Ask an MN Marketer: Stacy Anderson

This is the second entry in a new series where I’ll do a question and answer format post where I interview creative and marketing leaders that have ties to Minnesota. (And on occasion I may chat with others that are from outside the state.) I want to hear what guides these leaders, what they have experienced and what the rest of us could (or should) learn from them.

This month I’m featuring Stacy Anderson, President at Anytime Fitness. I’ve know Stacy dating back to 2005. She interviewed me when I was first hired at Best Buy and I later reported to her for a couple years during my tenure there. She’s a fantastic manager that helped me get better strategically, served as a sounding board and also gave me a kick in the pants when I needed it.

What is your hometown?
Green Bay, WI. I grew up just a few blocks away from Lambeau Field.

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Where is your educational background/where did you go to school?
I did my undergrad at UW (Eau Claire) where I double majored in Journalism & Sociology and earned an MBA from Carlson School of Business (University of Minnesota).

What is your current role and how did you get there?
I’m the Brand President at Anytime Fitness. I got my feet wet at ad agencies working on a variety of clients and categories and then moved on to help Geek Squad stores scale across Best Buy. I held a variety of marketing roles at Best Buy and came to Self-Esteem Brands (Anytime Fitness, Waxing the City) as the CMO. I assumed the role of AF Brand President in August of 2016.
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Dear MIMA

This week I wrapped up my second term and fourth year on the board of directors for the all volunteer run Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA). It was a wonderful and occasionally frustrating ride. It feels like the closing of a chapter – the end of a relationship of sorts. So instead of doing a typical blog post about it, I thought I’d write a farewell letter.

Dear MIMA,

Thank you for opening your doors to me four years ago and giving me the opportunity to be a part of something. Part of the board of directors. Part of a network full of gifted and talented individuals and companies. Part of a community that is both large and small all at the same time. (Didn’t someone say something at my final board meeting comparing the digital scene in the Twin Cities to “Two degrees of Kevin Bacon”? Yeah, that seems about right.) Continue reading

15 minutes and a whiteboard

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The whiteboard I used for my Digital Download presentation last month.

What do you do when the people you work with don’t understand your job or what you do? I’m guessing a lot of us can relate to that in some form or fashion. This has been a question that my team has been trying to figure out it while working with other parts of the marketing department at my office. We’ve found that there is inconsistent knowledge with our colleagues on various things digital. Search Engine Optimization. How web pages are created. Knowing what user experience is as a discipline. Having a basic understanding of the social media landscape in 2017. These are just a few examples, but the short version is that some peers didn’t understand what we work on or how things get done in our area. (I have this same issue but on the opposite side when it comes to certain other departments at Allianz;  I am no expert when it comes to the inner working of the hedging or actuarial groups.)

Unsurprisingly, this has made it tough at times for us to have conversations or collaborate when peers don’t understand core parts of marketing technology, our processes, the different media channels, how we evaluate and use metrics, etc. Like any kind of relationship, ideally you should strive to know or understand where other side is coming from or how they operate. Continue reading

Five marketing observations from the new dad on the block

Making Michael Keaton proud.

That’s me – making Michael Keaton proud.

2014 turned out to be the year of change on both professional and personal fronts. First, I dove into the world of non-profits where I joined the board of directors at the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA). Second, I changed jobs and left the world of big box retail for the land of financial services marketing. However, each of those adjustments paled in comparison to the biggest change of all: becoming a father.

My son Ezra showed up on the scene last September. It has been a wild ride with lots of laughs, plenty of sleep deprivation and a whole new outlook on many things. But besides these changes, I also realized that I’ve entered a new phase as a consumer in the cross-hairs of marketers out in the world: I’m now part of the dad demographic. Continue reading

How about some common sense marketing?

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Lately I’ve been noticing a lot more marketing work out in the wild where brands are just talking to themselves. You know the kind of thing that I’m talking about. Instead of truly trying to connect with consumers, you’ll see brands just regurgitating corporate speak that doesn’t make much sense when you actually think about it. A former manager of mine used to call it smoking your own exhaust.

It happens all the time in the retail industry where stores tout their unbelievable “one-day only” sales. These “one-day sales” actually last two days because they just happen to have an extra day that is called a special “preview day.” I’m sure you’ve seen these and probably are just immune to them by now. They are the “can’t miss” or “once a year savings event” that somehow magically repeat themselves by the same retailers month-after-month-after-month. (I’m looking at you Macy’s.)

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Four thoughts as we wind down 2013

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It’s that time of year. You know what I’m talking about: best of lists, top ten countdowns and recaps from the year are making their way across our in-boxes, news feeds, Twitter timelines and RSS readers. I usually would jump into the fray with my favorite albums from the year, but I have to admit that I haven’t been keeping tabs on new music this year as much I would have liked. (If you are looking for some solid musical finds, then I suggest checking out the year-end rankings from Twin Cities mavens Kyle Matteson and Brian Danaher.) Continue reading