AMA speakers are outstanding, and the attendees are a great mix of marketing professionals.
American Marketing Association mockup from the USF chapter of AMA.
There are a wide variety of networking opportunities in the Birmingham area. To say that the quality of the networking and information varies from event to event would be an understatement. My favorite event each month is the American Marketing Association luncheon. The speakers are outstanding, and the attendees are a great mix of marketing professionals who work within both companies and agencies.
The speaker in January was American Family Care CEO Bruce Irwin. I was fascinated to hear him talk about creating a concept for an urgent care practice that had never existed before, and then building it up to be one of the largest providers of primary and urgent care in the country. Their success started prior to the digital age, but they evolved with time. American Family Care built a strong brand, and then established themselves as aggressive leaders in the use of technology and digital tools. I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Irwin’s talk.
The February speaker was Intermark CEO Jake McKenzie. Jake focused on the effort that we put into logically convincing our clients to make decisions when logic is rarely the deciding factor. He provided examples of how emotional cues inform our decisions, and the ways that we can use those cues to relate to our clients. He talked about how one of their clients, Mohawk Flooring, launched a new carpet line that was totally resistant to stains. Intermark considered logically presenting the facts about the carpet, but they decided to go with different strategy. They decided to relate to the feelings that parents have when they turn their children loose on a new carpet by putting the carpet down in the zoo enclosures of elephants and rhinos. Jake shared a video about the experiment, and let’s just say that the “ick factor” was one of the emotions that they were playing on. The carpet survived, and the story was shared far beyond what they could ever have expected based on the marketing budget. This happened because Intermark and Mohawk appealed to emotions rather than logic in order to make the case for stain resistant carpet.
Jake said one thing that struck me in particular because of the kind of work that Infomedia does. During the Q&A time, one person asked “If you could only use one kind of media to get your message out, what would it be?”
Jake’s response was clear. “No question: a website. Digital owns the ROI for every metric that we can measure. When you go to radio, print, and TV, you are sacrificing ROI to gain reach.”
This is a message that we believe, too, but it’s always nice to hear it from an unbiased source (after all, we’re a web design company in Birmingham — of course we believe in digital solutions). It’s no secret that our philosophy is that your website should be at the center of your marketing universe. Hearing that statement from from the CEO of the agency that buys more radio, TV, and print than any other agency in Birmingham really struck a chord. Digital marketing has provided the opportunity to measure every link in the internet marketing chain to see what is working and what isn’t. I enjoyed hearing Jake speak, and his comments encouraged me in the work that we do every day.