Why Real People Like AZIMA

AZIMA Members

You’d expect our official site to talk about the benefits of joining the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association, right?

But the people whose opinion matters more aren’t the official ones. They’re the people like you — who don’t automatically believe the marketing story.

Here are the four biggest reasons those people, the real ones, are excited about belonging to AZIMA:

 NETWORKING

Mark Knoles of Gate6 singles out the opportunity to meet fellow professionals as his primary benefit from joining the group, and David Knight of Republic Media agrees. “I can sum it up in one word: networking,” he says.

“It’s a great way for people in the Phoenix metro area to connect with other marketers,” notes Paul Borselli of Ethology.

Networking includes promoting expertise built through association with the group, which can boost credibility for individuals as well as companies.

Joanne Levin, who joined as a Mesa Community College student, refers to her AZIMA activity on her LinkedIn profile. “I promoted that I was coming tonight,” she said at a recent event. “It’s a great organization.”

There’s also the prospect of networking leading to new business, as it has for Cody Landefeld of Mode Effect. “We’ve worked on website projects with other member companies,” he says. “I like the collaboration with folks in the marketing world.”

Jackie Wright of Rainmaker Integrated uses AZIMA meetings as a way to introduce new concepts to people who may not be familiar with every aspect of interactive marketing. “I enjoy bringing digital marketing players into our business model,” she explains.

Equally enthusiastic about spreading the word on digital marketing is Lisa Owen of G/O Digital. “This is a great resource for our account managers and fulfillment team to stay up-to-date on trends,” she says.

LEARNING

Lisa isn’t the only one who appreciates AZIMA’s monthly programs on a variety of topics. Makinzie Loeffler of Medical Marketing Solutions confirms, “I’ve enjoyed learning a lot from all the speakers.”

“The headline grabbed me,” says Clay Hanawalt, a visitor who received an email about a recent program. “I’m interested in Facebook and Pinterest marketing.”

That same event drew the attention of Alexandria Marlar, whose co-worker at Spooner Physical Therapy suggested “this might be beneficial to what I do in my job, which encompasses social media.”

Programs change from month to month, always focusing on different aspects of internet marketing.

Tessa Barrientos of Cramer-Krasselt cites the educational opportunities as one of her reasons for valuing AZIMA. “I’m brand new, and excited about learning,” she says.

“I always come away with inspiration and ideas for marketing our company better,” notes Paul Capodanno of Gate6, and Sean Rogers of Republic Media concurs that membership is a great way of “staying abreast of what’s current, the way the industry is unfolding.”

SOCIAL

While learning from experts is always popular, learning from fellow members is another benefit. “Everyone shares their knowledge with each other,” says Natalie Barreda of Vertical Measures. “You can share ideas and grow, and help each other grow.”

Mixing and mingling before dinner and the program makes it easy to strike up new relationships. “You can meet a lot of people here who do what we do,” observes Andrew Tamm of The Lavidge Company. “You don’t get to do that often.”

That’s true for veterans as well as for new members like Carrie Morgan of Rock The Status Quo. “I joined six weeks ago because I do a lot on the national level but wanted to do more locally,” she explains.

David Knight confirms the value of coming face to face with others in the business. “I’m new here,” he says, “and this is a wonderful way to meet people.”

Of course, there’s more to enjoy than just great conversation by the bar. “I’m here for the food!” jokes Cody Landefeld, and Jorge Tobar of eBay Enterprise expands on that theme. “There’s a cool menu — the speakers and the dinner.”

VARIETY

One reason for the cool menu of programs is that AZIMA is focused on serving so many different aspects of the internet marketing community.

“There’s a wide variety of speakers from around the industry,” observes Sarah Schager of Vertical Measures. “There’s paid advertising, and social, and everything.”

Austin Leonard of eBay Enterprise agrees. “We’re seeing the full Phoenix digital community here,” he says.

“I like the variety of speakers and topics,” says Kathy Morgan of Ethology, and her co-worker Paul Borselli concurs: “It’s important to understand how all four pillars of the industry work together — branding, agency, media and marketing technology.”

Jackie Wright, an AZIMA board member, explains that the blend of perspectives is deliberate. “The business model is fully integrated; you get a 360-degree view of all the facets of marketing,” she says.

Variety also figures into what Roger Hurni of Off Madison Avenue views as the group’s mission:

“Having been one of the founding companies of AZIMA, I’m often asked why it’s beneficial to be a member of it. The reasons are numerous. To start, the value of the membership fee to the number and quality of monthly events is the best educational deal I’ve ever seen — bar none.

“That said, the real value is in the connections you can make with other members. My comment isn’t about the networking, that’s a given. It’s about the conversations you have with other members that can provide you with new insights into new strategies and practices that would be difficult to find elsewhere.”

MEMBERSHIP

If any of these reasons for joining AZIMA resonate with you, you know what to do — click here!

Laurie Schnebly

Laurie Schnebly is a copywriter for The Lavidge Company, as well as the author of half a dozen romance novels and a how-to for fiction writers. All that writing lets her enjoy the fun of figuring out why people do what they're doing, but she likes how simply asking "Why did you join AZIMA?" makes that even easier!

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