Throughout my 25 years of work in the ad agency business, I’ve developed a strong network of fellow marketing professionals at other agencies and on the corporate-side. I’ve also come to realize that client-side marketing professionals don’t seem to have as strong of networks.
Here on the agency-side, we seem to keep in touch with many other agency people. When we need input on a challenge, we can pick up the phone and call someone who also works on the agency-side to ask for help. This happens frequently.
I’ve asked a few friends who are marketing execs, to name a few—say ten, and other local marketers who they feel they have a strong relationship with. Most of the time, they really don’t know many other than those they are currently working with or have recently.
But, having a strong network of people who work in your field is so important. When I was President of our local American Marketing Association a few years ago, we were brainstorming ways to better support the marketing community. One idea was to help corporate marketers build their network and learn from other marketers. We developed the AMA Marketers Roundtable—a small focus group-type discussion on a specific topic.
A few times a year, corporate marketers are invited to discuss a topic. The discussion is managed by an experienced focus group moderator, Lon Zimmerman. The conversation is recorded, and a white paper is published. We just hosted our 16th roundtable where ten marketers from a variety of industries participated. The topic this year was “Social Media: As A Marketing Tool, Is It Living Up To Its Hype?” Besides learning more about social media, we try to make each roundtable an opportunity to network with other marketing professionals.
To see white papers from previous sessions, visit the Resource Page on the AMA St. Louis website.
Participating in the Roundtables can help marketers build their network, and I invite any corporate marketer to join us at the next Roundtable. If interested in being included on the invitation list, please contact me at [email protected] or 314-727-5850.
In a small way, a strong network helps to rebuild our economy. Sharing knowledge with other marketers will help produce better results for their companies, thus adding more sales—which leads to more employment and ultimately adding to our nation’s success. Seems like a simple formula to me.