advertising . exhibits . branding . social media

marketCHARLOTTE is back.

For the third year in a row, I’ll be holding the microphone and keeping things moving as host/MC.

2013 mktclt crop

#mktCLT 2013



WHEN: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm (EDT)

WHERE: Roof With A View | 800 W Hill St # 104, Charlotte



WHO’s Presenting?

Jessica Cobbs, professor and Global Brand Director at UPS and Jeffrey Rohrs, author and VP of Marketing insights at ExactTarget will share their thoughts on the evolution of marketing and how to digitally engage with your audience.

*The first 50 registrants will receive Jeffrey’s new book: Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers as well as an exclusive pre-event VIP reception with our speakers.

Jessica Cobbs

Jessica Cobbs

Jessica Cobbs

Global Brand Director at UPS

Jessica is a global brand and marketing leader with demonstrated accomplishments in marketing, brand strategy & management, leading and developing direct reports, integrated marketing communications, direct and digital marketing, customer loyalty programs, and mergers and acquisitions.  She is currently a Global Brand Director for UPS and is responsible for global brand strategy, brand management, creative services and customer insights.

Jeffrey Rohrs

Jeffrey Rohrs

Jeff Rohrs

VP of Marketing Insights for Exact Target

Jeff is a recovering attorney, bacon-lover & Cleveland sports victim who heads-up Marketing Insights at ExactTarget. In this role, he oversees a team of incredibly passionate folks responsible for ExactTarget’s thought-leadership, content marketing, and social media efforts. He also produces and co-authors the award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series—an ongoing examination of how today’s online consumers interact with brands through email, mobile, and social channels.

Jeff’s first book, AUDIENCE: MARKETING IN THE AGE OF SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS, is out now and tackles the flip-side of Content Marketing–Proprietary Audience Development.


The Carolinas Chapter of the Business Marketing Association (BMA Carolinas) has tapped me for microphone duties for their upcoming B2B Rising Regional Conference.  A full-day conference for marketing and business professionals.

May 6_General Session 1 024

On stage with Hans Linnarson, Former President/CEO of Husqvarna. World Conference 2013

This regional event is part of a global conference series designed to help B2B marketers share and learn from each other about effective strategies, tactics and creative ideas to grow their businesses.

The line up includes a host of leading B2B corporate marketing executives and thought leaders  – covering  marketing, technology, content, and creative.

Mark it on your calendars for March 19, and ask the boss for the day off so you can get your learn on. We’ll see you at Central Piedmont Community College in Uptown Charlotte.




9:30am – 10:15am:
BMA Members & Speakers Meet and Greet; Coffee & Networking for Non-Members

10:15am – 10:30am:

10:30am – 11:00am: MARKETING RISING
Ryan Saurer, Account Executive, Google B2B Marketing

11:00am – 11:30am: SOCIAL MEDIA RISING
Jeffrey L. Cohen, Co-Author, The B2B Social Media Book and Distinguished Lecturer, Ball State University

11:30am – 12:00pm: CONTENT RISING
Aaron Kahlow, CEO and Founder, Online Marketing Institute

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm – 1:45pm: KEYNOTE
Eduardo Conrado, Senior VP of Marketing, Motorola; 2012-13 Chairman of the Business Marketing Association

1:45pm – 2:15pm: INNOVATION RISING
Stephen Liguori, Executive Director, Global Innovation and New Models at General Electric, Incoming Chairman of the Business Marketing Association

2:15pm – 2:45pm: CONVERGENCE RISING
Chris Moody, Director, Product Marketing, Oracle Eloqua

2:45pm – 3:30pm: Afternoon Break & Networking, Sponsored by

3:30pm – 3:45pm: Sponsor Spotlight and Door Prizes

3:45pm – 4:30pm: CREATIVITY RISING
Agency Panel – Dave McQuaid of VantagePoint Marketing & Nicole LeClair of Eric Mower + Associates will be presenting B2B marketing case studies for their respective clients Henny Penny and Schick/Sirona

4:30pm – 5:00pm: TECHNOLOGY RISING
Mathew Sweezey, Pardot, a company; Author, Marketing Automation for Dummies

5:00pm – 5:15pm: Closing Remarks

5:30pm – 7:00pm: TEQUILA RISING
Networking Reception with appetizers and drinks at 1900 Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar (5 minute walk from Halton Theater)


Got an event coming up? Need a host or spokesperson? Event branding, promotion, and social media help? We’ve got the talent, experience, and resources to help you pull it off.

Contact us today. Visit OR

Podcasting isn’t new, but thanks to an all new ability to customize and personalize our listening preferences on our smart phones & tablets, and take it with you anywhere, anytime – it’s a great way for audiences to learn, absorb, and connect with insights you may have through great content.

That said, we’re kinda proud of what we’ve kicked out.


Speaking of not new…I professionally stole this blog post idea from DJ Waldow of The Work Talk Show. I say professionally as in I’m pretty sure DJ won’t mind. After all, he’s been an awesome guest on our show and he stole this from Chris Brogan. So there.

So, what is The Marketing #Squadcast ?

First, if you’re new to the party – a little background: two years ago this month Brandon Uttley and Scott Hepburn (my Social Media Charlotte cohorts and competition respectively), and I were sitting around slurpin’ overpriced coffee, pissin’ and moanin’, drawing and measuring our entrepreneurial  workloads, applauding, criticizing, comparing wins and losses. We had so much in common… dealing with clients and projects and trying to make a living – we decided to record our little chats.

Our goal was simple. Be REAL about marketing. No bullshit for the sake of being PC. Invite other experts and standouts in to talk the way people in the boardrooms and hallways really talk. Provide honesty about what we’ve all found to work, and what we like and don’t like.

These days:  we remain “Off the cuff. Always on target” as we bring in the best and brightest to join us to take aim at the latest news, views and trends in marketing, business, public relations, social media, and sales.

Sometimes the guests show up.


Here’s 13 reasons to subscribe and celebrate as The Marketing #Squadcast turns 2 years old.  These are in no particular order. We’ve done 47 episodes…hard to pick just 13 out of all the great talent that has visited us.

  1. Adam Holden-Bache of Mass Transmit has talked Email Marketing
  2. We were live at Social Fresh Charlotte in 2011 and joined on the couch by Chris Penn, Peter Shankman, Eric Boggs, Mike Mahoney, David Thomas, Jeff Cohen, Chad Elkins, and … DJ Waldow (see how I did that?)
  3. Russell White, an authority on business in the new economy joined us to tell us about Retaining Top Talent in a Free Agent Market.
  4. Ira Bass, Charlotte’s “LinkedIn Guy” gave us job search tips and pointers.
  5. Anthony Proctor with 1060Creative gave some tips to help your videos stand out.
  6. Jason Falls was on the phone to call BULLSHIT on brands who still haven’t figured out how to do Social Media after all these years.
  7. Fabi Preslar with Spark Publications & Tamela Rich, Author and Motorcycle Adventurist said “Self-Publishing” gets a bad rap.
  8. Lawrence Shaheen, weighed in on a political marketing.
  9. Social Media Examiner CEO and founder of Michael Stelzner talked white papers, social media, podcasting and marketing.
  10. The lovely and talented Queen of Content Ann Handley gave us Content Rules insight, and some belly laughs.
  11. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, chimed in on marketing for small businesses and his books Duct Tape MarketingThe Referral Engine, and The Commitment Engine.
  12. Brian Wallace, with NowSourcing, Inc., talked about the latest obsession of Al Gore’s interwebs – INFOGRAPHICS.
  13. This past episode, Ron Coleman with the law firm Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP in New York discussed commercial law, trademark, copyright issues, and if your marketing is legal.

Oh, and for 13.5… for our official celebration – (wait for it….)

O.K. That’s long enough.

Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

Gentle listeners, we have the Poobah of branding and personal business development …the one and only Chris Brogan joining the showgram to chime in and help us celebrate on #Squadcast 48 dropping next Tuesday June 4th.

I know right? We’re honored and a little giddy.

So as you can see, we’re convinced (albeit biased). Are you?

Here’s A Few Ways to Subscribe to The Marketing Squadcast so you’ll be one of the cool kids:

Of course you can listen to each episode on our website





If you haven’t done so, be sure to sign up for Brandon’s “Cool Tech Tools. We review his list every episode, but you might as well get your own copy delivered right in your inbox in a timely manner.

brandons tech tools

Got a topic or rant you want us to tackle? Got a guest recommendation? Have a marketing challenge keeping you up at night? Want to be a guest on our show?

Connect with us …give us something to talk about:

If you’re already a regular – THANKS!  Brandon and I appreciate ya.



A customer has voiced a legitimate complaint about Company A on social media, and the concern is going viral. How does Company A respond?

Social Madness Vote

Again, this week, I join in with Brandon Uttley, social-media product manager for Sales Performance InternationalLaura Bell Greeno of WebScout Online Marketing; and Crystal Dempsey of From The Hip Communications to weigh in on the question.

Here’s my view:

Despite all of its glory and benefits, social media has obviously given new license to the world for expression. We can do it now like never before, with immediacy and virality.

Any time a company receives or catches wind of a complaint, it needs to be viewed the same as if someone walked into their crowded “store” and addressed them. Even as a small business, there’s a tendency to think you can dodge it or dismiss it, but you’ve got to be proactive and address it properly. Otherwise, you’re dealing with a potential avalanche.

Back in my media sales days, I used to hear a couple of flippant phrases tossed around the bullpen whenever the new ratings came out. They’re both true in their respective cases: “The masses are asses” and “One person represents 1,000.”

Truth is, these days, a happy customer tells five people, an unhappy customer tells 10, and a restituted customer tells 20.

While the customer isn’t always right, and you may have standards and policies that beckon you to stand your ground, all your customers really care about is their experience, getting a good product and the relative value of those.

If you engage in a timely, humble, compassionate and even funny way, offering a solution that supports the value they’re looking for, you’re likely to defuse the issue and win some additional fans in the process.

Come out defensive and swinging, and you’re screwed.

CLICK HERE to see what the rest of the crew says over on the Social Madness blog!

Again, this week I share the #SocialMadness question of the week from The Charlotte Business Journal with local social media practitioners Laura Bell Greeno of WebScout Online Marketing, and my Marketing Squadcast comrade Brandon Uttley, social-media product manager for Sales Performance International, and Crystal Dempsey of From the Hip Communications.

“Should businesses expect employees to play a role in social-media efforts?”

CLICK HERE for our opinions.

Social Madness Vote

The Charlotte Business Journal, reached out to some of us local social media practitioners for contribution to their Social Madness blog. Again, this week I share the panel question with with Laura Bell Greeno of WebScout Online Marketing, and my Marketing Squadcast comrade Brandon Uttley, social-media product manager for Sales Performance International.

CLICK HERE for our opinions.

Social Madness Vote

American City Business Journal’s Social Madness is a one-of-a-kind competition that measures a company’s social media engagement.

Social Madness is a local and national challenge that will spotlight the best social media programs of companies in 43 cities. PLUS – this year, we have added a national At Large category, so any U.S.-based company can participate! The local challenge begins on June 3, 2013. The promotion will culminate in a national bracket challenge that will crown Social Madness champions in 3 categories based on the size of their collective social following at the start of the competition.

We’re pleased to be teaming up with marketCHARLOTTE again this year to moderate the discussion. Audience members can expect to walk away inspired with proven strategies to consider applying to their own organization’s growth.


The theme for 2013 is “Doing More with Less”. We’ve been in a post-recession mode since 2009, and some economists debate whether real recovery has begun. Either way, companies are tasked with doing more with less. So what is the plan for growth? Leading companies, doing business in Charlotte, will share their strategies. Come out to hear and interact with the city’s smartest thought leaders in marketing.

Don’t Miss Out on Early Registration – Ending April 1st! Price includes admission to the event, heavy hors d’oeuvres, free drink ticket at the cash bar, and extensive networking.

Social Madness Vote

While the rest of Nation is glued to their NCAA College Basketball March Madness brackets, American City Business Journals has cranked up their own buzz worthy  Social Madness contest again this year.

The contest offers your company the opportunity to showcase its prowess on all things social media. Not only does participating in Social Madness help you gain exposure, there are the bragging rights against companies in your category, and the added bonus of a $10,000 charitable donation to be made on the behalf of each of three national winners.

The Charlotte Business Journal, reached out to some of us local social media practitioners for contribution to their Social Madness blog. This week I share the panel question with with Laura Bell Greeno of WebScout Online Marketing, and my Marketing Squadcast comrade Brandon Uttley, social-media product manager for Sales Performance International.

Where should your small business start when it comes to Social Media? CLICK HERE for all of our answers.

Black Hat Social Media

On a recent episode of THE MARKETING SQUAD podcast we talked about the rise of Black Hat Social Media. My co-host Brandon Uttley also presented the topic over on the Social Fresh blog as well. Black Hat techniques have been long associated with SEO but for the Social purists, it was that thing we don’t practice. We dare talk about it quietly in our little circles when we see or suspect it. We all know who does it and how. Like all media, there’s smoke and mirrors but by and large, it just has no place in the world of “engagement” and “authenticity”. If you want a true reading of your audience it has to be effective circulation not quantity.

One of the activities we talked about on the show is the art of jacking your follower numbers up. In the early stages of twitter people did it by manipulating the API, nowadays you can pay $5 bucks, or get in on a seed program and get thousands. Why would you? Simply put, because mass attracts. Everyone wants to hang with the popular kids whether you’re a brand or a public figure. Then you’ve got businesses doing it because departments have pressure from bosses to show numbers, clients want numbers to justify investments in time spent being social, and wannabe celebrities (Guru’s, Experts, Ninjas, Rockstars, etc.) in all industries, want to be seen as successful and influential.

So, I’ve noticed for some time now that certain members of my social media streams have been jockeying pretty hard for a better position on the public figure fame train. LinkedIn updates, posts, statuses, and project listings across the sphere have been more frequent and more polished in the way they were presented. I mean, don’t get me wrong – coming from the radio entertainment world and providing marketing strategies to businesses, I get it. We all have to package ourselves and find our brand tone and you can’t sell it if you don’t tell it.  More power to ‘em.

One post from the short list membership caused me to click on his Twitter profile where I saw he had 12,000 followers, following only 99 people back. That seemed …odd. I mean, come on! I know he’s more connected that 99 people. Plus, he’s not THAT much of a celeb (but he’s trying), or prima donna to not follow anyone back. He hasn’t said anything, or written a book, given industry presentations, nor done anything on a mass scale that would’ve garnished THAT much attention either.

As I’ve done with other accounts where I thought the braggadocio and back patting weren’t in proportion with the stats, I ran a report through one of my social media management tools. Sure enough, there was a huge spike. Without calling this person out by name or avatar I posted the screenshots.

Despite my spell check deficient post – like Shark chum, it got a reaction and reposts from the purists; everything from disgust to suspicion of who it was. Even saw a rolling of the eyes on Facebook. Wonder if he was talking about me? He’s a bit vague.

I was pretty much off the grid over the weekend, but this morning when I logged into my Twitter account, I saw I had gotten PUNK’D. My follower number had jumped 28,000. I had to rub my eyes a bit to see it clearly, but even without Ashton Kutcher to be found, it was evident I’d been PUNK’D.

Someone decided to teach me a lesson and slap me with a horde of unqualified bots and tech companies from India to my account. As I said earlier, we talk about it in our little circles when we see it. We all know who does it and how.

By this afternoon, it had dropped by 11,000.

Attrition will continue to happen because of the quality of the followers, but I guess I’ve learned my lesson. Like FightClub…you don’t talk about Black Hat Social Media. But you can employ it if you need a little extra help to make you or your brand appear A LOT more interesting and credible. At least at first glance. Maybe for a little while.

Yeah, yeah. I get it. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

I’m off to crank up a little auto-unfollow for all the residue I’ve picked up so my account can go back to its natural “authentic” state.

Nicely played Mr. Black Hat. Nicely played.

I wrote a post back in 2009 titled “Don’t “get” Social Media? Think like a Musician” after seeing U2’s 360 Tour at Carter Finley Stadium.

I wrote that the beauty of musicians is their willingness to expose themselves to an audience. Their words are intimate, if only to them. They’re more so than not, authentic in their personality and not everyone gets them because of that – but that’s ok. They have a tribe of rabid fans who do get them and are willing to do anything to champion the success of their star.

Musicians are tied to community. They’re passionate about cause and the human condition as it often feeds their inspiration. When they write (just like a Twitter and Facebook status), their words reach out and relate to someone else who sees things as they do. It creates a connection and apparent conversation. It’s personal between the artist and listener.

On Wednesday, April 25, at 7pm  at the Carolina Entertainment Network’s (CEN) monthly mixer we’ll be expanding on this topic.

I’ll be presenting Social Media Convergence: Band Promotion, Fan Engagement and leading the discussion along with some who’ve leveraged the new tools with the old and had success:

Dolphus Ramseur

Founder, Owner and President of Ramseur Records, LLC. Ramseur Records is an independent record label and music management company based in Concord, NC. Ramseur’s acts (The Avett BrothersBombadilSamantha CrainFrontier, RuckusPaleface), have won Grammy awards, performed live on the Grammy’s as well as on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, Grand Ole Opry and Austin City Limits. In addition to late night TV success Ramseur acts have been featured on NPR radio hit shows “Fresh Air with Terry Gross”, “A Prairie Home Companion”, “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.”

Ramseur artists have gained much notoriety by headlining the largest music festivals in the United States including Bonnaroo, Coachella, Stagecoach, Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, MerleFest and numerous others. Ramseur’s independent releases have charted four albums on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.

Chris Rigo: (Guitar/Vocals – Sugar Glyder) Studied Psychology at UNC Charlotte

Daniel Howie (Vocals/Keys/Guitar – Sugar Glyder) Studied Mass Media Communications at UNC Charlotte with a minor in Journalism

Sugar Glyder

Formed orginally in 2006 by Chris Rigo and Daniel Howie. They’ve released 2 full length albums and 2011′s Lovers at Lightspeed independently as well as 3 music videos. Their merchandising, website construction and social media hubs were also maintained in house by the band. Since 2009 they’ve booked and executed more than 400 shows across the USA. In 2011 they signed with Warner Brothers affiliate ORG Music and Outerloop Management (Washington, D.C.)

Patrick Sills

Digital Program Director at Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, where he’s helped lead the integration of digital media into a traditional media group. He has over 7 years experience in content creation, digital marketing, web metrics/analytics, database marketing, video production and social media.

He leads a digital team of designers, content creators and social media marketing over 5 web sites. These content sites consistently drive over 300K in unique visitors and millions of page views each month. Patrick also works closely with the sales team to generate new ideas that leverage digital assets for Clear Channel’s clients.

Patrick is constantly pushing the envelope by studying new marketing techniques and trying new digital products. In his free time, he enjoys reading, graphic design, and the occasional home improvement project. You can follow him on Twitter ( @patricksills ) but you’re more apt to see one of his posts coming from the brands that he represents.

If you haven’t gotten involved in The Carolina Entertainment Network (CEN), consider it. They’re dedicated to the development and promotion of music and entertainment in the Carolinas, while fostering a united and sustainable regional community of music and entertainment industry professionals. There aim is to build a supportive and united entertainment community through innovative programs, education, outreach and networking that will help empower the creative community.

I’m in. Are you?

Wednesday, April 25, at 7pm  at Wet Willie’s Inside the NC Music Factory – 900 Seaboard Street in Uptown Charlotte.

Don’t wait – get your spot. It may get crowded. RSVP HERE

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