San Francisco is home to modern and forward thinking companies. San Francisco American Marketing Association would like to introduce you to those companies. Our very own SFAMA Member, Melanie Goodwin sat down with Amy Dalton from AOL.
Q: Where does your department draw creative inspiration from?
A: Many of our ideas actually occur as a result of listening to our client’s needs. We work hand in hand with our sales team to discover the challenges our clients are facing and develop new solutions to those problems.
Q: How do you make your team successful?
A: We communicate. We maintain a full-circle communication loop between sales, marketing, strategy and development so that we are always collaborating and taking full advantage of our human capital.
Q: What makes your office a unique place to work?
A: There are a few unique spaces in our office including Innovation Alley – a common space consisting of sofas, televisions, retro board games and fresh fruit for snacking. The second unique space is our Nap Room. Arianna Huffington insists that every AOL office have one.
Q: What ONE technical tool could your department not survive without (software program, app, website, etc.)?
A: AIM. Many of us thought we wouldn’t really use it when we started working here, but it is a much more convenient tool for communicating with coworkers – whether they are in the next cubicle or across the country.
Q: What is your departments’ favorite new tech tool (software, device, app, etc.)
A: We frequently use PowerPoint to organize and present information. Salesforce has a new integration feature which makes sharing PowerPoints between offices much easier. It is invaluable for sharing data, best practices and other information that might otherwise have been underutilized.
Q: What marketing segments does your department oversee?
A: Tech, Retail and Gaming, as well as a few other regional accounts.
Q: What do you find to be the most effective marketing tool for [your business] right now?
A: We are focusing on creating content with substance rather than swag or logo placement. Establishing AOL as a thought leader is a powerful, lasting form of marketing for us.
Q: What skills would you suggest professionals gain if they want to work in marketing in your industry?
A: Learn to research, organize and interpret data. Become adept at Excel and develop ways to turn information into meaningful stories.
Q: What marketing trends do you foresee in the near future in your industry?
A: Mobile technology is rapidly changing the fundamental behaviors of consumers rendering many long-standing marketing channels obsolete. The biggest trend I foresee is a rise in brand new marketing channels. Which are now possible due to the proliferation of mobile devices.
Q: What advice would you give professionals who want to work in marketing in your industry?
A: It is okay to ask questions. Things are changing so rapidly that no one is expected to know it all.
Q: What role do events play in your marketing efforts?
A: We recently hosted a Mobile Summit in Silicon Valley for our clients to teach and learn about mobile marketing. Rather than providing all of the content for the event we drew upon experts from other organizations and facilitated the conversation. As a result of hosting the event we established ourselves as thought leaders in mobile marketing while gaining invaluable insight into our client’s challenges, needs and innovations. Another example is when we were at the Seattle Interactive Conference as a sponsor. Rather than host a traditional booth, we turned it into a studio where David Shing, our Digital Prophet, interviewed fellow speakers. You can see the video interviews here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/seattle-interactive-conference
Q: How is your office organized? Open plan, offices, cubicles, mix of on site and remote workers, etc.?
A: The office is a mix of modern cubicles and glass walled offices with open doorways. Colorful, modern décor lends a playful mood to the space.
Q: How many people are in your department?
A: Three Marketers & three Strategists work out of the downtown San Francisco office
Q: If your marketing department were a breakfast cereal – what kind would you be?
A: Cheerios. Tasty but still good for you. Though occasionally there are days we feel more like Fruit Loops!
Do you have a company that you would like Melanie Goodwin to chat with? Please send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.