Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The New Twitter

Over the next several weeks, Twitter will be shedding some old feathers and taking on a new look. In a move they hope will coax users away from third party apps and back to the main site, the redesign encompasses Twitter.com and TweetDeck, as well as its mobile apps. Here is a look at what you can expect.

There are three new buttons at the top of the page: Home, @Connect and #Discover.
                        Home: Your updated news feed. See information about @replies and retweets, as well as linkable content (videos and pictures) right in the feed.
                        @Connect: Shows who has mentioned you and suggests some accounts you might want to follow.
                        #Discover: Shows what's trending and points you to notable stories and videos. This feature is a great example of the more personalized Twitter. Discover will identify stories and trends based on your connections, location and language.

The redesign also has Tweets housed on the right side, and your profile box in the upper left hand corner. Not exactly sure why there was a need to do this, but I'm sure there was plenty of market research and design psychology involved.

Other notables:

                        Brand Pages: Taking a note from Facebook and Google+, the new Twitter will allow brand pages for companies which will have a bigger header, more customizable options and extended taglines. The coolest feature here is that brands will be able to choose what tweet stays at the top of their timeline, thus highlighting their best content.
                        Embedded Tweets: Now website developers and bloggers can embed tweets right into their website. This gives visitors the ability to reply, retweet and favorite without leaving the page.

You can get the new Twitter now by downloading the updated version for iPhone or Android here. Otherwise, it will be taking over the Twittersphere over the next few weeks. Here is a video from Twitter showing off the new features:

What do you think? Will the redesign be a hit or have us all atwitter? 

Ashley Haugen is a Gustavus Adolphus College alumna. She has had Marketing experience working with such organizations as the LOFT Literary Center, the Gustavus Marketing Department and the OrdwayCenter for Performing Arts. She currently is a PR associate at Axiom Marketing Communications.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Got great ideas, but just need someone to share them with?

Share your unique marketing perspective on the MN AMA blog as a Blog Contributor! We’re looking for bloggers with varying expertise to write blog posts on marketing or business related content. If interested, contact the MN AMA Blog Content Manager today!

Job Description: The MN AMA Blog Contributor is responsible for creating insightful and relevant blog posts for the MN AMA blog.  Blogs typically range from 300-700 words and can focus on any marketing or business related content. This position is a great way to share content with members, elevate your presence as a marketing expert and hone your social media and blogging expertise. Commitment expectations for this position can vary from bi-annually to bi-monthly depending on your availability.  This is a perfect position for those who are interested in starting a volunteer position with the MN AMA!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

December is MN AMA Volunteer Appreciation Month!

We want to take the time to say “Thank you!!” to all of the MN AMA Volunteers who help make the MN AMA so successful! We appreciate your hard work and commitment to the MN AMA. We could not be the organization we are today without your dedication, support and commitment.

Special thanks to the following volunteers:

Membership - Aimee Cheek:
Aimee has been instrumental in helping the Membership team pick out interesting and unique venues for our events. She is always willing to help out to find a venue for any type of event and she always works hard with the venue to make sure we get the best deal.Thanks to Aimee we have been able to book venues that the MN AMA would never have had before.

Programming - Tony Rivera:
Tony Rivera is an outstanding volunteer within the MN AMA Programming Committee. Through his dedication, drive to succeed and unparalleled work ethic, Tony single-handedly established a new role within the Programming Committee as Project Manager and continues to produce new ideas and processes that have yielded positive results across our organization. In addition, he volunteered to be an Event Manager for our September 2011 event while continuing his Project Manager responsibilities. Tony demonstrates a natural enthusiasm for learning and brings out the best in people. He has done a fantastic job in adding value and establishing credibility across our members, participants, volunteers and committee members.

Sponsorship - Lynnda Nelson:
Lynnda works for HALO Branded Solutions and has been a volunteer with Sponsorship since June.  Since joining our committee, she has developed a great rapport with the sponsors she has worked with and focuses on MN AMA’s overall relationship with our sponsors.   
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The silver bullet to a successful marketing campaign

What is the silver bullet to creating a great marketing campaign?  Is it leveraging flashy creative or implementing the newest technology?  How about defining the most effective value proposition? Or maybe if your marketing team could create “an app for that” then maybe, your marketing message would truly take off. However, from experience working with clients as they craft their next ad campaign, it is clear that the silver bullet to any marketing campaign is a focused, clear and simplistic message.

I know many times with the beginnings of a branding campaign or launch of a new product, you may want to yell from the mountain tops everything that your brand has to offer the consumer. Yes, it can give you better X or help you be more effective at Y, which can translate into Z… divided by 2, then multiplied by the square root of 34. Even through my poor example, you can see that a complicated message always gets confusing.  Remember, the consumer engaging with your marketing message doesn’t have time to break down the complicated algorithm surrounding your product. Instead, they want a simple value equation—what differentiates your product and what does this mean to them.

Additionally, it becomes necessary to view the campaign itself as a sprint, not as a marathon. With campaigns, the reality is that you need to communicate simplicity with focus on 1-2 brand or product attributes that differentiate. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, it’s not worth throwing in everything plus the kitchen sink—and this is especially true when crafting an ad campaign.  Although there are many incremental messages you may be tempted to touch on, those additional insights can wait until the next campaign. Your current campaign should only be running for 1-2 years, don’t treat it like a never-ending marathon!  Overall, the reality is that too much information will cloud what you’re really trying to communicate to consumers. 

So, when planning your next campaign, try to go back to your marketing roots when crafting your marketing campaign and use the silver bullet of a focused, clear and simplistic message for your next marketing endeavor.

Jennifer Broman is an Account Manager at Hunt Adkins, a full-service advertising agency in Minneapolis.  Currently, she is serving as the MN AMA Blog Content Manager. 
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, Visits The U. of MN, Mayor R.T. Rybak, and Area Business Leaders Recognizing MN’s Economic Talent While Marketing Google Apps

Jeremy Swenson

On Wednesday, 11/30/11, MN was host to one of technology’s most successful business leaders, Eric Schmidt, who has an estimated net worth of over $6.2 billion dollars according to Forbes.com (2011).  Schmidt has held leadership roles at Sun Microsystems, was the CEO of Novell, and steered Google as CEO during their growth phase – 2001 to 2011.  Today, Schmidt serves as Executive Chairman of Google advising the CEO and Board of Directors.

Schmidt started his talk on the future of technology, asking the audience where innovation was going to come from.  He cited “open idea generation and collaboration” as a way to outthink old ways of doing things.  He went on to describe mobile devices running Google’s finely marketed Android operating system, suggesting some ideas his company brings forward get quashed due to privacy concerns in spite of convenience.  The example he cited was a mobile device application that allows you to predict where your contacts are going to be based on their mobile GPS trail, etc.  This is something I agreed with due to the possibility of misuse, and also because where you are is not always indicative of what you are doing.  Creating such a tool with more intelligent and retractable tracking abilities could have more market appeal for a targeted demographic.

At the later part of his presentation I had the opportunity to ask him (top photo) about the similarities of Google Voice video chat and Google + Hangout video chat.  As I had anticipated, he said, “the two will be merged”, which is a good way to streamline services and reduce marketing confusion between two related but fairly new products.  Schmidt also hailed the U of MN as an early adopter of the Google Apps product, and praised MN’s economy as highly capable of innovation­­­. 

Later in the day he met with technology entrepreneurs and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (bottom photo) and toured the
Minneapolis Grain Exchange building.  This leads to speculation that Google could open an office in Minneapolis to tap MN’s technology and marketing professionals, or at least that we have a growing market of small businesses that serve Google, like Augusto the Google Apps, Docs, and data migration consultancy

Photos by Jeremy Swenson and John Hageman respectively. 

Jeremy Swenson, MBA, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, communicator, sales person, and business analyst/academic.  He has extensive product marketing experience with financial products and retail electronics products (State Farm, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Intel, and Best Buy).  Since 2009 he has served on the MN AMA Social Media/Marcom Committee.  You can reach Jeremy at 

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

3 Steps To Avoid Sounding Stupid On Sales Calls

My last post for the MN AMA talked about how stupid most salespeople sound when they call repeatedly on a prospect about which they know very little. Despite their lack of knowledge, these salespeople continue to “ask for the order”. Their approach is largely doomed to failure, yet this is the approach that most salespeople use and have used for years.

Content-based selling (CBS) is a paradigm shift in lead generation and nurturing. Rather than asking the question “Will you buy,” the focus of the conversation is on what the prospect needs to know before moving ahead. The goal of the conversation is to begin the process of building TRUST, rather than achieving a quick hit sale.

The key to content-based selling lies in determining prospect information gaps and directing a stream of impartial information that addresses those needs. By delivering impartial information, you will build a position of trust–specifically, that your organization will invest time and effort in helping your prospect think through their issues without any guarantee of a sale.  Counterintuitively, when you invest in your prospect, you are increasing your chance of getting a sale.

You see, prospects today are overwhelmed with information. Across the web, there are thousands of sites with information and opinions on ways that your prospect can solve their needs. The problem is not getting information anymore. Rather it is sorting through the information and determining who and what is credible.  In many cases, when you speak with your prospect, you don't need to speak much about your product features and benefits; your prospect is already done all that research on the web beforehand.

What they're trying to figure out is whether or not they can trust you.

So let's say that you are now ready to begin to implement content-based selling. What you need to do?

There are many activities that are involved in content-based selling, but you can essentially boil them down to 3 key initiatives that will get you started:

1.    1. Focus your selling on identifying information gaps, rather than trying to identify and close a deal in the short term. I know this runs counter to traditional sales methodologies, yet this approach will yield higher returns both in the short-term and long-term. Prospects ready to buy will have few information gaps that you can readily address over a series of meetings. Prospects not ready to buy will not feel pressured, but will feel that you are collaborating with them to help meet their needs.

2.    2. Identify content in your organization that can be repurposed to meet the more common prospect information needs.  Organizations produce a broad range of content in sales materials, white papers, webinars and presentations that can be repurposed to become impartial information for content-based selling. You'll also want to find information out in the marketplace from other sources that you can use as part of your nurturing effort. This work is called “content curation”.

3.    3. Selected group of prospects with identified needs and create a pilot content e-mail campaign. After each e-mail, measure the results to see how many and which prospects are opening and clicking on the content you have made available. After several weeks, survey the prospects to see if the information is addressing their needs. Continue to improve and customize your content-based nurturing efforts based on that feedback.

Now, when your salesperson finally has a meeting with a prospect who has been receiving content, you can provide them with a list of what information that prospect has read and the date that they read it. In this way, your salesperson will have a much more informed conversation with the prospect, leading to an increased chance of a relationship and revenue.

Content-based selling has many more facets than the 3 that I have described today. Yet these 3 building blocks can lead you on your way to truly creating relationships where both your prospect and your company win, and where you personally have the increased satisfaction of knowing that you have built the most valuable currency of all with your prospects–trust.

That currency will serve you well now and in the future.

Mark Price is Managing Partner of M Squared Group, a consulting firm focused on turning customer data into insights that yield profitable actions, and the author of the blog “Cultivating Your Customers,” where he writes about practical approaches to improve customer retention and overall customer value.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

It's going to be Mobile for the Holidays

Ashley Haugen

I know you may cringe at the thought of the Holiday season so soon (the snow, the traffic, the mad shopping rush), but the truth is it will be here before you know it. This is especially true for all of you Black Friday shoppers. This season is expected to be very different, with the popularity of mobile, social and daily deals shaking things up in the marketing and commerce scene. Retailers need to be prepared for the amount of customer engagement their mobile sites will see this year.
Tablets and smartphones have become a convenient and preferred way to shop. According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, more than 50 percent of smartphone and tablet owners will use their devices to make purchasing decisions this holiday season. This includes researching products and prices, purchasing and redeeming coupons. According Google, mobile searches have grown four times since 2010. Retailers and brands should take advantage of those statistics by making sure their mobile and tablet commerce-enabled sites are ready and able before November 25th. Below are a few tips to keep in mind whether you are just starting to create a mobile site, or already have one up and running.
Top Tips:

Thumbs Up
No longer does the infamous pointer finger have the limelight. Thumbs everywhere are taking center stage with the advent of tablets and smartphones. Make sure your mobile site has the “thumb factor.” Are the buttons big enough? Are they easily found and used by all fingers? Nothing is more frustrating than accidental clicks that lead you to the wrong page (and more load time). 

Local Does It
Did you know that 95 percent of smartphone users search for local information? Mobile is all about location. In fact the top three functions of mobile usage are to find stores, get directions, and compare prices and stock at nearby stores. Include information that helps people find and get to you.

Be Speedy
Mobile users are impatient. In fact, 60 percent of users expect a mobile site to load in three seconds or less. If not, they will try no more than two times to reload the page, in which case they will then leave (perhaps to a competing site, gah!). Clean and clear navigation, an un-cluttered format and minimal graphics will all help speed up load time.

Ashley Haugen is a Gustavus Adolphus College alumna. She has had Marketing experience working with such organizations as the LOFT Literary Center, the Gustavus Marketing Department and the OrdwayCenter for Performing Arts. She currently is a PR associate at Axiom Marketing Communications.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Member of the Month—November 2011

Welcome to the MN AMA’s new feature—Member of the Month!

Member of the Month is designed to show appreciation for and recognize MN AMA members for their membership. Member of the Month is also a great way for other members to get to know each other. Once a month a member will be chosen at random at the end of the month and receive a congratulations email at the beginning of their month asking them for an interview.

Member of the Month receives:
  • Recognition on the MN AMA website, all social media outlets and at all monthly events.
  • Free attendance at all events (mixers/programming events) that month (minus Annual Conference).
  • Thank you card from VP of Membership and President.
  • Personal Phone call from VP of Membership.

November Member of the Month

1.     What’s your name?
Darren Drumsta

2.     Where do you work? What is your role?
I am Product Manager at MEDGRAPHICS Corporation. I handle all upstream 
marketing efforts for the Exercise Cardio respiratory Diagnostics Product Portfolio.

3.     When did you join the AMA?
May 2011

4.     Why did you join the AMA?
AMA helps foster development of marketing professionals in multiple disciplines.

5.     What have you learned or do you hope to learn from the MN AMA?
Through the AMA, I hope to continue my personal professional development and build my professional network.

6.     What is one piece of career/marketing advice you have for other MN AMA Members?
I constantly remind myself to think panoramically in terms of overall market understanding and strategy. Often times we are too narrow-minded and force ideas and concepts upon each other that are developed in a “vacuum” so-to-speak. It is my opinion that looking at the bigger picture is where innovation really comes from, however it’s always important to remember the finer details that tie everything together in the end.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Five Steps to a Successful Twitter Chat

Are you looking for a unique, meaningful way to connect your target audience? Do you want to engage your customers in a dynamic discussion while at the same time demonstrate your knowledge and expertise? One very effective way to accomplish all of these objectives is to host a Twitter chat.

What are Twitter chats, you ask? Twitter chats are regularly scheduled discussions held on Twitter moderated by one or more people. These conversations often include a guest expert or industry thought-leader. Twitter users gather together on a specific day and time to answer questions and give opinions on specific topics of interest.

During a Twitter chat, participants follow and contribute to the conversation through the use of a distinct hashtag. Using a chat tool like Tweet Chat or a 3rd party Twitter application such as Tweet Deck, where tweeters can track the discussion, respond to questions shared by one of the moderators, and read comments posted by other chat participants.

But just how do you manage a discussion on Twitter and what is involved in hosting one? Here are five steps to help you organize and host your very own Twitter chat. 

Step 1: Planning

Decide on the hashtag to be used for the Twitter chat and perform a Twitter search to determine if it is available. Choose the topic, date, and time for the discussion. Then determine who will host and moderate the conversation as well as any special guests or subject experts who will contribute to the chat.

Step 2: Preparation

Create a set of guidelines and instructions for the chat that can be sent out as tweets just prior to the start of the discussion. Write up a list of questions to ask during the conversation. Gather a list of articles, quotes, and other resources to can be shared during the chat. Be sure to include content and information from your own website as well as other resources. Follow-up with moderators and guests to confirm their participation,share prepared materials, and address any questions they may have before the day of the chat.

Step 3: Promotion

Announce the Twitter chat on your blog. Share information about the chat in your email newsletter or send a special invitation to customers via email. Schedule it as an event on Facebook and invite the community on your Facebook page. If your business or organization has a group on LinkedIn, list details about the event and create discussion around the topic of the Twitter chat. And, of course, send out several tweets to promote the event to your Twitter followers.

Step 4: Participation

About 10 minutes prior to the chat, send out tweets explaining the format and rules for the discussion. Begin the chat by introducing your guest. Contribute your own responses to questions to start the conversation. Keep the discussion flowing from one question to the next, but allow plenty of time for participants to share their thoughts. It can sometimes take several minutes for responses to start coming in. While you are waiting for replies, you can fill the "dead air" by sharing some of the resources you gathered before the chat.

Step 5: Post

After the chat is finished don't forget to send a message to the moderators and guests thanking them for their participation. Then create an event summary post for your blog that includes the best responses tweeted during the discussion. Share the post on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts so those who didn't get the chance to join the conversation will know what they missed.

Use the following questions to measure the success of a Twitter chat and evaluate your return on investment:
  • How many new Twitter followers did you get during and after the chat?
  • Did you get any new sign ups for your email list as a result of the Twitter discussion? What other calls to action got a response from participants?
  • How long did the conversation last? How dynamic was the discussion?
  • Who took part in the chat? How many unique Twitter users sent out messages?
  • How many tweets were sent out with the hashtag for during the chat? How many retweets were sent?

After you have rounded up all the data, create a report for yourself (or your boss) to summarize the impact of the discussion to make improvements for your next Twitter chat.

So, there you have it. Did I miss anything? Do you have any other tips or tricks for hosting a successful Twitter chat?

Additional Resources

For those of you who would like to learn more about Twitter chats before hosting your own, I've gathered a few additional resources to help you join the conversation.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Owning Your Brand: The Conundrum of Situational Positioning… The Paradox of Authenticity!

Ann Ulrich

Let's talk brand. Your brand. The importance of owning your brand. The conundrum of delivering your brand consistently when real life demands you jockey for position. And the paradox in all that: remaining authentic.

Let's make it personal: Your brand plays out externally, only after it's fired up and fueled internally. It's up to you!

Let's keep it simple: Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for and remembered by?

Owning your brand involves: Mindfully and consistently bringing the best of who you are, positioning to best fit the situation you're in, while remaining true to what you stand for.

(Be authentic or risk imposter syndrome. If you no longer fit - or no longer want to fit - the situation you're in… what are you still doing there?!)

Why care about owning your brand?

You'll get what you want by earning it. You'll get to where you're headed through and with others you've earned respect, trust, and top of mind positioning with. You'll impact and influence people who become drawn to you, want to champion you, and want to create new success with you… business and life!

When you know who you are and bring it(!), remaining authentic even as you adjust to appropriately fit the situation, you can positively influence what you become known for and remembered by.

This is how you create your own repeatable, deliverable, consistent and lasting circle of success via brand ownership.

Own it! 

Ann Ulrich, 18yr owner of The BOLD! Factor and Fit Model Agency, is shifting her own brand, leaving her business (on plan at this exciting stage of life!) to create new success when she discovers the right-fit sales or business maximizing opportunity in the right-fit *wow* company.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MN AMA-What a way to grow your business or career!

You’ve heard it before -- how participating in professional associations pays off and your career will benefit in untold and unforeseen ways. But, you ask, is that still true in this social media age – where with LinkedIn and Facebook you can develop thousands of contacts without meeting a single person face to face? 

I say yes, definitely.  Granted, my business was started in the caveman days (1995), when the U.S. post office rather than email, delivered MN AMA’s newsletter. But even with today’s ability to ‘meet’ people online via LinkedIn and other social media, the value of personal involvement and contact remains extremely high.  The mere existence of MeetUp.com is a testament to the value of in-person, face-to-face engagement.

My personal experience with MN AMA is a case in point.  As with most start-ups, I was longer on time than on money, when I started my business16 years ago. One of the best decisions I made was to get involved in the MN chapter of the AMA.  Already an AMA member, I became a committee volunteer and served on the board for several years.  The people I met through these activities lead directly to projects, as well as referrals.  In fact, nearly all of my clients in those early years were via AMA connections.  It was (and still is) a great way to grow your business or your personal brand.  I recently received a referral via MN AMA’s LinkedIn group, which lead to a new, and hopefully long-term, client. 

Your personal involvement in MN AMA is an opportunity to actively address today’s challenges -- whether it’s a new job, new business or larger personal network.  Keep growing by ‘getting into it’!   Now is the perfect time to join MN AMA during the Fall Membership Drive.  Receive discounted registration dues and additional savings if you register before November 18th, check out the membership drive page for more information.

Cheryl Powers is the President of The Research Edge® LLC, a full-service market research company that provides qualitative and quantitative methodologies to a broad range of businesses and industries.  Cheryl has been a member of the MN AMA since 1995 and has served in many leadership positions over the years.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How Intelligent Marketing Uses Cultural Competence – Rural vs. Urban

Why do some brands who have the same products and services connect better with customers than others even when there is tons of competition?

More often than not it is because they connected culturally with their customers in terms of their branding and marketing communication efforts.  So what does it mean to culturally connect with a customer as a marketer?  It means that the customer or prospect customer feels or sees a significant level of personal connection to the product or brand linked to their demographic qualities – age, ancestry, masculinity/femininity, level of education, status, level of risk tolerance, creativity level, language, rural vs. urban orientation, or any other significant cultural orientation factor.  For example,
two dichotomous cultural connections in the auto industry are: rural vs. urban.

If I am an auto maker and I want to market to the rural mid-west I need to take a much different approach than if I want to market to urban east-coast.  For example, autos in the rural mid-west are often dual use, farm and street, and because of this potential customers are not that very concerned with GPS navigation.  Specifically, rural auto marketing needs to showcase how the car maker understands a person’s desire for a dual use auto, and that they don’t have a fear of car break ins and thus their ads need not focus on alarms or GPS theft tracking - focusing too much on security might scare of a customer here.  All of this requires usage of more rural communication patterns while suggestively placing items in the marketing mix (ads, TV, radio, internet, sales calls, etc.) that rural customers will culturally identify with – i.e. a ranch, trailer, or lodge, etc.  Although using hip-hop or techno music in rural auto commercials might be interesting it would not increase cultural connectivity and so that is why country or folk music is often used.  Additionally, auto companies are well advised to connect to the local community by sponsoring rural county fairs, trade shows, and local chamber of commerce annual galas.  This gets them to understand and connect with their potential customers which over time drives sales. 

In contrast, marketing autos in New York City would not focus on dual use, but rather, efficiency, security, and even status.  In a city so big having a nice car is a sign of status just because it’s so expensive to park and insure, and thus customers want it to be efficient and secure - they have a lower level a risk tolerance than rural customers.  Moreover, the marketing efforts for places like New York City should showcase low height parking ramps, acceptance of diversity, and fun.  Acceptance of diversity can be show by having a commercial narrated by a person with a Spanish accent while speaking perfect English sitting in a compact car at a Chinese takeout restaurant while listening to distinctively British Rock music in a notable New York City location.  Another way to connect to culturally in urban areas is to demo the theft prevention and tracking features at parking ramps and corporate technology expos, and this should also be marketed as a way to reduce insurance costs and customer inconvenience.  This should be done in a steady but flashy language to keep the potential customers interested but also to inform them that like the city, this auto never sleeps – a clever metaphor.

Cultural competence for brands is important whether the rural or urban customer; by considering the customer’s cultural values, you can reach a deeper connection and ultimately drive a brand to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Jeremy Swenson, MBA, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, communicator, sales person, and business analyst/academic.  He has extensive product marketing experience with financial products and retail electronics products.  He has been active with the MN AMA since 2009 and serves on the Social Media/Marcom Committee.  You can reach Jeremy at jer.swenson@live.com.  
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Connect. Learn. Grow. With the MN AMA!

The American Marketing Association is a nonprofit organization, serving as THE SOURCE for more than 23,000 professional marketers in 74 chapters across the United States and Canada.

AMA members receive members-only access to the AMA website, which includes numerous incentives such as free webinars and the latest research in the field of marketing; steep discounts on the AMA’s national training programs; and a choice of AMA marketing journals for cutting-edge articles and information. On the local level, you will receive a 30 percent discount on all local events, be able to take your networking to the next level as a volunteer on an AMA committee, and have access to other members-only events and incentives.  AMA connects you to a world of resources that deliver results, and helps you succeed today and into the future.

Still not convinced?  Below are the Top 10 reasons why your employer should support your professional development with a MN AMA Membership:

1. Expand your knowledge base to become a better marketer
2. Market your company by sharing its story and mission
3. Stay ahead of the competition with marketing best practices
4. Follow the latest marketing trends for consideration by your company
5. Learn what other Minnesota companies are doing firsthand
6. Strengthen or develop your managerial and leadership skills
7. Find qualified professionals when it’s time to grow your team
8. Receive the industry’s finest publications—not available without membership
9. Hone your networking skills as a representative of your company
10. Collaborate with other marketing professionals to build career-long relationships

The MN AMA is a very active, exciting marketing organization.  I personally have been a member since2008, and have enjoyed many career benefits and enhancements as a direct result from my membership.  We have over 600 members representing every type of marketing discipline, industry, and business entity.  If you are interested in developing your marketing knowledge, looking for resources, building your contact list, and meeting business leaders, then you would find membership in our organization to be a good fit.

Already a Member?  Help spread the word about the MN AMA! All members are allowed 2 guest passes per every year to show others what the MN AMA is about.  Guest pass registration is unavailable online; call the MN AMA office at 651-917-6241 to register your guest.

Now is a great time to join….Sept 6-Nov 8tn is the Fall Membership Drive!  Anyone who becomes a New Member during the drive will receive the following benefits*:
·       Complimentary registration fee ($30 value)
·       A choice of ONE of the following offers:
o   A $20 Amazon** Gift Card
o   A $200 coupon redeemable at any AMA national conference

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get involved with MN AMA!

*The following offers are valid for applications received 9/6/11-11/18/11. Group members, College members and current AMA Members are not eligible to redeem offer.
**Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and the Amazon Gift Cards logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com Gift Cards (“GCs”) may be used only for purchases of eligible goods on Amazon.com or its affiliated website Endless.com. GCs cannot be redeemed for purchases of gift cards. Except as required by law, GCs cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash, or applied to any other account. See www.amazon.com/gc-legal for complete terms and conditions. GCs are issued and ©2011 by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation.

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