Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AMA Members Learn About Their Future and Social Media

Thanks to our contributors: Erika Molloseau Pryor, Kevin Uland and Charlie Shuster for content, photos and video.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the information that was shared and what I learned from the presentation,” said Debbie Trager, Marketing Manager for Progressive Medical Inc., about the recent American Marketing Association meeting held at the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center. Steve Bell, President at Strategic Marketing Innovations Consulting and Tom Williams, President of InnoGage, LLC motivated Trager to “take this information, the presentation, (and) the video to prepare for a meeting with the president” to determine how to incorporate social media in 2010. Williams identified some of the explicit challenges social media creates for different departments. Larger companies evaluating the social media landscape are challenged by the inability to maintain content control, alongside a lack of cooperation among departments and business-focused tools. Both speakers suggested that a willingness to evolve is necessary, because “50% of companies are planning to launch their social media efforts this year,” said Bell. The concern around social media for organizations generally, and marketing professionals specifically, according to Williams is that “social media becomes the intermediary,” allowing “customers to talk to one another about a brand, without the brand’s influence.” This means that “marketing professionals will have to think differently about how to be part of the (consumer driven) conversation.” For Jared Cummins, Account Executive at AGS Custom Graphics, social media means “less people are using print,” but “it gives me other avenues of communicating with my customers.”

While large companies struggle with the adoption of social media, Steve Bell said these “free” technologies have leveled the playing field for small businesses, independent contractors, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. According to Bell, the consumer generated content of social media means the “brand is now in the hands of the users,” and this shift “changes the value of advertising.” Bell notes that when companies have bad press “you can’t spend your way out of a problem,” and this makes “honesty mandatory.” For the president of InnoGage, this shift means that marketing professionals will need to determine “how to justify” the cost of free social media. For Judy Stoof, Executive Director of Central Ohio Professional Education Council, cost is an organizational concern, while privacy remains a challenge for their members to overcome. Stoof said she hopes COPEC is awarded a grant to move forward her social media initiative and “bring LinkedIn and Twitter to our members who have been very leery of using social media for fear of their information being too public.” For more of their presentation see http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5F17BD8280345760 Also, check out the Slide Share link: http://www.slideshare.net/tom8williams/ama-sig-social-media-11409 For photos of the AMA SIG meeting http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom8williams/sets/72157622733030298/


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