Pinnacle View We Scale Companies Wed, 16 Jan 2019 02:34:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 View 32 32 Let’s talk about the Nike ad Mon, 24 Sep 2018 00:27:54 +0000 Nike is no stranger to politics. With 54 years of brand experience in its back pocket, Nike has demonstrated, again and again, that the line between brand and politics is a hard one to define. Just weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Nike released “Equality,” an ad featuring LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Gabby Douglas, among […]

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Nike is no stranger to politics.

With 54 years of brand experience in its back pocket, Nike has demonstrated, again and again, that the line between brand and politics is a hard one to define. Just weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Nike released “Equality,” an ad featuring LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Gabby Douglas, among other prominent black athletes. The message was clear: “Encourage people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field.” So after signing a deal with NFL free agent and social rights activist Colin Kaepernick, Nike proved once again that taking a stance is part of its brand.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that contributed to Nike’s 31 percent spike in online sales following the ad release.

1. Do not underestimate the power of visual storytelling.

Marking the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, the new ad is not simply a commercial that advertises the company’s athletic apparel. It is a production, a film, an attempt to transform Nike from a shoe company into a lifestyle brand. It takes not only visual aesthetics into account but the value of audio as well. Kaepernick’s voice is a decisive backdrop to a compilation of clips highlighting world-class athletes, underdog success stories, and Kaepernick’s personal triumphs. The words themselves (“Don’t believe you have to be like anybody to be somebody.”) read like lyrics. It is that entertainment factor that pushes the “Dream Crazy” video beyond the traditional scope of advertising.

2. Messaging is key.

Not once does Nike mention its products — and yet, without saying a word, Nike apparel suddenly seems to mean something much greater than comfortable exercise-wear. Nike strategically designed the “Dream Crazy” message to appeal to a largely young, liberal-skewing demographic. This works for two reasons. Firstly, pathos, while invisible, is a powerful advertising tool. Secondly, the next time someone within Nike’s demographic thinks about their athletic aspirations, they will think of Nike. This technique is best described using another example. With its 1997 “Think Different” campaign, Apple famously connected its brand not to computers but to innovation and creativity.

3. History matters.

Despite some backlash and an initial 3 percent dip in stock price, the ad’s greatest achievement is making Nike culturally relevant. Had Nike released a traditional ad featuring its products, no one would be talking about the brand. “Nike wants to be on the right side of history and the right side of its core consumers,” said Antonio S. Williams, a sports marketing professor at Indiana University. Especially for a company that has not always been socially cognizant (re: unsafe labor conditions at its foreign factories in the 1990s), it’s important now more than ever for the company to define its brand. In Nike’s case, that means standing up for something you believe in.

4. Plan partnerships strategically.

While Kaepernick was “blackballed” by the NFL after igniting the anthem kneeling movement, Nike was, and is, the exclusive provider of the NFL’s jerseys. So choosing Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of “Just Do It” toed a tremendously precarious line. However, the unapologetically bold, 2-minute ad weighs risk with gain. Wholly embracing Kaepernick as an athlete, activist, and icon, Nike maximized the ad’s effect by holding nothing back and being truly authentic. Signing on Kaepernick was equal parts a political move and a marketing move.

At a time when everyone who wears athletic apparel is looking at Nike, other companies must work to regain attention and customers. As Nike transforms the shoe industry, other companies must choose whether to follow suit or remain traditional. And perhaps, in that sense, the new ad’s tagline is applicable not only to Kaepernick but to the Nike brand itself: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

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Digital Marketing Trends Of 2018 Wed, 11 Jul 2018 22:41:13 +0000 Rethinking Digital Marketing in 2018   In just the past few years, the expansion of digital marketing has created a massive shift in the way businesses interact with current and potential clients. But 2018 has shaped up to be the year that businesses move away from the expansion complex to a more focused approach. Consumers’ […]

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Rethinking Digital Marketing in 2018


In just the past few years, the expansion of digital marketing has created a massive shift in the way businesses interact with current and potential clients. But 2018 has shaped up to be the year that businesses move away from the expansion complex to a more focused approach. Consumers’ interests are becoming more distinct, and companies must optimize their advertising strategies to meet those interests. Here are four of the ways businesses are rethinking digital advertising in 2018.


Email Marketing

Concise email campaigns target specific audiences within a company’s pool of customers. This means that each email a customer receives is tailored to his or her needs.

The basics:

  • Communicate with clients on a consistent (non-excessive) basis.
  • Continually optimize and retest your email techniques.
  • Quality over quantity. Too many emails means more unsubscribers.
  • Branding is everything.
  • Optimize emails for mobile.

In 2015, $1 spent on email marketing yielded an ROI of $38 on average.

Every effective email campaign begins with the Welcome email — a thank you message and brief explanation of the service’s major features — sent to customers immediately after they sign up. Uber’s Welcome email, for example, offers customers three simple instructions: open the app, add a destination, and enjoy the ride. Uber’s second email provides more information, encouraging customers to take their first ride. During the holidays, Uber, like many companies, sends out referral and promotional offers, creating timely, action-oriented steps customers can take to improve their experience with the service.


Video Advertising

Like email, video advertising emphasizes brand over product. Apple’s 1997-2002 “Think Different” campaign used visual tools of storytelling to refine its brand. Although it’s been more than a decade since the “Think Different” ad, one thing still holds: video advertising attracts more consumers and drives action. The expansion of video platforms — Facebook Live, YouTube, Snapchat — means that businesses can no longer be competitive without video advertising.

According to Forbes, more than 500 million people per day watch video on Facebook…

… and almost 50 percent of internet users look for videos related to a business or product before going to the store. It’s an attractive way of explaining who you and your business are to your audience while increasing your content portfolio, driving more people to visit your business’s site.

Instagram stories have become popular modes of video advertising. When creating your stories, it is imperative to incorporate action and color in the first few seconds of the video. Instagram users will likely click through stories, so the first moments must capture their attention. For better reception, Instagram story ads should also look less like ads and more like natural Instagram stories, according to Natalie Athanasiadis, head of digital at Digital Visibility Group. Try using Facebook Ads Manager to run your Instagram story ads. The platform allows you to choose your advertising goal, set your budget, and view how your stories perform among your audience.


Mobile Strategies

Successful businesses learned to optimize their websites for mobile years ago, but many are still hesitant to incorporate other mobile strategies in their digital marketing campaigns. Text messages can be used to remind customers of a service or update them on an order. Consumers are more likely to engage with a brand when information is at the tip of their fingers; this goes hand-in-hand with a strong social media presence. It was once OK for businesses to use either Facebook or Instagram or another social medium. Now, companies must distinguish themselves on every popular social channel.


User-generated Content

Clients value honesty. While business-generated content yields results, passing off your product to an influencer and encouraging consumers to review your business can influence others to try your product. Two examples, for instance, include blogging and vlogging. That content is then shared with friends, who share it with their friends, and so on. It’s a relatively simple way to increase brand awareness, improve credibility, and expand your audience. When consumers are given outlets to share their experiences, they feel better connected to the brand, creating a domino effect of positive feedback.

74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their buying decisions, according to ODM Group.

A free and easy way to begin gathering user-generated content is through the creation of a hashtag. Develop a hashtag with which your customers can connect; promote it on your social channels, website, and emails; and encourage your audience to use it. Set up a hashtag monitor and feature user posts on your company’s social media.



Here’s the truth: successful businesses are created out of creative marketing. While these four techniques may get you closer to your goal, whatever it may be — larger audience, increased awareness, etc. — you must take your digital marketing campaign one step further. Constantly evaluate the technology landscape. Assess your consumers’ dynamic interests. Refine your brand.


And don’t be afraid to change with time.


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Recycling Paint To Help Those In Need Sat, 03 Feb 2018 11:00:30 +0000 The post Recycling Paint To Help Those In Need appeared first on Pinnacle View.


Rony Delgarde is a man with an enormous heart that leads and equally large organization. He is the founder of Global Paint for Charity, a non-profit organization that takes unwanted paint from businesses and individuals, and provides it to those in need. After coming to the United States from Haiti, Rony founded the organization in 2010 and built it into an entity with a truly global impact. Since 2010 Global Paint for Charity has shipped more than 120,000 gallons of paint to 18 different countries.

We first met Rony at Emory University where he was mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs on how to build successful businesses that make a positive impact. After listening to the words of wisdom he had to share, we knew we had to learn more about his story. Regardless of what your ambitions are – nonprofit, technology, finance, and so on – Rony’s passion and heart for helping others is an example you should take to heart. We’re sharing some of the highlights from our interview with Rony to help inspire others the way he has inspired us.

“I could have done this for profit and made so much money, but I thought about the way I grew up and all the people who couldn’t even afford paint. I knew that there were people making less than $10 a day. With color, these people are able to enjoy the beauty of their homes and their communities in new ways.”

Rony founded Global Paint for Charity because he knew there was a tremendous supply of unused paint and an even larger demand for that paint. For a typical entrepreneur, identifying large supply and large demand means dollar signs. But Rony isn’t a typical entrepreneur. He realized that the good he could do vastly outweighed any amount of money he could make. By every metric, Global Paint for Charity has been an incredible success. Because Rony’s success isn’t measured by his personal accomplishments, he will never run out of steam. As long as there are people who need color in their lives, Rony will always have a reason to stay inspired and motivated. Rony’s selflessness made us think of our own motivations for founding Pinnacle View. He reminded us that in order to grow a business that continually thrives, our mission has to be bigger than money. Not everyone is meant to found a non-profit, but every entrepreneur should ground their business in meeting the needs of others. If your company truly cares about helping the people that need you, then there will always be a reason to move forward with your best effort.

“My passion was color. Ever time I would see the effect of color, I think of being a kid and how we couldn’t afford paint and we couldn’t have color.”

We never know how our passions will manifest themselves in our career. Rony always had a passion for color but never became an artist. Instead, he found a different way to channel that passion into his affinity for entrepreneurship. That’s the true spirit of an entrepreneur. Think outside the box. Follow your passions. Chase your goals with a childlike fervor.  Then hold on tight and see where that takes you. If you’re going to fully dedicate yourself to a business, you might as well make sure it involves something you truly love. Even if in an unconventional way.  If you’ve already started your business and missed this crucial step, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to incorporate your passions. Find a way to do more of what you love in your business. We’re confident that will be for the best in the long run.  

“I had no money or resources. No network! People don’t trust you. The people who make decisions don’t know you and don’t trust you. Just because they have the paint, they doesn’t mean they will give it to you.”

The importance of having credibility and a reputation was something Rony hadn’t fully taken into account when he started Global Paint for Charity. He quickly realized that getting the donations he needed wasn’t as simple as finding someone who didn’t want their paint. Every entrepreneur faces some form of this in their business. You may have exactly what the market needs, but your target may decide to focus on the reasons not to buy (or in this case donate). So what was Rony’s solution? Persistence, learning, and charm. The traits of every good salesman. If you have something you believe will truly benefit others, don’t give up just because you keep hearing no. Learn from every opportunity. Learn about yourself and learn about others. Continue to track down good opportunities. And when those opportunities arise, make sure you’re charming.  A little charm can go a long way!  

“One thing about being your own boss is that you have to have discipline. I admit at first that was a struggle for me.”

One common misconception about being your own boss is that it means you have more freedom. In fact, becoming your own boss often means placing even more rules on yourself. Being a successful entrepreneur takes a ton of discipline. Time management, focusing, prioritization, and maintaining energy can all be more difficult when there’s no one looking over your shoulder. If you want to grow and sustain your business, you have to learn to work harder for yourself than you ever would for someone else. That’s no small task. It takes time and discipline to grow into that mindset. You’ll see that once you approach your business with the discipline it requires, achieving even the most ambitious goals can move well within reach.

“When you’re passionate about something you have to get out of your comfort zone.”

Having a passion for something like a business means being willing to push yourself to new heights. If you want to see what you and your company are capable of achieving,  you can’t remain content with approaching things the same way. Rony’s passion for Global Paint for Charity has taken him to new countries, put him in rooms with powerful leaders, cost him countless hours of sleep, and many other things he didn’t mention. His desire to make Global Paint for Charity as great as possible is what inspires him to work so hard and take chances.

“It’s looking at all the little pieces of everything, seeing how they come together that allows me to stay happy no matter what I’m doing. I’m happy everyday. If I told you I’d been up since 2am you wouldn’t believe me!”

One of the most striking things about Rony is how much joy he exudes at every moment. Most of the time running a business isn’t fun. It’s a stressful and challenging journey. Still, Rony never loses sight of how fortunate he is to have the opportunity to help others. That type of perspective is rare for such a busy person. 


It was truly inspirational to have a conversation with Rony. We were proud to interview him for “Celebrating Success”,  and look forward to working with him in the future.

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The Uber Of Fitness Sat, 20 Jan 2018 11:00:19 +0000 The post The Uber Of Fitness appeared first on Pinnacle View.


Mike Prosnick will not be stopped!

In fact, it’s doubtful he’ll ever even slow down. Mike’s unwavering passion for his business and his clients was clear from the moment we began our conversation with the JAM. Fitness founder.

JUST ABOUT ME Fitness (JAM. Fitness) is an innovative gym in Alpharetta, Georgia that allows its members 24/7 access to digital personal trainers and custom workout programs. The company was founded in 2014 by Mike Prosnick and is now the home gym for over 400 members. Before founding JAM Fitness, Mike had already started and sold several successful software companies. Mike’s experience with fitness based technology is a major reason why JAM. Fitness has the potential to become the “Uber of fitness”. (Just one of the many bold declarations Mike made during our interview).

Our talk with Mike was inspiring. We were excited to run out of his office and share his passion for life and business with the world. We think you’ll also be inspired by the passionate words shared by Alpharetta’s industry disrupting entrepreneur.

Where did the inspiration for JAM Fitness come from?

I figured out the future of fitness. I knew that everything in the industry was moving toward small group training, but I could already see the challenges.  As a personal trainer, I believed in the 1on1 PT model, but I also knew it was too expensive for most people.  The answer was simple. People needed guidance, without the barriers of class times or expense.  They needed to be empowered to act as their own trainers -24/7.

I went home to my beautiful wife and said ‘Hey, I found out what I want to be when I grow up.’ I showed her my business plan and she said go for it. Just About Me Fitness was born. Since I jumped off that cliff I’ve been evolving JAM.Fitness, and it has not stopped.

I connected with two partners that I knew from previous businesses, and they urged me to explore IT development. Together we created the software platform JAMWORKOUT TrainerOnDemand. They developed the techie stuff, and I put it into practice in the club, boots on the ground. This meant we could learn quickly what worked and what didn’t, right here where it really matters, in the club. When it breaks; we fix. It breaks; we fix. It breaks again; we fix again, instead of doing it like big corporate would and just shoving it down your throat until it breaks, and everyone is screwed.  We are the essence of a lean start up. Before long, we grew tired of other companies not being able to fix so quickly. So, we built our own agnostic heart rate monitor. We’ve built our own programs for our bands.  We decided to become comprehensive.

Our club is unlike anything currently out there. Ours is not a typical circuit. It’s not about just going in a circle. You can do whatever you want to in here: traditional, functional, HIIT.  We’ve made workouts personalized within a group setting, the camaraderie without the competition.

“Fear is not a negative. It’s a driver if you look at it that way. I fear failure and I fear losing my members. That’s what drives me to make a better system every day.”

What are some of the principles you always follow when building a business?

Progress, not perfection is the key. It’s the key to anything. So many people don’t launch or start things because they don’t think it’s perfected. I don’t give a sh** about perfection. I throw it out there so that people can beat it up. Then I get the answer and make it better. And ask for feedback- I’m here with my people every day, so I’m taking surveys every day. I put something new out there and I ask 10 people what they think of it. If six out of ten people have the same answer, BOOM, that’s my answer! Instead of doing a poll every month, I’m doing it every day.  We pretty much have just continued to evolve for the last 3 years.

“Progress not perfection. Working the daily to get farther.”

Make it fun and EASY. When we were in here originally, we had touchscreens on the wall. You would swipe your band, and it would ask you to enter your sets, your reps, and your weight. I thought, (because I’m a geek and I love training), that I should be building it from my perspective, but no one cared about that. 12 people would go by a machine and not hit the right buttons. They didn’t care about it! They just wanted to know what to do and move forward. And my database kept crashing!  It did not work, time to evolve.

Every program on the market now is made by an exercise scientist or a programmer with all this logic behind it. Well, I say BS. What makes Zumba very successful? Move! Have fun! Sweat! Richard Simmons was the same way. Have fun and don’t make it too complicated.

How has marketing contributed to the business’s growth?

“I’m on social media. I’m not afraid to make a jacka** out of myself. I’m not afraid to show people basically everything I’m doing. Try to recreate it. You can’t.”

I’ve had such a good run in the industry for over 20 years.  There are a ton of people looking at me, but they’re not liking me online. I would talk to people and out of nowhere they’re telling me ‘I’ve been following you for three years.’ They just watched and observed. Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) will tell you, it’s not about getting 5000 views, it’s about getting 1 view. If you get one view, who does that one view know? It could be a CEO. They could go and say,” ‘Those guys are onto something’. I know that what I’m saying now is better than what I was saying 1 year ago, or even 1 month ago.  I keep improving my social media, and my message.

All gyms market two ways right now. Either they are low-cost gyms, like Planet Fitness or LA Fitness, going after the price shoppers. Or they are looking for the high demographic of losing weight or body transformation.  6 weeks until you get bikini ready. 6 weeks until you get into your dress. That’s just a lie! 6 weeks? I don’t believe in those ways of marketing!

I have to find a new way to market. I gotta find a way to educate the member and to educate the industry. Neither knows what I’m doing in here. I got gym owners and industry people coming in here that say, ‘I’ve been to 4,000 gyms and never seen a club like this!’

Our system is flexible. It can change with the trends. That’s why so many small businesses fail. They are too rigid.

Why are you licensing out your software?

Right now, I want to help the middle market of gyms. For the next 6 months the whole fitness industry is praying that small group training is going to fix their gyms. They put kettle bells in their gyms, battle ropes in their gyms, you name it. They think everyone wants to do this functional training because it’s the next big thing. LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, places like that. They all put these turf areas in. They’re expecting people to pay extra for it. They have 5 classes a day. So that’s five hours a day probably. Do regular people know how to use battle ropes though? So now if it fails because people don’t want to pay extra for the classes, they have these beautiful areas that have made all these equipment companies rich- but the clubs are dying. My answer is our single lane TrainerOnDemand system.

“These gyms will have their own bracelets to offer members so that they can go to these areas when classes aren’t going, swipe in, and do their own trainer on demand. Now when that area isn’t doing small group training, they’re utilizing it for the other 19 hours. It’s a no-brainer! I’m not taking away small group classes, I’m complementing them.”

If you had to give words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, what would you tell them?

Passion and persistence. If you don’t have a passion for what you do you’re not going to make it. Persistence means never hearing no.  I hear “not yet”. If you’re afraid of the word no, you’re in big trouble. If I don’t hear the word no 9 times a day, I didn’t ask enough questions.

“Disruption! I believe I’m the next uber of fitness. I believe fitness centers are all set up wrong. Either somebody’s gonna buy me out, or they’re gonna get knocked out.”

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Sharks Help Save Elephants – Nathan Coleman Sat, 13 Jan 2018 11:00:29 +0000 The post Sharks Help Save Elephants – Nathan Coleman appeared first on Pinnacle View.


Nathan Coleman is the epitome of a strategist. His experience in the professional industry shaped him into a well-versed entrepreneur. The drive to become his own boss was always at the back of his mind, even as he jumped from one endeavor to the next. Ultimately, Nathan’s experiences led him to founding The Elephant Pants, an e-commence fashion brand. The Elephant Pants is a company driven by the noble mission of saving elephants and bringing awareness to issues such as poaching and habitat preservation. The Elephant Pants’ combination of super stylish clothes and mission-driven business practices has helped them build a large base of customers and advocates.

Our conversation with Nathan gave us insight into the unique challenges of starting a new business, and the savvy it takes to overcome those difficulties. Learning from Nathan was an eye-opening experience, and we know that it will inspire you as well.

Did you go to college?

I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology and got a degree in management. I had a good experience there from a couple of classes that I really enjoyed. But I learned a lot by doing. I worked at Kraft Foods and Unilever so I got a lot of real word experience. I got my experience in consumer goods experience. That is where I got most of my experience especially when I was at Unilever. When I was over there, I worked at a Product Management type of role called Innovation Planner. When I was there, I would work with every single function.


Wow, sounds like CEO training. It is crucial that you understand everything that is going on. When you were doing that, was this company ever a goal you had? Did you know you wanted to be your own boss?

“From an early age, I knew I wanted to do something to sustain me and my family but I did not know what it was. I have always had a side hustle.”

In middle school, I had a dog walking business, and then as the years went by, I had the menswear company. I worked in real estate, retail, food service, bounced around a lot until I ended up at Kraft Foods and Unilever. But I wanted to create a tangible good that would relate to people.

What was your inspiration for founding The Elephant Pants?

For me, I have always loved animals. My first word was “doggie” and I met my dog 30 seconds after I was born. Obviously, elephants are a bit bigger than dogs. I visited Thailand and did all of the touristy things; one of which was going to see elephants. Unfortunately, we went to one of the sanctuaries which are not ethically accepted anymore. We saw elephants chained up and crying. That was an epiphany; I knew about these mistreatment but never really saw it for myself until then. It was really a wake-up call.

“Elephants are apathetic creatures that have nothing wrong to anyone – they are awesome! Our ability to speak for them became a moral obligation. “

After seeing TOMS or Warby Parker create a decent impact for one of these causes through a tangible good, I was compelled to act similarly. When we were in Thailand we found a similar product and brought some back as gifts but couldn’t find it anywhere afterwards. So we decided to manufacture and sell them ourselves. We had experience with E-commerce and the apparel space in general; we were running a menswear company at the time. We knew how to operate an e-commerce website and find manufacturers. It was an easy transition.


What do you think contributed to the success of The Elephant Pants and do you think being a mission driven company was a major part of that?

“Yep, Definitely! The success criteria we have identified was the product itself, it had to something that people would truly like; something comfortable and fun. One of the biggest factors was the donations aspect – the charitable side of it. “

No one has any negative feelings or thoughts about elephants. People love them and have a lot of positive opinions about them. Being able to provide something tangible to the donators was imperative. The image of the elephants helped promote further. Through it, we were able to acquire more customers at a lower cost.


What was your initial marketing push?

We started out by pushing social media. This was back when Instagram was more accessible to brands and we actually got in front of people. Then we moved to Facebook ads. We had started investing in Facebook ads by February 2015. Overall, social media isn’t a good place to attract customers in mass. It’s more to cultivate and keep building your existing base.


What were some of the obstacles that you faced after shark tank? For example, were you able to handle the demand?

Everything was certainly more effective. We reached millions of people. It was a nice tail and saw organic sales for 6-8 weeks after.

We were able to handle the demand. We had properly brought in enough inventory. Pretty much leading up to it, we had a pretty big cash crunch. Obstacles were trying to figure out what our strategy would be. From my side, I wanted to leverage it and keep investing and expand our growth. Nonetheless, other partners had a different view for the use of the money at the time. Generating additional demand was a point of contention.


Where did you guys land on that?

We actually cut off Facebook ads completely by end of April. We were mainly relying on social media and email and relying on our existing customer base. It was the wrong decision that stemmed from the fear of investing further. Where I wanted the company to be was different from where the other partners wanted to be down the line.


Were there any surprises that came with the business?

Relating to how to get into the women’s products, the sizing and making sure the product fit the customer well was something we didn’t plan for as much. Sampling products and bringing them in from the supplier. We committed to goods without seeing them. Because of that, we had a couple of batches that were unsellable.


Based on all your experience, do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?

“You need to be critical of yourself and the business. It is easy to get sucked into this bubble. You are biased. You need to remove as many biases as possible in order to be successful.”

For example, you think your product is great but your customers disagree because you’re not listening. Or, you’re getting direct feedback from people in your direct network that are telling you things you already want to hear. It’s not real feedback – they are also biased.


Was that someone you knew from the get-go?

Definitely had to learn the hard way. We produced a product that we loved. However, when it got to the customers, they did not like it. It was a rough launch. It has been a big teaching moment. We need to leverage tools to get information from the need users, not just anyone who is accessible.

Is that always something that you are afraid of?

“I eliminated these biases because it is always in the back of my mind. This is where the adoption to data came from. “

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Long-Term Advice From a Short Distance Runner. Sat, 06 Jan 2018 11:00:42 +0000 Cras et libero iaculis, consequat nisi nec, tristi que metus. Praesent eu odio in velit maximus accumsan

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When the PV team spoke with Steven Sashen, Founder and CEO of Xero Shoes, we were excited to get an update on how the business had grown since appearing on Shark Tank in 2015. “The Shark Tank Wave” is a phenomenon where participants of ABC’s Shark Tank find themselves in position for immediate growth because of the massive exposure gained from the show. Orders come pouring in, website traffic skyrockets, and potential customers start to dig for anything they can find about the business. Some businesses are well equipped to thrive off of the wave, and others are lucky to survive it. Based on how Xero Shoes has improved its product line over time, we knew the company had to be run by a savvy and ambitious team.

What we didn’t know was how much the Sharks had underestimated the wisdom and persistence of the company’s founders, Steven and Lena. After speaking with Steven for an hour, we were blown away by his self-awareness and critical approach to growing the company.

Even if you’re not in the shoe business, Steven has words of wisdom that every entrepreneur should hear. We’re sharing the best quotes from our conversation with him in hopes that they’ll inspire and motivate you on the long road to success.

“They say, ‘Why don’t you just get a job?’ It just wouldn’t end well for anybody.”

Make no mistake. Steven isn’t a starry-eyed dreamer that thought it would be fun to own his own business.  As far as he’s concerned, he never really had a choice in whether or not he would be his own boss. Some of us just can’t work for anyone else. The thought of being an employee feels foreign. That’s not to say that being the boss is always the best thing. It also means taking all of the heat, dealing with an unending list of problems, and always being accountable for the actions of others. Be ready to ask yourself some tough questions if you also think that working a 9 to 5 isn’t the route for you.

Which brings us to our next point…

“You have to continually ask yourself, ‘What am I doing?’ Is the response that I’m getting from the market justifiable for the amount of work that I’m doing? Most companies could have stopped themselves from failing if they took a real look in the mirror. People don’t focus on the downside enough to understand and assess the risk.”

Here’s how your persistence and strategy can make or break your business. There’s a saying that goes, “You never lose until you quit.” We imagine Steven would say if you only keep repeating the same bad actions, you’re just delaying an inevitable loss. Xero Shoes has grown into a robust line of shoes, sandals, DIY items, and accessories. Even with extreme faith in their first product, the Xero Shoes team quickly learned it would take frequent evolution to keep their customers happy. Steven was insistent about the value of responding to what his customers were telling him. Every business should be.  Early stage startups and established businesses should give adequate attention to the feedback they’re receiving from the market. Some things that used to work may no longer be good for the business. Ideas that are perfect in theory may not pan out when put into practice. Your ability to recognize these instances can become a determining factor in your success.  

“The way we do it will never be done again. And that’s true for every successful company we know.”

Ironically, when we first asked Steven to offer advice to other entrepreneurs, he said he didn’t have much to say.  It’s because he knows that his journey with Xero Shoes is truly unique. That’s something every entrepreneur should keep in mind. There will be people and information that we can leverage for advice in running our business, but when it’s time to make things happen, there’s usually no playbook. You have to be willing to do whatever the situation requires in order to keep the company going.

“The question, ‘Are you worried about competitors?’ is silly! More than one company can be great.”

One of the biggest critiques Steven received from the Shark Tank investors was that the DIY kit was too easy to replicate and too difficult to differentiate. Steven welcomed the competition then and he still does now. His willingness to accept competition was inspiring. It says something about how much you believe in your business when you welcome imitators. In business, as in life, competition can make us better and also exposes our weaknesses. That’s why Xero Shoes has continued to expand its product line despite doubters, and even attacks from larger shoe brands.

“Your job is more about creating a relationship with your customers than it is about the product itself. We’re just trying to build a successful company. Make good products. Treat people well. And make money for people too.”

We hope you learned something from our conversation with Steven. We certainly did!

If you’re interested in learning more about Xero Shoes, be sure to visit and check out their awesome products. 

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The secret to growing your startup with digital marketing and a small budget Tue, 22 Aug 2017 10:38:16 +0000 The post The secret to growing your startup with digital marketing and a small budget appeared first on Pinnacle View.


Several of our startup clients have ambitious goals for growth, but aren’t able to put enough focus on marketing due to limited time, money, and resources. These factors stand in the way of increased exposure for countless new businesses. There’s no denying that focusing on product quality should be a top priority for any serious startup. The product is key, but your market can’t buy what they don’t know exists. In 2016, there were about 550,000 startups founded in the United States. No matter your industry, there is serious competition, and it’s essential that you think of how your business will stand out to your target market.

Advances in digital marketing technology have made gaining exposure for startups more doable than ever before. Social media, email marketing, blogging, YouTube, Google. You name it! There are numerous great options, and 2016’s $70 Billion in digital advertising spend is evidence that these options are good ones.  But with all this in mind, how does a startup get the most bang for their buck when it’s time to start marketing their business?

These aren’t the most revolutionary concepts you’ve ever seen, but when it comes to digital marketing, how your startup approaches planning and budgeting will have a serious impact on your customer acquisition opportunities.



For many startups, digital marketing has devolved into ineffective Facebook posts, unread blogs, and advertising budgets that don’t have a clear ROI. All of these things can be avoided if your business is willing to dedicate time for some thoughtful planning. Before you start (or continue) putting effort into any aspect of your digital marketing, sit down with your team and go through the pros and cons of all the options you have for marketing the business online. If you’re not able to make a strong case for why you should use a digital marketing channel, then just avoid it all together. If you identify an opportunity to meaningfully market the business online, then that’s where you should put your focus and effort.  After you decide which route you want to go, whether social media, Google Ad Words, blogging, etc, then you should develop a strategy (even a very simple one) for how you will use those channels to grow the business. When considering online channels as “Why will it help us specifically?” and “How exactly will we manage it so that it does what we want?”

After you’ve done the heavy lifting of creating a high-level digital marketing plan, you should also make sure you’re at least having monthly meetings with everyone involved in the marketing efforts. These meetings don’t have to be longer than an hour, but should always have a focused agenda. Smart topics to discuss would be the themes of your marketing content, the strategy for any ads you’ll run, and an assessment of how your advertising spend is hurting or helping the business. At the end of these meetings, everyone should have a clear picture of what needs to be done to keep up the quality of the business’s online presence.  

Avoid inconsistency. Avoid the lack of clarity. Avoid ineffectiveness. Make a plan that works for your business, then get your team to buy into it.


Your online presence and digital marketing have tremendous potential to grow your business and expand your reach. In order to do so, you have to be willing to invest in their success. This investment doesn’t have to be large. It doesn’t even have to always be in the form of advertising budgets. What it does have to be is consistent and impactful.

If you don’t know how much your business is spending per week, per month, and per year on digital marketing, then there’s no way for you to measure your level of success. If your business is spending $0 on your digital marketing, then you shouldn’t reasonably expect to see much success at all.

Your digital marketing budget may start out very small, but it can still work for you if you understand where it’s going and what results you’re looking for. Have you thought about what just $50 a week in Facebook ads could do if focused solely on brand awareness? Or maybe just saving $200 every month to use on one week long ad campaign focused on driving sales? Maybe investing in a monthly subscription in a content management system is a better use of your budget. There are numerous options for how your business can meaningfully invest a relatively small amount of money into your digital marketing efforts. The secret is that you must be willing to spend and take the time to discover where you’re most likely to get the impact you’re looking for. 


Even with smart planning and a well-made budget, your digital marketing efforts probably won’t produce a gold mine overnight. It takes a consistent effort and adjustments to see serious results. Most businesses will start and stop, but won’t stick to any one thing long enough to bear the fruits of their labor. Don’t make your plan, then only stick to it for a few months. Make adjustments where necessary, but don’t let your marketing die. Continue to focus on whatever channel you identified as being the best fit for your business, and consistently try to improve upon it. Eventually, you’ll see that more customers respond and there will be more reason to invest time, money, and resources.

Now you have the secrets to success, go use it. Leave a comment below and let us know if you found this post useful.

As always, you can email us directly if you’d like to learn about how Pinnacle View can help your business achieve its digital marketing goals.

About Pinnacle View

Pinnacle View projects are led by the two founders, Anthony Riad and Daniel Assan. Before founding Pinnacle View, Anthony and Daniel executed marketing and strategy projects for companies including Delta Air Lines, Estee´Lauder, and The PGA. Pinnacle View specializes in social media advertising, website development, and top line growth consulting. Our teams are lean, dedicated, and innovative. We partner with clients to ensure that our digital marketing solutions are effective and sustainable.  Our industry leading digital marketing tactics are always focused on creating measurable business growth.

You can always reach the Pinnacle View team on our website – or by email at and

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5 Facebook Techniques That Will Guarantee Your Ad Campaign’s Success Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:50:39 +0000 The post 5 Facebook Techniques That Will Guarantee Your Ad Campaign’s Success appeared first on Pinnacle View.


In this guide:










Making effective Facebook ads is no easy task. At any given moment, your ad is competing with other businesses for a small portion of a user’s screen. Once your ad is in front of a potential customer, then it’s fighting the hardest battle of them all – the fight for attention.

Did you know that the average Facebook ad click through rate is only .9%.


If you have a spectacular ad, probably 3 out of every 10 people that see it will end up taking the action you want. In the competitive social media advertising space, being good simply isn’t good enough.

If you’re a small business or marketer trying to make an impact on Facebook, the Pinnacle View team wants to help you out. In this guide, we’ll cover 5 of our favorite tactics for increasing the effectiveness of Facebook advertising campaigns. There are numerous techniques you can utilize on Facebook to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your ads, but we’re sharing the tactics that have been the most successful for us and our clients. We’re sure that if you integrate any combination of these tactics into your next Facebook ad campaign you’ll start to see the increased performance of your ads.

Let’s get right to it…



Tip #1

Use advanced location targeting


Facebook’s targeting capabilities allow you to customize your audience based on multiple location variables, including country, state, zip code, and address. You can even add multiple locations to one audience.

We love this feature, particularly for local businesses, because it allows us to make locationally relevant versions of our ads. For example, if you live in a football town, you can make an ad that targets anyone in your city with a message related to the local team. This is more impactful if you run an ad specifically for game days (tie into Tip #4). It’s no secret that the more relevant your ad is to your audience, the more likely they are to engage with it. Utilizing location information is both specific enough and broad enough to reach a large number of Facebook users with a memorable message.

Using location-based targeting is also a great way to take advantage of concentrated attention an area may be receiving. For example, if you are a video game store in a city that is hosting a gaming convention, you can run an ad targeted at Facebook users at the location of the convention. You know that because the individuals are at the convention, they’re more likely to be interested in buying video games. Instead of just targeting ads at users around your store, you can target users surrounding a location that is a hub for potential customers.

There are numerous other ways you can use location-based targeting to execute more intelligent ads. Now that you know this tip, think about how it could apply to your next Facebook ad campaign. 

Benefits of advanced location targeting

  • More precise spending means less wasted budget
  • Create highly relevant messages
  • Gain the trust of your audience


Tip #2

Implement smart A/B testing


If you want to ensure your Facebook ads are performing to their potential, you must be willing to do A/B testing. A/B testing is a technique where you run multiple versions of a single ad that differ in only one way. The difference (variable) may be the targeting, placement, time of posting, or any single aspect of the creative. By testing one variable at a time you can isolate different aspects of your ads leading to optimized performance.

For example, If you have a $1,000 budget for your monthly Facebook advertising, start by spending a portion of that budget on A/B testing. There may be aspects of your ad that you’re unsure about. Is your call to action strong enough? Is your imagery compelling? Are you targeting the most interested audience? With A/B testing you can answer all of these questions by running at least two versions of your ad that differ in one aspect. If one ad does significantly better than the other, you’ll know how to optimize that variable before launching your ad with its full budget.

If you want to run great ads on Facebook you have to minimize the number of assumptions you make. The greatest thing about A/B testing is that you can constantly use this technique to learn and improve your ad performance.

Benefits of implementing smart A/B Testing

  • Requires you to think before you act
  • Endless opportunities to learn
  • Less money wasted on ineffective ads
  • Take chances with minimal risk

Tip #3

Add a Facebook pixel to your website

The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website to report conversions, build audiences and accumulate insights on how people are using your website.** With a Facebook Pixel you can learn exactly how your audience is engaging with you while they go through the purchase decision making process.

Below we’ve listed out some of our favorite features of the Facebook Pixel.

  • The Pixel allows you to gather data on how your audience interacts with your ads and website before finally making a purchase. Perhaps certain products on your website are visited more frequently than others. With the pixel you’ll be able to get this insight and numerous others from observing how users are interacting with your ads and website on their desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.
  • The pixel will build a custom audience from every Facebook user that visits your site. This allows you to create ads that specifically target people you know have already been to your website. Re-targeting is a crucial technique for effective Facebook advertising.
  • When your custom audience is large enough, you can create a lookalike audience of users with characteristics similar to those that have visited your site and clicked on your ads. The Pixel takes data from site visitors and uses it to target your ads at the individuals most likely to engage with them. Figuring out the correct targeting for your ads is a constant process, and the Facebook Pixel makes it significantly easier. Without it, you’re doing yourself an injustice.

Before you run your next Facebook ad campaign, make sure that you have added the Facebook Pixel to your website. You can go here to get a step by step tutorial on how to add a pixel to your site.

Tip #4

Run ads in precise windows of time

If you have a Facebook Business page, which you should, and you’re posting content regularly, which you also should, Facebook provides very helpful insights on what times of day your audience is most active. Just visit your business’s Facebook page, click the Insights tab, then go to the Posts section. The first screen will show when your fans are online. On the “Times” graph you’ll see when most of your page’s fans are online.

We increase our ad spend for the few hours during and around the times the majority of page followers are online. If your business page has a decent number of followers, odds are that other users you want to attract to your page are also online during that time. Instead of having your ad run throughout an entire day, only run it during the times you know your audience will be online. This allows you to make more competitive bids for your ad and increase your reach. With this technique, you’re more likely to serve your ads to individuals with habits similar to those that have already liked your page.

If your Insights are showing that there are multiple times when a majority of your fans are online, this is a great example of a time when A/B testing would come in handy.

Try this technique and see how it affects the reach and engagements your ad receives.  

Benefits of binding at specific times

  • Spend when it’s most impactful
  • Increased responsiveness from your target audience
  • Requires a data-centric mindset



Tip #5

Don’t sell the product, sell the solution to the problem you are solving

Obviously, you always want your audience to engage with your product when you run a Facebook ad. What we really mean is that your ad should focus on the benefit your product is providing to customers, not the product itself. The reason why people buy things is because they are looking to solve some sort of problem.

People’s problems may be as basic as being hungry, or as specific as needing a 50” TV for a new man-cave. In fact, the reason most people are on Facebook is because they are trying to solve one of two typical problems. They are bored or they want to catch up with a friend. So when you write your ad, the problem you’re solving should always be front and center. That’s the best way to get your audience to pay attention long enough to click on your ad.

Let’s check out a couple of examples of how you can apply this tip…

  • Product Focused Headline #1
    • Fall Running Shoes Sale – Take advantage of these awesome deals!
  • Solution Focused Headline #1
    • Get in shape. Get in style. Save money with our fall shoe sale!


  • Product Focused Headline #2
    • Shop high performance laptops.
  • Solution Focused Headline #2
    • Your college freshman needs the right computer. Find it here!


  • Product Focused Headline #3
    • Schedule a free consultation with Atlanta’s top attorney
  • Solution Focused Headline #3
    • Get the legal help you need at no cost. Schedule a free consultation.


You’ll see in each Solution Focused Headline that the need of the customer is front and center. This tip allows you to speak to customers in a way that matters to them. Don’t just sell them. Help them. The one catch of this technique it that it requires that you actually understand what matters to your target audience. If all you’re an expert on is your own product, then you won’t ever create great ads. You also have to understand what matters to your audience.

This is an essential element of good ad writing and it will make a big impact on how your ads perform. Take a look at some of the ad campaigns you’ve recently run and explore ways you rewrite them with this technique.

Benefits of selling the solution not the product

  • Put Yourself in Your Audience’s Shoes
  • Makes You Search for Customer Insights
  • Forces You to Think Creatively

We hope you found this guide useful. Start implementing these tactics and let us know how it goes.

You can always reach the Pinnacle View team on our website – or by email at and If you would like to schedule sometime to speak with the partners about your business needs, you can click here.

About Pinnacle View

Pinnacle View projects are led by the two founders, Anthony Riad and Daniel Assan. Before founding Pinnacle View, Anthony and Daniel executed marketing and strategy projects for companies including Delta Air Lines, Estee´Lauder, and The PGA. Pinnacle View specializes in social media advertising, website development, and top line growth consulting. Our teams are lean, dedicated, and innovative. We partner with clients to ensure that our digital marketing solutions are effective and sustainable.  Our industry leading digital marketing tactics are always focused on creating measurable business growth.

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How This Year’s Digital NewFronts Presentations may impact your business… Thu, 11 May 2017 11:18:40 +0000 The post How This Year’s Digital NewFronts Presentations may impact your business… appeared first on Pinnacle View.


2017 is a big year for Digital NewFronts. NewFronts, run by the IAB, are an annual series of events and presentations from digital media companies featuring pitches aimed at both video content creators and advertisers. During this year’s May event series, 32 separate digital media companies will host their own NewFronts. The companies presenting include big names like Twitter, DigitasLBi, Turner, and Google. The Pinnacle View team had a chance to view live video from several NewFronts. Each presenter wants to prove that their platform will feature the most effective, innovative, and engaging tools by which advertisers can reach customers. It’s a time when digital media companies can unabashedly strut their stuff. It’s a time for publishers to sit down and hope that they’re impressed.

The growth of Digital NewFronts from just 15 presenters in 2012, to 32 in 2017 is evidence that digital advertising’s importance is growing at a tremendous rate. The Digital NewFronts were originally meant to compete with traditional Television NewFronts. This year, Turner Broadcasting is a key presenter. The industry is starting to see the light. Glowing in the light are five words –


Video Content is the future.


Since you’re reading this, I want to make sure you see the light too. Every digital marketer needs to pay attention to this year’s slate of NewFronts. Pay particular attention to the companies and platforms that you work with or see potential for in the future. For example, Pinnacle View had given up on Twitter. We had stopped recommending that our clients stop focusing their online and social media growth efforts on a Twitter following. All signs for Twitter were pointing towards the platform dying a slow death. But we were wrong. So far In Q1 2017 they’ve added 300 million new active users. Then at this year’s NewFront presentation they revealed that they have ambitious, inventive, and modern plans for the future of Twitter. This includes hosting a 24/7 news program with Bloomberg Media. All of sudden, Twitter has become a social media platform with the potential to garner serious attention from customers. There’s new excitement around the future of Twitter. We may be recommending it again to our clients very soon.

Our advice to digital marketers, especially those serious about providing smart, innovative ideas to their clients, is to research the key updates from this year’s slate of Digital NewFronts presenters. The schedule below includes the full list of this year’s presenters. Use this list to Google search updates from any companies that seem interesting (should be all of them). There’s a lot to learn from these companies, and there’s a lot to be excited about.

Perhaps some of this year’s NewFront presentations won’t directly affect how you do business. Regardless, staying informed in this rapidly changing industry is essential to success.

Thanks for reading. Leave comments. We’d love to hear what you found most exciting and interesting about the 2017 NewFront presentations.  





Tubular Insights



Media Village



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Making bad ads may ruin your business. Here’s why… Fri, 05 May 2017 17:33:50 +0000   The latest decree by the “Coalition for Better Advertising, a group including Facebook, Google, and the Washington Post, states that the worst digital ad formats may be completely blocked by online platforms. Annoying pop-ups, invisible exit buttons, full-screen takeovers, you get the gist. This is great news not just for internet users, but for […]

The post Making bad ads may ruin your business. Here’s why… appeared first on Pinnacle View.


The latest decree by the “Coalition for Better Advertising, a group including Facebook, Google, and the Washington Post, states that the worst digital ad formats may be completely blocked by online platforms. Annoying pop-ups, invisible exit buttons, full-screen takeovers, you get the gist. This is great news not just for internet users, but for digital media publishers as well, including big businesses like Google, to digital strategy consulting firms like Pinnacle View. Banning these awful ad formats is a smart move because it increases our engagement with the internet. Which means internet giants can continue to drive massive amounts of ad revenue while not losing active users. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a “win-win situation”.


What that means for businesses that have, or will soon adopt digital advertising, is not a new point, but still an increasingly important one. Quality must be your #1 priority when spending on digital advertising. In 2017, companies will spend over $20 billion on online advertising. To achieve engagement high enough to matter, your ads must distinguish themselves in some aspect of their quality. This applies to the thinking behind it, it’s design, and it’s execution.


I’m a fan of this type of action by market leaders. Regardless of the numbers, advertising is about people. The more empathy we have for our customers, the better our work is. Online publishers that rely on this type of thinking will see their business and online presence grow more than it already is. Those companies that don’t concern themselves with the quality of the content they publish will watch their reputation and accounts take hits.
It’s pretty clear which one you want to be.

[team_member description=”” social=”” link_element=”none” color=”Accent-Color” image_url=”” name=”Daniel Assan” job_position=”Chief Digital Strategist” link_url=””]


[divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=”3″]



Credit to Jessica Smith from Business Insider

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