Several years back, I found myself in a role as a solo marketer. No assistant.  No director.  Just me. I drove all the marketing initiatives and reported to the CEO. 

I had never worked in such an environment previously.  I always had been part of a larger marketing team where we all had our individual contributions to manage.  But this was different.  It was all just me.  

In many ways, I thrived in the role. I felt like I had endless opportunities to make an impact, and I loved chipping away at them. At the same time, my budget for outsourcing was lean, which meant I had to learn how to do many tasks on my own.  My skill set soared out of pure necessity.

I had to really dig into my creative nature and be incredibly strategic with every messaging campaign.

Since I was the only marketer, I serviced all promotional aspects of the business. Meeting the needs of a diverse group of coworkers gave me the ability to pivot quickly and respond nimbly.

In many other ways, I was suffering. I had minimal camaraderie. I lacked the opportunity for collaboration. And mostly, I just had no one else who ‘got’ what I did. It was rough, and I started to dread going to work.

About 5 months into this role, I realized I would never survive unless I found other marketers.  I needed a community. I needed some people.  I needed MY people.

It was almost serendipitous that I got the AMA Madison invite for a networking event at the same time that I had this eureka moment. It was for a mixer at Olbrich gardens and I sent in the RSVP without hesitation. But then getting there was another story. It was hard to walk in without knowing another person! Eventually, I found myself slapping on a nametag and introducing myself to strangers.  And before long, this group of unknown people were now my connections.

“Connections” is such a loose term these days. For some, it’s that person you “accepted” on LinkedIn.  For others, it’s the person you text everyday to “check-in”. The variance is huge! My experience with my AMA Madison connections is a true bond. We all are invested in the same learning opportunities.  The same pain points.  The same professional goals.  We speak the same language. 

Finally, I found a community!  The crew I craved had arrived!

I know there are others out there who are looking for community too. And I see you!  Reach out to me when you are ready.  AMA Madison is here for you.

Carrie Brown has been a member of AMA Madison for over three years and given her time to email marketing efforts and participation recruitment. She’s currently serving on the executive team as President-elect. By day, Carrie is a marketing manager for an employee benefits insurance provider, Beam Benefits. Her work focuses on client retention, story-telling and engagement.

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