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Marketing Expert, Founder, Buzz Marketing Group
Black Enterprise Small Business University Instructor
The Process: Tina Wells, founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Â Group, wakes up around 6:30 a.m. and makes herself an espresso the old fashioned way: on her stovetop.Â Since Buzz Marketing Group is international, no matter how early she wakes up, several e-mails and text messages await her.
The Vision: The seeds of Buzz Marketing Group were planted when Wells was 16 years old and doing product reviews for New Girl Times Magazine. The demand for teen input on products was so great that Wells decided to start her own company right out of her bedroom. Â Buzz Marketing Group has gone from a one-person staff run by Wells to an international network of thousands of teens and tweens. (Actual grown-ups run the business these days.)
The It Factor: Many companies today provide market research, but Wells believes her company stands out because of Buzz Marketing Group’s reach and the depth of their knowledge.Â “Our tagline is ‘Where insight meets activation’ and that really sums it up,” Wells says. “Everything we do is informed by rigorous research. We’re not giving clients feedback based on what we think is a good idea. We give results based on surveys, focus groups, interviews and other information gathering tools.”
The Defining Moment: By the time Wells began attending Hood College, her business was already two years old.Â When Wells told a professor, Anita Jose, about her teen market research business, Jose immediately recognized the potential and instructed Wells to use the next semester for independent study so they could work on a plan.Â “She was instrumental in helping me construct my business plan, and I still use it today,” said Wells. “I’m probably one of the few people who really took full advantage of my undergraduate years. As I was working on my business plan and I had questions about statistics or psychology for example, I would just go and get advice from my statistics and psychology professors.”
The Life: Wells is the oldest of six children and considers family time to be of the utmost importance. “I decided a long time ago that I would not work on weekends. I might check e-mail and things like that, but no full-on work,” says the entrepreneur and author of Chasing Youth Culture and Getting It Right: How Your Business Can Profit by Tapping Today’s Most Powerful Trendsetters and Tastemakers. Wells also just hired a new senior vice president of marketing, which allows her to truly take on a more executive role. “I can trust that my team will take care of the day-to-day business so that I can focus on strategic, big-picture initiatives.”
Register now at blackenterprise.com/sbu to see weekly video courses from Tina Wells and other industry experts on how to build, grow and nurture your business. On top of that, you’ll have a chance to win more than $50,000 in prizes, including one-on-one consultations with successful entrepreneurs like Emerson, a small business makeover for your biz courtesy of Dell, and much more!
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