Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marketing Education to Excellence

By Kelley Loughrey, MN AMA President

“With regard to excellence, it’s not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.” Aristotle

Excellence is not the same as “perfection.” Excellence requires dedication, persistence, and practice over time. Excellence is achieved through the willingness to try and the lessons learned along the way. An education in excellence is simply putting in the time and effort required to create a life habit. Like most things in life, excellence is a process – not an isolated event.

So what does this have to do with marketing? Everything. Marketing is a process – not a one-time event. And marketing requires education and effort over time. I don’t mean a point-in-time education, like your MBA from one of our fine local universities; I mean on-going, continuous learning by doing, sharing and teaching. These are important elements that your local professional marketing association offers to you - every single day. The question is “Have you taken advantage of these lessons and learned anything new lately?”

The primary purpose of the AMA is to provide quality-marketing education. I believe that it is because of our dedicated members and leadership that we are the best resource to enable each and every one of us to achieve excellence. We share best practices and valuable information, we offer innovative and enlightening programming to make us better in every way. The American Marketing Association is the “go-to” source for millions of marketers and non-marketers seeking best-in-class education and information.

Every day our members have access to research, case studies, white papers, seminars, webinars, blogs, tweets, conferences, meetings, local events and networking mixers hosted nationwide by the AMA. The MN Chapter is one of the five largest and most active of the 75 chapters nationwide nearly with nearly 800 active members. The collective knowledge of our members, speakers and sponsors represent a powerful resource of excellence from which we can share knowledge, expertise and experience.

Minnesota Chapter Mission: To educate our members about the AMA, especially the benefits of belonging to the Minnesota Chapter by creating indispensable opportunities to get involved in our marketing community.

As the President of the board, I believe it is our responsibility to share our collective knowledge and experience as a way to educate our members and non-members and promote the benefits of membership to the AMA. By attending our events, I meet the most amazing people in our local community. My role is to learn how they benefit from AMA and how we can continue to improve. Along the way I too have received an amazing education about the individuals and organizations that are committed to marketing excellence.

Not all attendees are marketers by profession; in fact many attend our programs and events to learn about the benefits of marketing and becoming more engaged with the function. They learn how to market themselves, to improve network skills, or simply understand and tap into the power of marketing. More than any other collective activity, we all experience “marketing” thousands of times each day. And not all of it is excellent.

It is our shared marketing experiences that allow us to reflect and share best practices in marketing – when is it “too much” or “just right” or even “not enough”? Can you remember the last time marketing was so effective that it influenced your purchase, behavior or belief? I hope so. Because if you do, it represents excellence in our profession and reinforces our learning how to do it well.

If, as marketers, we are doing our jobs well, then customers are buying and if customers are buying, people will be employed and when that happens, only when that happens, will we all feel the benefit of an organic economic stimulus plan.

It begins with education, persistence, effort and results in marketing excellence. Get involved today with your local AMA and play an active role in sharing what you know and learning how to do it best - teach, learn, do.

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