13 Oct AMA Member Profile: Meet Michael Roach, Marketer and Creative
AMA: Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Michael Roach. I am a marketing and creative consultant. With my company, Michael Roach Creative, what I do is help businesses stand out more and get positive business results. I am also on the AMA board as the Executive Vice President of Communications.
AMA:What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I enjoy meeting and talking with entrepreneurs about business problems, or put another way, discussing and acting on the challenges they face in growing their businesses. I like the variety of challenges. I get questions like, “Will social media help me get customers?” “What kinds of content do I need build my company’s online presence?” Or, “How can I learn more about my customers and my competitors?”
I find the answers to these problems. I find that the solutions often have to be specific, personalized, and something that fits that particular business. Sure, there are a lot of companies that sell similar products and services. There are also tons of general business articles and pieces of advice on the internet. Many of them are great. But, companies need a strategy. They also need to stand out with a message that’s unique—a message that lets customers hear your signals through all the noise. Otherwise, you become a blur making it hard for others to differentiate you from others in the marketplace.
I also enjoy using data and technology to inform business decisions, but there also has to be some creativity in there to entertain, educate, and inspire audiences to act. In my role, one day I could be working with spreadsheets and reporting dashboards in an analytics platform. Other days, I might be working on a content calendar for a client, copywriting, or shooting a teaser video for a client to use on social media.
With the AMA, as a board member, my colleagues and I work to tackle all kinds of organizational and marketing challenges. It’s not just membership relations and email marketing, there’s also social media strategy, event marketing, public relations, and web content management. Along the way, I get to meet and work directly with really bright marketers locally and across the nation.
AMA:Why is being up-to-date with the latest marketing thinking so important in your current position?
Being up-to-date with the latest marketing thinking is so important because literally everything is changing at warp speed. Consumers now spend money differently. Their behaviors are changing, especially because they’re glued to their devices’ screens. The marketplace is always in motion. Digital platforms are launched, people gravitate there, other platforms die. Meanwhile, people are creating massive amounts of data, which is really fascinating.
As an example, think of how the slightest change to a social media algorithm changed how we all interact with our Facebook News Feed. Facebook wants to show us relevant, timely content we care about. The algorithm also changed how companies use Facebook to market their businesses. As marketers, we need to be aware of these changes and utilize these tools and technologies to create winning results for our employers, or our businesses.
Marketers need to know the proven best practices that work, which practices need to be used less, and which ones should be retired completely. For example, it wasn’t that long ago companies thought they could add anyone without permission to their email marketing lists. This form of marketing might have resulted in some subscribers and revenue in the past. Now, it’s widely accepted that this practice annoys people and can get a business into some serious hot water. As another example, some companies made it really hard to unsubscribe from these commercial email marketing messages. In some cases, they wouldn’t even include an unsubscribe link. This is a terrible way to build an audience and convert members of that audience into customers. In those examples, most marketers overwhelmingly know and accept that those are tactics to avoid.
Being up-to-date is also important because we need to understand how buyers find companies they want to do business with. Once buyers find a company and the company’s solution, they have to understand the possible routes they take to become a customer. The more marketers stay up-to-date, the more they will have better insights about this and other challenges in today’s tech-heavy environment.
AMA:What was the best piece of business advice that anyone ever gave you?
The best piece of advice I received was to get out there and network. I took this two ways. Get online and connect with people. Perhaps it’s to connect with others on LinkedIn. Learn about people inside and outside of your network and learn about what they do. The other way I took this was to physically go out and connect with people. Introduce yourself, start a conversation, and build a relationship. When you take the time to grow your network, you meet people that you can help or that can help you. It might not be today, or tomorrow, but at some point soon you will be a few degrees from meeting someone that could change the trajectory of your career.
When I was out physically networking at an Excelsior College alumni event some years ago, an attendee said, “You should get connected with the American Marketing Association.” I’m glad I did. I attended events, met great people, and later that year joined the board. It’s been nothing but awesome experiences since then.
AMA:How long have you been a member and why did you join the American Marketing Association?
I joined AMA as a member in 2013. It was suggested that I check out the AMA and find others that also have a strong interest in marketing. My goal was to meet others that knew more than I and that could give me other perspectives of marketing’s purpose in business. Marketing had been part of roles before in my career, but I wanted to really connect with others for that deeper perspective. As a result, I’ve met some of the best and brightest minds in marketing and advertising. They would share their approaches to solving business challenges, especially when they had some serious constraints like time, resources, company buy-in, and money.
AMA:How has membership benefited you personally and professionally?
AMA membership has benefited me because I am equipped with resources and information that helps me succeed in my career. I get the personal benefit of joining a community where others share similar and vastly different experiences. Though many of us come from different backgrounds, there’s a common theme… we all want to achieve amazing things. AMA membership also gives me access to incredible scholarly journals and riveting marketing research. This research consists of concepts, theories, techniques, and applications of marketing in the real world.
If someone is the slightest bit curious of how marketing plays a crucial role in a business’ success, they should join the AMA, get connected and get access to a great source of knowledge.