"There are great ways to work with partners that benefit both sides," said Christian Brown, director of marketing and public relations at the Houston Ballet. For the March AMA Houston Luncheon, Brown covered how to use data to form valuable partnerships. While not a dancer, he still brings his own finesse to the role.

By starting with a brand evaluation, he was able to determine the value of the Houston Ballet's brand, what type of data they needed, and what they could offer that other people would want. Instead of looking into the data to determine what they could do, he looked and asked, "How can other people use it?"

Out of this inspiration, the Houston Ballet has partnered with big brands like Houston Methodist and Honda, which allowed them to create and disseminate content that otherwise would not have been possible for the non-profit. For example, they advertised on the ice at the Houston Galleria ice skating rink, placed an ad in the USA Today's Super Bowl addition, and their principal ballerina is featured in a national spot with Honda.

When approaching Houston Methodist for funding for the Super Bowl advertising budget, Brown showcased their attendee data in a highlighted zip code map of Houston. The visual representation of their data showed Houston Methodist that the ballet and their hospitals were serving the same community. "That visual was very impactful for us non-numbers people and was an easy way to prove the point of marketing in particular areas or reaching out for a partnership," said UH student Emily Clark.

"Start doing smart marketing," Brown said. Think about how to use available data to prospect, understand unique offerings available to people outside of your bubble, and just get started analyzing the data collected. He also mentions, "If you're creating content that isn't innovative, start there. Don't imitate."

Attendees really enjoyed the insights that Brown offered into how to use data. "It was wonderful! They're using data in an interesting way," said Kat Judge with Outfront Partners and partner with the Houston Ballet. "Fantastic!" her partner Karen Erwin added.

Brown is the Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Houston Ballet overseeing all branding, marketing, ticketing and public relations efforts. While at Houston Ballet, Brown has been recognized for his work on the redesign of the Houston Ballet brand with Pentagram Austin and the complete reimagining of their website, which received an AWWWARD. Mr. Brown currently works as a guest lecturer at University of Houston.

Join us for our next monthly luncheon on April 12 to hear special guest Christen Johnson, senior vice president of marketing, at Johnson Development Corp., talk about how they elevated community brands by applying fresh ideas and new experiential ways to appeal and connect to their audience. Her talk will dig deeper into understanding the marketing techniques that can set your message apart from fierce competition in any industry. 

Register Here



Written and posted by AMA Houston volunteers: Sophie Newman and Allegra Boutch.

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