 

1. Last-Minute Requests

Every company has sudden requests from other departments or higher-ups that require immediate attention. These can obviously disrupt planned marketing activities and require an extra measure of attention and focus. To navigate last-minute requests, it is helpful to have a system in place for prioritizing and tracking them and to be clear with stakeholders about expectations and deadlines.

2. Lack of Clear Objectives or Change in Direction

When marketing teams lack clear goals and objectives, they may struggle to prioritize tasks and may get sidetracked by less important activities. That’s why it’s essential to establish clear marketing goals that align with your overall business objectives. In some cases, new opportunities may arise or your company might change directions on a particular product or go-to-market strategy. In these cases, there may be opportunities to pivot your marketing without abandoning your entire strategy

3. Technology Issues

Technology difficulties can create an enormous amount of disruption in your day-to-day activities. Technical glitches or failures with marketing tools and platforms can disrupt campaigns and lead to chaos. As a hybrid marketing agency, we’ve had the opportunity to learn how to manage our workload virtually to stay connected and productive. Every person on the team knows what to do if technology issues occur and how to implement a backup plan if communication tools aren’t working. 

4. Human Error

Even the best-laid plans can go awry due to human error. It could be anything from a typo in a press release to a missed deadline. That’s why it’s important to have clear processes and procedures in place for catching and correcting errors. It is also important to create a culture of accountability and transparency, where team members feel comfortable admitting their mistakes and learning from them.

Process-Driven Best Practices to Keep Marketing on Track 

Here are some helpful best practices that a marketing agency could implement to create a process-oriented approach. Implementing some of these approaches can help keep things running smoothly.

1. Create your marketing plan with involvement from key stakeholders.

Every good marketer starts with strategy. But one of the ways to prevent many of the stressful back-and-forth or navigating changes of direction is to involve key stakeholders to shape your marketing strategy as you build it. This has become an essential part of our approach to building marketing strategies for our clients over the years.

2. Establish clear workflows for status meetings and specific deliverables.

One of the most important factors for a successful business and agency partnership is defining clear and documented workflows for different marketing activities. This includes outlining roles, responsibilities, and timelines for expected deliverables. It’s important to ensure everyone on the team understands and follows these processes.

3. Set realistic deadlines.

Saying “yes” to every request is one of the quickest ways to derail your marketing efforts. As you identify new marketing ideas and make a plan to execute them, you want to ensure that deadlines are reasonable and achievable. Managers should avoid overloading the team with too many tasks within a short time frame.

4. Implement a foolproof quality control system.

An important part of marketing project management is implementing thorough quality control processes to catch and rectify errors before campaigns or projects go live. One of the benefits of working with a marketing agency is that they often have proven quality control measures in place — primarily because of the volume of campaigns we’re running at any given time. 

5. Have a backup plan for emergencies.

There will always be situations or scenarios that are completely out of your control. It could be a major PR crisis or a single social media comment that needs to be addressed. Whatever the scenario, it’s crucial to develop clear protocols for handling last-minute crises before they occur. You should also designate a point person who is responsible for evaluating the appropriate action plan and prioritizing the next steps. 

6. Use project management tools.

Technology provides a variety of tools that enhance our communication and collaboration. At Green Apple, most of our days are spent collaborating in Google, Basecamp, and Airtable. These tools can help our team track progress, manage deadlines, and communicate with team members.

7. Maintain documentation of your processes.

Well-documented processes can help to prevent errors by ensuring that all of the necessary steps are taken. It also helps when onboarding new team members and provides a reference point for resolving issues. Based on our experience, we’ve learned that it’s essential to document your processes for areas like campaign planning, content creation, social media management, email marketing, campaign evaluation, and website management.

8. Be flexible.

While processes are essential, it’s also important to cultivate flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances or seize unexpected opportunities. Things don’t always go according to plan, so be prepared to make adjustments as needed. 

Minimize the Marketing Chaos with Green Apple Strategy

At Green Apple, we’re proud of our track record for helping clients take advantage of new opportunities while minimizing chaos and disruption to their daily operations. We have a deep understanding of the changing marketing landscape and know how to help our clients stay ahead of the curve. We also have a team of experienced and dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping our clients succeed.

If you’re ready to build momentum through an effective marketing approach, you can learn more about our process or schedule a consultation with our team.

Beyond the Books: 4 Insights Learned from My Marketing Internship by Eden Hutchinson

At Green Apple, our top priority has always been hiring good people and fostering their development in a way that helps them grow professionally and personally. Over the past few years, we’ve collaborated with local universities in Nashville to provide marketing internships to aspiring undergraduates. This summer, we were fortunate to welcome Eden Hutchinson to our team. Eden’s unwavering passion for marketing and dedication to our clients make her an invaluable asset. She seizes every chance to acquire new skills and knowledge. In this blog post, we’re handing the keyboard over to Eden, allowing her to share some of the invaluable lessons she’s gathered as a marketing intern at Green Apple.

As a business and marketing double major, I read about countless marketing principles in school. But this internship has taught me even more valuable lessons that can’t be learned from books. Working at Green Apple, I’ve had the chance to discover how marketing is applied in different industries. I also learned how to tailor marketing strategies to each client’s specific needs. But more importantly, I learned the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and real-world experience. These practical skills are essential for marketing success. 

In this blog post, I wanted to highlight the most valuable lessons I learned from my marketing internship. These lessons have helped me go beyond marketing basics and provided a holistic understanding of the field.

 

4 Insights Learned from My Marketing Internship

1. Project management is the cornerstone for marketing success. 

During my internship at Green Apple, my primary focus was collaborating with the Client Relations team, who are responsible for collaborating with clients and executing marketing ideas. I quickly grasped the importance of having a well-structured system to keep track of all the marketing activities and elements for each client. I’ve learned the value of embracing a process-driven approach to marketing and implementing proven project management best practices to work smarter rather than harder. For example, most of the work executed by the Green Apple team happens in Basecamp, a project management tool that enables us to create and execute tasks methodically.  

Over the summer, I honed my ability to break down complex objectives into manageable steps, and I now find myself applying this skill to other areas of my life.

 

2. Team culture makes a tremendous difference in how people show up to work every day. 

As a business undergraduate student, my classes often discuss the significance of company culture. However, I’ve learned that culture is often a concept you must experience firsthand to grasp its importance. After multiple internships, I’ve been immersed in various company cultures, and it’s been fascinating to experience the difference.

At Green Apple, I’ve seen how a positive culture directly impacts productivity. There’s a deliberate focus on fostering a positive and enjoyable company culture. Some of the things that make Green Apple’s culture so great include bi-weekly team meetings where everyone shares a “weekend happy,” and employees are encouraged to travel or take volunteer time off

I’ve seen the difference it can make when you work in an environment that is kind and uplifting. I’m more motivated to do well because I’m surrounded by supportive people who want me to succeed.


3. Getting your hands dirty is the best way to learn.

One of the things I’ve loved most about my internship is getting the opportunity to help with numerous projects for the agency and our clients. This has taught me that getting involved in many projects is the best way to grow. By working on various one-off projects, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how the company functions and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into success. No class can fully prepare you for this, but Green Apple’s culture of encouraging employee success has allowed me to dive into projects I would never have had in another internship. And because my work matters to the company’s growth, I know it’s making a real difference.


4. Don’t ignore the analytics.

One of the most valuable aspects of my internship has been learning about the reporting process. I had no prior experience in this area, but I quickly realized how important analytics are for making informed business decisions.

The idea that analytics can help teams improve their marketing efforts makes sense in theory, but seeing it in practice has really driven home the importance of a data-driven approach. Marketing for any client requires an adaptive mindset, and analytics can help teams make the necessary adjustments to improve their efforts and achieve their long-term goals continually.


Get Your Hands Dirty with the Green Apple Team 

We’re incredibly grateful for the ideas and support Eden has offered during her internship and are excited about the opportunity to keep her on for another semester. If you’re a marketing professional or undergraduate student looking for an internship in the Nashville area, you can learn more about what it’s like to work at Green Apple or reach out to our team to apply.