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The American Marketing Association is just now beginning to do for itself what it supposedly does best-market.

A print campaign that positions the association as "Your strategy for success" starts today, along with an 800-number and a staggered direct mail campaign.

The organization, formed in 1937, has more than 500 chapters; plans about 25 marketing conferences annually; and publishes a number of industry and scholarly journals, including Marketing News, Marketing Management and Marketing Research.

Ironically, only last September did the association hire a director of marketing to spearhead efforts in attracting new members as well as maintain satisfaction of the existing 45,000 members.

"We want to build the AMA brand with a simple premise: Marketing ability equals marketability," said Tim Prosch, director of marketing. "With all the downsizing corporations are doing, individuals are becoming more responsible for their own careers, and we want to be a career-building resource for marketing professionals that they can't get anywhere else."

Mr. Prosch, 47, has been in the advertising business about 25 years, most recently as managing director of client services at Ayer Chicago.

He said the association has never marketed itself before.

"The challenge comes in the fact that these members understand what the AMA is trying to do in refocusing and repositioning itself. Our planning and execution could dictate a lot of praise or a lot of criticism, depending on how we do," Mr. Prosch said.

The group also plans to establish a presence on the Internet's World Wide Web and step up efforts to improve customer satisfaction through "relationship marketing," which includes ongoing research, surveys and direct mail.

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