Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AMA Pittsburgh Names This Years' Distinguished Educator

Dr. Dawn Edmiston, assistant professor of marketing in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government at Saint Vincent College, has been named the 2010 American Marketing Association (AMA) of Pittsburgh Distinguished Educator.

Nominated by AMA Pittsburgh member Zac Parkhill, an associate at KPMG and former student, commented, “Dr. Edmiston’s unmatched dedication to students, passion for marketing, and energetic personality combine to create a learning environment that challenges students to expand their horizons and follow their dreams. I know that I am not alone when I say that Dr. Edmiston's tireless efforts transformed my college experience and professional career."

Read more about Distinguished Educator, Dr. Edmiston of Saint Vincent College.

Registration is now open for The Fourth Annual Marketer of the Year Awards. Join us on Dec. 9th, 2010 at the LeMont Restaurant for Pittsburgh's premiere results-based marketing competition. Learn more about the AMA Pittsburgh's Marketer of the Year Celebration.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shoppers eyeing companies' causes, not just their products

Whether they're shopping for groceries, fashions or a financial institution to take care of their investments, consumers these days want much more information than what their purchase will cost or how much service they can expect. They need to know what the retailer or bank is doing to improve the environment and whether the company contributes to charities.

A New York marketing guru brought that message to Pittsburgh at what was billed as the First Annual Cause Branding Summit.

Read more:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chatham University Marketing Association Excels as Collegiate Chapter of the Pittsburgh AMA

The Pittsburgh AMA Professional Chapter is extremely proud of the Chatham University Marketing Association (CMA) for capturing a total of five awards, including overall chapter excellence, team performance, and individual accomplishments, at the International Collegiate Conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana from April 8-10.

Since 2008, the CMA has been one of many affiliated collegiate chapters of the National American Marketing Association, supported locally by the Pittsburgh AMA Professional Chapter. Collegiate AMA members gain a variety of educational and networking opportunities that help support their education and move toward a professional career. The CMA has stood out through their participation and involvement with the Pittsburgh AMA Professional Chapter because of their regular attendance at AMA events and luncheons as well as their participation in monthly collegiate forums and national events such as the International Collegiate Conference.

The Collegiate Chapters Council of the American Marketing Association annually holds an International Collegiate Conference and Case Competition open to all undergraduate teams whose schools have a registered AMA Collegiate Chapter. The case competition poses a marketing challenge submitted by a sponsoring organization to provide students with the opportunity to work together on a real-life marketing issue. Sponsored this year by UNICEF’s Tap Project, the CMA case team won Third Place in the final round of the International Case Competition.

Chatham University was also honored with a variety of awards at the International Collegiate Conference regarding their overall success as a chapter. CMA’s excellence was recognized with an Outstanding Small School award and a Distinguished Collegiate Chapter award. Deborah DeLong, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at Chatham, scored the Hugo G. Wales award for Outstanding Faculty Advisor, which is awarded to two advisors out of the 200 collegiate chapters each year. Finally, Ashley Paterra, CMA President, won Honorable Mention Student Marketer of the Year, which is awarded to 3-4 student marketers each year out of the 1300+ students that attend the annual conference.

Front row: Alex Kemerer, Debbie DeLong, Jesse Brant, Ashley Paterra
Second row: Christina Casciato, Lauren Gelli
Back row: Jordan Pro, Alex Reinhardt, Jenna Ammer

The Pittsburgh AMA Professional Chapter applauds the Chatham University Marketing Association for their enthusiasm since they go above and beyond as Collegiate AMA members. Congratulations again to the CMA for their success and continued dedication to the American Marketing Association.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Quick Guide to Mobile Marketing

By Justin Mastrangelo

There’s no doubt the cell phone will continue to become a more important part of a marketing in 2010. Big consumer brands across the US have already had great success with their early mobile marketing efforts. If you haven’t started targeting your audience on their phone yet here are some of the key technologies, and a few things to consider about each.

Text Messaging (SMS) – This is the mostly widely used mobile technology, and not just by teenagers anymore. Only 25-30% of mobile phone subscribers in the US have a smartphone but over 80% of mobile phone users have text messaging capability, and 50% of all cell phone owners are active text messaging users. When considering a text messaging campaign keep in mind the method for gathering opt-ins. Traditional media (TV, radio, print, and outdoor) is an excellent opportunity to engage an audience on their phone while they are away from their PC. Having the audience text-in for an instant coupon or a chance to win something has generated great results by many different brands in the US. Because of texting’s very high read rate (97%) recipients will expect to see value with every message or they will opt-out quickly.

Mobile Websites – Creating a stripped-down mobile version of your website is an easy way to cater to your mobile audience. Users who attempt to visit your site on a smartphone can be automatically redirected to a mobile-friendly version. Keep the graphics to a minimum and focus on simple layout and navigation. Using less technology means compatibility with more phones. Reformatting the main site into a mobile format is a good start, but focusing on features that are especially beneficial to someone on a phone is even better. Measure the audience and the phones they’re using to access your site. If you haven’t launched an app yet this data will be invaluable for picking the right platform.

Mobile Apps - Apps can be a great way of creating an engaging experience not possible on the mobile web. If you’re going to develop an app it should be more than just another version of your mobile website. Not only are mobile apps more expensive to develop than a mobile website, they can also be more difficult to promote. The iPhone is king when it comes to apps, but it may not be tops with your audience. In the second quarter of 2009 the Blackberry Curve was the most popular selling smartphone, beating the iPhone. The iPhone makes up only 4% of all cell phones in use right now in the US. Depending on your audience you may need to develop at least two or three versions of your app just to reach a significant portion of smartphone users.

Mobile Advertising – Always introduce your current audience to your mobile website or app first, before approaching a new audience on the phone. If the reviews of your mobile campaign have been positive it only makes sense to use this as a competitive advantage. Your ads can be placed on other mobile websites or inside mobile apps. Just as you would with web advertising, start with a small budget and always target a specific audience as much as possible.

Justin Mastrangelo is President of JA Interactive, a web and mobile marketing company in the South Side of Pittsburgh. He is also one of the writers for his company’s text message marketing blog.

Social Media: Are You Plugged In?

It’s a new year…a clean slate ahead of you at work and new marketing opportunities waiting in the wings. What will 2010 have in store for you? If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to become more social media savvy, then I hope you find this article informative and useful to you in your future marketing endeavors.

Yes—You CAN!

So, maybe you’ve tested the “social media waters” in 2009 but still not sold on the whole social media idea and even if it’s something your company should attempt. Or, maybe you know the value and importance of social media, but you don’t know the right tactics to use to best fit your company. Well, now’s a better time than ever to embark on a social media campaign for your company. I write this article with the intention to inspire you to dive right in and have fun with the variety of social marketing tools available. With the numerous platforms out there, you can help your company establish a name for it, or bolster your company’s existing marketing campaign into high gear. One point I’d like to emphasize— while most social media tools are free, you may need to factor additional staff hours into your budget to get your campaign up and running.

Me, Myself and I

As the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s (PDP) e-Marketing and social media go-to gal, I’ve done my fair share of research on the various social media tools available. I also participate in countless social media webinars, many of which are free and quite informative. In less than one year, I now manage two PDP Facebook fan pages, along with a Twitter and Flickr account, and helped create a blog for Downtown’s historic Market Square. Most recently, I joined the Communications Committee within the American Marketing Association (AMA) Pittsburgh Chapter to update our Facebook fan page, blog and other marketing-related projects – I love a challenge!

Mavens, Gurus and Experts─Come Again?

Ok, so I’m not going to tout myself as some social media “guru”, simply because I’m not. However, I do consider myself an expert when it comes to writing and talking about my organization. So, now you’re armed with great material about your company and you want to spread the good word using social media—what are your next steps? Well, there’s an art to using social media correctly. I’ve assembled a short list of tips/tricks that I’ve found to be quite valuable to share with you to use throughout your social media journey:

· Information overload! If you try to learn too many social media platforms at once, you’ll go insane! Instead, take baby steps. Pick one outlet, perfect it and OWN it. Remember, you’re the voice of your organization. Try doing simple searches of your company or industry to see where your potential online audience is and what they’re talking about and start there. Once you’ve mastered the ins and outs of Facebook, give Twitter a whirl, or try your hand at blogging. It’s not how much you’re doing—it’s how effective you are at what you’re doing.

· Don’t go there! If you don’t have time to keep your blog or Facebook page updated with fresh, interesting content, worthy of comments from your readers, it’s not going to do your company any good. Readers will lose interest in your page and you’ll lose your readers loyalty to your brand/company. Just remember: why would anyone want to visit a Website with stale, uninteresting information? The same thing applies to your social media pages. If you need a quick update and don’t have a lot of time, try asking a simple question from your audience like, “What are you doing this weekend?” This keeps the content fresh and engages your fans.

· Play nice! Sure, readers want to hear what’s new with your company/product, but it’s a good rule of thumb to share others’ blog posts, etc. People will deem you a more “valuable” resource by sharing others’ ‘added’ information. It’s not always about you. And, make sure to use tact when responding to readers’ comments, especially if they have something negative to say about your company/brand. The goal is to create a lasting relationship with your readers.

· Create some buzz! A fun and highly effective element to creating a successful social media campaign is to implement various contests or trivia questions into your plan. It’s a known fact that readers thrive on interaction and love to participate in trivia games, photo hunts (think TwitPic), etc. And, when there’s an incentive offered to the winner, you’ll receive an even greater response! Think about offering a small token that promotes your brand, or award a gift certificate to a venue in your city. If you utilize Twitter, visit and type #contest in the search area to see how other companies are using the contest tactic to engage their followers.

· Analyze this! Your boss is likely to ask about the progress of your company’s social media campaign and how well it’s being received. Have no fear! There are plenty of free and easy-to-use analytics tools available to track your progress, including: Insights for Facebook fan pages, Twitter Analyzer and Google Analytics for blogs. Plus, keeping track of how many followers, fans, and comments you have is also another great way to gauge your progress. If your budget allows, you might want to consider hiring a social media professional who specializes in tailoring social media campaigns to meet the needs of your organization.

· Follow the leader! There are literally hundreds of social media professionals out there with amazing blogs and helpful tips. Here’s a short list of my favorite social media experts:

o; The Social Media “Bible” - @Mashable on Twitter

o; Social Media Business Coach - @MariSmith on Twitter

o; Mitch Joel, dubbed by Marketing Magazine as the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” - @MitchJoel on Twitter

o; World's Best Bloggers on Social Media and Web 2.0 - @socialmedia2day on Twitter

Make New Marketing Goals…But Keep the Old

While I’m a proponent of using social media to promote your business/brand, I believe your company should also continue to use the “tried and true” methods of marketing, such as print, e-mail marketing, radio/TV ads, etc. By incorporating social media, businesses both large and small have the opportunity market their brand and create additional awareness without going over their marketing budget. And, when used effectively, it’s a win-win situation for your company!

The AMA’s Connected!

Don’t forget to become a fan of the AMA Pittsburgh Chapter on Facebook at, and be sure to subscribe to our blog at We’ll be updating the AMA Blog and Facebook fan page in the coming weeks and we invite you to check out our pages and let us know what you think! We welcome your feedback and suggestions on how to make your online experience with us even better! Feel free to write to me with questions or comments at

Cheers to a happy, healthy and social media-inspired New Year!

Brooke M. Fornalczyk

Manager of e-Marketing & Promotions, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
American Marketing Association Pittsburgh Chapter - Communications Team

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Upcoming New Member Breakfast

AMA Pittsburgh welcomes you to join your fellow marketers and the American Marketing Association Pittsburgh Chapter Board at our Fall Orientation.

Who Should Attend:
  • New Members interested in learning more about the benefits and uses of their AMA membership.
  • Current Members looking to become more active in their membership
  • Non-Members looking to find out what the AMA is all about.

Date: November 4, 2009
Time: 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Location: BNY Mellon Client Service Center, 500 Ross Street, Visitor’s Center, Second Floor, Room 214

Click here for more information and to RSVP!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Trend Spotting and Setting Summit

Join the AMA Pittsburgh for the Trend Spotting and Setting Summit on October 8 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Follow the evolution of marketing trends: how trends get started, the psychology behind why people follow trends, its impact on market research and what trends are on the horizon. A complimentary edition of the book, "2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade" by Richard Laermer, will be provided to every attendee including a book signing opportunity.

Richard Laermer, CEO, RLM Public Relations
As CEO of RLM, Laermer's client list includes Obopay, HotChalk, FlypMedia, Reed Business CEO Tad Smith, Scitable, Epic Advertising and Yodlee. Following "2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade", Laermer released the recessionary paperback "Punk Marketing" from HarperCollins and also co-hosted TLC's business makeover show Taking Care of Business.

Yvonne Campos, CEO, Campos Inc.
Yvonne is an active member of the Pittsburgh business community and has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for her entrepreneurial spirit and community involvement. She has led her company to become the premier research company in this market by introducing new and innovative research techniques and unparalleled customer service.

Lindsay Zaltman, Managing Director, Olson Zaltman Associates
Lindsay is co-author of the book "Marketing Metaphoria" by the Harvard Business Press. He has been published or cited in numerous publications including The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Fast Company Magazine and The Journal of Business Research. He has lectured extensively at various companies and conferences around the globe.

Dee Schlotter, Brand Manager, Color, Pittsburgh Paints
Dee brings more than 6 years of color marketing experience and 12 years of paint experience to The Voice of Color program. Dee also launched the Pure Performance line of environmental paints. She continues to work closely with the Rachel Carson Homestead foundation and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater that require environmentally-sound paints and authentic color palettes.

Event Details
What: Trend Spotting and Setting Summit
When: October 8, 2009, 7:30AM - 11:30 AM
Where: DoubleTree Hotel, Downtown Pittsburgh

Please join us for this don't-miss event! Click here for details and to register.