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Nationwide Gets The Band Back Together For Its 50th Anniversary

It was Nationwide Marketing Group 50th anniversary and the leadership team did not miss the opportunity to celebrate with its members. 

Big parties, live concerts, and lots of great show specials brought over 3,000 people to Nashville to be together after 18-months.

“Words cannot express how ready and excited we were to meet face-to-face with our members here in Nashville,” said Nationwide President and Chief Member Advocate Tom Hickman. “A great deal has changed since the last time we were all together as a group. We have lots of catching up to do and we plan on making this a PrimeTime that our members and vendor partners won’t soon forget.” 

That was the promise, but did they deliver?

PrimeTime always starts out great with a dynamic opening session followed by over 100 Learning Academy courses where members can go and learn just one thing new that can set their business off on a new course. Then it picks up speed and feeds into Mattress University for those of us schlepping beds every day. 

There was a retail round table with members sharing new ideas, then we heard from top executives at Tempur/Sealy, Serta Simmons Bedding, and Corsicana as they talked about the challenges of 2021 and the promise of what comes next. 

To cap it all off in the final session, Mark Kinsley and I—AKA Dos Marcos—took the stage along with Jeff Rose from Nationwide to present the findings from our 2021 mattress marketing research deck. We were there to remind everybody that data should inform your strategy. In the immortal words of Sherlock Holmes, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

For Kinsley and me, every speech starts with a shot of tequila which, as you may know, is the official beverage of the Dos Marcos podcast. We were honored to be joined in the green room by Andrew “Mattman” Schlesser from Sweet Dreams Mattress and Furniture who is not only a superhero, but he can also slap out a thumpin’ baseline on an acoustic guitar. 

That came in handy because Kinsley and I were opening this speech with a blues song that we wrote for Nationwide. Kinsley is a great guitar player and I can blow a blues harmonica, and we can both sing (well enough anyway), so we put it all together and paid our respects to one of the best cities in the world to listen to live music. 

That’s the story of how Dos Marcos got to open for Little Big Town in Nashville. Granted, we went on at 3 p.m. and their show wasn’t until 7 p.m., Plus, they were playing at the Grand Ole Opry and we were playing in a ballroom at the Gaylord a few blocks away—but we’re gonna count it. 

On that note, a HUGE thank you to Nationwide for bringing the Grammy Award Winning Little Big Town in for the private concert because they crushed it! 

Now, back to the research.

I don’t know how many times I have heard that people who buy mattresses online won’t be doing it again because the quality isn’t there. The fact is that the people who purchased directly from a website are just as happy as consumers buying from most brick-and-mortar locations.

Is the direct-to-consumer channel going to pick up steam or is it in the maturity phase of the cycle? According to consumers, the majority of the 2,000 people that we talked to said that they will not even test out the next mattress they buy. 

Seriously!? These are just a few of the revelations that came from the research but there are many more, so be sure to become a member The FAM now and you can have access to the entire deck. 

Even better, stay tuned for announcements on our series of Webishows (which is a webinar crashed together with a Dos Marcos-style podcast to keep things interesting). We will be digging deep into the data and talking to industry experts about what it all means. 

Sitting on the plane on my way home, a few thoughts hit me pretty hard. 

Kinsley and I talk about how lucky we are to do what we do. Not just to experience these events together, but to be in such a great industry with such incredible people. Then I started to reflect on what Nationwide has meant to me. 

Tom Hickman, Patrick Maloney, Mike Whitaker, Mike Derro and Jeff Rose, and the rest of the executive team make us feel like part of the family and we are grateful for that and the opportunities they give us to be a part of it. 

Finally, I was grateful to be together with old friends and we really enjoyed making some new ones. It’s so great to hear from people who listen to our show or follow The FAM about how it has helped them personally and professionally in some way. Those conversations are priceless to us.

The next PrimeTime is on February 5-8 in Phoenix, Arizona so if you didn’t make this one, save the date and join us out west. There will be more great deals, people to learn from, and awesome memories to be made. Hope to see you there!

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