Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember the Association

Yesterday I have the privilege sharing to other marketers at a local American Marketing Association meeting in the Seattle area -- the PSAMA (Puget Sound AMA). I was asked by the president, Kathryn Hall, to share about the value I have received from my AMA membership. It was an easy thing to do.

Three main thoughts came to mind -- gains, growth, and gelling.

In reverse order, I have gelled with some amazing people I've met through my connection with the chapter and the national association. Truly scary smart people like Sue Reninger from RMD Advertising in Ohio, Daryl Brewster, former president of Nabisco and former CEO of Krispy Kreme, and Jim Ward, former president of Lucas Arts. I would not have connected with any of these individuals if it wasn't for my AMA membership. But while these few are mentioned here, there are literally dozens of close friends, and hundreds of important contacts I've made that have made me a better marketer. And, because of my membership, I can contact any member with confidence -- anywhere in the world -- to help me or answer a question.

With regard to growth, my membership in the American Marketing Association has been the best professional development resource I can identify. Pure practical knowledge has flowed from amazing speakers into my brain -- people from companies like Nike, Nabisco, Jet Blue, Second Life, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are just a few that come to mind. Learning about dashboards from those who are defining the practice, or branding from Jack Trout himself -- amazing learning and amazing development -- and all because of my memberhsip in the AMA.

But in the most practical sense of it all, I can attribute more than $100,000 of revenue to my company or self because of my membership. I work my membership. I network, reference my PCM credential, and use my connections to position myself as a valuable resource to my customers and employer. I am talking hard cash in my pocket -- earning me well more back than my annual membership fees have cost.

When you think of how you want to compete in this breakneck world of business, or keep on top of the latest trends and issues facing your industry, and meet people that are the links to future business development and resources -- remember the association. Whatever industry you belong to, there is likely an association serving it. And, if you're a marketer of any kind, being an active part of the American Marketing Association is a must.

-- David Kinard, PCM

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