Author: AMA_admin

Prioritize Your Professional Development Goals This Year

By AMA New Orleans Member Blog

Digital Marketing Pro Professional Certification

The New Year means new goals, new challenges and new digital marketing trends. It is also your opportunity to refresh your focus on career advancement by making your professional development goals a priority.

We’ve partnered with the Digital Marketing Institute on the Digital Marketing Pro certification program to help sharpen your skills and prove to employers you have the knowledge to lead change. The program focuses on in-demand digital marketing skills, including:

  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Paid Search (PPC) Using Google Ads
  • Display and Video Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Website Optimization
  • Google Analytics
  • Digital Marketing Strategy

And when you pass a single exam, you will become dually certified with the AMA and DMI with two respected credentials (for the price of one!): PCM® Digital Marketing and Certified Digital Marketing Professional.

AMA NOLA Returns to In-Person Events This Month!

By AMA New Orleans Blog

AMA New Orleans is excited to announce its first post-pandemic in-person event, Cheers for Beers, at The Howlin’ Wolf on Wednesday, October 27. Join us as we talk to three craft beer industry pros about the challenges from going from small time to building brand recognition. Our panel includes brewery reps from Port Orleans Brewing, Urban South, and Faubourg Brewing Co.

This event marks a major milestone for our chapter. This is our first in-person event since our Agency Leadership Lighting Panel in February 2020. We look forward to hosting more get-togethers and in-person events in the new year. Until then, we’ll toast to our triumphant return live programming at Cheers for Beers!

AMA Member Perk: Marketer’s Toolkits

By AMA New Orleans Blog

One of the numerous benefits of being an AMA member is its vast library of toolkits. FREE for all AMA members, marketer’s toolkits are interactive marketing tools, templates and dashboards to help you make smart business decisions.

Toolkit Spotlight: Content Marketing Playbook

The Content Marketing Playbook is built to give you a comprehensive strategy framework and easily editable tools to quickly bring your plan to life. No more searching for the right download or building spreadsheets from scratch. This all-in-one guide saves you time and helps you make smarter business decision.

See the entire library of marketer’s toolkits here: https://www.ama.org/toolkits/

Millennials Are Reshaping the Economic Landscape

By AMA New Orleans News

Millennials are reshaping the economy, and in turn, business practices.  Companies are recognizing the need to adapt to and understand these changing population trends. Marketing research can be a powerful tool employed by companies in understanding these changes and how they will impact future business success.

Born roughly between 1980 and 2000, Millennials are the first generation to have had access to the internet during their formative years. They are the most diverse and educated generation so far, with 42% identifying their ethnicity as other than Non-Hispanic white and 61% of adult Millennials having attended college or higher. Millennials now represent the largest generation in the United States, and as of 2013, comprised roughly one-third of the US population. They are collectively moving into their prime spending years with a collective annual spending power of $2.45 trillion.

Apart from being the largest, most diverse, and educated generation thus far, their upbringing has coincided with an unprecedented period of innovation and this has influenced Millennial’s expectations and how they interact with technology. While all generations experienced technological advancements, the quantity of information a finger touch away that has been available to Millennials since childhood is unparalleled.

Growing up with a device that bundles communication, entertainment, shopping, mapping, and education all in one has led Millennials to adopt new technology more quickly and expect it to work because this has been their experience.

Their affinity for technology is reshaping the retail space because of the instantly accessible product information, reviews, and price comparisons. Millennials use a mobile device at a rate of more than twice that of Non-Millennials to research products and read reviews while shopping.

The way Millennials communicate and interact with others is dramatically different from those in previous generations due to the wide spread use of cell phones and the Internet. However, this change in communication and interaction does not mean that Millennials do not value community, family, and creativity. Millennials value staying close to family and friends, having free time for recreation, and working in creative jobs. And the group they socialize most frequently is their parents.

Over a third of Millennials of all ages say that they influence what products their parent’s buy, what shops and restaurants they visit, and what trips they make. As time passes, it may well be that Millennial buying patterns and attitudes will expand to other generations.

Millennials are a social generation, contrary to what many may believe, both in the online and offline worlds. Millennials are more likely than other generations to shop, dine, and travel with groups. Online, sharing on social media sites and opinionating on review sites such as Yelp and Amazon reflects a strong desire for connection. This need for connection has big implications for those who serve customers as Millennials tend to shop in groups and seek the opinions of others. More than two-thirds of Millennials do not make a major decision until they have discussed it with trusted people. Millennials regard shopping as a group activity, particularly female Millennials.

The way Millennials interact with  companies is different from the interactions of other companies. Millennials enjoy collaborating with companies. In fact, almost half state that they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. However, and most importantly, Millennials have to see that companies care about what they say.

Products and services are started by companies; they are completed by the customers.  But this is not the only way that B2C interactions are changing. Outbound marketing is trending down while inbound marketing is increasing in success. Content has to be created so that Millennials feel that it was tailored for their interests, not their wallet.

As it stands, the companies that truly understand Millennials and engage with them can differentiate themselves and create vast opportunities for success. Companies and Non-Millennial Executives need to recognize the value in marketing to Millennials. Companies that fail to understand this generation will have a hard time achieving success. By employing marketing research to fine-tune customer acquisition, retention and loyalty building strategies can be improved and generational differences can be observed, quantified, and acted on. The methodologies for conducting marketing research are no different from the traditional methodologies when studying Millennials; however, as expected, digital data collection methodologies must be employed to achieve greater success.

This post was provided by Q2 Insights, an AMA sponsor. To learn more and for contact information, please visit http://q2insights.com.

NOLA AMA on Facebook

By AMA New Orleans News

Click here to join the New Orleans AMA group on Facebook – a great way to further connect with AMA members.

Data-Driven Content Development

By AMA New Orleans News

Content marketing is the art of creating and distributing relevant and valuable information to drive more engagement, traffic, leads and closes. Content may include email, blogs, direct mail, visual (e.g. infographics, tables, graphics), conference presentations, webinars, and gated content (e.g. eBooks, case studies, white papers). Typically, the target audience is clearly defined and well understood. Many successful content marketers have personas for the target market segments as well as a content marketing strategy.

Taking these channels, personas and segments into consideration, the marketer must create fresh, relevant and valuable content that is not simply a repackaging of what others have said and, deploy the content on an ongoing basis and according to a marketing calendar. Herein lies the stumbling block for some – creating the content, especially content that is fresh, relevant and valuable to the target.

RESEARCH FINDINGS CAN FUEL THE MARKETING CONTENT DEVELOPMENT FUNNEL

Research findings (data and insights) are an excellent source of fodder for marketing content. They are also very useful in positioning the publisher as a thought leader in the particular topic area. Furthermore, research can be the gift that keeps giving in terms of fueling the marketing content development funnel. This said, it is important to let the marketing calendar drive the research conducted and not let the research drive the calendar.

DATA SOURCES

There are a variety of sources that you might consider as you work on data-driven content development:

Previously Completed Research

Past research reports are a treasure trove of material for content development. While these studies were not purposefully built as input for marketing content, many can be repurposed. The key, of course, is not to give away anything that would compromise your business in any way. And it is important to keep the target audience in mind ensuring that anything you share is relevant and engaging.

Custom Designed Qualitative Research

There are many ways to conduct qualitative research that are not expensive and can fuel the content pipeline. Formal or informal Focus Groups and Depth Interviews are one way to gather qualitative data and insight. Other simple ways might include posing questions to your brand’s Facebook followers, inviting some to engage in digital journaling about a specific topic, or posing questions via email to senior executives at your brand. The line of questioning should be based on the content you require for your marketing content calendar.  And, be careful not to lead the witness. Your customers will notice if differing perspectives are not presented.

Custom Designed Quantitative Research

SurveyMonkey and similar applications provide an inexpensive way for brands to conduct surveys that are custom designed with content development in mind. These days, many of these platforms provide access to consumers and business representatives (referred to as respondents) who are willing to participate in your survey.  Alternatively, you can use your own customers as study participants. Pose questions in a straight forward, unbiased manner and avoid double or multi-barreled questions. Include a series of demographic (e.g. age, gender) and psychographic (e.g. behavior, lifestyle characteristics) questions so you can slice and dice the findings in different ways.

Statistical Modeling

If you have statistical bench strength at your organization, you might consider using statistical modeling techniques to extract new and reportable patterns in existing data (e.g. past quantitative research, transaction data) or data that you purchase from a data purveyor such as Acxiom, Claritas or Experian.

Social Media Monitoring and Aggregation

Social media can also be a rich source of new and interesting content.  Sharing trends from social media monitoring and aggregation with your existing and potential customers can be very compelling.

 
THREE CASE STUDIES

Here are some case studies that outline how research can be used for data driven content development.

Qualitative Research with Students to Create Content Targeting Educators

Educators nationwide are seeking to improve the student’s postsecondary experience with the goal of increasing retention and number of graduates. Students were interviewed using a digital methodology to understand their experience and identify ways to assist students in being successful during their journey as students. Students at varying points in their postsecondary education participated and the findings were compared by class. Overall the project revealed great points of communication for advisors and counselors to use when working with students. The findings were used to develop content to share with academics.

Quantitative Research with Consumers to Create Content Targeting Physicians

A company that manages medical practices for specialized physicians wanted to understand consumer opinions, attitudes, knowledge and behaviors associated with a specific category of physician that is often underutilized in favor of a class of physicians without specialized training. The client suspected that consumers did not really understand the difference between the two types of physicians. A nationwide Web Panel Survey was conducted with patients.

Results provided proof of confusion between the two categories and provided insight on how to overcome this confusion. With the research findings in hand, the client created content for conference presentations, a series of webinars, development of blogs and other content for over 12 months. The client is also preparing for additional qualitative research to delve deeper into some of the previously misunderstood confusion amongst patients.

Qualitative Research with Chefs to Create Content Targeting Consumers

This project entailed delivering data to build content for consumers about a freshly available food product that was being underutilized due to misinformation. (Due to a confidentiality agreement, the actual food product cannot be mentioned here.  We will use “bananas” as a pseudonym.) A two-phased qualitative research project was implemented where gourmet chefs were sent a box of “bananas” and asked to prepare a meal with the product and to video or photograph dish preparation as well as the final dish. Then, In-Person Interviews were conducted with the chefs in New York, San Francisco and Chicago to understand experiences with and opinions of the product. The interview was also used to understand whether the source of the “bananas” influenced use and opinion of the product.

Output from the project was beyond client expectations. The client developed a cookbook with the delicious recipes provided by the chefs and shared recipes with consumers. Blogs, articles and presentations were also developed based on the findings of the qualitative research.

DATA-DRIVEN CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

Using research to feed content development takes the angst out of finding fresh, relevant and valuable content.  Research findings can provide sufficient content to fuel the pipeline for long periods of time and can position the publisher as a thought leader in the content area

This post was provided by Q2 Insights, an AMA sponsor. To learn more and for contact information, please visit http://q2insights.com.

4 Steps to Marketing Yourself with LinkedIn

By AMA New Orleans News

linkedin-icon-1106010648

By Danielle Dayries

When you see a powder-blue bird you immediately recognize it as Twitter, when you see a swoosh logo you know that’s Nike, and when you hear a few quick soft tones from your smart device you know you’ve received a Facebook message. This connection is corporate branding. As the master of your own personal brand, have you determined how to build a connection when other professionals come across your name? A successful personal brand creates a consistent, targeted impression that helps you achieve your personal and professional goals.

LinkedIn is one of today’s most valuable tools for marketing yourself or personal branding. With over 43 million users, LinkedIn provides the ability to connect with other professionals like no other network can. Here are tips to help build your personal brand on LinkedIn in a way that will attract a network of like-minded professionals and market you in the best possible way.

1. Complete Your Profile

After signing up, it is essential that you answer all of the questions in setting up your profile and proofread everything to eliminate any typos or grammatical errors. It’s equally important to know your target market and what makes you unique to communicate your strengths, mission, and specialized skills to set you apart from the rest. Your goal is to build effective business relationships by nurturing the similarities with your target audience.

2. Choose the Right Headline

The best headline when branding yourself is one that reflects the job you want. Unless you change the headline manually, LinkedIn will insert the last job you had or currently have. For example, if you’re a PR manager for a large company you may wish to change the headline to “PR Specialist for Fortune 500 Companies.” That way, your headline will appeal to large companies looking for someone with your expertise. As another example, you would want to changr “Vice President Sales at ABC Corporation” (your current position) to “VP Sales. Revenue Growth in Cloud-Enabled Technology Solutions. Product Development & Sales Operations Leadership.” The Job Title field on LinkedIn is a highly indexed field that helps with being more exposed in searches.

3. Summary, Experience, and a Dash of Keywords.

Your summary should be a short paragraph that summarizes your work and experience, with a focus on the experience that pertains to the job you are seeking. This is the place to highlight any awards or honors you received relating to the job you are after. In your experience section you should list every job you’ve had that relates to your current position and the job you are searching for with accomplishments listed vs. just a list of job duties.

Use keywords that describe what you do to attract jobs or people that you are after to increase traffic. Keywords will have greater impact therefore, increasing your ranking among other users. Take these words and sprinkle them all throughout your profile, but especially in your job title, summary and experience. These keywords will help recruiters and other professionals find you when they search for those terms in LinkedIn’s People Search.

4. Grow your Network

Now that your profile is complete or your house is in order, it’s time to build your professional network. Growing your LinkedIn network helps establish you as an expert in your field and extends your reach and exposure. Your first, second and third degree connections are the ones that could refer you to new career opportunities in the future. The more first-degree connections will exponentially increase the likelihood that LinkedIn search algorithms will find you and place you near the top of search results. So do everything you can to grow your network! Trade association contacts, current and previous colleagues, friends and family are great places to start.

LinkedIn helps you jumpstart the process with a built-in import function that allows you to import all your contacts from other platforms. After you have populated it with people you already know, the next step is to build new pipelines of contacts by not only connecting with other people, but building relationships. How do you do this? Join groups of like-minded professionals and participate in discussions. Just like a live networking event, it works best by participating. Engage in discussions when someone is asking for guidance or expertise. Make sure your posts add value, talk about your business and include a call to action. This is how you get known as an expert in your field without showing off. Someone in the group may ask for an opinion on new software, a tough client, etc… Chime in and answer and voila – you are now seen as an expert in your field!

Lastly, add your LinkedIn URL to your email signature for more exposure and traffic. This is your free marketing tool, so let the world know where to find out more about all you have accomplished.

Invest some time in LinkedIn to market the most valuable client you’ll ever have – yourself! I guarantee it will prove to be a valuable asset to your career.

If you would like some additional information on the importance of self-branding, join the New Orleans Chapter of the American Marketing Association at The New Orleans Yacht Club from 11:30 am to 1 pm where I will be giving an interactive workshop to build your profile. Those who attend the presentation will leave with a profile and clear understanding of how LinkedIn can be utilized as the ultimate self-branding platform.

Click here to register.

I hope to see you there!

 

Danielle Dayries is the CEO/owner of the locally-based outplacement firm, DMD & Associates, Inc. Her firm is engaged by companies worldwide to deliver outplacement programs that empower those affected by a reduction in force to get back to work quickly, while helping companies protect their brand and limit legal exposure. She is a board member of several Society of Human Resource Chapters, speaks throughout the United States about career transition topics and is published in multiple publications.

Fill Out the AMA New Orleans Survey. Win a Free Luncheon.

By AMA New Orleans News

As a valued member of the New Orleans marketing community, we invite you to participate in a brief survey that will allow the New Orleans chapter of the American Marketing Association to better serve its constituents. Your participation in this survey will help AMA New Orleans board as they plan for the year.

Q2 Insights, a national market research firm, is conducting this research study on behalf of AMA New Orleans.

The survey will take approximately ten minutes to complete.

After completing the survey you will have the opportunity to enter to win one of three free tickets to a New Orleans AMA luncheon.

Click the link below to take the survey.

http://bit.ly/NOAMASurvey

We look forward to hearing your opinions and suggestions. We appreciate you taking the time to participate in this project.

A Forward Look Into Emerging 2016 Marketing Trends

By AMA New Orleans News

 

MNI graphic

Every year, Mintel, the world’s leading Market Intelligence firm, rounds up a global lead of thought leaders, to predict market-moving trends based on current events, legislation, innovations, and more.

Since we’re all about staying ahead of the trends, we sent a team of research experts to Mintel’s most recent summit in New York. See some of our favorite trends below, or download the full report from Mintel here.

Media Consumption Is All About the Yin & Yang

Consumers have a plethora of different, unique facets to their personas, and they want to nourish them all. This is fueled by the paradox of choice, leading consumers to go to extremes to feel like they have it all. For brands to capitalize on this, they should encourage consumers to make room for indulgences in their balanced lives.

  • Because media consumption is at an all-time high, the couch potato is completely destigmatized.
    • Binge-watching is a celebrated activity that is offset by taking time away from media and technology.
    • Half of consumers binge watch TV and half agree they need breaks from technology.
    • Brand examples: Amazon Fire and Xfinity promoted binge-watching. On the other side of the spectrum, Dixie urges us to go #DarkforDinner to make more time for family and friends.
  • In a high-tech world, consumers seek a human touch.
    • As more and more consumers are exposed to automation, robots, droids, and more, they want to speak with a live individual.
    • Brand Example: Sprint launched a Direct 2 You program, promising free personal delivery with expert attention, wherever you are.
  • Consumers strive to find a weekly balance.
    • Financially, consumers are embracing the concept of The Weekend Millionaire: brown-bagging it during the week to live large on the weekends.
    • When it comes to leading a healthy life, consumers will indulge in all-you-can-eat bacon-fests followed by juice cleanses.
    • For personal beauty regimens, more and more consumers are wearing make-up six days a week and going fresh on the seventh, to give their skin a break.

The Big Brand Theory

A story can make or break a brand, as consumers strive to create deep, authentic connections with the brands they engage with.

  • Why is storytelling important to building brand awareness?
    • After the 2008 financial crisis, consumers checked their behavior—moving away from McMansions and conspicuous consumption towards small businesses. Craft is the new luxury, where consumers can trade up without being ostentatious.
    • Consumers want to be romanced and are excited to learn about a product, how it’s made, and what goes into it.
    • Genuine storytelling creates connections with brands that inspire loyalty and create brand advocates.
  • Great Storytelling Examples?
    • Small businesses have an immediate advantage when it comes to storytelling, as illustrated by the popularity of platforms like Etsy or the growth of craft beer (two new breweries open each day).
    • While small businesses have leveraged this well, it doesn’t mean that large corporations are left behind.
  • There are a record number of acquisitions and partnerships, where larger companies are buying up smaller ones, enabling them to gain knowledge, share best practices, and embrace small brands and stories. For example, Starbucks most recently partnered with local, artisan bakeries in DC and NY, to add a homegrown flair.

Written by: Marisa Davis, Manager, Brand Marketing at MNI Targeted Media

“Know me!” —The Personalization Revolution

By AMA New Orleans Member Blog

By Sandra Jordan, MNI Targeted Media

Knowing your consumers and their habits will be the key to engagement and success in 2016.

  • 56% of consumers say that the most important element of their retail experience is that the information shared with them online is relevant to what they are currently interested in or looking to buy.
  • 52% want relevant content that considers their personal taste, style, age group, or location.
  • 36% of shoppers say real-time, personalized offers on their mobile devices as they enter a store would enhance their shopping experience.

*Source: eMarketer, August 2015; eMarketer, October 2015.

Chart

Let’s Get Personal

Consumer-facing businesses are tackling the challenge of personalization. Get ahead of the competition and reach the consumers who are most likely to move your bottom line.

  • Consumer Targeting—Reach consumers who frequently shop online, based on their browsing behavior, online purchases, and shopping cart abandonment.
  • Influencer Marketing—Partner with key people who have influence over your potential consumers and who are in-market for your products.
  • Contextual Targeting—Reach customers who are visiting relevant shopping content.
  • Search and Site Retargeting—Target individuals who are constantly seeking information online.
  • In-App Targeting—Reach shoppers who are constantly glued to their devices.
  • Geo-Fencing—Serve ads to consumers who are performing searches on their mobiles in-store.

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