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A Q&A with AMA Philadelphia Chapter President, Matt Roberts

Interview by Nina Victoria Mitchell

2024 is right around the corner and with a new year, AMA Philadelphia wanted to show members what the new year will involve for the chapter and its members. Below is a short Q&A with our Chapter President, Matt Roberts, as he gives a snapshot of what’s to come in 2024, his view of the future of marketing, and how members are participating in it.

What’s the most important thing marketers should keep in mind, in today’s business climate?

The ability to ask good questions and gather useful information is key. Don’t get caught going down a rabbit hole of new tactics, because they don’t last long. The key to success is knowing that you have a “toolkit within you.” Marketers need to understand and anticipate their customers.

What do you think is the future of marketing?

Marketing has a future in providing better insights for the leadership of enterprises. At various times, marketing has provided exceptional insights into current, targeted, and perspective markets, and thought leadership within an organization has flourished in some sectors over some intervals over the last hundred years of marketing’s history.

But in some cases, it has withdrawn from and been reduced by chief executives. The full potential of marketing for providing these insights has been ignored, with the exception of only certain very large/successful companies, such as Proctor & Gamble or Lockheed Martin. These are examples of two companies that live and die on the strength of their insights into their customer’s needs and trends. They pay close attention to the 180-degree perspective of what’s going on with their client and competitors. And this requires that they conduct, and be fully invested in, various kinds of market research. 

This marketing research has made the difference between a stock price going up or a company shutting down. Many companies in the past have failed to look ahead 36 months into the future and are no longer in business. Companies that looked ahead in plenty of time have evolved.

Marketing research and insights are too often overlooked, and so the future of marketing would be a return to the marketing’s ownership of customer insights and marketing insights. That is going to require a very rapid search for people who can think strategically. 

What are the key points of your 2024 vision for the chapter?

We are an organization devoted to enabling the early to mid-career marketer to excel in their profession. We want to serve the needs of CMOs, to be a resource for them and their teams. We want to differentiate ourselves from other groups by focusing on strategic thinking and awareness to excel in their roles. We aim to be a direct value to the committed, mid-level marketer. We want to provide meaningful support for them.

As I mentioned, the future of marketing will be a more strategic role in organizations. And speaking as the chapter president, the AMA’s objective is to provide an outlet where people come to become marketing strategists. 

The marketers’ toolkit will have to include a sharper blade to cut through the noise and promotion of specific tactics to understand which tool to use when, and how to make sure their decisions are insight-led and not tactic-driven. The future will also involve a more defined series of criteria that will enable marketing professionals to differentiate their field better. 

If AMA is successful with its initiatives, it will be seen as the singular and unique creditor of marketers. The AMA Philly chapter wants to address these needs for marketers who are dedicated to being 180-degree specialists. We want to help them understand the ways they can use these tactics effectively. 

What’s new for AMA Philadelphia in 2024?

Here are the key pillars we have for 2024:

  • Our vision for the new year is to enable regional marketers to meet regularly. We want to have marketing meet-ups in each of the key AMA Philly region counties every month so people can network and pose questions for the chapter. Keep an eye out on our Events Calendar to stay up to date.
  • AMA Philly will be continuing the Executive Circle Breakfast series. These events are for mid-level marketers who want to learn more about specific marketing topics like A.I., social media campaigns, working with Gen Z, and more. 
  • Our annual Super Bowl Smackdown Event is returning this February. This panel-style debate analyzes how well the top $5 million ad spots succeeded — from the point of view of an overall marketing strategy. Ads will be categorized, discussed by C-suite marketers from top companies in the Philly area, and then put to an audience vote to determine who is the true marketing champion. It’s our most popular event of the year, so we’d love to see you all there! 
  • If you’re looking to get more involved with AMA Philadelphia, we’re currently looking for more volunteers for content, events, and more. If you’re interested in helping AMA Philly to extend its reach, please contact us!

How can members be more involved this year, according to your vision?

Keep up with our social media and sign up for email updates. Members and non-members should come out to one of our events like the next Marketing Mix @ 6. Events are a great way to meet new marketers and learn more about marketing in the Delaware Valley area. They’re also a great way for those who are on the fence about becoming a member of AMA Philly to experience what we’re all about.

Marketers agree, networking is vital — especially in person. Looking for a great place to connect in the New Year? Check out AMA Philly’s event calendar and save the date for some amazing upcoming events!