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August Speaker Spotlight - Quester & Artificial Intelligence

Posted on 09/20/2018 at 8:00 AM

Missed our August luncheon? Want a quick refresh? Here from our speaker, Time Hoskins, one more time.

We hope you can join us for our next luncheon on Wednesday, October 3 with Steve Lacy of Meredith Corporation. Click here to learn more.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tamara Kenworthy

Posted on 09/17/2018 at 8:00 AM

A long time member, Tamara started her journey with the AMA in 1989 in Cincinnati (almost 30 years ago!). Here in Iowa, she has served on the board starting in 2004 where she held positions as Program Vice-Chair, Program Chair, Vice President and was the AMA Iowa President during the 2007-2008 board year. As the president and founder of On Point Strategies, Tamara lends both her services as a sponsor and her time as volunteer to help AMA Iowa continually improve our programming and membership value through the surveys that she conducts on our behalf.

Get to Know Tamara

Why do you volunteer for AMA Iowa?
I’m at a point in my career where I need to give back to the profession that I love, so I enjoy volunteering with the various events and member surveys throughout the year.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Originally from Iowa, I moved to Cincinnati when I got married. I started on the client side, earned an MBA at the University of Cincinnati and then moved back to Iowa where I worked on the agency side of marketing and research. In 2007, I fulfilled my lifelong dream of having my own business. On Point Strategies provides strategic planning, marketing planning and market research services to a range of clients in diverse industries.

Who inspires you?
I’m inspired right now by several thought leaders in the creative problem solving space, particularly a program by the Creative Education Foundation. I’m also inspired by the brave individuals who launched the #MeToo movement; it’s long overdue to bring greater equality to women in the workplace.

What is the latest book you read?
I read a lot and love that my book club picks books I wouldn’t normally read. We just finished My Brilliant Friend, and I’m also reading the Hamilton biography. I’m working with a book author right now on marketing his new book, Deadly Ground - which has been really fun to work on!

What is your secret talent that no one knows about?
If I hadn’t gone to college, I would have owned a dance school. I grew up in dance and danced through college; it’s in my DNA. I still take tap lessons and am in a ballroom dance club with my husband.

Connect with Tamara!

AMA Iowa is honored to have a dedicated and talented volunteer like Tamara. If you want to follow in Tamara’s footsteps and start your journey as a volunteer, contact us today!

Why Volunteering with AMA Iowa Could Be Just What You Need

Posted on 09/10/2018 at 8:00 AM

Whether you want to up your game, connect with other marketers, or just plain feel good about giving back, you may want to consider volunteering with AMA Iowa. Aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get, there are a multitude of benefits from volunteering your time and talents:

Professional Development

  • Gain new skills, knowledge, and experience or develop existing skills and knowledge

  • Enhance your resume and improve employment prospects

  • Gain confidence and self-esteem

Socialize and Network with Peers

  • Meet new people and make new friends

  • Get to know our community of marketers – build your tribe!

Make a Difference

  • Give back and make a difference to the people around you

  • Use your professional skills and knowledge to benefit others in your marketing community

BONUS: Some evidence suggests that volunteering has a positive impact on your health. So, you can skip that daily fitness routine, right? Just kidding, but helping out could very well help you feel great!

We can fit you with an opportunity that matches your schedule and interests. Check out our listing of committee positions or contact Heather Saxton for more information!

*AMA Iowa reserves the privilege of volunteering to members only, if you’d like to join AMA Iowa and get more involved in your marketing community click here.

The Deal With GDPR

Posted on 08/14/2018 at 3:19 PM

Point blank: data regulation guidelines are sweeping across the world.

AMA Iowa's website sponsor, feels that it is their responsibility to educate people on the implications of the General Data Protect Regulations put into effect in the EU, and how they directly (and indirectly) impact businesses in the U.S.

Read up on the GDPR low down here!

 

Content provided by... Margaret Zehr is an Internet Marketing Specialist at Global Reach Internet Productions. On a daily basis, she works with Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Strategies for clients. She is also a key contributor to the Global Reach blog and newsletter and assists with many other Global Reach endeavors.

About Global Reach Internet Productions

Global Reach was founded in 1995 and since then, it has become a leader in content management solutions and custom web development. In addition, Global Reach provides a number of interrelated services such as internet marketing, graphic design, hosting and IT support.

How to Leverage User Research to Improve Marketing Campaigns

Posted on 08/07/2018 at 9:45 AM

If you’re a marketer, analyzing the psychology behind how prospective customers make purchase decisions probably isn’t new to you. Whether it’s to increase contact form completions or online purchases, all strategic digital marketing efforts are working toward a goal or conversion. Once on your website, it’s critical that your website visitors can easily convert. This is where user experience (UX) research comes into play. When you conduct UX research, you can discover improvements to boost your marketing efforts!

What is user experience research?

UX research refers to the analysis of the behavior of website visitors when they are on a website or application. Once marketing efforts send high-quality leads to the website, the experience is what will turn those website visitors into customers.

Website visitors want their tasks to be simple, so it’s essential to make the experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. If there are pain points while using your website, it’s important to know about them so you have the opportunity to improve before spending your marketing budget. This will give you the best chance for success, and UX research will give you direction.

Why All Marketers Should Be Doing User Research

Marketing and UX are working toward the same goals. Through marketing you want to create memorable experiences, and through UX you want an easy experience. It’s crucial marketers understand who their customers are and what they’re looking for, and UX takes the guesswork out of marketing decisions.

UX and marketing are a team - marketing drives people to the website, while UX should engage people and help them convert.

How to Conduct User Research

If you’re a marketer who is brand new to UX research, it can be intimidating to decide where to start. Fortunately, there are several tools and user research methods available to let you start collecting behavioral data today.

User Research Methods

Heatmapping and Mouse Tracking

Heatmapping and mouse tracking technology allows researchers to see where potential customers are clicking on a web page. If there are calls-to-action (CTAs) being overlooked, you’ll be able to develop a plan of action to improve them.

User Tests

UX experts recommend tests to learn if website visitors can easily complete critical tasks. During a user test, participants in your target demographic are asked to complete tasks and rate their difficulty. This is another UX research method that will help you understand how well visitors convert on your site.

Surveys and Focus Groups

Sometimes the most valuable insight you receive is from simply asking your users. Through surveys and focus groups, you can get a sense of pain points on your website. You don’t need hundreds of people to hold an effective focus group; by talking to even a small portion of your customers, you can start to develop a plan for areas to improve.

Applying User Research to Your Marketing Campaigns

Now that you’ve collected the data, it’s time to put it to use! Here are a few common ways marketers leverage user data to improve future marketing initiatives.

  1. Match Your Target Demographics, Their Interests and Their Behaviors. User research will reveal valuable information about your target audience. You’ll learn the demographic breakdown of the top converters on your site as well as how different groups of people behave on your website. With this information, you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right people with the most effective content.. For example, you might learn that leads from Facebook are more likely to browse multiple articles before converting, while a potential customer from a search ad is more likely to be task-driven, converting on the page they enter on.
  2. Align Efforts With the Top User Tasks & Paths. User research will help you understand what website visitors are trying to accomplish on your website and the paths they are taking to convert, allowing you to connect this with your own marketing objectives. Through UX testing and research, you might learn that people who enter your website on your homepage are more apt to learn more about your company, while those who visit an interior page are more likely to complete a form. Knowing this information, you’ll be able to create marketing campaigns and landing pages that line up with what users are trying to accomplish at each point along the customer journey.
  3. Reduce Pain Points and Points of Friction. One of the most valuable outputs of user research for marketers is the discovery of pain points in the conversion process. If there is a specific part of the online conversion process causing potential customers to drop off, you need to be able to identify it. User research will reveal where visitors are getting stuck, giving you the opportunity to make it easier for them to convert. You’ll learn if the CTA is ineffective, if the form is too intimidating and difficult to finish, if navigation labels aren’t matching expectations and more.

UX Research Provides Strategic Direction for Marketing Campaigns

While marketing efforts convince potential customers to consider purchasing, the user experience will lead them to convert. UX research will add valuable data about what website visitors want, ensuring the marketing campaign is a success. If you have additional questions abo​​​​​​​ut collecting user data to drive your marketing campaigns, the UX analysts at Blue Compass can help! Learn more about what you can learn ​​​​​​​about your potential customers.

Author bio: Brady Rebhuhn is a Digital Mark​​​​​​​eting Analyst at Blue Compass. Brady regularly combines user experience research with digital marketing tactics to develop strategies for clients that increase conversions and revenue.

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