2023 Wrapped: Green Apple’s Top Moments & Marketing Campaigns of the Year

As the year draws to a close, it’s natural to look back and reflect on all that’s happened. And for anyone with an Instagram account, it’s that time again when our social media feeds transform into a musical montage of friends’ top tracks and favorite artists courtesy of the Spotify Wrapped campaign. Whether you’re thrilled or slightly overwhelmed by the influx of Wrapped recaps, there’s something undeniably heartwarming about the collective effort to reminisce and rejoice in the memorable moments of the past 12 months. 

Here at Green Apple Strategy, we’ve caught the Wrapped fever and decided to create our rendition, celebrating the harmonious blend of creativity and hard work that went into our favorite marketing campaigns of the year. Just as Spotify songs transport us back to specific moments, our 2023 Wrapped is a chance for our team to relive the marketing magic generated through countless hours of brainstorming, planning, and execution. 

 

2023 Wrapped: Green Apple’s Top Moments & Marketing Campaigns of the Year

Without further ado, join us as we unwrap the highlights and unveil the stories behind Green Apple’s 2023 Wrapped: 

United Communications’ Project UNITE Celebration Event

Our partnership with United Communications has provided us with the privilege of supporting Project UNITE, their groundbreaking initiative to bridge the digital divide in Middle Tennessee. In January, we had the honor of organizing a newsworthy celebration event to commemorate the remarkable impact of Project UNITE.

We started 2023 off with the planning and promotion of a marquee event for our client, United Communications. United realized the size and scope of the celebration they wanted to have would require all hands on deck, so their marketing team reached out to Green Apple for support. United Communications leveraged our event planning expertise to create a celebration that would support the company’s brand promise of providing a world-class connection with a local commitment. Green Apple also played an important role in the timing of the event, coordinating efforts with government agencies to ensure Governor Bill Lee and other elected officials could attend prior to the start of Tennessee’s state legislative session.

The celebration was a huge success, generating significant interest from local TV news outlets in Nashville and Knoxville that resulted in 24 print and digital news articles. Green Apple’s PR and Content Marketing Strategist Chris Song played a vital role in this event’s success and says it’s certainly a project he won’t soon forget.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished as a team to make this event such a success for United Communications. Through a single event, we promoted our client’s close partnerships with community leaders throughout Middle Tennessee, galvanized more public support for Project UNITE, and helped shine a light on the largest broadband infrastructure investment in our state’s history.”

 

Survivor Fitness’ Website Launch 

We are incredibly proud of our collaboration with Survivor Fitness, an organization that empowers cancer survivors to reclaim their health and well-being through personalized training and nutritional guidance. Driven by its remarkable mission, Survivor Fitness has experienced rapid growth in recent years, extending its reach to thousands of cancer survivors across Middle Tennessee. To make an even greater impact, Survivor Fitness sought a new website to effectively convey their transformative story. Our team wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to partner with this exceptional organization. We meticulously crafted the website’s design, content, strategy, and project management, ensuring it accurately reflected Survivor Fitness’ dedication to empowering cancer survivors on their journey to holistic wellness. 

 

Crain Construction’s 90th Anniversary Celebration 

Crain Construction, a Nashville-based commercial contractor, has shaped the city for 90 years. Their dedication to building strong relationships alongside their impressive portfolio of construction projects has earned them a well-deserved reputation in the industry. Earlier this year, Crain Construction marked this remarkable milestone with an unforgettable celebration at one of their signature projects, The Prancing Horse of Nashville Ferrari Dealership. The event brought together generations of company leadership and employees, clients, and industry trade partners who have been integral to Crain’s journey.

Green Apple took care of the strategy and execution behind every detail of the party, including designing and sending the invitations, scheduling a video shoot, and coordinating PR coverage. Green Apple Client Relations Specialist Lindsay Lanahan and Assistant Client Relations Specialist Allison Gordon put a lot of work into this project. They both agreed it was one of the most memorable of 2023.

“It was so fun working with the client to create a memorable night commemorating their longstanding success. Plus, having the event at a brand-new Ferrari dealership was a cool experience!” Allison said.

Lindsay agreed, saying, “We got to celebrate in person with so many of the Crain employees we’d been interacting with for so long and hadn’t gotten to meet yet. We even got to meet Mark and Michael’s parents! The video shoot we did at their office was also a great experience.” 

 

Volunteering Together at Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms, a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting and empowering women, has been a beacon of hope and healing in Nashville for years. As an agency committed to giving back to our community, we had the privilege of volunteering with Thistle Farms several times throughout the year. These enriching experiences have allowed us to contribute to their remarkable mission while strengthening our team bonds. From assisting in candle preparation to decorating Christmas trees, each volunteer opportunity has been a testament to the power of collective action and the spirit of selflessness. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to partner with Thistle Farms and make a meaningful impact on the lives of the women they serve.  

 

Sip & Sample Grand Opening for The Skylight  

The Factory at Franklin, a cornerstone of Franklin’s vibrant community, has undergone a remarkable transformation this year, redefining itself as a hub of connection for the community. Following its renovations, we had the honor of conceptualizing, planning, promoting, and executing a grand opening event to unveil the reimagined space and introduce the community to The Skylight Bar. The event was a success, drawing in over 300 enthusiastic attendees and selling out within 24 hours. The carefully crafted promotion generated over 1,300 Instagram and Facebook followers for The Skylight within weeks and garnered an astonishing $400,000 in advertising equivalent value. This grand opening event is a testament to the power of creativity, coordination, and the unwavering dedication of our team.

A few members of our team worked at the launch, including Assistant Client Relations Specialist Jordan Forbes.

“It was amazing seeing the great turnout,” she said. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and it generated excitement for the new bar and all the new restaurants opening. I loved seeing the Green Apple team show up for the client and do everything we could to ensure the event was a success.” 

 

textLIVING’s ProTalks by Joe

textLIVING, a rapidly growing white-label software company, recently embarked on an intentional journey to support its current partners and enlighten aspiring entrepreneurs and sales professionals seeking to venture into the white-label realm. In collaboration with the textLIVING team, we proudly launched ProTalks by Joe, a captivating masterclass-style video series. The success of ProTalks by Joe is a resounding affirmation of our ability to seamlessly collaborate with The Orchard, our esteemed team of marketing specialists, to transform the creative idea into a reality.

 

Maxwell Roofing’s Culture Walls and Video Shoot 

With a history spanning nearly 70 years, Maxwell Roofing’s values have been a cornerstone of its success, and our team eagerly embraced the opportunity to visually encapsulate this rich heritage by working with Maxwell Roofing to create Culture Walls, large-format signage that reflects their company’s values and inspire their employees. This project was a great example of our ability to combine different marketing strategies to achieve a common goal.

In 2023, we got the green light to move forward with Maxwell Roofing’s recruitment video. In October, members of the Green Apple team spent an entire day working alongside the company’s leadership team, coaching them through their portions of the video, and conducting multiple interviews with their employees. Olivia Cooper, Client Relations Director at Green Apple Strategy, has worked with the Maxwell Roofing team for years and says this memorable project provided her with some unique insight into the company. 

“Roofing is a hard career, so hearing these employees’ stories from behind the camera on why they chose this career and why our client, Maxwell Roofing, is such a great place to work was unique for us. One of the best parts of our job is getting to tell the story for Maxwell, via video, about why they’re such a great place to work.”

 

Survivor Fitness’ GivingTuesday Campaign

The 2023 GivingTuesday campaign for Survivor Fitness also stands out as one of our most impactful and inspiring marketing projects of the year. The campaign’s theme, “Because of You..,” resonated deeply with donors, highlighting the transformative impact of their contributions on the lives of cancer survivors. Another noteworthy milestone has been the organization’s remarkable year-over-year impact of GivingTuesday, expanding from supporting 300 training sessions in 2019 to 530 sessions this year. The growth is a testament to the dedication of the Survivor Fitness community, board, and team. 

 

The Gardner School Campaign Photos

The Gardner School has been a Green Apple client for over a decade. Every spring, ahead of a new school year, we head out for a photoshoot to collect a massive amount of content to use for TGS’s annual campaign. Months of prep work go into designing the look, feel, and messaging of a new campaign, and photos play a huge role in helping us tell a story. The Green Apple team works with the client to select a photographer, organize a day-of schedule, and create a comprehensive shot list for every photo that needs to be taken on that day. Client Relations Specialist, Kayla Reyes, says the effort is well worth it.

“These campaign photos are used regularly in all that we do for TGS year after year. We use them in paid media, advertising, social media, and the website (just to name a few). I know the client loves looking at them, and so does our team, after months of planning. I just think it is a resounding success that we can curate, create, and use these beautiful photos all year, ” she said. 

 

Working Remotely (from around the world)  

Several years ago, Green Apple embraced a hybrid agency model. Throughout the year, we witnessed the transformative power of remote work as our team members​​ worked from new and unexpected locations while seamlessly delivering exceptional service to our clients. Whether they were enjoying pretzels in Germany or taking Zoom calls from Ghana, working remotely has fostered a sense of connection and camaraderie and enriched our lives with experiences that extend far beyond the confines of a traditional office setting. 

 

Growing the Green Apple Family 

This year, our Green Apple family welcomed various new members who brought joy and encouragement. We celebrated the addition of several new team members, each one bringing their unique talents and perspectives to our agency. We also welcomed the heartwarming addition of a few new babies, whose smiles and playful spirits warmed our hearts. And to top it off, we celebrated our adorable four-legged friends who added their furry presence and unconditional love to our team.

 

Green Apple’s Soundtrack for Success: Our Team’s Spotify Wrapped

As we reflect on 2023, we’re filled with immense gratitude for the incredible moments and marketing campaigns we experienced. This year has been a testament to the dedication and passion of our team, who have worked tirelessly to implement creative ideas and celebrate our clients’ growth. 

And, of course, as Spotify fans, we’d be remiss not to share some of our favorite songs that kept us motivated and inspired throughout the year:

  • On My Mama – Victoria Monét (Allison Gordon)
  • Karma – Taylor Swift (Allison Gordon)
  • The Story – Brandi Carlile (Christa Spencer)
  • Pennies From Heaven – Louis Prima (Christa Spencer) 
  • Chloroform – Phoenix (Lindsay Lanahan)
  • Witchoo – Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer (Olivia Cooper)
  • Barbie World – Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (Courtney Cochran)
  • Banks – NEEDTOBREATHE (Kayla Reyes)
  • Northern Attitude (with Hozier) – Noah Kahan (Katie Shayotovich)
  • East Side of Sorrow – Zach Bryan (Katie Shayotovich)
  • As It Was – Harry Styles (Sam Pyle)
  • I Remember Everything – Zach Bryan with Kasey Musgraves (Sam Pyle)
  • Two Step – Dave Matthews Band (Sam Pyle)
  • Maine – Noah Kahan (Eden Hutchinson)
  • Summer Rain – Zimmer90 (Eden Hutchinson)
  • Bluey Theme Song – Bluey feat. Joff Bush (Chris Song)
  • How Deep Is Your Love – PJ Morton (Chris Song)

     

Discover How Green Apple Can Help You Amplify Your Success In The Year Ahead

Green Apple Strategy is more than a marketing agency. We partner with businesses to help them grow. Whether you’re planning your next event or looking for ways to help your brand grow, our team is here to help. Let’s schedule a time to talk about your marketing goals for the year ahead!

Tour The Orchard: Green Apple’s Powerhouse of Freelance Marketing Specialists

The Orchard has been a part of Green Apple Strategy from the beginning. When we started, we wanted to create a marketing agency that did things differently. We firmly believe that strategic marketing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each client has unique needs and goals, requiring a specialized approach. That’s where The Orchard comes into play. 

The Orchard became a way to build a team of specialists who could focus on what they do best and provide our clients with the highest level of service possible. Our Orchard is a diverse collection of talent from various areas of expertise, including graphic design, content creation, SEO and social marketing, video production, email marketing, and more. 

The Fruit: 5 Benefits The Orchard Offers Our Clients 

The Orchard has transformed our ability to work with top talent and provide clients with a team built just for them. Here’s how we do it:

We’re able to hire the best possible talent for every single project.

We’re not limited to a full-time team of creatives who may have limited experience in certain industries or lack specific skills. Instead, we can tap into a network of specialists from all over the world to find the perfect person for each job.

We can match Orchard members to our clients’ needs. 

The experience and expertise of Orchard members to our clients is crucial. This reduces the learning curve significantly and allows our team to hit the ground running. Our Orchard members take time to understand the industries they serve, providing tailored solutions and insights from day one.

Our team members take the time to know the clients they serve. 

In many marketing agencies, creative specialists are inundated with last-minute requests and projects. By dividing the workload effectively, our freelance specialists can delve into the nuances of each client’s business. This allows our content specialists to truly grasp the voice, messaging, and tone for each client and craft highly effective creative that matches brand standards. 

We’re able to work with specialists from around the country. 

As we transitioned into a hybrid model agency, The Orchard became even more valuable to our process. Having a diffuse network of specialized talent means that we can build a skilled team that will best serve each client, regardless of where they’re located.

Our Client Relations Team can focus on what they do best. 

With The Orchard handling specialized tasks, our Client Relations Team can focus on what they do best: high-level strategy and complex project management. Our Client Relations Specialists are freed up to focus on strategy without having to worry about who is going to staff certain needs. Our Assistant Client Relations specialists can focus on project management by collaborating with Orchard members who are quick to respond. And if specific needs or client load increases, additional Orchard members can be onboarded to meet that need. 

Experience a Partnership with Green Apple Strategy 

The Orchard is one of our proudest achievements as an agency. It’s something that truly sets us apart from other marketing agencies. It’s also the reason we’re able to provide our clients with such a high ROI and measurable results.

If you’re looking for a marketing agency that can help you achieve your business goals, we’d love to learn more about your unique needs. We’re confident in our team’s ability to meet your needs and help you take your business to the next level. And if you’re a freelance marketing specialist, designer, content writer, video editor, or SEO specialist, we’re always looking for good folks to join The Orchard! Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch. 

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!

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.

Managing Virtual Teams to Stay Connected & Productive Remotely

Today’s work landscape looks very different from even a few years ago. The traditional office setup has given way to a new era of remote work. Green Apple transitioned into a remote office when the pandemic hit in 2020, and we have thrived as a virtual team. Our core team members currently live in Nashville, Tennessee and Charlotte, North Carolina. We have a large group of freelancers who we lovingly refer to as “The Orchard” and the majority of them live outside of our home base in Nashville, including a few in other countries outside of the U.S.

Despite the distance that separates us, we’ve found ways to stay connected. This blog post highlights some of the practices we’ve put in place that not only keep our team cohesive but allow us to flourish in an evolving work environment.

Tools for Productivity and Connection

We use several tools that are critical to helping us communicate seamlessly while also organizing our workflow and processes. Basecamp is a great collaboration tool that includes several essential communication features. Features we find helpful in Basecamp include message boards, to-do lists, file storage, scheduling, and real-time chat. We use BC to streamline workflows, track projects, and communicate with each other regarding specific projects. 

We find it most helpful to have tools that allow our team to collaborate in real-time, and Google Workspace is great for this. We use Google Drive for blog writing, Google Sheets for social content, and Gmail to communicate with our team and our clients. Google Workspace tools make it possible for us to work together with a colleague or a client even if we’re not near them. To keep the memes and gifs flowing, we keep in touch on a team Discord, and our Content Marketing Specialist recently began experimenting with Airtable for social media planning and deployment.

Zoom is our go-to video conferencing tool and we use it daily. While remote work offers incredible flexibility, it can be so helpful to meet for the occasional check in meeting to ensure our team is on track. The platform offers several membership plans tailored to different user needs so you can choose what will work best for your team and budget.

Twice-a-Week Huddles

Keeping your team connected and communicating is crucial when working remotely. The core team at Green Apple meets twice a week on Zoom for an hour to check in and strategize about the days, weeks, and months to come for our clients. We typically start off each call with some personal catch-up and stories, then dive into business. It’s not unusual for someone to toss out a “thank you” to a fellow team member or give kudos for a job well done. Our twice a week Zoom meetings also provide us with an opportunity to check in with each other to ensure everyone is feeling balanced and supported in their role. (By the way: if you’ve been feeling like your Zoom meetings run too long or feel disorganized, we gathered a few tips to help make them even more effective.)

In-Person Connection

Since most of us work and live in Nashville, we also schedule times to work together in person. We have a corporate membership at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, a dynamic, collaborative space where we can gather together in person. Whether it’s meeting up with the whole team or a quick face-to-face with just a few of us, having a designated place where we can work side by side is incredibly helpful. 

Our team also volunteers together! We’ve built a connection to our community through our volunteer partnership with Thistle Farms, an organization that supports women in need of housing, employment, and support. Our volunteer sessions there have also helped strengthen our bond as a virtual team. CEO Samantha Pyle also recently implemented Volunteer Time Off. VTO incentivizes giving back to the community by setting aside time and financial compensation for working at local nonprofits. When coupled with a company’s mission to create a thoughtful work environment, VTO can boost an organization’s reputation and culture. It’s certainly made an impact on all of us at Green Apple and continues to serve as a great bonding experience for our team.

Developing and Evolving As A Team

Green Apple’s partnership approach allows us to adapt our services for clients as their businesses evolve, and we’ve taken the same approach with our team. As the work landscape continues to change, we will continue to evolve alongside it. Being part of a virtual team provides all of us with an opportunity to redefine what it means to be cohesive and productive in the digital age. Remote work doesn’t have to be a barrier to success, it just needs the right strategies and tools in place. If you want a strong and connected team to audit your website, social media presence, or marketing approach, reach out to us. We’ll develop a bespoke strategy to highlight your brand and help grow your audience. 

Connecting to our Community: Thistle Farms

Green apple team

Generosity and making an impact on our Nashville community are two values that shape our work at Green Apple Strategy. We don’t want to be an agency that’s simply known for our work. We want to be known for making a positive difference in our community. From the founding of our company we’ve offered pro bono services to nonprofits and organizations serving people across Tennessee. We’ve also encouraged our team to take time off to pursue volunteer opportunities. Our new partnership with Thistle Farms in Nashville combines both of those values into a relationship we’re excited to grow. 

Thistle Farm’s Mission & Impact in Nashville (and Beyond) 

Thistle Farms is a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to helping women survivors recover and heal from prostitution, sex trafficking, and addiction. The organization was founded in 2001 to offer women sisterhood and a safe place to heal. Today, it supports hundreds of women across our community by providing a safe place to live, meaningful work, and other resources to gain financial independence. The organization has become a staple of our community in Nashville and is widely known for its remarkable self-care products and welcoming cafe

The company also supports women around the world through its social enterprise efforts that span 21 countries and support 1,400 artisans through product sales and small business development.

Green Apple’s Desire to Help Them Grow

While there are dozens of incredible nonprofit organizations in our area, we were particularly inspired by the way Thistle Farms raises up women in our community. Their mission is to empower women who have been through extremely difficult times. Thistle Farms’ commitment to helping individuals get back on their feet resonated with our whole team.

Green Apple began volunteering with Thistle Farms in 2022. As our relationship has grown, we wanted to provide additional support. Currently, we’re collaborating with leadership to envision how we can deepen our commitment through quarterly team volunteer days and ways to serve their mission. 

Thistle Farms has helped thousands of women flourish because its leadership recognizes that healing love is the strongest force for change in the world. It’s an honor to partner with such an incredible organization.

5 Best Practices for Marketing Project Management

Person sitting at a desk with a notebook and laptop

Let’s be honest – managing all of your marketing efforts is tough. There are dozens of steps to move a single project from an idea to a completed deliverable and requires collaboration between multiple parties. While there can be a lot that can go wrong, the good news is that there’s a way to bring order to all the madness that marketing campaigns bring with them – marketing project management!

Project management is more than a way to make sure your team is staking on time and budget, it actually increases the ROI of your marketing efforts. Marketers who plan projects are four times more likely to be successful.

At Green Apple, we’ve learned quite a bit about the foundational principles and best practices for effective marketing project management. While some of the lessons we learned the hard way, others were discovered through the creative problem-solving of our team. Today, we’ve built a team of gifted client relations specialists whose primary focus is to execute an effective project management process. 

For this article, we’ve asked one of our assistant client relations specialists, Kayla Reyes, to share a few insights she uses when it comes to “keeping all the plates spinning” for our clients.

5 Best Practices for Marketing Project Management

There are dozens of elements that go into managing your marketing projects effectively. From creating your overall structure and procedures to defining the communication processes, there’s a lot to consider. But how do you go about implementing these foundational principles for marketing project management? Here are a few best practices we’ve learned over the years:

1. Hire the right people.

Many of the tasks and responsibilities of a project manager require a certain mindset and skillset. Some people are big vision, whiteboard dreamers. They typically make better strategists that project managers. 

At Green Apple, we use a couple of tools to assess a team member’s project management acumen. For example, we have several enneagram ones who embody the characteristics of being honest, detail-oriented professionals. We also use the Culture Index to evaluate the interpersonal skills that are required for project management. 

2. Find tools to help.

Once you have the right people in your project management role, it’s important to equip them with tools that can help them be successful. In today’s digital-first world, this often means finding the right project management software for your team. As a hybrid marketing agency, we’ve found a lot of success in using tools like Basecamp and Asana for project management and collaboration with clients. 

3. Build consistent processes and systems around your tools. 

Investing in project management software is only helpful if your team knows how to use it. It requires intentional planning to discover how the match the features that are available in a project management tool with the internal processes and structure of your team. Training is another important factor to ensure everyone has what they need to fulfill their task and nothing slips through the cracks during a project. 

4. Take a detail-oriented approach to execution.

Organizing and streamlining ideas and projects is essential to keep on track with deadlines. This is even more true in a fast-paced agency environment when you’re serving multiple clients at once. 

While moving a project through the stages of development is one key, making sure it’s done well and nothing is overlooked is another. The people who are really great at what they do focus on executing – not just the big things but also on all the little details. A good project manager recognizes that even the tiniest details matter. They make sure everyone has what they need for their specific task and address any mistakes that are made along the way.  

5. Periodically ask what’s working and what’s not.

Consistently asking, “is this working?” is just as important with your project management process as it is with other areas of marketing. At Green Apple, we make sure our project management approach integrates with our client’s internal processes. We’ve found it helpful to host quarterly meetings with our project managers and Orchard members to identify ways to improve our project management processes internally. 

“As a project manager, I love getting into the weeds to help our clients launch a strategy or create a campaign that makes a tangible difference in the world,” Kayla described. “It’s always meaningful to look back and celebrate the hundreds of steps that are taken — and all the people who are involved – to execute all of the marketing efforts for our clients.”

You can learn more about Green Apple’s unique approach or connect with our team to discover how we can become your marketing partner. 

 

How to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry

Climbers approaching mountaintop

Becoming a “thought leader” is an elusive goal that many business leaders and executives strive for. While some people may think of it as just another marketing buzzword, the reality of having a positive reputation for helping others with your knowledge and insight is important for every business leader.

We’ve been sharing content on thought leadership for years. The channels might have changed, but the opportunity to become a thought leader in your industry is just as possible today. 

Can Anyone Become a Thought Leader?

Before we dive into how to become a thought leader, let’s address a common misconception we hear from people: “I don’t have the time or connections to become a thought leader in the industry.”

While becoming a thought leader takes time and intentionality, the reality is that anyone can become a thought leader in their specific industry or niche. All you need is a willingness to do the work of codifying what you know and have the patience to build momentum over time.

4 Best Practices to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry

So how do you become a thought leader? Here are a few simple best practices we encourage our clients to consider: 

  1. Stick with Your Message

The most effective thought leaders are known because they stick to a specific message. This makes it easier for people to discern what they do and why they’re doing it. Think about the key message you want to share, one that you would want to maintain as a consistent plumbline over the years. If you’re having trouble determining your unique message, you might want to consider the next point. 

  1. Discern Your Niche 

While you’re thinking about your brand, finish this sentence: The kind of presence I want to have when helping others is ____________________. The thought leaders who make the greatest impact are those who are committed to helping others achieve their goals. Think about what makes you unique and how you can leverage that as you develop your platform.

What’s your unique personality? Are you a generous encourager who wants to champion people in their work? Or are you a disrupter of the status quo who loves to challenge assumptions?

Are you better at providing long, drawn-out explanations? Or are you good at creating quick one-liners that get people thinking? Would you be open to speaking in public, or do you shrink at the idea?

Understanding your unique gifts and strengths will help you determine the way you build your thought leadership platform.

  1. Choose the Right Platform  

If you want to get the most out of your thought leadership content, it’s important to consider how your audience consumes what you share.  To create the greatest impact, you need to meet your audience on the channels they use (social, email, etc.) with the type of content they prefer (written, audio, video). Don’t be afraid to use a mix of platforms and content types as you’re discerning this. The level of engagement you see can help you discern where your audience is and how they prefer to interact with your brand. 

  1. Share Genuine, Authentic Reflections

The thought leaders we celebrate most aren’t the ones who know it all, but the ones who show us they’re human and that they care. As you consider what to share, don’t be afraid to show your humanity by highlighting mistakes you’ve made and lessons you’ve learned. 

  1. Embrace (Effective) Storytelling 

Storytelling should be at the heart of every piece of thought leadership content you create. Telling a story engages your audience by giving them a specific example with measurable stakes. Stories also help your audience understand how your company’s products and services could help them solve a problem. It’s important to tell stories your customers actually want to hear. If your audience can’t see themselves in your brand’s story, it won’t resonate with them.  

Position Your Brand as An Industry Leader 

When it comes to becoming a thought leader, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. However, these tips will help you develop a strategy you can use to reach more people. Any effort will be worth it as it gives you a chance to help others, build your audience and grow your business. For more help positioning your brand as an industry leader, reach out to us to schedule a strategy session. 

Why Corporate Social Responsibility Should Be on Your Radar in 2022

woman speaking at gathering
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important concept for every business to consider in 2022. Over the past decade, many companies have adopted socially responsible policies. One report found that 92% of S&P 500 companies published reports charting their efforts related to CSR and sustainability in 2020. That figure was less than 20% in 2011, indicating huge growth in this area. In addition to helping the community through beneficial services and products, this approach also serves as a powerful marketing strategy and brand differentiator. Large businesses aren’t the only ones benefiting from creating a corporate social responsibility platform. Many small and mid-sized companies have found creative ways to adopt a socially responsible approach to positively impact others in ways that go beyond jobs or service creation. During a recent Green Apple Lunch & Learn, our very own Olivia Cooper shared her thoughts on the importance of corporate social responsibility platforms. Here are a few interesting insights she shared that might be helpful for your business to consider this year.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Essentially, corporate social responsibility is a concept in which businesses value activities that benefit society on a local, national, or global scale. It’s an approach in which businesses are equally concerned about bettering society as much as they are profitability and other business functions. Approaching business with a socially responsible mindset has become an important priority for many of today’s consumers, investors, and employees. According to this Aflac survey, 70% of Americans believe it’s either “somewhat” or “very important” for companies to make the world a better place, while just 37% believe it’s most important for a company to make money for shareholders. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why every business owner and marketing manager could make the case for integrating corporate social responsibility.  

Why is Social Responsibility Relevant for Marketing Your Business?

Here are a few specific ways a corporate social responsibility platform can impact your marketing efforts: 
  • CSR can help you recruit and retain top talent. 
Attracting talented and motivated people is essential for your bottom line. A CSR strategy shows a company is compassionate and treats all people, including employees, well.  A survey of nearly 25,000 people aged 18-35 revealed that 40% believe making an impact is one of the most important criteria they consider when choosing a career opportunity, and 55% of employees would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if it meant a lower salary. 
  • CSR can help attract investors. 
Corporate social responsibility has become an increasing priority for investors as well. 73% of investors state that efforts to improve the environment and society contribute to their investment decisions. 41% of Millennial investors put significant effort into researching a company’s role in improving society and the environment before deciding to invest.
  • CSR shows consumers you care.
A CSR strategy can help you improve your reputation with consumers — earning their trust and loyalty. According to a 2015 survey by Nielsen, more than 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service if the business prioritizes sustainability. Consumers admire businesses that take positive steps toward improving the world. A commitment to corporate social responsibility might earn their trust and attention over another business offering similar products or services. 

How to Create a Social Responsibility Platform that Works for Your Business

Being socially responsible can mean a lot of different things for various businesses. If you’re interested, here are a few ways you can adopt a social responsibility platform:
  • Ethical Responsibility — This approach is committed to the ethical treatment of all stakeholders, including leadership, employees, investors, and suppliers. ABLE is a local business here in Nashville that is one of our favorite examples. 
  • Economic Responsibility — This approach isn’t about maximizing profits. Instead, it’s about positively impacting whoever is most important to your business.
  • Philanthropic Responsibility — This is a corporate responsibility platform that is built on using profits or business functions to make the world a better place. TOMS shoes has been a long-time example of this type of social responsibility. 
  • Environmental Responsibility — This is a commitment to positively impacting the world by adopting an environmentally-friendly and sustainable approach to business. Blueland is one of our favorite eco-friendly brands making a difference in the world.
Not everyone needs a social responsibility platform, but it’s an important concept to consider for your brand. Finding a way to incorporate social responsibility into your business has the potential to completely transform your business (and the lives of others) for years to come.  

How to Create a More Customer-Centric Culture

Cashier on squarespace register and lady customer


It’s obvious when companies genuinely care about their customers, not just as purchasers but as people. As a customer, you want to feel valued and reassured that your purchase, experience, or service is satisfactory.
Building consistent and reactive communication helps you develop long-term and loyal consumer relationships. So, how do you do this? You put the customer first. A customer-centric culture revolves around making the customer happy before, during, and after their purchase, ultimately earning established loyalty and higher growth. This strategy means listening to your customers and implementing what you learn from them. Not only does this practice make consumers satisfied, it helps you stand out from the competition for potential customers. While there are several methods of the approach, we’ve gathered a top five for you to review while you begin to design a customer-centric approach in your organization.

1. Invest In Your Team

Imagine you want to make a complaint about a bad experience. If you encounter a less-than-helpful person when expressing your concerns, you likely won’t return to that business. That’s why you want to hire employees who understand the value of customer relationships. 

While these customer-facing individuals do drive revenue based on customer experience, that’s not their primary duty. More than anything, team members who work directly with customers ensure the customer is understood and satisfied with their experience. To avoid disconnection between customer service and other departments, strategically merge other divisions or schedule regular meetings. Customer service shouldn’t be only certain employees’ responsibility– it should be everyone’s. Though customer service isn’t the only factor in adopting customer-centric ways, hiring and collaborating with excellent people are guaranteed ways to make your customers feel more secure.

2. Have Empathy for Your Customers 

Responding with empathy is essential when developing a successful customer-centric approach. These responses consist of implementing progressive thinking, understanding emotional needs, and genuinely caring about the individual’s concerns. Empathy is a learned and valuable skill for your team members to possess.

According to a PwC study, only 38% of U.S. consumers say the employees they interact with understand their needs. That is a monumental opportunity for your company to specialize in empathetic proficiencies and automatically outshine your competition.

3. Be One Step Ahead

When planning your customer-centric strategy, think of previous customer experiences, including:

  • Frustrations
  • Clarity issues
  • FAQs
  • Miscommunication
  • BONUS: “What If” scenarios

As a team, compile these trouble spots and either solve the hiccups or list the solutions on your website so your existing and potential customers can have their questions asked as soon as possible. You learn these areas of improvement by listening to your customers and are rewarded by their appreciation and extended business.

4. Prioritize Your Relationships First

Did you know that customers who have a good experience are 5X more likely to recommend your product or service than if they have a very poor experience? Relationships and customer satisfaction matter. Whether it’s fun communication through social media interaction or substantiating trust in B2B discussions, you want to know what your customers’ needs and priorities are before all else. Maybe it’s the way you respond or how you market toward products that create customer attraction to your brand. Research and listen to what your audience specifies; you’ll continue to build mutually beneficial relationships.

Ready to Build Your Customer-Centric Culture?

If you’re interested in learning more about how your business could thrive initiating a customer-centric business strategy, contact us today for a consultation! We’re excited to investigate the precise approach for you and your audience.