( ENSPIRE Business ) Joshua Mead and the Meadia Agency are Connecting the Dots for Creatives and Brands
ENSPIRE Contributor: Daniel Garritson
Joshua Mead graduated from Temple University in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many business owners nationwide were struggling in the face of uncertainty, he could harness his creative energy and networking experience to establish himself and his brand during that tumultuous time, creating The Meadia Agency. When advertising is only becoming more prevalent in the lives of internet users, TMA is innovating in creating experiential events to reach all new audiences.
TMA is a culture-driven marketing and communications company. For Joshua Mead, growing up in a space where culture is underrepresented presented a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between creatives and major brand opportunities. In just under two years, the creative agency has garnered over 3 billion impressions through experiential activations, event curation, brand partnerships, and digital marketing strategies.
ENSPIRE spoke with Joshua to discuss his challenges, the importance of his audience, and advice on using innovation to reach audiences.
What would you say was the most challenging aspect of establishing your agency during the pandemic?
Since I was a child, I have always imagined myself in the space I am in today. With that said, the journey here presented many challenges. While a student at Temple University, I was hyper-focused on building my network, getting my name known, and my hands involved in real work experiences. From interning with mega-brands like NBC Universal to signing personal retainer clients, I worked nonstop to secure a full-time position post-college.
As graduation approached, I applied to many positions. I was very diligent about this process, customizing every resume and cover letter to the role I was applying for. In six months, I had submitted over 250 applications and heard from none.
Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world…in my case, graduation was canceled, and job opportunities were scarce, especially in the creative industries. In March 2020–I chose not to let the lack of response from employers, along with unexpected times, derail me from my goals. I started The Meadia Agency (TMA).
Starting an agency with no full-time experience is a lot easier said than done. I had to learn through trial and error. During early 2020, clients and brands were pivoting to the new normal, reallocating budgets and re-strategizing campaigns. This created a barrier for the business at first. With the world at a standstill, I took the initiative and developed my processes for success. It took 6 internships, 3 jobs, 250+ rejections, and 3 LLCs to finally grow through dismissal, lack of mentorship, and constant comparison to others.
How did you overcome that obstacle?
It was not until fairly recently, that I took a step back and realized what the accelerating factor for TMA has been. Having the ability to recognize a problematic situation, thoroughly analyze it, and strategize a way to work it out has been key to my success. As exemplified in the above situation, I had the persistence to do what had to be done to make order out of the chaos of life/work.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “It’s who you know, not what you know.” In the entertainment industry, this concept is multiplied exponentially. Your network and relationships are driving factors to your longevity in the industry. While I had a solid network before starting the agency, I had to branch out to grow. The creativity and strategy were there but the network I thought I had, lacked.
Through the years, I have curated a network of industry leaders that are truly impacting the culture. Building this network of friends and business partners has organically and exponentially widened TMA’s resources.
Would you say there is a single most important factor in reaching out to millennial and Generation Z audiences? If so, what is it?
Millennials and Generation Z audiences have grown up in a rapidly-changing world. What was groundbreaking yesterday is likely to become outdated tomorrow. It is extremely important to keep this ever-changing and over-saturated environment in mind when developing projects and campaigns.
To keep the attention of their audiences, brands must create a unified experience across all touch points (in-store, digital, mobile, etc.). One way to do this is to humanize your brand and showcase your personality. Make the consumer feel as if they are best friends with the brand. Consumers are more likely to engage with a brand they have a personal connection with.
How did you put together your team of industry leaders and your network?
Over the years, I have had the chance to work with some amazing people. With that said, I’ve learned the hard way, not every relationship is a good relationship. It is important to make sure you receive as much value as you bring to the table. Many relationships in this industry tend to be solely transactional.
The relationships that feel the farthest from transactional are the relationships I strive to keep close to. The non-transactional interactions tend to be with the real industry leaders. They are the ones who see value beyond the singular opportunity at hand. These are the industry leaders I have integrated into TMA’s internal team and network.
Is there any advice you would give to other prospective business owners looking for new and innovative ways to reach audiences?
My words of advice for prospective business owners are, “Stay creative and keep dreaming! The possibilities are endless as long as you can dream of them.” Through studying other successful entrepreneurs and marketers, I’ve realized that the most impactful teams are those that are creating the trends, not following them. You must stay on your feet and stay ahead of the competition. Think outside the box.
In only a few short years, through the power of networking, The Meadia Agency has formed valuable brand partnerships. The TMA Team’s digital marketing strategies and experiential activations can connect creatives directly to major brand opportunities. That creativity has brought the agency the success and engagement it has seen and will likely continue to see far into the future.