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AMA Iowa Commitment to Social Justice

Posted on 06/05/2020 at 3:58 PM

Across the country, there are a lot of emotions welling up right now - we acknowledge this and don’t presume any of us can fully understand how these events are impacting each of us. As an organization and as individuals, we strive to create an inclusive community where every single person is welcome.  We oppose and stand against all forms of racism, bigotry, discrimination, intolerance, and any other form of named or unnamed hatred. 

The American Marketing Association of Iowa (AMA Iowa) was built to connect, support and educate the Iowa marketing community. We know we have an obligation to you and the people we serve. You are the people who so often speak on behalf of the organizations we work with - a big responsibility, especially in the days to come.

We know that actions speak louder than words. 

We take this as an opportunity to examine our own privileges, review the processes and structures we have in place that may have posed as barriers, and transform our organization for the better. In addition, we promise to you, our community, to incorporate programming that addresses how we can take up our role in opposing racism and injustice in the work we do as marketers.

Our Board of Directors is eager to roll up our sleeves and do everything we can to advance this important work.

Together, let’s all commit to being part of needed change.


The AMA Iowa Board of Directors

Attending Events Alone: How to Make Them a Bold Experience

Posted on 01/31/2020 at 12:41 PM

Attending Events Alone: How to Make Them a Bold Experience

By Carina Woodward, VP of Communications, AMA Iowa

When an event rolls around and you want to attend, is your initial response: Who do I know who could go with me? This is a common reaction. What do you miss out when you can’t persuade anyone to go?

With the American Marketing Association’s annual Experience event, you’ll miss a Bold Fusion: Where insights, innovation, and creativity collide in a bold fusion for marketers.

Roughly 15 million Americans are affected by social anxiety and a common trigger is talking to strangers, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Karen Albritton, owner of Thinc Strategy in North Carolina and a 2019 Experience speaker, recently shared one of the best ways to make the most of our upcoming event is to sit with people you don’t know and create new relationships. For those who may hesitate to register, talking to strangers is even more intimidating. So we asked her to give advice on how to accomplish that and can help you make the commitment to attend in 2020!

Read the Room

First, scope out for the most open table or group. You can see it in their body language. If they are standing, they’ll be standing with their shoulders slightly open to the room, leaving a space for others to join in. I always do that at events and I know other people like me who want to be welcoming. Be one of those people and look for them when you are at an event. When sitting, the open people are having a group conversation, not looking at their phone or notes.

Getting the Conversation Started

If you’re just going up to a table cold, simply ask if you can join and then start to introduce yourself around. Walk to everyone, extend your hand, say who you are and who you’re with. From there you’ll be surprised how often you know someone in common or how a comment or question comes up to break the ice. If there’s a need for conversation, go in ready with some questions. Things like, “Have you looked over the agenda? What sessions look most interesting to you?”

Get Involved

This is also an area where getting involved can put you at ease. I’m an AMA volunteer and that helps. I’m often able to introduce myself to someone new and say something like, “I’m an AMA volunteer and help with chapter planning. What are you hoping to get from the event?”

Social anxiety is more common than we know. While it’s becoming discussed and talked about, it can still hold people back from learning opportunities and growing their connections.

I encourage everyone to register for this event and take these concrete steps to mentally prepare themselves. 

Register soon for Experience 2020

Be Bold at Experience


NOVA Award Winning Case Study: Bird's Eye View

Posted on 09/18/2019 at 1:00 PM

2019 Award Winner Interactive Marketing — Bank Iowa

As a community bank proudly serving 22 towns throughout the state o​​​​​​​f Io​​​​​​​wa, ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bank Iowa was challenged with ways to demonstrate the same sense of pride local residents h​​​​​​​ave for their communities on our social media channels. Bird’s Eye View focused on building a closer relationship with each community through a social media campaign that included a contest and aerial drone footage of each of the towns served by the bank. 


Many of the towns Bank Iowa serves are small, some with populations as low as 421, so Bank Iowa set a goal of 3,000 views per video.


Not only did Bank Iowa want to highlight the unique communities we are a part of, we also wanted to involve our clients. Prior to each full Bird’s Eye View video, a short teaser video was posted with the opportunity for people to guess which town it was. Those that guessed correctly were entered into a chance to win a $50 gift card that we purchased from one of our local clients in that community. This was a way to show support to those that ​​​​​​​choose to do business with us and also increase the engagement on our social media.


At the time of the entry period, The Bird’s Eye View campaign had garnered an average of 5,200 views per video with the most being 12,000 views for the video about the town of Essex, Iowa, a town of almost 900 people. The contests were successful as there were 30 or more participants guessing each location on each contest post. The highest amount of engagement for the social media contest was for the town of New Hampton with over 280 comments. In terms of likes or shares, almost every post had over 100 likes and over 80 comments.

In addition to showcasing the pride that we have to be a part of these communities, we wanted to give back. Following the social media contest and posting of the full Bird’s Eye View video for each town, a direct mail piece was sent to the local chamber of commerce. The piece included a flash drive with the raw aerial footage as well as the Bank Iowa branded video that is found on our social media channels. This campaign helped Bank Iowa create communication and partnerships with each town’s chamber of commerce. Our videos were circulated through other social media channels, seen playing on loop on TV screens throughout the town, and on B-roll for local newspapers and TV stations.

Looking back, this campaign proved to be a great way to engage our markets on a local level in a way that promoted Bank Iowa, our clients, and our communities collectively. You can visit Bank Iowa’s online presence here.

About Bank Iowa

With more than $1.3 billion in assets, Bank Iowa ranks as one of the leading independent ag banks and the second-largest family-owned bank in the state. Farmers, families and businesses access Bank Iowa’s products and services through 25 locations in 22 communities, as well as online and on mobile devices. To learn more, visit Member FDIC.

The Anonymous Website Visitor

Posted on 09/03/2019 at 2:15 PM

The Anonymous Website Visitor

By Keith Snow, President, B2E Data Marketing

Who is visiting your website?

It may seem like a simple question, but for many marketers, website visitors remain elusive. Unable to be identified beyond device type, region and site behavior, the anonymous website visitor could be your next big sale.

Marketing dollars are being spent on search engine optimization and landing page development; campaigns that will drive traffic to the website. In fact, according to Hubspot, 54% of marketers say their top marketing priority in 2019 is growing website traffic. If you’re putting your budget dollars into the website, company leaders will expect ROI. Understanding who is visiting the website now becomes even more impactful, as we all know campaign attribution can be tricky when visitors remain anonymous.

A website is a goldmine for qualified leads. Each visitor to your web domain is there for a reason. Perhaps your link popped up in a web search, or someone referred them, or they saw your booth at a tradeshow. No matter how they found the site, the reason they are there is more important. It could be they are researching options as an in-market prospect.

Pull off the mask.

In today’s marketing environment, anonymous website visitors do not need to remain unknown. Services can collect visitor IP addresses and match them to home addresses. With a simple data append, you can gain additional segmentation information about the web prospect, including their age, income or occupation.

Over time, this additional information about the website visitors can assist you in creating segmentation profiles and optimizing your website for the information visitors are seeking. Who is in the market for your company’s products and services? Visitor segments can help you uncover new learnings about a potentially viable market segment that may have been ignored in your original website design.

Don’t go so fast.

Anonymous website visitors likely want to stay anonymous, however, once the IP addresses are collected, a host of other re-targeting marketing activities can follow. Online digital ads can be targeted to specific IP addresses, so they are reminded of your brand on other websites they visit as well. This consistent drip of brand messaging is sure to keep your products top-of-mind. Additionally, if you prefer direct mail campaigns to follow up, IP addresses can be matched to home addresses to complete this type of campaign as well.

Websites are a huge investment for any marketer, so ensure you are getting the most from your resources. Don’t let anonymous website visitors walk away.

About the author: With over 30 years of Marketing and Technology experience, Keith develops programs and provides business leadership for data marketing, insights, analytics and strategy for B2E clients. Over his career, he has served in the U.S. Army Reserves, been an Applications Developer, Systems Analyst and Marketing Database Director before starting B2E Data Marketing in 2003.

A Better Way To Calculate Social Media ROI: ROTOMA (Return On Top Of Mind Awareness)

Posted on 06/19/2019 at 10:30 AM

Q & A With Spencer Smith - July Luncheon Speaker

From sales, then IT, to owning his own business and then venturing into the wild, wild West of social media, Spencer Smith has learned a thing or two on his mission to better calculate marketing ROI. On Wednesday, July 10th, Spencer Smith will share his expertise and findings featured in his new book, “A Better Way to Calculate Social Media ROI: ROTOMA” with the AMA Iowa Chapter. We asked Spencer a few questions on what we can expect, who should attend and the key lessons that will be shared at the July luncheon.

Can you give us a preview of your professional background and how you got to your position today?

My path to marketing is different than most because I’ve been both a business owner and in sales before — it’s only been the past few years that I’ve been in the direct marketing end. That stemmed from three different things. I started at IBM while I was in college and worked through Y2K. I then worked in IT and started a company which I sold in 2006. After that, I went into financial services and acquired licenses that allowed me to focus on the sales side, but there were limitations on how I could use social media. 

So, I left that business and gave up my licenses in January of 2015 because I saw that social media was really at an intersection of sales and IT. Now that we’re a little more than four years into my company, AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, we’ve been doing a lot of this work for more traditional industries such as banking and law firms. Ultimately, we look at social media from a sales standpoint. How do we get people to think about us more often and buy from us?

Your presentation topic is titled “A Better Way to Calculate Social Media”. What does this mean for today’s marketers and what should they expect from your presentation when they attend? Who should attend?

This is really me being empathetic with marketers. In the last decade, you’ve gone from being responsible for about five core areas like branding, events and sponsorships, traditional marketing, media or PR — to now 100 things that marketers need to own. One very small portion of that is social media on top of everything else.

What usually happens a person’s boss saying, “What’s my marketing ROI?” Back in the day, we really didn’t have a way to measure it. My goal is helping them understand what ROI technically means, but what that also means from a salesperson’s standpoint. People aren’t really asking for the ROI, they are asking for help to understand what they are doing, because they may not understand it. I’m being empathetic from both a salespersons’ standpoint and the marketers’ standpoint so they can best present their marketing activities and then go bat for themselves when determining budgets and initiatives.

Individuals that own the marketing at their company with a boss they have to report their activities to should attend, but it’s also really good for those who freelance or have an entrepreneurial mindset. This will help them understand what marketing means to those that they are selling ideas to and just as importantly how they support their efforts.

If there is just one key takeaway from your presentation for folks to learn, what would that be?

The acronym I created, which is the title of my book — ROTOMA. Instead of ROI, this means “return on top of mind awareness” which is helping marketers understand what salespeople want. What do salespeople want? They want their potential customers or clients to think about them more often than not, so when there is an opportunity, they are the ones that are top of mind for them. How do we quantify what we’re are doing in marketing to help deliver what to the sales team needed?

How has marketing changed throughout your career?

The general acceptance of it, especially with some of the stodgier industries that I mentioned before — banking, legal or financial services. I think about the guy with a big hub who finally decided that [social media] is not just a fad. They noticed that people started to direct a lot of time and attention to it, so they said, “We should probably start showing up here.” I’ve seen a massive shift, especially in those older industries, that started to figure out “how to use this stuff,” as opposed to having the obligatory Facebook page and not doing anything with it.  

Want to hear Spencer Smith speak in-person? Sign up and join us for the July Luncheon on Wednesday, July 10th! 

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