Spreading the Magic of Hope this Holiday Season

It’s Christmas time in the Holy City and we want you to join us in spreading holiday cheers at our happy hour on December 13 at Rutledge Cab Co. from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. We’re closing out 2022 with our most impactful happy hour yet, and we’re calling on our friends and neighbors to help make it happen. All ticket and cocktail proceeds from the event benefit one of our favorite local nonprofits doing big things, Courageous Kidz.  

Founded in 2006, Courageous Kidz is on a mission to give children living with cancer and their families the magic of hope by providing year-round uplifting experiences. After moving to Charleston in 1967 with her husband, Deborah Stephenson quickly found her calling making a difference in the Charleston community by originating and nurturing Camp Happy Days. In 2005, Debby transitioned from Campy Happy Days to caring for her husband full time as he fought his own battle with cancer. Recognizing the need children and families living with cancer have for a more individual type of care, Debby knew there was more work to be done and more families to touch. She then created Courageous Kidz. 

Courageous Kidz works to alleviate the stress experienced by families stricken by childhood cancer while giving them the opportunity to connect over family-fun activities, all free of charge. These opportunities give families the chance to take a pause and just be a family for the day while creating lifelong memories. Whether it’s a day at the beach with Shaka Surf School, bowling and pizza at Charleston Rifle Club, dinner at their favorite restaurant or even a custom trip, Debby and the Courageous Kidz team go above and beyond to provide these Charleston families with a sense of normalcy and an amazing experience to pair. 

The journey with Courageous Kidz doesn’t just stop after these activities. The kids, their parents and their siblings become a part of a robust support network in the Charleston community, composed of like-families who can lend understanding to the challenges that accompany pediatric cancer. Through this network and the continued champion from Courageous Kidz, each family gains access to additional resources, organizations and support that help carry some of the weight. 

Through the generous support of volunteers, sponsors and donors, Courageous Kidz has been spreading the magic of hope through the Charleston area for nearly 17 years, and we are honored to lend our support to help them reach 17 more. While we can’t take away the devastation of pediatric cancer, we can do our part to help Courageous Kidz continue impacting these incredible families and alleviating some of their stress during unprecedented times. 

Buy your tickets today and join us on December 13 at Rutledge Cab Co. from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to close out 2022 by making an impact. Come cheers to the season, network with marketing pros and enjoy complimentary appetizers and signature cocktails — all benefiting Courageous Kidz! Over 95% of the donations go straight to the cause. 

Can’t make the happy hour but still want to get involved? You can donate to Courageous Kidz on their website, as well as find information on becoming a volunteer or sponsor.   

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good happy hour! 

2023 Marketing Predictions

VR, Blockchain, Web3 and Metaverse

Starting with the biggest nobraider is thinking about marketing through the lens of virtual reality and conducting business through blockchain technology. With the rise of the Metaverse, a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, comes the evolution of web3 as well. web3 is the name some technologists have given to the idea of a new kind of internet service that is built using decentralized blockchains — the shared ledger systems used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. The term has been around for years, but to break it down it’s really, “the internet owned by the builders and users, orchestrated with tokens.” web3 takes on many forms, including decentralized social networks, “play-to-earn” video games that reward players with crypto tokens, and NFT platforms that allow people to buy and sell fragments of digital culture. But some believe that web3 is little more than a rebranding effort for crypto, with the aim of shedding some of the industry’s cultural and political baggage and convincing people that blockchains are the natural next phase of computing. In this new internet, we get rid of the centralized systems and create an open ecosystem that would reinvent the digital marketing industry. This technology is really for recording and verifying transactions that can be applied to practically anything requiring trust—from money to real estate to medical records. As a result, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize marketing as we know it today.

Audio Content

Consumption habits have no doubt changed since COVID-19 with consumers doubling down on digital and transitioning to online lifestyles, which includes the way they experience content. With the rise of podcasts, audio play time is significantly higher across all platforms and mediums. Considering TV, music, podcasts and streaming services, consumers are multitasking and taking in SO much more information, messaging and storytelling at a rapid rate through audio. So, the way we target and market products and services should meet customers where they are–in their ears. 

Completely Paperless

People have been changing their habits by prioritizing sustainability and they want brands to help them make sustainable choices more obtainable, manageable and available. They also expect organizations, businesses and corporate companies to have an impact on society on a much larger scale and align promises with actions. I predict a lot more of these entities will likely make sustainability promises by “going green by 20XX” and eliminate paper goods altogether. In addition, they’ll take it further by not only reducing their economical impact, but creating purposeful outlets for others to do the same. 

Privacy Technology 

Leaks, breaches, hacks and scams all are on the rise as people and technology advance in all areas of business. And with people managing more of their day-to-day lives online than ever before, online privacy has never been more important. To customers, privacy IS trust and market performance will no doubt make or break when it comes to user experience. Reported by Google, consumers view bad privacy experiences almost as damaging as a theft of their data. It’s enough to make 43% of them switch to another brand. In addition, while privacy and respect is top of mind for the consumer, ease of use when protecting their information is still number one—locking down information still has to be quick and seamless. 

Special Services Over Big Business 

Long are the days of the Mad Men mentality. It’s expensive to compete with big brands when so many small businesses need the same tools and exposure just to swim in the same sea. And in the era of the Great Resignation, which shows no signs of slowing down, businesses, nonprofits and all companies in between are turning to subject matter experts who have now left corporate life to specialize in a unique area of expertise, in turn, starting their own small business. As every individual and every business in the past several years has now scaled back, gotten leaner and smarter with their spending, they are outsourcing what they collectively agree cannot be done in house and look to freelancers and contractors. For marketers, that means bye bye big agencies and hello skilled remote workers with short term contracts. 

Taylor Ion, Marketing Specialist

Director of Marketing, Charleston AMA

Strategist, rūmbo