Tucked away in a quiet corner office in a discreet office building in East Nashville, one of the nation’s fastest-growing communities in one of the hottest markets in the country, Jeff Cassman smiles when I ask how Invocabo has managed to land prestigious ad accounts when the creative talent on both coasts is stronger than ever.
“We live in a remarkable time, when technology and transparency allows talent to compete at the highest levels. Marketing is now more merit-driven than ever.”
The Creative Director defies stereotype; in appearance he resembles James Gandolfini, the actor who famously portrayed Tony Soprano on HBO for seven seasons; on the heavy side, reclining casually in a silk Tommy Bahama with a fat CAO cigar pinned between forefinger and middle finger.
However, when the conversation turns from the ‘Athens of the South’, as Nashville is often described, to advertising, you can’t help but think of Don Draper, the famous Creative Director portrayed by Jon Hamm in the hugely successful AMC-produced “Mad Men” series. Cassman is all business, intense and exuding confidence.
“We fall in love with our clients’ audience….we get into their hearts and minds, we know their hopes and fears and dreams…their pain and pleasure, and we immerse ourselves in their reality, so we can fulfill their dreams….or solve their problems.”
“That insight into the consumer allows us to speak to them with credibility and with a persuasive, action-oriented message. This is critical, because without this, the media channel is irrelevant. It just so happens we have the world’s most powerful, hyper-targeted delivery platform as well, combining predictive behavioral modeling and IP device advertising.”
Cassman is referring to two cutting-edge applications that are transforming not just advertising, but commerce itself.
“The amount of data that is being collected and the power of the latest quantum computers allows data scientists to identify trends and predictive patterns within the marketplace that were unimaginable just a few years ago. We can literally look at a segment of the population and know with a high degree of certainty what they will decide in any given situation.”
“Once we know exactly who among 300 million people are the most like our existing client base, we can deliver our message to them with precision and effectiveness, thanks to IP device marketing. This patent-pending technology gives us a huge advantage on those who are limited to social media, email, or traditional advertising channels.”
During our brief conversation, the phone has rung constantly, a Samsung S7 has vibrated incessantly, and the HP laptop perched on a standing desk quietly beeps every few minutes, signalling one more unread email. Demand for this new kind of advertising appears to be strong. Cassman shrugs and offers a surprisingly humble evaluation of the situation.
“We’re in a great position. We have the creative talent that is vital to the success of any marketing or advertising campaign. I am proud of that. But the technology has developed sufficiently that we can compete with the biggest firms in New York or LA…and we are doing just that…five years ago we’d just be toiling away here in Nashville, like all the other talented dreamers dependent upon chance to make a difference. Needless to say, we’re capitalizing on the opportunity.”