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Clarksville call center to grow by 100+

Agero Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that markets roadside assistance and safety services, plans to add more than 100 people to its Clarksville call center. The company will hire its new employees throughout this year at the facility, which opened almost two years ago. Agero officials say they're also hiring for their Florida, Arizona and Ontario operations.

Jul 22, 2014 1:56 PM

Q2 report a tonic for HealthStream investors

At about 1 p.m. Central Tuesday, shares of HealthStream were among the market's biggest movers, climbing almost 20 percent to about $26.50 on the back of its solid second-quarter earnings. Volume was heavy, with the number of shares changing hands on track to triple the stock's daily average.

Jul 22, 2014 12:58 PM

Mortgage delinquency, foreclosure rates nearing landmark levels

Real estate data firm CoreLogic says the percentage of Nashville-area home loans that are at least 90 days behind fell in May to 3.08 percent from 3.15 percent the month before and 3.95 percent in May of 2013. If recent trends hold, the delinquency rate will be well below 3 percent by summer's end and about half its number during the peak of the Great Recession.

Similarly, CoreLogic says the Nashville MSA's foreclosure rate dipped to 0.53 percent from 0.57 percent in April and 1.02 percent a year earlier. That number peaked just under 2 percent in early 2011.

Jul 22, 2014 10:53 AM

Spark startup competition coming in September

Southern/Alpha will in a few weeks host its second Spark:Nashville event, which is highlighted by a rapid-fire pitch competition. The event will take place Sept. 4 at Events on 3rd in Printer's Alley. Here's some info on the inaugural shindig.

Jul 22, 2014 9:47 AM

Veteran marketer rebrands with heartland focus

Local brand strategist Paul Jankowski has changed the name of his Access Brand Strategies agency to New Heartland Group, a move that builds on his work identifying and studying a "largely misunderstood and underserved" demographic that accounts for 60 percent of U.S. consumers.

Just one example of the agency’s success is Pizza Hut’s barbeque pizza campaign, where they connected the brand with country music superstar Blake Shelton. Blake’s engaging personality and universal likability aligned seamlessly with Pizza Hut’s new line of barbeque pizzas, including “Blake’s Smokehouse.”

Jankowski will in September publish Speak American Too: Your Guide to Building Powerful Brands in the New Heartland, a book written with help from local firm Prince Market Research.

Jul 22, 2014 8:36 AM

Roundabout tower named Element Music Row

Charlotte-based Childress Klein Properties will use Element Music Row as the name of its 19-story mixed-use tower under construction at 1515 Demonbreun St. in Midtown.

The building — which will feature 431 apartment units, about 6,000 square feet of retail space and a 600-space garage — will front Musica on the Music Row Roundabout.

Fred Klein (pictured), CKP partner, said the marketing move involving the naming will be accompanied by a website that should go live in a few weeks.

“We plan to begin pre-leasing in summer 2015,” he said.

Klein said 1515 Demonbreun was a working name used in a general manner until an official name was given. Temporary signage with “Element Music Row” was installed at the worksite last week.

Element Music Row joins fellow Childress Klein buildings Element Uptown (located on the fringe of Charlotte’s central business district) and Element at Carolina Bay (located in Charleston, South Carolina). The development company is also working on Element South, to be located in Ballentyne near Charlotte.

Atlanta-based architect Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, which designed Element Uptown, has designed the Music Row Roundabout tower.

Read more here.

Jul 22, 2014 7:15 AM

Commission meeting to address various infill projects

Thursday's Metro Planning Commission meeting will offer votes on various infill developments of note.

These include the following:

A request by Nashville-based Gulchetto Enterprises Inc. for a specific plan that will allow a 45-unit apartment building to be constructed at 1212 Hawkins St. and 1119 and 1121 Sigler St. (Read more here.)

A request to amend a specific plan zoning on Germantown properties located at 1102 and 1138 Third Ave. N. and 1121 Second Ave. N. and that would allow the planned Broadstone Germantown building (previously called Stadium Lofts) that Phoenix-based developer Alliance Residential Co. want to develop to rise 85 feet instead of 75 feet. (Read more here.)

A request to rezone from one and two-family residential to specific plan properties located on Litton Avenue and to be a 130-unit condominium project developed Parks at Five Points LLC. See a preliminary image below from project architect Kline Swinney Associates. (Read more here.)

A request to revise the preliminary plan and for final site plan approval for a portion of the Melrose Commercial Planned Unit Development Overlay District for property located at 2625 Franklin Pike (at the southeast corner of Franklin Pike and Gale Lane) to permit the development of a 7,651-square-foot restaurant and retail building.

Jul 22, 2014 7:00 AM

Q&A: Spring's Jonathan Dyke

Jonathan Dyke is the Nashville-based co-founder and executive chairman of Spring Marketplace Inc., a Chicago-based digital marketing company whose Spring Rewards subscriber shopping service launched in late 2013 (it began in Nashville in May) and is preparing to establish a presence in 10 more markets in 2015.

Dyke, a former chief operating office Edo Interactive COO, oversees the company’s Southeast region office, located at the Woodmont Center at Harding Pike and Woodmont Boulevard. He cofounded Spring with Bruce Mitchell, who runs the Chicago office.

Post Managing Editor William Williams recently chatted briefly with Dyke.


You already have 60 Nashville locations and what you say is consumer spending in the market of more than $1 million. What are your target numbers in, say, five years? 

[We expect there will be] over 300 high-quality establishments in the Nashville area that will see value in joining the Spring Network within the next three years. Consumer spending across the Spring Network in Nashville will be over $50 million, which will be the largest digital consumer audience in Nashville. Access to this size of audience, with this level of spending, clearly represents a significant opportunity for local businesses to acquire new customers and grow their revenue.

You note that revenue at your clients’ companies is expected to increase about 20 percent annually. Thoughts? 

For clients using the Spring marketing platform [since the company launched last November], we typically see 20 percent revenue growth in their business after six months. Spring designs and launches a "rewards program" for the business that encourages their customers to come back more often — for example, "spend $200 and get $15 back.” This increase in revenue is seen as an increase in visits and spend per visit, which increases the overall average ticket for our client. 

For example, when a Spring client begins working with us, we benchmark their average ticket. Let’s say it is $20. Because we track every transaction from their "member" visits, we can show "lift" because their customers who are members are coming back more often and they spend more each visit. In this case, the member average ticket grows to $25, which is over 20 percent revenue growth. 

How would you explain the "refer-a-friend" feature?

"Refer-a-friend" is a very powerful way for Spring clients to grow their business. Members of a client's rewards program can send an email or post on Facebook a "gift" ($10 for a visit) to their friends who are not members of that program. All the friend needs to do is enroll in the program and visit the business. Then they receive $10 in their credit/debit card account. The Spring client gets a new "member" from a high-value source that is a current customer — their friend. This feature is also a good way for businesses to use their social networks they have been building for years at no cost to the business — basically advertising on Facebook for free.

How did your work at Edo Interactive prepare you for this job?

Edo (stylized as edo) is a great company creating substantial value for large financial institutions and large merchants. At Edo, we were very early in connecting offers to consumers via a credit/debit cards. We all see opportunity to transform marketing by proving full attribution to advertisers and providing true ROI of their marketing spend.

Spring got a nice write-up in Crain’s Chicago Business (read here) this past January. How has that helped your company's visibility?

Good press always helps get the word out about how we create value for small and mid-size businesses. With Spring, our clients have the opportunity to grow their top line while creating a strategic marketing asset in the form of a customer database that provides powerful insights into their business. For example, they can see their top spenders as well as lapsed customers who need an incentive to come back and visit. The Spring team also runs your marketing for you so you can focus on running your business.
 

Jul 22, 2014 6:45 AM

UBS supporting The TENN

On the heels of setting up shop in the downtown tower formerly known as the Regions Center, global bank UBS has committed to be the presenting sponsor of Launch Tennessee’s The TENN master accelerator program for the next two years. The investment has a value of $150,000.

“We are thrilled to partner with UBS for the second and third cohorts of The TENN,” said Charlie Brock, Launch Tennessee CEO. “UBS has a long history of helping Tennessee’s economy grow, including its recent commitment to creating 1,000 news jobs at the company’s Business Solutions Center in Nashville. They are a perfect partner for Launch Tennessee and we look forward to working with them in building on The TENN’s inaugural year successes.”

The TENN gathers a group of promising startups from the state’s nine accelerator programs and exposes them to investors and entrepreneurs around the state (via a bus tour) and elsewhere. (Check out more info here.) The Launch Tennessee team will begin accepting applications for the second cohort in late August.

"We are excited to partner with a first-class organization like Launch Tennessee in support of their incredibly innovative The TENN program," said Lori Feinsilver, head of community affairs and corporate responsibility for the Americas at UBS. "We look forward to supporting and working with early-stage ventures from across the state, as they grow their businesses and create jobs in local communities."

Jul 21, 2014 1:08 PM

BNA passenger count climbs 6%

More than 10.6 million people flew into and out of Nashville International Airport during the facility's fiscal 2014, which ended June 30. That was up 6 percent from the mark of fiscal 2013. Here's the official release.

Jul 21, 2014 12:04 PM