Spring is here, and so arrives a new workshop from AMA Madison! On Wednesday, May 15 from 8:30-11 AM, we invite you to join us for a morning of learning and networking at MY Arts in Madison. Our featured presenters will include McKenna Erickson from S/B Strategic Marketing and Lisa Caras from Jones Dairy Farm:


  • 8:30 am: Registration Opens & Coffee/Networking
  • 9:00 am – 9:15 am: Welcome Address
  • 9:15 am – 10:00 am: “Crafting a Winning Marketing Strategy” by McKenna Erickson, Account Service Manager, S/B Strategic Marketing
  • 10:00 am – 10:05 am: Short Break
  • 10:05 am – 10:35 am: Breakout Workshop Sessions:
  • 10:35 am – 10:55 am: “Effective Partnerships: Navigating Strategy and Delivery” (Panel Discussion Moderated by Carrie Brown)
  • 10:55 am – 11:00 am: Closing Remarks

You can view the full session descriptions and register for the event here. In the meantime, hear from one of our presenters, McKenna Erickson, on what to expect from the event:

What to expect: Q&A with McKenna

1. AMA: Tell us a little about yourself and the work you do at S/B Strategic Marketing.

McKenna: As most of my friends and colleagues would likely say, I’ve never really met a stranger – I love meeting new people and learning about what makes them tick. That propensity to talk to “strangers” is actually how I got into marketing in the first place – I happened to be on a train in Arizona in college while an ad agency specializing in tourism was filming a new commercial. Long story short, I ended up speaking with the Principal Owner of the agency and after hearing about the work they did, I was sold and asked if I could intern for him. Many (heckling) emails later and I was on a plane to Connecticut to see if agency life was for me. Spoiler: It was! Now, at S/B, I’m the Account Service Manager overseeing our Account Service and Media departments, making sure strategy is at the forefront of everything we do and, most importantly, that our clients are as happy as possible.


2. AMA: When it comes to developing targeted marketing strategies, team collaboration is vital. What are some of the most common obstacles teams face when working together strategically, and what measures can marketers take to overcome or mitigate them altogether? 

McKenna: It feels like an obvious answer, but unclear communication and unrealistic expectations are usually the core of most issues when it comes to collaboration. To address the first, unclear communication, the most important thing you can do to mitigate this is to really understand the communication styles of everyone on your team – and if you’re agency-side, the client’s communication styles are even more vital! Some folks need to read through something once first before a presentation, some need more visuals, some need to hear the same thing in a few different ways, the list goes on. Go into each collaborative session with the major takeaway you need everyone to be on the same page with and check in throughout the session with each individual to make sure everything is clear.

The second obstacle, unrealistic expectations, can be difficult especially in the Midwest where we have more People Pleasers per capita than anywhere else in the world. It’s important to establish with all members of your team that there is no right answer when it comes to what one can and cannot do – if a timeline won’t allow for someone to provide their best work, be open and talk about that instead of getting to that deadline, receiving possibly shoddy work, and having to discuss the quality of it then. To help mitigate this, check in regularly with the team and include clearly defined next steps in all communications.


3. AMA: In your experience, what are the key components of setting clear, measurable marketing objectives?

McKenna: The main component, in my opinion, is to start with the business objective(s). Your marketing tactics and therefore their success metrics, should always ladder back to your business objectives. For example, reach won’t be indicative of success if your goal is engagement. Second, don’t just choose a metric because it’s been done before, either – long before MailChimp added click-to-open rates into their standard report, we were tracking that because it was much more indicative of success for our goals than a click through rate alone was. Finally, keep your key metrics to a minimum! Even the most robust campaigns can be distilled down to 2-3 key metrics; the more you add, the cloudier success will become.


4. AMA: How do you determine realistic timelines for a project, and what factors most significantly impact these timelines?

McKenna: Outline, in borderline asinine levels of detail, every step and component of the project and define a timeline based on that. (When in doubt, add a day. My philosophy is always to err on the safe side and of timelines and if all goes perfectly, everyone can celebrate completing the project early!) Share it with your team and elicit feedback both as a group and with individual key players on feasibility.

By defining every little detail, the major factors that impact timelines (like time needed for approval at various stages of the project, other major projects, planned outages of team members, lead time for vendors, etc.) won’t get missed!


5. AMA: Can you give us a preview of the big takeaway people can expect if they attend this workshop and get to experience your presentations?  

McKenna: My hope is that folks will leave with actionable insights, ideas and approaches to be more strategic in all aspects of their professional lives – from making their marketing programs more successful and efficient to just managing their workload more effectively, I really feel like there’s something for everyone in this event!

See You May 15!

If you haven’t yet, register here. We can’t wait to learn and network with you.

Thanks to our sponsors:

About the Author

Kara Martin, Content Writer at Naviant, specializes in written B2B content, from case studies to blogs and beyond. She transforms complex technical information into compelling, data-driven content that helps organizations turn their digital transformation goals into a reality.

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