Customer Story: Average Joes Entertainment

By Josh Weinstein

Average Joes Entertainment is the largest independent country record label in the US, working with Billboard charting artists like Colt Ford, The Lacs, and more. Average Joes focuses on a grassroots approach, availability of product, and cross-promotional opportunities that expand artist visibility.

No country for email

With an expanding roster of new artists and a growing team, the team at Average Joes Entertainment found that their existing collaboration and productivity tools were not cutting it. In the weeks leading up to new album releases, the team relied heavily on emails for updates, marketing ideas, press releases, and more. Workflow within the team was organized by unread email - having a thought or an idea meant sending an email. Director of Digital Sales & Marketing Nathan Thompson remembers the challenges in maintaining momentum: “The recipient either could respond right away with a response that was not thought out, or sit on it, or lose it, and the idea or important task would escape.”

Looking for a better solution, they tried other tools, but nothing fit the bill. Full fledged project management solutions were too bloated and the learning curve too great for a team not developing software. Other productivity tools have been great for their siloed workflow, but next to impossible to get others collaborating. They just needed something simple that anyone in the company could use without an instruction manual.

The team signed up for Quip looking for an easy, lightweight solution to create and manage documents. The company needed a solution that would make collaboration simple and easy. With Quip, they found a simpler, faster, and more effective way to collaborate.

The demo

Since keeping everyone on the same page and tracking ideas was a challenge, the digital sales team started with simple shared task list grouped by project. This single document cut down on 90% of team email in just one week and let everyone on the team see, at a glance, who was working on what, and let them re-prioritize in real time. Thompson remembers the shift: “We have copy coming from PR, and interns drafting email updates to consumers - simultaneously. Quip is the perfect middle ground to manage that back and forth to keep unnecessarily interruptive emails out of everyone's inbox.”

Documents like these have enabled Average Joes to unify their communication and content in a way that has made email redundant. There are no more emails that sound like this:

  • “Do you have an update?”
  • “Please advise”
  • “When are we going to...”
  • “Is this complete?”
  • “What is the status of ....?”

The Average Joes team keeps all of their documents in company folders in Quip. They expanded their usage from tracking the status of projects to drafting consumer facing emails and other documents, and collaborating on documents with other departments. They even have a folder for interns who can draft documents and other work products, and graduate them out of there into the real work environment.

Thompson remembers recently using Quip to update an internal and external team on a live project, as it unfolded. “We ended up having multiple people taking screenshots and dropping updates throughout the day and night for a week, and handing that single Quip document off in real time as relevant updates were published on the web. This drove transparency in the critical first week of an album release, so everyone can see and have confidence the plan is being executed. The album release debuted #1 on the Billboard Chart - success!”

Inspiration anywhere

With so much happening at once, the Average Joes team needs to be able to communicate quickly with one another. But with so many emails, they had no way to prioritize importance or track ideas. Quip changed that too. Thompson explains: “The mobile app is a delight to use. When inspiration strikes (or that new thing that's really urgent that we have to do now or the world is going to end), I can easily drop an edit into the appropriate document, and the request/update is waiting for when that person needs to access it.”

With the Quip app on their phones and tablets, the team became more efficient, making everyone more productive.

Top of the charts

Today, Quip is a critical part of Average Joes' workflow. With Quip on their phones, tablets, and computers, the Average Joes team moves faster and more nimbly, allowing them to focus on other aspects of the business. The combination of documents and messaging has made collaboration simple and easy, and dramatically reduced their reliance on other tools.

The most surprising casualty of Quip has been the collaboration tool they relied on most: email. “Quip has virtually killed internal team email,” Thompson explains. “You don't realize how important this is until it actually happens.”