By: Dennis Devlin

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of participating in experience design collaborative innovation workshops held at AMA’s Chicago offices. A group of 30-35 AMA chapter leaders, member customers, and staff convened for three intensive days to help shape tomorrow’s AMA member experience.

Through extensive research, the AMA has established three brand personas of professional marketers, and each persona was addressed:

  1. The Enlightened Initiate (collegiate students/young professionals)
  2. The Marketing Maestro (more experienced marketers)
  3. The Sales Champion (a new focus for the AMA)

It was clear that the AMA is committed to constantly innovating and improving the brand experience for members. In partnership with customer experience design firm, Strativity, the initial step in the process of creating the Next AMA was to share member experiences and recommendations for improving the AMA brand experience.

The AMA Exists for the Individual Marketer

The AMA is fundamentally about the growth and development of the individual marketer. So, participants were asked to consider their perceived best sources for the knowledge and inspiration they had recently needed to progress their personal (or their company’s) growth and development. Efforts were made to understand the actions and decisions taken, the impact made, the emotions elicited, and an overall assessment of the experience and ideas for improvement.

The AMA Customer Journey – Present and Future

Pain points, unmet needs, and relationship builders were identified for each of the AMA customer touchpoints:

  • Networking
  • Learning
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Accreditation
  • Volunteer Engagement & Giving Back
  • Career Management

And for each of these customer touchpoints key interactions were identified along the customer journey to create a vision for the future AMA customer journey.

Making the Next AMA Experience Exceptional!

The AMA recognizes the importance of what makes for an exceptional customer experience. The following were identified as critical principles to creating the Next AMA.

  • Is it memorable? Let’s surprise and inspire!
  • Is it authentic? Let’s express caring and connect members to a genuine brand.
  • Is it personalized? Let’s tailor the experience to the individual member.
  • Is it knowledgeable? Let’s teach the member something s/he did not know.
  • Is it easy and timely? Let’s make it a smooth and seamless transaction and respect the member’s time.

The Next AMA is Coming Soon

Admittedly, these collaborative innovation sessions were conducted during the early stages in the full innovation process, focusing on understanding customers and designing the desired customer experience. Much more work will be done before new initiatives are launched.

Even so, the Next AMA is on a fast track, as the AMA Cincinnati chapter – as well as other chapters across the country – will learn in mid-November about the new initiatives developed from the collaborative innovation sessions. This information will be shared at regional mid-year retreats across the country when chapter leaders will convene to assess their progress for the 2016-2017 AMA year (BTW, Cincinnati will be one of the regional retreat chapter hosts this fall).

So, stay tuned. The Next AMA is coming soon, perhaps sooner than you might think!


About Dennis Devlin
Dennis Devlin is the Founder and CEO of Consumer Clarity, an insights and strategy consultancy specializing in millennial marketing. Dennis is the 2016 AMA Chapter Volunteer of the Year, a Past President of AMA Cincinnati, the Chair of the CMO Roundtable, and a current AMA Cincinnati Board of Directors member as VP Strategic Alignment.