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Saturday, July 16, 2011

What’s All the Buzz About?

Tina Wells Buzz Marketing Group Founder.  She is the It Girl of getting the word out about must have products and the author of the Mackenzie Blue series for tweens. 

Tanya Yvonne:  How did the concept for Mackenzie Blue come about?
Tina Wells:  I was doing research on tweens and their moms at the time. I found that moms felt material such as the Gossip Girl series was too controversial. While they loved that their girls were reading, there was a dilemma of how to keep their tweens entertained with content appropriate for their age group. As a marketer and a writer, I thought I could come up with a solution to the “mean girl” culture, hence Mackenzie Blue. During my Christmas holiday, I developed the story and wrote the proposal in two weeks and showed it to a few friends in the business. Fortunately, one of my clients is an editor at a publishing company. She referred me to an agent to sell the concept of Mackenzie Blue.

TY:  You had built this successful business prior to penning the Mackenzie Blue series and brand extension is what you do, so while composing the first book did you make sure to craft it in such a way that it would indeed be marketable?
TW:  I learned that if I focus more on creating something a customer will want, it would, by definition, be marketable. Often times, products are marketed to people that they neither want nor need. However, in the case of the Mackenzie Blue series, there is a definite want and need. I focused more on what girls were going through at the age of 12 and created a brand the customer would want.

TY:  What hurdles did you face during the writing and publishing process if any?  How did you deal with them?
TW:  I am fortunate to have a fantastic agent and publishing company that provided an amazing experience this first time around. The only challenge I had during the entire process was time management. I had to dedicate myself to developing a brand and running an entire company.

TY:  One teen understanding what it takes to successfully market products to other teens is understandable, even as a twentysomething but now as you delve in to your thirties do you ever worry about there being a perception of a disconnect between you and your core base of teens?
TW:  No, and that’s mainly because of the 9,000 buzzspotters around the world. It’s been my role to serve as a liaison between teens and companies that market and target them. At 31, I listen to thousands of teens about what they want so no, I do not see a difference.

TY:  There are many unpublished writers -like myself- whose blogs are growing in popularity are there any services that you offer which could create some buzz for a brand that is still in its infancy?
TW:  Yes, Buzz Marketing Group offers private consulting services for clients who do not have the budget for a larger marketing campaign.

TY:  How important was it for you to develop a charitable side to your business with ventures such as Project Friends and SisterHood, Inc?
TW:  I think cause marketing and social responsibility are very important to this generation as a whole. It’s not just about the projects but also about my role on board committees for The Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

TY:  Please pass along a piece of advice you wish you had received at the start of your endeavors.
TW:  I don’t have any. I am fortunate to get good advice from my parents. I would say that the best advice from my Dad was, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

TY:  Writers deal with a lot of rejection how have you handled any professional disappointments? 
TW:  I think it’s about brushing it off and constantly moving forward. The difference in starting a company at 16 is you don’t really register the disappointments. I just kept moving.

TY:  What is your favorite thing about your new book, Chasing Youth Culture and Getting it Right?
TW:  As a whole, I like it because it helps people understand a misunderstood generation.

TY:  What is next for you?
TW:  What’s next is growing the agency and creating more multimedia projects.

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