Bob Coan is a longtime race-car driver used to finishing first, and now the California-bred Social Media and computer software expert has teamed with the Nashville Music Guide and TCM Records in another pairing Coan feels certain is ready to take the checkered flag.
“Instead of spending their advertising money on direct mail, TV, or newspaper ads – which are a dying breed – the Nashville Music Guide has taken that budget and shifted it to Social Media,” says Coan, who relocated to Nashville last summer and has truly hit the ground running with his businesses, including NewMediaEdge.net.
Bob has quickly become a trusted advisor and NMG executive editor/TCM founder Randy Matthews, co-editor Kym Matthews, and co-editor Joe Matthews, as a go-to guy in all areas of Social Media and Web growth.
“Every time I go to the Nashville Music Guide offices, I end up spending at least three hours there,” Coan says, smiling.
Joe Matthews says: “Bob Coan and New Media Edge have played a vital role in the expansion and overhaul of the Nashville Music Guide. His expertise and hard work ethic have made it possible for us to have a powerful Web presence to accompany this amazing content.”
Bob has a long track record of success with groundbreaking tech products.
“I started a business back in 1985 in Orange County, and that business grew and grew and grew,” he says.
Orange County is just south of Los Angeles, and is the home of Anaheim, Newport Beach, and Disneyland.
“My software company grew to be an $8 Million business with 50 employees. I kind of rode the wave, and I’ve always had my eye on technology,” he says. “I’m obsessed with it.”
Even though he’s not a programmer, Bob has always quickly absorbed leading-edge computer products, such as the Computer Aided Design (CAD) software that burst on the scene in the early 1980s.
He became so expert in CAD products, in fact, that one of the world’s leading showbiz firms – the Walt Disney Company – became a major client. Coan sold about 250 computers to Walt Disney Imagianarium, the division that designed Disney’s theme parks and rides.
“Imagianarium visualized on computers what people would see when they took those rides,” Coan says. “They were using the computers to do 3D visualization, with shaded images and stuff, and that was cutting-edge technology at the time.”
No question about that. In 1985, just over 25 years ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was 1 year old, and Google co-founder Larry Page was 13. Cell phones were the size of bricks.
Soon Bob noticed something that Microsoft’s Bill Gates had also observed, that software – computer programming – could be a far more profitable business than hardware – the computers themselves and peripheral devices like printers.
“We decided that one day we won’t sell any more hardware,” he says. “Hardware had lower margins, but gave us 75% of our problems.”
With this software focus and a love and passion for video, Coan sold his company in 2001 and for a time considered going to film school. He bought $20,000 worth of professional video equipment and began making movies, one of which won awards.
“But my head was really into marketing,” says Bob, who ended up passing on film school and moved to Music City last July 4. “When Social Media came around, Blogging was the first thing and Video Blogging took off so fast. I could go to any company and change how they did business.”
Coan quickly saw the magic in Randy Matthews’s vision of a Social Media-based record label, TCM Records.
“It’s an amazing way to promote an artist, and to quantify when an artist starts making money,” Bob says. “It’s only grow, grow, grow, and grow. What artists really want is video, killer content every week on sites like ReverbNation and Facebook, so these artists want reasons for people to engage them.”
That dovetails perfectly with TCM’s vision of growth thru Social Media, and with the expansion of the Nashville Music Guide beyond Music City into Texas and Western Canada.
Bob’s own gift for photography and Web design have also helped him support and build the Downtown Nashville biz community, on the Web site 365nash.com.
It’s an ideal setup for a fiercely competitive guy like Bob Coan, who for years competed in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) races across the West at legendary tracks including Sears Point. His Dad, Jim Coan, often acted as crew chief. Jim Coan has raced for decades himself, often for British carmakers including MG and British Leyland.
“The first time I got on to a racetrack, I thought nothing this fun could possibly be legal,” Coan says, with a grin. “And it’s legal to do that on a track.”
Bob is now joining forces with the powerhouse TCM and NMG teams to fast-track their artists, labels, publications, and Web sites straight to Victory Lane.
By Phil Sweetland
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