Tina Wells: On the Art & Science of Good Marketing

Real Good Company is a show where we talk with real people building good companies that are making a real impact. We’re so excited to welcome today’s guest, Tina Wells. Tina is a business strategist, advisor, author and the founder of RLVNT Media, a multimedia content venture serving entrepreneurs, tweens and culturists with authentic representation. 

She is the author of the best-selling tween fiction series “Mackenzie Blue” and its spinoff series “The Zee Files,” which is exclusively sold at Target. Most recently, she launched Elevation Tribe, a mentor group and online platform for aspiring female entrepreneurs, specifically women of color. 

Tina got her start after answering an ad in Seventeen magazine to be a writer at a newspaper called The New Girl Times. A suburban teenager and the oldest of six kids with dreams of being a fashion writer, she was hired as a product review editor. Intent on finding a way to “finance her suburban lifestyle,” Tina didn’t think she could make much money, but she thought it might be a fun way to get the product she liked. 

In 1996, at the age of 16, Tina launched her first company, Buzz Marketing Group. Two years into it in college, one of her clients told her that she had a business in market research and that she should “figure it out.” So she did. By her senior year of college, she had six-figure research projects and was working with big name clients like Dell, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Kroger, Apple, P+G, Johnson & Johnson, and American Eagle 

Nicknamed the “millennial whisperer,” after a decade of studying the purchasing decisions of the millennial demographic, Tina was in the position for clients to find her. As the buzz grew, Tina enlisted the help of friends. They nicknamed themselves “buzzspotters,” a network of trendspotters that did market research for brands. In 2000, after a blurb in Cosmopolitan about Tina and Buzz MG, she got 15,00 applications from teenagers from around the world for the role of “buzzspotter.” 

A decade into running Buzz Marketing Group, Tina wrote her first book, “Mackenzie Blue.” She put her journalism degree and her marketing experience to good use to write a book series for the tween girl market with good values. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies. A couple of years ago, Audible bought the audio rights to it. 

Tina is a true marketer who understands the balance of art and science in marketing. Today’s podcast focuses on her passion for consumer insights and the intersection of research, content product and community. She also shares research insights about what today’s youth are craving and what is changing in product and content. 

For authors, she shares the value of seeing your book as a product, the importance of deeply knowing and understanding your audience and matching that product toward what the consumer wants. She also shares advice for the upcoming entrepreneurs and authors on how to market themselves and work with big name brands.

You can find out more about Tina and everything mentioned on today’s show here. Also, you can find Tina on Instagram @tinawells and on Facebook here. Get to know our hosts on Instagram @CaitlinCrosby and @AllieBridge. Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so that we can stay in Real Good Company!

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