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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Jun 21, 2018

Erik Lokkesmoe, Principal at Aspiration Studios (Nashville, TN), provides insights into how strong branding, a brand’s relational partners, and brand-based distribution systems are changing marketing; highlights how some of the “newer players” (NetFlix, Amazon Prime, Hulu) are tracking audiences’ viewing viewing data to establish future project direction; and comments on how marketing metrics illustrates the critical alliance between marketing’s creative side and its service side. Aspiration specializes in distribution (theatrical through digital) and marketing (ideation through execution) for films, TV, and media programming.


In this interview, Erik explains the differences between and impacts of:

  • Integrated, technology-driven marketing distribution vs. the more traditional functional siloing
  • Relational partners (leaning in together) vs. transactional partners (breakdown potential)
  • The “Blue ocean" strategy (uncontested market space) vs. "red oceans" where competitors fight for dominance


Erik spent 10 years in politics, where he learned about marketing . . . and that politics was not nearly as effective in shaping hearts, minds, behavior, and beliefs as was storytelling. Today, he is a “producer of marketing distribution” for “makers of content” (creatives). He identifies three issues driving marketing and content today:

  • We have the “most cluttered” marketplace in history
  • Audiences are “tribal”—more fragmented and segmented than ever
  • Traditional systems and old ways of doing things are breaking down.


He also defines three ideals that motivate younger generations:

  • Community (belonging to something)
  • Craft (being good at something)
  • Cause (believing in something)


Erik authored the book, Different Drummer. Theme? Intentional avoidance of “common knowledge” communications to facilitate independent thinking. Erik is available on Twitter at: @eriklokkesmoe and @AspirationHQ. His email is: and the company website is: